Pink Floyd tribute show Brit Floyd returns to the stage in 2019 with its most ambitious production yet, a special 40th-anniversary retrospective of Pink Floyd’s iconic rock opera The Wall (Portsmouth Guildhall, Tuesday, March 12).
Released in November 1979, a semi-autobiographical concept album from the mind of Pink Floyd founding member Roger Waters, The Wall remains one of the biggest-selling albums of all time and an important moment in rock music history.
It was certainly the album which first attracted the attention of Brit Floyd’s Damian Darlington.
“It was very much a ground-breaking concept and production at the time. Certainly nobody had ever done anything with that kind of ambition before. It was the sheer scale of it. The whole notion of putting a wall between the band and the audience was quite something.
“They were always pushing the boundaries and coming up with new ideas. They pioneered so much.
“There are many things that make a great band a great band, but being pioneering is certainly one of them.
“There are bands out there that you would call great but don’t actually pioneer concepts, but Pink Floyd certainly did.
“Obviously it was about who they were as individuals, and perhaps there was something about the backgrounds that they came from.
“There was something about Roger Waters and there was something about David Gilmour, and they were different personalities.
“There ended up being some conflict between them, but tensions can produce creativity.”
The challenge for Brit Floyd now is to do justice to a great album.
“It is not easy to take the ambition of what Pink Floyd did musically and also what they did with the show visually, but we have to find a way to represent it on stage, even though the budget we have got doesn’t quite compare with the budget they had! But we have been doing this for a long time.
“I have been doing Brit Floyd for nine years, and I have been playing the music of Pink Floyd professionally for 25 years last year. We have had many years of honing and perfecting our craft.”
It was The Wall that first hooked Damian: “It was the first Pink Floyd that I can remember being aware of and it also produced a very unlikely Christmas number one.
“That was one of my first memories of the band. I was still only about ten years old, and I was not really into music in that sense.
“But a couple of years later, I got hold of The Wall in its entirety and I was learning to play the guitar.
“I did various music courses, and I was in bands. I was very lucky that there was a very good music course in the local town I was growing up in.
“I was in lots and lots of different bands with original material trying to get record deals and then at the end of 93 I had the chance to audition for a Pink Floyd band which was The Australian Pink Floyd Show which had relocated to the UK, so the opportunity came my way without me having set out to do it.
“But it was great. I had learnt to play the guitar partly by copying David Gilmour, one of our greatest guitarists.”
As well as performing a host of musical highlights from The Wall, Brit Floyd will also perform classic gems from The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals and The Division Bell plus lots more.