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As a birthday treat I went with my wife and friends to the Milton Keynes Brit Floyd concert last night. The show was nothing short of amazing and reflected a huge amount of talent, passion and respect for the original tracks. The guitar work was inspiring and equal or superior to the biggest of big name bands. The vocal work too, was not only incredibly authentic but also alive.
Although I am not the sort of person to do these kind of blogs I was so blown away by the evening that I had to post my 2c worth. So, don't think about it - just go and see them.
A special thank you to Bobby Harrison for the souvineer Dunlop plectrum.
I also went to the MK gig and, in light of some observations (mainly constructive) of other gigs in the last month or so by other posters, was keenly interested to see / hear whether there were similar issues. In no particular order...
Overly heavy bass: No problems at MK. In fact, the overall clarity of sound was excellent where I sat (Row R, facing slightly left of centre). However, I know from other venues that the sound in one area can be completely different in another area of the hall. Leicester de Montfort is a classic case in point: low down, it can sound bass heavy; on the upper balcony it can sound bass light. It's just the nature of live music and the dynamic / acoustics of individual venues.
Learning To Fly: Another poster experienced it as being jumbled. At MK, it was probably the clearest live performance of LTF I have ever heard by any band (original or tribute) at any venue. It's far from being my favourite Floyd song and ironically meant I paid much closer attention to it (I know, very very sad... ).
Comfortably Numb (the "fast" segment): The version performed by Pink Floyd at Knebworth in 1990 contained a "fast" segment -
Comfortably Numb appears on both CD and DVD; Shine On You Crazy Diamond on DVD; Run Like Hell on CD.
Purely as a matter of personal preference, I prefer other endings to Comfortably Numb but the "fast" segment is fine as an occasional change.
Screen projections being "fogged" out by lighting: I asked someone about this and, as I understand it, a problem was identified with one of the projector lenses. As far as I could see, there was no "fogging" problem at MK. [Erm, instead, the whole projections went down for a couple of songs... but reappeared in time to kids being minced... ).
Applause between tracks: Personally, I'm not bothered by the non-applause between segued tracks. But, some find it "odd" and possibly feel a bit intimidated into also not applauding. Based on my fine career of 2 karaoke's and two hugely successful cameo appearances doing vocals for a band , I have no doubt that applause is perfectly acceptable if you feel inclined. Not that I feel at all bitter about being pelted with beer-mats during one of the said karaokes...
Finally, Rosaleen O'Connell performed The Great Gig In The Sky. [Mods: if the name is spelt incorrectly, feel free to edit]
"If the bastards get you down, take them with you".
Second BritFloyd outing of the year for me. Thoroughly enjoyed myself once again, and some first-timer friends from work were very impressed.
The sound mix wasn't quite as good as it was in Oxford, but nothing to really complain about. New video for See Emily Play was good - don't know if the girl in the video is actually called Emily, but I was rather mesmerised!
The projections were definitely more visible as well, which was nice, although projector glitches do seem to be a bit of a curse for MK - High Hopes and half of THDOOL/Another Brick were video-less this year. Did make me chuckle when the big "Sanyo" logo popped up while they were obviously rebooting one of the projectors though
That actually got me thinking as to whether the lighting desk is set up to allow different light patterns should the projectors go down completely? Some of the tracks have bits where the video is the focus lighting wise - High Hopes wasn't quite the same without the film for example. Anyone with insider knowledge able to enlighten me as to whether they can adjust for missing projections in real-time?
The back-lighting of Damien in Comfy was done using rotating lights instead of spots this time round, which worked much better, and avoided totally blinding the audience.
Found it interesting how the different audiences reacted as well - at MK there was silence between most of the tracks that run into each other, with the applause only starting when the sound had totally died away. Totally different to at Oxford, where the only non-applause came after Have a Cigar from what I can remember.
Edit: Thought Rosaleen did a fantastic job on Great Gig as well. She looked a bit nervious beforehand and slightly bashful afterwards, but the performance was fantastic.
Forgot to say that I really like BritFloyd's rendition of Learning to Fly as well. Was never a fan of the real Floyd album or live versions, but the BritFloyd one seems to have a lot more energy and is very enjoyable.
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Last minute decision to attend Milton Keynes last night, so the tickets were not the best (or so We thought).
We met up with a few chaps at the local bar beforehand, and boosted the local economy. Anyone else want a pudding ?
The venue is new, clean and well laid out. Our seats were Row R in the stalls, behind the desk... but as pointed out before the gig, these were slightly raised so the view was not obstructed. From our seats, the rest of the venues seats looked pretty damned full.
The venue is short, but high. Even though the seats looked a way back on the plan, we was actually quite close to the stage.
I thought the sound was pretty good throughout the gig, and using a bit of cheek, I ventured up to all of the seating levels for a look and listen (and to take a few Video's and photo's to follow)
Ola had mentioned before the gig via FaceBook, that she was not on 'Great Gig' duty, so a guessing game to who would take on that task ensued (we was wrong) I was pleasently supprised by Rose, though she did as previously mentioned look a bit nervous. That video will be uploaded later tonight
The audience was a bit refined during the first half of set one, but as they warmed up, so did the band. It certainly appeared that both fead of each other. As the the night progressed, the band got better, the audience became warmer and so it developed. Applause was loud and meaningful.
Rick on the keys could not be said to be inanimate (like other tribute band keyboard players). He was putting everything into 'Another Brick' and 'Shine on'
Bobby's Echoes is brilliant too. He too does not stay put whilst strumming that thing
Ian's Fletcher was better than Sheffield I thought.
Emily's 'Real words' on Echoes.... and her solo dancing in the instrumental bits were mesmorising (watch the video) Do I keep on mentioning Echoes ?
Damian is walking again (and that is nice to see), but is fantastic when he sits down again for his Lapsteel sections.
The first HD video is now uploaded to Youtube. A section of Another Brick, taken from an upper level of the venue.
And a section of Fletcher memorial.. from an even higher viewpoint. You can hear my oxygen mask whistling if you listen carefully
More to follow as they arrive on Youtube
Dentrassi Hate Vogon's
Hagra biscuit! The greatest! You'll love these guys!
"A verbal contract is not worth the paper it's written on."