By Andy Fawthrop
Been a while since there’d been much live music on at the Bell, and the last tribute band they had last year had been pretty poor, so I hesitated before unlocking the wallet and extracting a fiver to get in. But we were back in business.
The place was packed and the band were in full flow.
All Floyd are an 8-piece hailing from Salisbury and, as the name might possibly suggest, a Pink Floyd tribute band. Whilst I don’t go a bundle on tribute bands in general (a little voice inside me insists on wanting to yell “write your own bloody material” – but that’s another matter) I do have a bit of a rule on judging the quality of such acts. If you’re going to pay “tribute” to your heroes, you need to do one of two things – either re-produce their music extremely accurately, or else re-interpret their material in such a way that it really adds something new and interesting. However, the idea that you need, in any way, to look like your heroes, has little to recommend it. It’s music, not pantomime.
Anyway, All Floyd went down the first path and made a bloody good job of it. Number after number turned out immaculately, note perfect, complete with backing singers and that wonderful, rich throbbing sound that Floyd fans will be familiar with. Messers Mason, Gilmour, Waters, Wright & Barrett would have been proud to hear their music so faithfully rendered. Close your eyes and they could have been in the room. They weren’t, but they could have been. In their place All Floyd are a bunch of very talented musicians and singers.
All the “hits” were there, including plenty of material from Dark Side Of The Moon, The Wall, Wish You Were Here, The Division Bell and many others. Not too much chat from the band between numbers, letting the quality of the music speak for itself. And there were some great moments too. Whilst you’d probably expect folks to sing along to “Another Brick In The Wall”, watching a whole roomful of people belting out “Comfortably Numb” was something quite emotional and remarkable to witness. Absolutely terrific. And after this I might even change my mind about tribute bands.
Unfortunately the logistics of the Bell’s performance space didn’t allow for the full light show, but TBH I didn’t really miss it – the music alone was plenty good enough. However if you’d like to catch the band in full flow, they’re doing an all-seated version of the gig at Warminster Athenaeum on Saturday 4th May – might be worth a run out. Highly recommended.
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