Reviewer: Andrea Allen
It’s a sell-out show for Brit Floyd at The Lowry, and the building is teeming with fans sporting Dark Side of the Moon t-shirts ready to sing along to chant along to Comfortably Numb and Another Brick in the Wall. From the buzz of anticipation at the Lowry you’d think Pink Floyd themselves were headlining.
Brit Floyd are universally regarded as the greatest tribute to Roger Waters et al, it’s a tough act to beat, and while they smash it fantastically in some regard, little niggles throughout prevent this from becoming the awe-inspiring show that it’s been claimed to be.
The show tightly replicates Pink Floyd’s 1994 Division Bell tour with a stunning laser show and lighting design that transports you 23 years back to a whole new level of trippiness and then some. Psychedelic animation fuses with political commentary, Nixon melds into Trump with echoes of Fritz Lang and David Attenborough’s Planet Earth along the way, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. All you can do is lie back and feast your eyes while getting the distinct feeling that no amount of hallucinatory narcotics could ever take you on this much of a ride.
Tragically, equally amazing instrumentals are irrevocably dampened by vocals that (except for one incredible female backing singer) are jarringly affected and afflicted by poor diction. This is catastrophically disappointing for a show that swoops so close to perfection. Brit Floyd showcases staggering achievements in music, film-making and video and lighting design, making it all the more frustrating that at times the lead vocals sound like, albeit reasonably good, karaoke. Couple this with the oddly lacking personality, pep and ‘fun’ that you perhaps presumptively would come to expect of a tribute act, and the final product is regretably a show that’s good, but not brilliant.
If you were rating this show based on visuals you’d be hard-pressed to justify giving any less than a perfect score. Average vocals and a lack of personality knock this down from a great night to a good night, and While you might be glad you turned up, you certainly won’t be taunting friends with ‘Wish You Were Here’ messages in the interval.
Reviewed on 21 February 2017 | Image: Contributed