Big Top (main stage 2)
The Darkside of Pink Floyd
- has been nominated by The South West Music Awards in 2012 as the top tribute band in the SW,
- are regulars at the main music venues and theatres in Devon,
- was the first band to play in the caves at Kents Cavern, Torbay in 2 ‘magical’ sell-out shows,
- was the headline act at the Illfracombe, Dawlish and Starfest (Cambridge) festivals,
- is the only band to appear at Paignton BMAD bike festival 4 years in a row,
- played to live online audiences of 190,000 on the ever popular ‘Johns Rock show’ syndicated round the world,
- are slated to play at Glastonbudget (the largest tribute festival in Europe) in 2013.
Since a new years eve party in 2007 The Darkside of Pink Floyd (DSOPF) has come a long way.
The members recreated the classic Pink Floyd album The Dark Side of the Moon (DSOM).
‘I have to say that starting a touring Pink Floyd tribute band was not even a consideration. When I suggested we put together a band to cover DSOM’ explains Jon Neal the DSOPF drummer. ‘I was in the fortunate position of having some very talented relations. Doing something together seemed like a nice idea. I approached brothers Mike and Dom who are exceptional guitar and bass players. Nick who learned the saxophone during the year leading up to the party. Chris who brings his talent for vocalisations and backing harmonies, brothers in law. Neil Karande who is a keyboard savant and Chris Gill who took on the lead vocal role. We were backed by the ‘pink pussies!’. My wife Nina, Dom’s Wife Sophia, Mikes wife Alison and my sister MJ (married to Chris Gill)
Jon continued –
‘The biggest challenge we had was that I we didn’t have a drummer in the family. So I took on that role and taught myself drumming while learning DSOM. Next in the long list of challenges to overcome was that key members of the band. Notably Dom and Chris Gill lives 300 miles away so rehearsal was mostly in subgroups or solo with the album. We did all got together 2 or 3 times during 2007 for weekend long rehearsals it was fun.
The new years eve performance was amazing. We all had such a great time that the band members living in Torbay decided to continue on with the band. Obviously Dom and Chris Gill could not continue from 300 miles away so we advertised for a new bass player. Mike took on the lead vocal role alongside guitar and after a false start with a replacement bassist. We settled on Steve Munns a true rock legend who toured with a band supporting Slade in the 70s and originally learnt bass guitar by playing along with Pink Floyd albums.’
The line up of Darkside Of Pink Floyd is now stable:
Mike Neal – guitars, slide guitar & vocals
Neil Karande – keyboards, vocals
Jon Neal – drums and percussion
Steve Munns – bass guitar
Alison Bradley – vocals
Chris Neal – vocals and narrative
Steve Wiltshire – tenor & alto saxaphones
Darkside Of Pink Floyd
From a music perspective the band focuses on replicating the best live versions of Floyd’s more modern works centred around the Pulse tour of 1993. Supplemented by other classic live performances such as the version of Echoes from Gilmour and Wrights 2006 ‘Remember that Night’ performance at the Albert Hall. The set now comprises of over 2 and 1/2 hours of Pink Floyd music which can be cut and tailored to any event or venue. The band uses it’s own 2.6 kw PA and has it’s own lighting rig which is constantly being added to to create an increasingly ‘awesome’ show. Malcolm Pass, the sound and light engineer, has over 35 years experience in the ‘art of performance’ and he is certainly looked on as a very important 8th member.
Over the past 4 years, the band has garnered quite a reputation as being possibly the most authentic PF tribute playing live at this time (2012/13). The band is not centred around the usual formula of 2 keyboard players, 2 guitarists a bevy of lady backing vocalists, a percussionist and/or a lead vocalist but they have tried, successfully, to keep to a basic 4-piece ensemble of guitarist, keyboard player, bassist and drummer with the addition of 2 exceptional narrative/vocalists and a seasoned saxophonist. This has urged reviewers/bloggers to acclaim the band as being authentic, original, emotive, fabulous, powerful and able to craft an intimate relationship with the audience to create an unforgettable live show.