Brit Floyd Guitarist Damian Darlington on Bringing Pink Floyd’s Music to the States
Brit Floyd are currently in the midst of a large U.S. tour, presenting a full-scale Pink Floyd show based largely on songs from the legendary space-rockers’ recent compilation album ‘A Foot in the Door.’ The tribute group’s much-praised presentation comes complete with light show, inflatables and most importantly, music from the Syd Barrett era right up through ‘The Division Bell.’
We spoke to Brit Floyd guitarist / vocalist Damian Darlington about what fans can expect to see and hear at these concerts, as well as which Pink Floyd songs are the most fun and most challenging to perform live:
So you’re basing this tour largely on Pink Floyd’s recent hits compilation ‘A Foot in the Door.’ Does that mean you think that collection does a good job summing up the band’s career?
I think they did a reasonable job. There’s possibly one or two exceptions, for example, there’s nothing off the ‘Animals’ album. Otherwise, it’s a pretty good representation of Pink Floyd’s catalog of music.
You were in the Australian Pink Floyd Show for nearly 17 years. What’s different about your new band?
All the musicians in Brit Floyd have played with the Australian Pink Floyd show at some point. Certainly in North America, all the faces will be familiar to those who have seen their shows here over the last number of years. It was time to move on, for myself and the other guys (who) came along with me. We are just hoping to put on as good a quality Pink Floyd show for people as we possibly can, to give people that full Floyd concert experience. The most important thing is the music, as ever, but the other sides of the things are important to. People expect to see a big lighting multimedia experience, the inflatables and such, we’re doing our very best to put that on.
Is your stage based on a certain Pink Floyd design or era?
To a certain extent, you’ve got to have “the circle” — people expect to see that, that’s very iconic for the Pink Floyd stage look. There’s a hint of the ‘Pulse’ tour — from Floyd’s last proper tour back in ’94 with the arch design, as we call it.
You’re also performing all of ‘Echoes,’ from ‘Meddle.’ Is that a challenge to perform in full?
Yup, that’s a great track! We’re doing all 23 minutes of it, as well, not cutting it down in any way. ‘Echoes’ is technically not hard to play, but to get the feel and mood of it correct, obviously that takes some work and you know, sensitivity for the material. Pink Floyd, they rarely are sort of a technically challenging band, but they certainly challenge you when it comes to getting the vibe and the feel that the songs should have.
Is it true that you’ll be playing Red Rocks for the first time?
Yes, it’ll be my first time, I’m very excited. It’s quite a very famous venue, and it looks like it’s going to be a wonderful setting for a night of Pink Floyd music.
Which Pink Floyd songs are your favorite to play?
As a guitar player, I always enjoy playing ‘Comfortably Numb,’ I get to do that very famous long guitar solo at the end. That remains an exciting and fun thing to do. As a singer, I like to do ‘Us and Them’ off ‘The Dark Side of the Moon.’ I think that’s a beautiful song, there’s no guitar solos or anything like that, it’s just all about the song.
Are there any that are particularly challenging or frustrating to play?
I don’t know about frustrating, but challenging for me personally are things like ‘One of These Days’ and ‘High Hopes,’ because I’m playing lap steel. As a musician, I’ve come to play lap steep relatively late — about five years ago. I think I’m doing a good job of it, but I still have to think about it.
You can find out more about Brit Floyd, and see their entire 2012 tour schedule, at their official site.