Inside Brit Floyd, The Ambitious Pink Floyd Cover Band
Will the real Pink Floyd please stand up? Actually, the real one has decided to sit it out for the foreseeable future, but in its place stands the live spectacle known as Brit Floyd, perhaps the closest thing to the real McCoy. With a syncopated psychedelic light show complete with video and laser projection, a full band including horn section and background vocals, and the ability to pull anything from Floyd's diverse catalog, musical director Damian Darlington says Brit Floyd is the ultimate Pink Floyd experience.
Darlington formed Brit Floyd three years ago after a 17-year stint with Australian Pink Floyd Show, which, as you can guess, is an Aussie Pink Floyd cover group. His reasoning? Simply because he felt he could do it one better.
"There is much more attention to details in every aspect of the show, from the music to the visuals to the lighting," he says. "Everything is that much more perfected and there's a passion coming off that stage. ... It's a coherent, emotional journey through Pink Floyd's catalog."
The band amazingly squeezes in something from every Pink Floyd album, from the early psych wonder of Piper at the Gates of Dawn to masterpieces like Animals and The Wall to the band's final (though Roger Waters-less) recording, The Division Bell.
Up on the Sun caught up Darlington in New Brunswick, Canada, to talk about the process and challenges inherent in putting together the "ultimate" Floyd show, his youthful discovery of and influence by the band, and whether any original band members have checked Brit Floyd out.
Up on the Sun: This current tour is covering the band's entire career. Obviously, you can't play everything in three-hours, so how have you decided on which songs to play?
Damian Darlington: It's just a case of listening to all those 14 Pink Floyd studio albums and deciding which track from that album best represents what they were doing around that period and which one best fits in the set we're putting together. ... I suppose at the end of the day, as musical director, it's up to me to make that choice.
Are we getting just the hits, so to speak, or some more obscure songs that may actually represent better the whole of the band at that time?
Obviously, there are certain songs no matter what the theme we are going to want to put in there because people expect to hear things like "Another Brick in the Wall," "Wish You Were Here," "Comfortably Numb," "Shine on You Crazy Diamond," "Money," from Dark Side of the Moon, etc. So, they're all going to be in there as well. There's a balance to be struck in playing the hits, as it were, and playing good representative songs of Pink Floyd from their other albums in the context of what we're doing. Hopefully, we've got that balance right.