If you find yourself wishing the great psychedelic rock band Pink Floyd still toured, well, there’s not much hope there.
But there is an alternative that’s considered the next-best thing. Brit Floyd, widely regarded as the world’s greatest live tribute to Pink Floyd, will be coming through Augusta this Saturday, Nov. 18, at the Bell Auditorium.
The tribute band is on its Immersion World Tour and will be performing favorite moments from “The Dark Side of the Moon,” “Wish You Were Here,” “The Wall” and “The Division Bell,” as well as a special tribute to the “Animals” album, which is in its 40th anniversary year.
Formed in 2011, Brit Floyd is re-creating Pink Floyd’s final “Division Bell” tour in 1994, complete with a circle screen, light design, lasers, inflatables and theatrics.
The band is the brainchild of Middlesbrough, Teesside, England, native Damian Darlington, who came into the project with a wealth of experience — he became a part of the Australian Pink Floyd Show (which still tours) in 1994 and stayed with them for 17 years and almost 1,300 shows. But he told the Phoenix New Times in 2014 that when he left that project, he was itching to do his own Pink Floyd tribute project — and do it better.
“It seemed like it was time to move on and do my own Pink Floyd show,” Darlington told the Phoenix New Times. “I certainly learned a lot about how to do this right; acquired all the skills how to put together a Pink Floyd show successfully. It was the right time to step out. … I just rather think we’re doing it that bit better with Brit Floyd. There is much more attention to details in every aspect of the show, from the music to the visuals to the lighting. Everything is that much more perfected, and there’s a passion coming off that stage. We never get complacent about what we’re doing, and it will continually get better.”
The band overcomes challenges to getting Pink Floyd’s sound just right.
“Pink Floyd, they were great musicians, but they weren’t really technical,” he told the Phoenix New Times. “There weren’t any really fast guitar solos or odd time signatures. But there was certainly a wonderful feel they brought to the music. That’s a challenge in itself. And to re-create the sounds.”
“Pink Floyd was so pioneering in many respects, on stage but also in the studio with all those unique sounds people really hadn’t done before. To redo that successfully, when it comes to the guitar sounds and keyboard sounds and all the sound effects, it is really a challenge.”
Darlington also has had direct experience with the musicians he and his band emulates — he states on his bio at britfloyd.com that he had the “amazing experience” of performing “Comfortably Numb” alongside Pink Floyd founding member, keyboardist and vocalist Rick Wright at longtime Pink Floyd member David Gilmour’s 50th birthday party.
In a review of a recent show in Pennsylvania, TheSlateOnline.com gushed that Brit Floyd lives up to its name as “The World’s Greatest Pink Floyd Show.”
“Brit Floyd went beyond simply playing the notes and clearly focused on imitating the exact tone and style of Pink Floyd’s music,” TheSlateOnline.com wrote. “Even with slight deviations from the original songs, such as adding backup vocals to the chorus of ‘Wish You Were Here,’ Brit Floyd stayed true to Pink Floyd’s sound while adding their own flair. … Brit Floyd took audience members back to the first time they put a Pink Floyd vinyl on their record player. Their musical talent and soul reminded fans how Pink Floyd’s songs are more than just music and lyrics — they are other-worldly audio experiences.”
Rolling Stone says Pink Floyd went from a “moderately successful acid-rock band to one of rock music’s biggest acts,” with the release of “The Dark Side of the Moon” in 1973. That album has been on Billboard’s Top 200 album chart for a staggering 861 weeks (that’s more than 16 years total) — longer than any other album in history.
Many rock icons over the decades since Pink Floyd formed probably wouldn’t have been what they were without the influence of Pink Floyd. Heavy hitters such as David Bowie, Queen, Nine Inch Nails and the Smashing Pumpkins all have listed Pink Floyd as influential.
Floyd fans simply won’t want to miss the labor of love and authenticity that is Brit Floyd.
8 p.m. Sat Nov 18
877-4AUGTIX or georgialinatix.com