The Australian Pink Floyd Show

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The Australian Pink Floyd Show - City Hall, Sheffield (UK) - 28 November 2019

As the lights went down, the band took to the stage behind a semi-transparent curtain, which gave rise to some fitting shadows whilst they played 'Obscured By Clouds' and 'When You're In'. The curtain then dropped for the start of 'In The Flesh', revealing a huge stage with the usual circular video backdrop, common to Pink Floyd shows in later years. Singer Chris Barnes, with the aid of a walking stick, made his way to a stool, front and centre stage and proceeded to give a master class in pitch-perfect vocals.
A large inflatable headmaster featured during 'Another Brick In The Wall'. The three female backing singers sang along to piped children's vocals, which to my ears seemed too high in the mix, the only minor criticism of an otherwise near perfect show.

The haunting 'Welcome To The Machine' featured a new video; the song being as relevant today as when it was when first recorded back in 1975.

Throughout the evening the band portrayed Australian symbolism, including a brief video clip featuring 'Neighbours', 'Crocodile Dundee' ("Call that a knife?"), 'Skippy' (the bush kangaroo), Men At Work, AC/DC (drawing a huge cheer from the near capacity crowd) before the dual acoustic intro to 'Wish You Were Here'. This was all the more spectacular in that six green laser lights shone out from each side of the stage and resonated in perfect time with the chords being played by guitarists Steve Mac and David Domminney Fowler.

Next was a run of tracks from the uber-classic 'Dark Side Of The Moon (sadly no 'Us & Them'), starting with 'The Great Gig In The Sky' (aka 'The Wailing Woman Song'), which featured all three backing singers, Lara Smiles, Emily Lynn and Lorelei McBroom, each taking it in turn to sing in their own unique styles. Their fantastic performances were matched by their stunning, black sparkly dresses. During 'Money', we got our first sight of extrovert Mike Kidson with his pink saxophone. The first set concluded with 'Brain Damage' and 'Eclipse'.

The first hour seemed to have just flown by and the group took a thirty-minute break before returning for a further seventy-five minute set. They returned with the phenomenal 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond'. The most recent 'Learning To Fly' (1987) and oldest songs 'Cymbaline' and 'Careful With That Axe, Eugene' (1969 & 1968 respectively) were juxtaposed within the set. The latter number had one member of the audience, in the stalls, completely freaking out much, to the amusement of those in the balconies, but not so much for those sat immediately around him!

'Pigs (Three Different Ones)' provided the opportunity to ridicule Boris Johnson, which is fairly safe in a largely anti-Conservative northern city like Sheffield.

The spotlight fell on bassist Ricky Howard, as he launched into the riff-tastic 'One Of These Days'. A twenty-foot, pink, inflatable kangaroo rose centre stage and then began to skip in time to the rhythm of the music. Hilarious and genius in equal measures; it even took a bow at the end, much to the consternation of the people in the front stalls!

Keyboard player and original founding member Jason Sawford thanked the audience; that just left 'Comfortably Numb', complete with a remarkable solo from Fowler, to draw the exceptional performance to an end. As the song reached its climax the whole of City Hall rose in unison to give the band a richly deserved standing ovation.

Review and photos by Mark Donnelly

Set 1: Obscured by Clouds / When You're In / In the Flesh? / The Thin Ice / Another Brick in the Wall Part 1 / The Happiest Days of Our Lives / Another Brick in the Wall Part 2 / Welcome to the Machine / Wish You Were Here / The Great Gig in the Sky / Money / Brain Damage / Eclipse
Set 2: Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V) / Learning to Fly / Cymbaline / Careful With That Axe, Eugene / Pigs (Three Different Ones) / Time / One of These Days / Run Like Hell / Comfortably Numb

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