The much loved tribute band to Pink Floyd, Aussie Floyd, are coming to G Live this February. The best part? You control the set. Martin Hutchinson finds out more.
The Australian Pink Floyd Show are touring the UK again with a new show entitled Set the Controls and - you guessed it - some of the set-list will be controlled by the fans.
“We are giving fans the opportunity to vote for two songs off the albums Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here and Division Bell,” bassist Colin Wilson tells me.
“The songs that get the most votes will be played.”
The on-line poll is on the band's website (aussiefloyd.com), and every show will have its own poll.
“It’s also a great way of gathering information; to find out if we are playing the most popular Floyd songs" continues Colin.
“To that end, we are thinking of expanding the poll to include all Pink Floyd songs; it might throw up a few surprises!"
The band formed in Melbourne in 1988 and quickly gained a following because of their uncannily accurate versions of the classic Pink Floyd repertoire.
They are so good that Floyd guitarist David Gilmour had them play at his 50th birthday and drummer Nick Mason has gone on to say “they are probably better than we were.”
Now based in the UK, there are three Aussies left in the line-up; founder members Jason Sawford and Steve Mac on keyboards and guitar respectively, and Colin on bass.
“I got the call to join in 1992 and actually joined in 1993, so it’s been over 20 years for me” says Colin.
They started by playing the smaller venues and gradually built up their reputation. It wasn't just the standard of their music that got them noticed; their incredible use of visuals and live show that included inflatables and lasers - just like Pink Floyd - attracted widespread attention.
“When we first started the visuals we tended to make it as close as possible to the Pink Floyd stuff and in the last few years I’ve pushed for a bit of a change” explains Colin, who designs the band’s artwork and merchandise on top of his bass duties.
“The visuals are becoming more ‘our’ interpretations of what Floyd would do and not just a direct copy; this gives us the chance to be more creative and stamp our own identity on the show. Even though it’s difficult making changes to the set, we do change it slightly from venue to venue.”
For this tour, which also celebrates 21 years of touring the UK, they’ll be playing the cream of Pink Floyd’s catalogue, alongside songs voted for in the poll.
“There are songs that we have to play at every concert; the crowd pleasers. And we’ll definitely do Set The Controls for the Heart of The Sun ‘cos the tour’s called that.”
And what else?
“Maybe a couple more from The Wall like Hey You which is one of my favourite Pink Floyd songs ever; and we’ve not done Young Lust for a long time.”
It seems Aussie Floyd goes from strength to strength. Among the ten people on stage, in Lorelei McBroom they have a backing singer who actually toured with the original Pink Floyd, plus other background who staff also worked with the Prog Rock legends.
“The interest in the music is still there,” concludes Colin. “And it’s definitely growing.”
The Australian Pink Floyd Show will come to Guildford’s G Live Feb 18
Visit glive.co.uk to book tickets
Visit aussiefloyd.com to find out more about Aussie Floyd