Smokin'!

Posted on Sunday 11th September 2016 20:30 by FreckFest

It was great to get back to the business of show on Friday night. A near-capacity Magnum Theatre was treated to a note-perfect run through of Pink Floyd’s extensive back catalogue, courtesy of MacFloyd, the country’s leading Floyd tribute act.

 

The show was split into two sets, the first half opening with a version of The Wall’s ‘In The Flesh’ that set out MacFloyd’s intentions from the off – to play the popular tracks as close to the real thing as possible. Jumping forward a decade or so, the seven-piece band, including a sax-playing keyboard player and a hysterically powerful female backing vocalist who was able to reach dog-bothering octaves then played a couple of tracks from The Division Bell, before heading backwards to 1973’s The Dark Side Of The Moon. The show really kicked in at this point, with the cash register ring of ‘Money’ giving way to a sublime ‘Us And Them’. Staying faithful to Pink Floyd’s 70’s material, the first set drew to a close with MacFloyd daring to tackle the majesty of ‘Echoes’ and ‘One Of These Days’, both from the under-appreciated Meddle LP.

                                                                                        

 

A short break to allow for refreshments was brought to a close by the recognisable keyboard drone and chiming 4 note guitar motif that introduces ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’. The audience was spellbound as the full 13 minute version unraveled spectacularly before them. Audience heads, alternately silhouetted by the mood lighting and lit up by the lightning crackle of green lasers nodded in time to the noodling ‘Dave Gilmour’ stage left. By this point in the night, the band was smokin’ hot, with bluesy riffs echoing around the theatre with carefree abandon, a wild storm matched only by the foul weather outside. It was clear the second half was going to be heavy on the heavier material, and with huge chunks of The Wall getting an airing, this proved to be true. By the time MacFloyd were onto ‘Another Brick In The Wall’, everyone was up and out of their chair, punching the air in time to the chants in the chorus. MacFloyd might be ‘just’ a tribute act, but I’d wager that, just for a minute or two, most of the audience there believed they were hearing the actual Floyd, such was the authenticity of the music being played.

 

All good things must come to an end, but the best was arguably kept for the encore. A meandering, spidery ‘Set The Controls For The Heat Of the Sun’ brought out the inner hippy in every one of us present, before the mass sing-a-longs of ‘Wish You Were Here’ and ‘Comfortably Numb’ brought proceedings to a celebratory, revelatory end.

There’s a regular debate amongst music fans about the merits or otherwise of tribute acts, but speaking as one of the doubters I can argue that, on the strength of this show, the tribute act really does have its place. Not one of the audience on Friday night left without a smile on their face, having been thoroughly entertained. People like the familiarity that comes with hearing music they already know. Our audience on Friday night was ‘up for it’ and if they’ve left happy, who can argue with that?

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