SNAFFLING your heroes’ original crew is arguably one way to get even closer to the band for which you are a tribute act.
Not content with near perfectly replicating British rock icons Pink Floyd, members of The Australian Pink Floyd Show began recruiting those who worked alongside the legends behind The Wall and Dark Side Of The Moon.
One such veteran is front of house engineer Colin Norfield, controlling the state-of-the-art sound and light system when TAPFS, pictured above, play Sheffield City Hall a week today.
Such is the authenticity of the band’s renditions of Floyd classics it led to them being chosen by Floyd guitarist David Gilmour to play his 50th birthday party – and Floyd drummer Nick Mason has gone on record as saying “they probably do Floyd better than we do”.
Uncannily like the original band, if you close your eyes, you could easily believe they were the originals.
Best not though as, like the originals, the Aussies also have an impressive light and laser show, along with massive inflatables.
Last year they also introduced 3D visuals to augment the songs. “They actually went very well,” says keyboard playing founder-member Jason Sawford.
“OK, they were a bit of an experiment, but it was pretty successful. Definitely a ‘Floydy’ thing to do.”
Jason is relaxing in Wroclaw when we speak – just before the Polish leg of the Exposed In The Light tour – taking its name from a line in the song Shine On You Crazy Diamond.
Originally formed in 1988 in Melbourne, TAPFS retains two original members in Jason and guitarist/vocalist Steve Mac, who says they constantly update the show.
“This year we have more video material with some psychedelic themes, a redesigned light show, the inflatables and quadraphonic ‘surround’ sound; all of which is controlled by Colin, who handled Floyd’s Division Bell tour.”
It’s that quality control that has seen TAPFS shift over three million tickets and often breathe life into some material that would otherwise not get heard, alongside the classics.
“We’re still doing some older tunes, but a different selection exploring the psychedelic, space-rock side of Floyd,” says Jason.
“We are doing Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun and a newer version of Astronomy Domine and from Animals we’ve got Pigs and Sheep.
“Also, we’ve got a few references to Syd Barratt (the genius behind the early Floyd whose reliance on drugs led to him being sensationally sacked by the band).”
Singer Lorelei McBroom will also be joining the band on stage in Barkers Pool – she toured as a backing vocalist with Pink Floyd on their Momentary Lapse Of Reason and Delicate Sound Of Thunder tours.
“It’s quite an honour to have Lorelei with us,” Jason says. “It makes for a spectacular performance of Great Gig In The Sky and she has been telling us stories about Floyd.”
TAPFS have previously been regulars at Sheffield’s Arena, but on this tour take in more theatres.
Jason says venue size doesn’t detract from the shows, however. “We have a crew who can get as much of the show in as possible.
“All that may happen is we might not be able to fit all the inflatables in at some of the smaller venues.
“However, we should be able to get all the lights and lasers in – plus the smaller places are a bit more intimate. We try not to alter the show too much.”