Brit Floyd goes animal on tour coming to Packard

By John Benson

Similar in a sense to Roger Waters leaving Pink Floyd for solo waters, Damian Darlington decided in 2010 to move on from the Australian Pink Floyd Show for his own venture.

The result is Brit Floyd, which since 2011 has been touring the classic-rock band’s catalog around the globe with an impressive audio and visual presentation.

“I played in the Australian Pink Floyd Show for 17 years, so it was very much a good, long apprenticeship for learning how to do a Pink Floyd show correctly,” said Darlington calling from Waukegan, Ill. “I just felt it was time to start a new show. I wanted the freedom to pick the set list, work with other musicians and improve the way this type of show was done.

“Just to play the music a bit more accurately and do different things with the production. I didn’t try to reinvent the wheel when it came time to doing Pink Floyd. I just wanted to improve on how it had been done in the past.”

Today, Brit Floyd is known for its lavish stage show that includes high-definition sound, a million-dollar light show, state-of-the-art video design, lasers, inflatables and theatrics. The outfit, which comes to Packard Music Hall in Warren on Monday, is currently on its “Pink Floyd Immersion World Tour 2017.”

In addition to performing the band’s classics, Brit Floyd also will tackle deep album cuts. Considering this year marks the 40th anniversary of Pink Floyd’s classic album “Animals,” the group will be performing its centerpiece track “Dogs.”

“It’s sort of a hidden gem in a way and doesn’t get much radio airplay because it’s 17 minutes long,” Darlington said. “‘Dogs’ is a very powerful track, a real musical journey through it. Roger Waters’ lyrics are very profound and compelling. It features some of the best David Gilmour and Rick Wright’s musical contributions from the guitar playing and keyboard point of view.”

In terms of even more obscure tunes, Brit Floyd will be performing “Cluster One” (“Division Bell”) and “Not Now John” (“The Final Cut”), as well as “Terminal Frost” (“Momentary Lapse of Reason”). The former two were never performed live by the original band.

Speaking of Pink Floyd, which last played together roughly a decade ago, Darlington actually met David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Rick Wright. In fact, he once performed “Comfortably Numb” with the latter keyboardist for what he said amounted to a goosebumps moment.

With this in mind, invariably there will come a moment during Brit Floyd’s performance of the tune “Wish You Were Here” that the Warren audience will be, well, wishing the real Pink Floyd was there.

“Yeah, I mean, certainly we’re sort of used to it,” Darlington said. “Visually, the big idea we use during that song sort of indicates it’s a moment in the concert to show a lot of imagery of the original guys, and people may well wish the original artists were there still entertaining them.

“For myself, I first saw Floyd in 1988 and then a few other times, as well as Roger Waters and David Gilmour solo shows. So, yes, as a fan, I hope they entertain us again.”