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| 11 August 2021 | Reply


According to a press release (for the tour that was to occur last year and was rescheduled for 2021): “The Dark Side of the MoonThe Wall and more… including the iconic song “Echoes,” performed ‘note-for-note’ and in it’s entirety. Brit Floyd, “The World’s Greatest Pink Floyd Show” returns to the stage in 2020 to perform its brand new production, Echoes 2020. Including highlights from The WallThe Dark Side of the MoonWish You Were HereAnimals, and The Division Bell, and featuring a show stopping 23-minute ‘note-for-note’ performance of the iconic era defining song “Echoes,” written 50 years ago, and from Pink Floyd’s breakthrough 1971 album Meddle.” We were able to grab some phone time with director / guitarist / vocalist Damian Darlington to discuss touring, music, and more…

Toddstar: Damian, thank you for taking time out. I know you guys are really busy trying to get caught up on the last 16-18 month’s worth of touring.

Damian: Indeed. It’s been a long 18 months.

Toddstar: Well, welcome come back to the US and especially tomorrow night, welcome back to Detroit. We’re so excited to have you back at the Music Hall.

Damian: Very excited to be back.

Toddstar: What can you tell us about how the shutdown shifted everything for Brit Floyd? Did it give you guys an opportunity to look back, and did you indeed look back at what you’re doing and tweak anything or did you take what you had formatted for last year’s tour and just carry it forward?

Damian: Well, it was very difficult to do anything really in the last 18 months. The band is sort of split between two continents. For example, we have some American members of the band who obviously based here in the US, and then the rest of the band is in the UK and Italy. So it was impossible for us to get together as musicians, and quite frankly, the same applies to all the production people behind it. Anything that was done could only be done via remote methods, so you couldn’t really get together and do anything or set gear up anywhere and do anything. So there wasn’t really much scope to do a great deal it has to be said, until fairly recently.

Toddstar: Did it give you time to go back and review maybe the set list or how you guys have approached some of the music? Or even just the way you’re having set lists arranged, or was it just everything was a wait and see?

Damian: Well, I mean, we just started a new tour last year. We were only two weeks into it when everything grind to a halt. So there’s obviously been a lot of preparation work had gone into that, putting that together. So it really didn’t make sense to change things around in any big way for us to start up again recently. We’d put in the work with the songs, the song choice and all the lighting, programming and all the video and all that sort of thing. And only a few people had gotten to see it in the few concert we managed to play. So it made sense to carry on where we left off really in that respect. But certainly, we’ve not been sitting at home doing absolutely nothing as musicians and we’ve kept our musical, our performances as sharp as we can do, as individuals. And the set list has remained the same, but we refined a few things here and there, some details, some of the nuances within things. But more or less it’s where we left off last year, what we do.

Toddstar: I’ve been lucky enough to speak with you in the past. I know that it’s those nuances and those little things that you just mentioned that are so important to you to help differentiate you from other acts out there that pay homage to Pink Floyd. Is that something you find yourself consistently doing is maybe not necessarily going back to listen to old tracks, but just sitting down and rethinking how you’re doing something or how you’re playing something to put yourself back in that spot where that nuance is coming through when you’re playing live?

Damian: Well, it’s dangerous to become complacent about things. We’re always striving to improve the show where it’s possible to do so, even when it’s very small details, the nuances as we’ve already mentioned. And when it comes to the versions of the tracks we play, you can make decisions about whether you do an album version or a live version or an amalgamation of the two. Certainly some of the tracks we have changed up in that way over the years, we’ve not carried on playing them exactly the same forever. And as I say, that you just should not become complacent. There’s always room to improve the performance and that’s definitely the philosophy we have and we strive to do that.

Toddstar: What is the track or two that you can think of in the set that fans will hear in Indiana tonight, and again Detroit tomorrow, that you guys have poured the most work into to make sure that you’re getting that perfect blend of the studio version versus a live version what you think the audience is going to expect from you guys?

Damian: Well, I mean, there’s a number to choose from I would say, that can be described in that way. I suppose a major set piece of the current set list is “Echoes.” We’re doing a slightly edited version of it, only a little, just shaving off a minute or two because the original is almost 24 minutes long so we’re just cutting down just a little bit. But it favors the original album version, but there are certainly aspects of the Pompeii version of it, if people are familiar with that. And a lot of work has gone into that piece. It’s definitely a challenge to do it with the right feel and get getting that Floyd zone, however you want to describe it. Another one, a much more modern sounding track that I’m very pleased with how it’s turned out, is an instrumental tune off the A Momentary Lapse of Reason album called “Terminal Frost,” which we’re doing in this set list as well and I think that’s turned out very well. If I may say so myself, I think we’ve done a good job of recreating the album, the sound of the album version very faithfully, so quite a lot of work went into that track certainly as well.

Toddstar: It’s odd for me because my real introduction to Pink Floyd was actually through Brit Floyd. So it’s always a pleasure for me to come out and check out not only the band sonically, but visually. When you guys are doing your thing on stage, how often do you actually look across and see maybe the lighting or the visuals behind you and think, “Holy moly, we’ve really done it. We’ve really set ourselves apart from everything else.”

Damian: Well, I’m very proud of what Brit Floyd has become, the whole package, not just the musical, the production that surrounds it and all the effort that’s gone into that. So yeah, I do look around me and think with a certain air of satisfaction on how it’s all looking and sounding. But it’s not an ego thing, it’s a satisfaction and appreciation of all the other people that have contributed to making it what it is as well of it. My fellow musicians and all the people involved in the lighting and video and lasers and all the rest of it.

Toddstar: Well, the production is exciting. But you also spoke of the musicians. When you guys come together as musicians, how hard is it for you to guys to lay down your own personal, to use the word again, nuances? Your own little forms of playing, your own little stamps that you would normally put on music. How hard is it for you guys to not only individually, but collectively put those things aside and remember that you’re doing one thing, and this is what you’re coming to do.

Damian: I think, obviously the mission statement is to try to recreate the sound of those original Pink Floyd albums and the performances of the individual musicians involved in that. But having said that, we’re still our own musicians in our own right. We have our own individual musical personalities, if you want to describe it in that way. And I think it’s inevitable that that comes through in the way that we perform these songs. I also actually think it’s quite important that that does come through to a certain extent. It to be certainly a small percentage of what’s going on in our performances. And I think that helps us gel as a band, as a group of musicians, that aspect of things being there in our performances. So we’re not just automatons or robots regurgitating Pink Floyd’s music, we’re musicians in our own right, doing our best to perform this as a unit, as it were.

Toddstar: That musicianship certainly shines through. Again, I’ve been lucky enough to see you guys on many occasions, both here in Detroit and I’ve seen you down in Toledo at Huntington Center, which you’ll be playing at in a couple of weeks. That said, to watch you on stage, it’s almost seamless and flawless what you do. You don’t see yourself suddenly scrambling for a note or your face doesn’t make a “Oops, that was a wrong note,” or anything. What you do seem so seamless and flawless. How often do you go back and critique your individual performance once the lights have gone down?

Damian: Well, you have to listen to yourself occasionally, take stock of it. I mean, I’m not doing it constantly, but certainly on a regular basis I’ll listen to a live recording. And it’s useful to do so, because it’s definitely easier to get a handle on what you’re doing when you’re looking at it from outside in a sense, rather than being there in the moment, playing it. And you have to, you have to have a certain level of self-criticism, it’s the only way you improve what you’re doing. If you can recognize where you’re going wrong, which we all do. We’re not perfect by a long way in what we do.

Toddstar: Well, if you were, you would just be up there mimicking and playing backing tracks anyway, so no one would want that. I know you’re busy, I know you’ve got a lot going on for tonight’s show. Closing thought, Damian. When it comes to the show, and specifically in Detroit, is there a high point in the show for you? I know from city to city things vary, but is there something about Detroit and the show you’re doing, is there a high point during the show for you that you’re expecting tomorrow night?

Damian: The high point at this moment in time is still the fact that we’re getting to step out onto a stage in front of an audience. Even two weeks into the tour, it’s still a big, big thing. Because it was so uncertain for 18 months, when we would be able to do this again. So that in itself is a big high point for me at the moment certainly, but Detroit’s a great, great city. We played there many times. The audience has always been very appreciative and not afraid to show their appreciation. So it will be wonderful to get back there on stage and entertain the people there were some Pink Floyd music once again.

Toddstar: Well, I look forward to tomorrow night. And not only to listen to Pink Floyd performed by Brit Floyd, but also check out the visuals and also be able to do it from behind the lens of a camera. Which is always tricky, yet so amazing when I’m editing and looking for everything later, just how much is going on that I didn’t see. Thank you so much for your time, Damian, and I look forward to checking you out tomorrow night in Detroit.

Damian: Well, it’s been a pleasure talking to you and hope you enjoy the show once again tomorrow.







Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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