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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Off the Wall - live in Lichfield!

I'm off-topic today, but I just wanted to mention a really good night out Jayne and I enjoyed last week.

We went to see a group called Off The Wall, a tribute band for the rock group Pink Floyd. I've been a life-long Floyd fan but never seen them live, and now the members are all over 60 and seldom play together any more, I doubt if I ever will. So seeing Off The Wall at the Garrick Theatre in Lichfield (my nearest town) seemed the next best thing.

Anyway, Off The Wall easily surpassed my expectations. They started on the dot at 7.30 and finished at half past ten. In between was a magical three hours.

Off The Wall are a very talented group of musicians - as you have to be if you're going to do justice to Pink Floyd's music - and the numbers they played went through pretty much the whole of Floyd's career, from early hits like Arnold Layne through to selected tracks from their last studio album, The Division Bell.

Cameras weren't allowed in the theatre, but on YouTube I found this video - posted by the band themselves - which shows them playing Time and a reprise of Breathe (from the classic Pink Floyd album The Dark Side of the Moon). Obviously the video wasn't shot in Lichfield, but they did perform this number at the concert we went to, so it was great to see it again here. Make sure you turn the volume on your computer up loud ;-)

If you are receiving this blog by email, you will need to visit my blog to see the video.

As you may notice, although Off The Wall are described as a tribute act, they don't dress up as or pretend to be members of Pink Floyd (that would be difficult, anyway, as one of Off The Wall's lead guitarists is Stella Fairhead, and the actual Pink Floyd don't have any female members!). Off The Wall simply perform the music of Pink Floyd extremely well, generally staying close to the originals, though occasionally adding their own individual slant. Hence, I assume, the subtitle on their website, 'The Spirit of Pink Floyd'.

As well as the music, the audience was treated to a suitably psychedelic light show and projections, the latter including some of the Gerald Scarfe cartoons used in the movie and video of The Wall. Overall, it was a polished and complete performance, including a note-perfect rendition of The Great Gig in the Sky (which all Pink Floyd fans will know is a very difficult number for anyone to sing live) performed by the multi-talented Stella, which left many in the audience - including me - open-mouthed.

Finally, it was great to see that the Garrick Theatre was a full house (even if this did mean long queues for the bar and toilets at the interval!). Off The Wall are touring Britain and Europe for much of this year, so if they come anywhere near you - and you enjoy intelligent, melodic rock music - I highly recommend going to see them!

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