What’s the next step for a tribute band once the original songs have been mastered to note-perfect precision? The Australian Pink Floyd Show’s answer is giant inflatables, lasers and a liberal twist of Aussie wit.
The intro gives a near-full auditorium a flavour of what’s to come – strains of Outside The Wall merge into Waltzing Matilda which leads into a set list taking us all the way from 1967’s The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn to 1994’s The Division Bell. Set The Controls For The Heart Of the Sun is an early highlight but the audience only really sits up and takes notice when Another Brick In The Wall, complete with enormous, wobbly-headed, inflatable teacher apparently caning the three backing singers below him, heralds a run of better known songs.
Shine On You Crazy Diamond includes, in parallel with Pink Floyd’s studio recording, a visit from iconic front man, Syd Barrett – his face projected onto the huge, above-stage, circular screen – and Syd stays with us during a faultless version of his psychedelic-era classic, Astronomy Domine.
The ultimate crowd-pleaser proves to be The Great Gig In The Sky, featuring pleasingly throaty renditions of its famously wailing vocal line by each backing singer, one of which, Lorelei McBroom, once worked with the Real Pink Floyd. A screechingly wonderful Fletcher Memorial Home and a gentler Us and Them take us into darker places. Mood swings follow as whimsical fragments of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo and the Neighbours theme become Wish You Were Here, a sad song made more melancholic by fleeting on-screen reappearances from Syd. This, in turn, precedes the unwieldy centre-stage appearance of a twenty foot high, pink kangaroo, dancing to One Of These Days, whilst grinning maniacally out at the audience whilst .
Kangaroo deflated, the show reaches its conclusion with a suitably mournful Comfortably Numb featuring a stunning guitar solo, Gilmour-esque in its execution.
At nearly thirty quid a ticket, and with The Australian Pink Floyd Show now in its twenty-fourth year, you might be forgiven for wondering how they keep enticing audiences back. The lights and the big toys help but a constantly changing set list of both the well-known and the more obscure, delivered with passion and precision, is the real key to keeping both old Floyd fans and newer converts captivated.