The Australian Pink Floyd Show, October 16th 1999
Oxford Apollo, Oxford, UK
By Matthew Barlow
The Australian Pink Floyd Show
I start this review one-day before the performance. The reason for this is that I think I may be in for a bit of a shock tomorrow night. The Oxford Apollo is a pretty big venue. Not sure how many it holds but it holds a lot. I had decided that I would probably turn up on the night and get some tickets at the box office, but I decided to phone up and book some. WOW. This place is going to be packed. I couldn't get the tickets I wanted, which in the Apollo isn't really a problem. Basically half the seats had been sold and I expect a lot more to go. I couldn't believe this. To be honest I wondered whether the Aussie Floyd had booked themselves into a big problem. I had expected that there would be no problem getting tickets, as not many people would go. How wrong was I! I have no doubt that the word has spread about this band. However I suspect the announcement of the Floyd's new album has something to do with the sudden boost in interest. I can't wait to see them again. Its been about 4 months since I saw them last and no doubt it will be an amazing concert.
Well…what a concert.
The theatre wasn't as full as I had hoped and there were a few seats empty. I also found the crowd to be a little hostile but I think that for most of them it was there first Aussie Floyd gig.
The intro tape started at about 8:00 and the first chords of Shine On You Crazy Diamond were heard. As the curtain was raised I was glad to see that Paul had his whole drum-kit. The song was performed a little to quietly for my liking but was still beautiful to listen to. The band then kicked into Learning To Fly. Again, a performance that is better than the real Floyd's. The way the band uses the tools they have is superb. Astronomy Domine was then played with superb skill. Then Sorrow. Steve Mac can hold onto feedback like the best of them!! Great song with the superb customary solo from Damian. Hey you was given an airing which was then followed by the amazing Echoes. Each member of the band had the chance to show what a real musician should sound like….and believe me; they did it with ease.
The interval came upon us and I went to see Wendy and passed Barts regards to her and discussed the Live Wall coming out in December.
The Intro tape for the second half started and then lurched into In The Flesh. I'm afraid to say that I had my doubts about the next song. I have a few recordings of the Oz Floyd when they first started and Have a Cigar sounds awful (sorry guys but it did). However this version just showed how much they had come along over the years. Superb, tight and sharp. Money followed and then a completely new piece that I had not seen them do before. Everyone except Colin and Jason left the stage for Nobody Home. Colin's vocals were beautiful and Jason's piano playing simply spine tingling. A great addition to the show guys! High Hopes and One of These Days followed and then Happiest Days of our Lives and Another Brick in the Wall (II). But as Monty Python would say, "Now for something completely different". One Slip. One word……..Mind blowing. The lighting, music vocals were perfect. I think this is the first time they have toured with this song but you wouldn't have guessed. Every note perfect and it turned out to be the highlight of the show for my family and myself. Even my friend who went as a "One Slip disliker" said how much he enjoyed the song. You did it justice! The last song of the night was Comfortably Numb. Again brilliant everything. Nice to see the return of the huge mirror ball again (after the Wavendon gig). The guys then came on for the encore and blasted us with Run Like Hell.
My opinions about the night: well the band was top class. A real match for the Floyd. The sound was superb as was the lighting but the crowd were too stale. Not the bands fault and it didn't spoil the evening. My final thoughts are…….If you know they are gonna play Echoes and you don't want to miss a single bit of the show; then make sure you go to the toilet before the concert starts. Secondly, when I left the theatre I was singing "Skippy The Bush Kangaroo". Want to know why? I suggest you get your tickets and go and see them!
Steve Mac - Guitars, Vocals
Damian Darlington - Guitars, Vocals, sound effects
Colin Wilson - Bass, Vocals
Jason Sawford - Keyboards
Paul Bonney - Drums, Percussion
Shine On You Crazy Diamond
Learning To Fly
In the Flesh
Have A Cigar
One Of These Days
Happiest Days Of Our Lives
Another Brick in the Wall (II)
Run Like Hell