It’s impossible to talk about Pink Floyd without invoking some heady existential themes. Both in their lyrics and in the storied mythos surrounding them, the band contended with insanity, greed, and the occasional overinflated ego or two.
So when I ask Damian Darlington, lead singer and guitarist behind the tribute band Brit Floyd, a particularly existential question: "Do you see Pink Floyd’s music being performed in concert halls à la Wagner and other composers a hundred years down the line?" — it's surprising to hear him slightly taken aback.
“I suspect to a certain extent that may well turn out to be the case,” Darlington muses. “I think inevitably rock music — classic rock music in general — is probably going to get that sort of status once the people who composed it, and the people who listened to it when it first happened, are all dead and buried.”
Darlington is no stranger to Pink Floyd covers, having toured the group’s work for nearly 25 years. He formed Brit Floyd in 2011, following 17 years with an Australian Pink Floyd tribute show. Since then, the group has come to call themselves, “The world’s greatest Pink Floyd show,” which is no small boast given the bevy of competition.
What gives Darlington and his outfit an edge is their unimpeachable resume. After all, it’s tough to top performing “Comfortably Numb” with the late Rick Wright, Pink Floyd’s keyboardist, at the 50th birthday party of David Gilmour, Floyd’s guitarist.
“Given what I do as a musician, and the amount of years I’ve been playing Pink Floyd, it really just doesn’t get any better than having had that experience,” Darlington says. “Playing that iconic guitar solo, to look over my shoulder and there’s Rick Wright getting into it… it’s a memory to have.
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Brit Floyd’s current tour, The Space and Time Continuum World Tour, will bring them to the Fillmore this Wednesday. Beside the joy of performing some of the most beloved tunes of the 20th century, Darlington and the band are invigorated by concertgoers.
“We do a lot of meet and greets before our concerts, and we go out and chat with the people who come along." Darlington says the one thing he hears over and over from fans is a simple thank you.
“They’re just grateful to be still getting the opportunity to be hearing this music that they love so much live on stage- it’s very special to them. It gives us a really good feeling that people feel that way about what we’re doing.”