I wasn’t around back in the 60s. Not even close. But I know they took LSD and Mandrax and an assortment of other drugs then. A lot. And it took its toll… look at Ozzy Osbourne. He was a Dark Lord in Black Sabbath’s heyday – he famously bit the head off a bat. But where is he now? At home, mumbling and fumbling and trying to find the ‘go’ button on the hoover.
But despite all this undoubted charm, I’d never really got into any of the more drug-fuelled music, even Pink Floyd. Sure, I know some of their most famous songs, but who doesn’t? Yet I was keen to see the Pink Floyd tribute, not least because it featured one of South Africa’s most talented guitarists, Mel Botes, and veteran director Richard H Nosworthy.
The venue – the Willowbridge Barnyard Theatre in Durbanville – was much more impressive than I’d thought. I’d heard that it was styled like a barn, hence the name, but apart from the wood motif the layout is pretty much like any normal theatre, including an upper balcony level. The stage is sizeable, and you’re never sitting too far away from it, so there’s no struggling to see which of the microscopic people on stage is the one singing.
The beginning of the tribute was a bit trippy. But then this was Pink Floyd’s early offerings and, as mentioned, they had a lot of drugs to do. What was apparent from the get go was the production quality of the performance. Not only were the band members highly skilled, but the sound quality could not have been better. The lighting too rivalled that of many international acts, with the smoke machine constantly billowing which, in conjunction with the lights, bathed the stage in a nebulous aura of light.
The story of Pink Floyd’s rise and decline was told in chronological progression with an omnipotent narrative voice between songs chronicling the major events in the band’s history. Naturally, all the music that made them famous was played. Flawlessly. Simply put, I honestly felt like I was watching the real Pink Floyd.
What a huge pity that this was only a one night show. The good news is that it’s now been extended for a two night run on 10 and 11 March, but that’s still too short.
As I sit writing this, I’m listening to one of the hits – Time – which, along with Money and Another Brick in the Wall was definitely a highlight. The two stunningly beautiful blondes on backup vocals also deserve a mention, particularly for their solo in Great Gig in the Sky which was mind-blowingly incredible. Go see it, you won’t regret it. Guaranteed.
To all the people involved, on stage and off – you guys absolutely rocked a perfect tribute.
Thanks for having me… and can I come again?