PINKED Floyd, a tribute act for the legendary Pink Floyd, arrived at Manchester Academy on Saturday (June 4). Quays News entertainment reporter Seren Hughes-Jones was in the crowd…

With David Gilmour tickets racking up to a staggering £450 per ticket for his shows at London’s Royal Albert Hall this September, Pinked Floyd, hailing from Oldham in 2014, are an alternatively cheaper option than seeing the original Pink Floyd member himself. But dig under the surface and you’ll find Pinked Floyd aren’t any old generic tribute act you’d find in your local pub. They provide, as they put it themselves, an “accurate and engaging” reincarnation of the legendary psychedelic foursome.

Beginning with the suitably selected intro-track from 1979’s ‘The Wall’, Pinked Floyd’s beautifully executed and capturing rendition of ‘In The Flesh’ begun the show with the tale of The Wall’s (a concept album) protagonist Pink, who through a drug-induced hallucination believes himself to be a dictator, and in which his concerts are political rallies. The tracks extended introduction created fitting audience anticipation from the whole expanse of Manchester’s Academy 3, before Russel Samuels (the bands lead vocalist), began Roger Walter’s lyrical section, sandwiched together by the rest of the band with the song’s powerful orchestral sequences.

A favourite of the night was Pinked Floyd’s rendition of 1974’s ‘Time’, taken from the iconic ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’. The song begun with the bands front vocalists, Russel Samuels’ and Andrea Stewart, turning away from the crowd to shift the main focus to the tracks surrounding clock chimes and alarm bells to allow the audience to reflect on the songs nostalgic undertones. Pinked Floyd’s united accuracy shone through in the songs pre-lyrical drum solo and muted base lines, accompanied by Samuels’ emotional and poignant tribute to his heroes with his sharp, echoing vocals.

A notable mention also goes to Andrea Stewart’s astoundingly perfect and spine tingling vocals during ‘The Great Gig in the Sky’, the fifth track on 1973’s ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’. Andrea dominated the stage during her solo with her bellowing harmonies and got all the crowd grabbing for their phones so they could re-live the moment again and again.

IMG_6284Pre-encore, Pinked Floyd brought out a sing along classic with the original bands only UK No.1, ‘Another Brick in the Wall’, playing both Part one and two of the three-part track. The song embodies the theme of protest, specifically in the UK’s rigid schooling and educational systems. Samuels’ true passion for the band was reflected in the song’s bridge where he screamed “If you don’t eat yer meat, you can’t have any pudding!” to the excitement and cheers of the crowd.

The band finished off the night with two emotive and mellow renditions of Pink Floyd’s most popular songs, ‘Wish You Were Here’ and ‘Comfortably Numb’. Samuels’ adorned his acoustic guitar for their rendition of ‘Wish You Were Here’ taken from the 1975 album with the same name. By the end of the performance the audience had now all gradually moved forward, gathered tightly close to the stage, and with them all singing along and swaying to the music, it was certainly a memorable and meaningful moment for both the band and audience alike.

Finishing with ‘Comfortably Numb’, Alan Tarpley blew the crowd away with his jaw-dropping duo of four minute lead guitar solos during the song. Ending with a solo that the audience were still gasping and chattering about as they left the room.

Pinked Floyd’s seven-piece band provided Manchester with a more than fitting tribute to some of the audiences (as well as their own) heroes. Compromised of a unison of raw talent and musical passion, the audience of Academy 3 were treated with a flourish of the best the band had to offer. The band were listened to with reverence by a crowd who shared a love for the music that they live to play. Pinked Floyd are an act for anyone who has a passion for live music and rich, talent-packed, and no less than entertaining, performances.

Catch them at Danestock II Festival, Denton on Saturday, August 20.

By Seren Hughes-Jones

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