The concept of the tribute band can always be a tricky one to navigate. You’re either offering up your own interpretation of another artist’s work, or setting about faithfully recreating the sounds of another’s work. When it comes to Pink Floyd, there have always been those who’ve hit the mark, and those who haven’t. As the visuals and the concept of a Floyd show go hand in hand with the music it’s quite often a challenge to achieve the right balance between the two and remain faithful to the original songs at the same time.
Adelaide’s Echoes Of Pink Floyd manage to not only capture the essence of those iconic Floyd songs but also put on a show that’s visually theatrical and entertaining and take on the challenge of recreating the distinctive tones and sound effects, some of which are quite complex.
In their first trip over to the West the band performed a two-hour plus set at Mount Lawley’s Astor Theatre on Saturday night to an appreciative crowd and delivered all the hallmark components of a Floyd show in spades. With the stage set against the familiar circular screen adorned with the Hammer imagery from the band’s 1979 magnum opus The Wall, the band presented an abbreviated version of the double album starting with In The Flesh and The Thin Ice. Lead vocalist Matt Goodluck brings all the personality of the story’s antagonist – the burned out rock star ‘Pink’ to the fore and struts the stage with sneering confidence. Indeed the whole band look and sound the part, with guitarist Daniel Hunter tackling David Gilmour’s soaring liquid solos with consummate ease. Another Brick In The Wall Pt2 saw a group of school kids join the band on stage and was a true highlight of the first set, bounding about the stage and acting the part perfectly. Hey You was another standout number with bassist Mark Dole’s slinky fretless bass lines and Goodluck talking the crowd through the different sections of the narrative. They closed out the first half of the show with the stomping paranoia-driven Run Like Hell.
Part Two opened with heart beats, ticking clocks, maniacal laughter and cash registers signalling the intro to Speak To Me/Breathe, the first of three songs from Pink Floyd’s 1973 masterpiece The Dark Side Of The Moon. Featuring those lovely harmonies and Hunter’s tasteful lap slide guitar, it still sends shiver down the spine to this day. Time and Money were absolutely bang on, with the latter’s infamous cash register intro being stereo panned across the P.A. From there the band moved forward to 1987’s Momentary Lapse Of Reason for Learning To Fly and the majestic ode to humanity On The Turning Away. These are Floyd at their late 80’s stadium rock spectacular best and Echoes Of Pink Floyd delivered them both in true style. After the music biz sarcasm of Have A Cigar, with Goodluck taking on Roy Harper’s 1975 vocals, the band shifted pace a took seats at the front of the stage for Wish You Were Here, with the whole crowd singing along. It’s still one of the most well loved songs in the Floyd canon, a tribute in part to the band’s fallen leader Syd Barrett and yet also a study in the band’s own sense of absence and loss at the time. Echoes Of Pink Floyd take up the challenge of paying homage to such magnificent works as Shine On You Crazy Diamond and Comfortably Numb – still to this day one of the most incredible pieces of guitar work ever committed to tape – and bring them to life before your eyes.
With such universal themes running deep throughout these songs, Pink Floyd remain to this day one of the most influential rock bands of all time. Echoes Of Pink Floyd pay close attention to each arrangement and the meticulous detail they approach each song with is a true credit to the musicians playing them.
Shine On guys.