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Pinked Floyd - The Montgomery, Sheffield (UK) - 07 September 2019

This was the second of three Pink Floyd tribute bands I was seeing this year (none of whom I'd seen before), previously having seen What The Floyd and scheduled to see The Australian Pink Floyd in November.


Pinked Floyd Live 1

A large circular video screen at the back of the stage projected images of 1969's moon landing, for which Pink Floyd recorded 'Moonhead' fifty years ago. The five instrumentalists casually took to the stage and began with the atmospheric 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond'. The sound was crystal clear, along with a perfect mix. Kudos to the sound engineer, as this was maintained throughout the three-hour set. Yes, you read that correctly, this talented band of musicians played twenty-two songs over two acts, including 'Echoes' and 'Dogs' that were forty minutes between them!


Pinked Floyd Live 2

Several minutes into 'Shine On...' singers Russell Samuels and Rose Niland joined their Pinked Floyd bandmates (Luke Sidell – keyboards, Alan Tarpey – lead guitar, Harry Sommers – rhythm guitars and saxophone, Lee Gilburt – drums, Jack White – bass). It did initially seem strange seeing Pink Floyd songs performed with a designated lead singer; however, Samuels was excellent and although he did not sound exactly like either Roger Waters or Dave Gilmour, paradoxically, he did sound like a blend of the two. He and Niland also provided a lot of the backing dialogues featured in so many Floyd songs, which you would normally imagine would have been played via backing tapes.


Pinked Floyd Live 3

'What Do You Want From Me' followed, before the clock chimes signalled the start of 'Time', and the first use of the laser light show, which was effectively used during the rest of the set. Indeed, the balcony was closed for safety reasons due to the use of lasers during the band's performance. The Montgomery is an intimate, old-style theatre, and although it boasts a wide, deep stage, there are only eleven rows in the stalls. I had perfect position eight rows back, dead-centre (I had initially purchased front-row balcony seats).


Pinked Floyd Live 4

Backing singer Niland took front and centre-stage for the lead on 'The Great Gig In The Sky'. She performed vocal acrobatics with an ear-shattering and breathtaking version of the track often referred to as 'The Wailing Woman Song'. 'Take Me Back' and 'Coming Back To Life' (from 1994's 'Divison Bell') were executed to perfection.

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A backdrop of Pink Floyd playing at the ancient Roman city of Pompeii was the cue to the introduction of a simply stunning rendition of 'Echoes'. Cleverly, they followed that up with 'Brain Damage' and 'Eclipse' from 'The Dark Side Of The Moon', which I thought would have been the natural end of Act One; however, the latter was left to 'Pigs (Three Different Ones)', complete with 'Animal Farm' images.


Pinked Floyd Live 5

The group had set the bar extremely high with their first set, so I was interested to see what they would produce for the second half of the show. The youngest member, Jack White (bass), took to the stage for the opening of Act Two and 'One Of These Days'. 'Money' followed, and had the usual seventies video, and this then led into 'Us & Them', one of my favourite Floyd songs, which also featured rhythm guitarist Harry "The Professor" Somers on saxophone. An acoustic 'Pigs On The Wing' preceded the lengthy yet awe-inspiring 'Dogs'. 'Sorrow' was a surprise (to me anyway) yet welcome inclusion, whilst the psychedelic 'Arnold Layne' took us back to the year of my birth!


Pinked Floyd Live 6

Remarkably, we had gone almost two and a half hours without anything from 'The Wall'. That was rectified with 'Mother', which contained the very fitting line for this day and age, "Mother, should I trust the Government?!" 'Another Brick In The Wall', forty years old this year, still sounds as vibrant today as it did back in 1979. Samuels jokingly dedicated 'Wish You Were Here' to those that did not come out to the show this evening.


Pinked Floyd Live 7

As it was now eleven o'clock, I incorrectly assumed that this would be the final song of the evening. Fortunately I was wrong as, 'Comfortably Numb' concluded the second set; Alan Tarpey making the guitar solos look incredibly effortless. The band then took a deserved standing ovation. As the group left the stage, lead guitarist Tarpey announced he wasn't leaving just yet, and they gradually filtered back for a one-song encore of 'Run Like Hell'.


Pinked Floyd Live 8

Samuels introduced the talented band as they received their second standing ovation. The only disappointment was the fact that only seventy to eighty lucky punters got to witness this fantastic show. This poor turnout did not detract Pinked Floyd in any shape or form, and they played as if there was a full-house. Despite being on stage for three hours the members of the band still looked completely relaxed and fresh, and ready to go for another three hours!


Pinked Floyd Live 9

To say I was impressed would be an understatement; if you're a fan of live music, and in particular the music of Pink Floyd, then I cannot recommend highly enough the sensational Lancashire-based Pinked Floyd.

Review and photos by Mark Donnelly

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