Experience Floyd will bring their three hour Pink Floyd tribute show to Thebarton Theatre on Friday 20 November. Forming in Adelaide five years ago, the act is much more than just a cover band, with a show that has evolved into a genuine multi-media experience, featuring lights, lasers and video to complement the celebrated songs of one of the all time great rock acts.
Singer, Matt Goodluck, is thrilled to be playing at such an iconic South Australian venue.
“Thebby’s a very exciting thing for us,” he says, “we’ve all seen many of our favourite bands there. I saw my first ever gig at Thebby. That was Joe Satriani for the Flying in a Blue Dream tour, so to be playing on that stage… And I think a venue like that will really lend itself well to the sort of show that we’re putting on.”
The band has evolved from humble beginnings into a fully staged concept show and, based on Matt’s descriptions, the upcoming gig will be quite an experience indeed.
“This year in particular we’ve amped things up a little bit,” explains Matt, “focusing on small theatre shows and building our profile both here and interstate. It’s a full production. We use Novatech, who do a lot of the big shows around Adelaide that you see at the Entertainment Centre or Thebby.
“So, it’s a big lighting show: we’ve got the light circle that Floyd were renowned for and, for the first time at the Thebby show, we’re incorporating some lasers and video footage. The other interesting thing that we’re incorporating into the show is a school choir to lend a bit of extra life to ‘Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)’.”
Playing interstate earlier in the year, the band enjoyed very positive reactions from audiences, which Matt says quite an honour.
“We had a great reception. The thing that I’m really noticing with this band, which is unlike anything else I’ve done, is that Floyd’s music has such universal appeal and the audiences are really taken back to a time or a place where that music really meant something to them. So it’s really quite a privilege to bring that to audiences,” he says.
And die-hard fans won’t be disappointed in the set-list, with the material in the show spanning more than two decades of Floyd.
“We haven’t covered anything from the Syd Barrett era, not for any other reason that we don’t really have time,” Matt explains, “but we cover everything from 1970s metal right through to 1994’s The Division Bell.”
Pink Floyd has inspired a number of tribute shows over the years, but with David Gilmour’s recent announcement that the band is definitively finished, it’s a good time to catch an act like Experience Floyd.
“I don’t think they’re going to be one of those bands who reel out the ‘Really, Now We’re Finished’ tour. So that’s it,” Matt laughs. “That’s a great thing for bands like us. You’re not going to be able to see the original thing anymore, so without trying to blow our own trumpet, it’s going to be the next best thing.”
As the principal vocalist, Matt has the challenging job of juggling the distinctive styles of both David Gilmour and Roger Waters, in addition to a few others.
“Technically I’m covering four vocals in the band, because there was a little bit of vocals done by Richard Wright in the song ‘Time’ and ‘Have a Cigar’ was originally sung by Roy Harper, so technically it’s four vocalists. But I’ve always made it a priority when doing covers to stay as close to the original as I can. I figure that’s what people are coming for; they want to hear what they know and don’t really want to hear your version of it. And I guess I’m just fortunate that my vocal range fits in with those two.”
Experience Floyd began five years ago under the name Echoes of Pink Floyd, and has undergone a number of line-up shifts and a name change in that time.
“It was started by the guitarist, Daniel Hunter,” Matt explains. “He started learning all these songs in his bedroom as a teenager after having seen Pink Floyd when they came out here in ’88. He really dedicated himself to learning those solos note for note, and for a band like this you need to be able to nail those and he’s done a marvellous job.”
Matt joined the band just over a year ago, after singing with a number of other acts around town.
“I was in a Beatles tribute band called Glass Onion. Then I was doing a classic rock covers thing called Toast for a little while. They had kind of wound down and I was on the look-out for something, and I happened to find an ad for the Floyd band. Being a big fan, I thought it was something that I couldn’t pass up. So I went to audition and everything worked out well.”
Among the other performers in the band, there are a number of familiar faces from the Adelaide music scene.
“Everyone’s been playing in various bands. We’ve got Jason Miller on drums, who up until recently was in an original outfit in Adelaide called Submerge; there’s Paul Bindig on keyboards, Mark MacNab on guitars and Mark Dole on the bass, and all have played in numerous other bands around town.”
But a show like this is only as good as its source material. So what does Matt think is the reason for Pink Floyd’s enduring appeal?
“It’s great music and it stands the test of time. It doesn’t matter whether you’re young or in your sixties or seventies, if that music really spoke to you it will resonate. Sadly, the era of those classic bands has gone. You’re not really going to get any bands like that anymore, so people want to see what it was all about and that’s the good thing about these concept shows. We find ourselves in a very fortunate position that we’re able to relay that music to audiences again.”
Experience Floyd perform at Thebarton Theatre on Friday 20 November. Tickets can be purchased here.
By Matthew Trainor
Pictures by Ralph Meznar, courtesy of http://www.experiencefloyd.com