Think Floyd, Borough Theatre, Abergavenny
I have two confessions. 1) I’m not the biggest fan of tribute bands and 2) In my youth I was never that excited about Pink Floyd, a band who were lumbering around with their legacy from the 1960s and 70s and who released The Wall which scared me and irritated me in equal parts. I bought A Momentary Lapse Of Reason in 1987 when it was released on a whim and it didn’t really change my view at the time. However, over the years their music has become much more appealing and interesting. Discovering their back catalogue has certainly helped me appreciate their magic. Now I rarely see the point of tribute bands; in fact, I’ve only ever seen Limehouse Lizzy and a couple of others, but I’d heard great things about Think Floyd (9), a band who never set out to be a Floyd tribute outfit but who started in a pub in London over 20 years ago and learnt Comfortably Numb in a week at the request of a punter. The rest as they say is history.
A packed Borough Theatre whose average age was, well, let’s say a good few years North of mine took their seats for an evening of quite spectacular entertainment. Four unassuming blokes ambled on to the stage and began to deliver a stunning version of Astronomy Domine from Floyd’s 1967 release The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. Think Floyd then provided a musical tour through each of Floyd’s 15 albums, picking choice cuts and some rarer tracks along the way. Remember A Day from A Saucerful Of Secrets followed as well as tracks from More, Ummagumma and Atom Heart Mother before a blistering One Of These Days from 1971’s Meddle led into a number of tracks from Dark Side Of The Moon. Naturally The Great Gig In The Sky was a breath taking highlight, with singer Rosie excelling in the Clare Torry role from 1973’s masterpiece.
An interval followed, probably to allow for the prostate challenged audience to sort themselves out and stretch the aching limbs from the rather small seats. Back into the albums and it was time for the band to really show their craft with Richard Morse’s superbly dexterous guitar work for the lengthy Shine On You Crazy Diamond a highlight. All three parts of Pigs from 1977’s Animals followed, Lewis Hall’s vocals spot on whilst the interplay between drummer Steven Farmer and keyboard player Kirk McLeod was captivating. The band are consummate professionals and note perfect on some very complex music. Farmer’s backing vocals were another stand out element of the show.
As we reached 1979 and Floyd’s most famous album, The Wall, Think Floyd played it safe with Hey You, which to be fair, is what all the audience wanted to hear anyway. It was a magnificent rendition which raised the hairs on the back of the neck. After a track from the rarely played The Final Cut, a surprise with the impressive Sorrow from 1987’s A Momentary Lapse Of Reason, which allowed Morse to excel in his six string delivery once more. After a contribution from The Division Bell the final track of the journey took us to 2014’s The Endless River, with the track Louder Than Words which concluded a fabulous evening. Or so I thought but no, the band returned for a deserved encore which inevitably treated us to Wish You Were Here followed by the track that started it all for the band, Comfortably Numb, which was delivered with aplomb.
If you closed your eyes, as I did frequently during the evening due to the comfortable warmth, heavy cold and relaxing sounds, you would not have been able to tell the difference. In fact, these guys are probably better due to the numerous times they have played each track. With a stunningly simple but effective light show and crystal-clear sound, this was a quite superb show. If you like Floyd, or just fancy an evening in the company of some quite brilliant musicians, I’d highly recommend an evening with Think Floyd.