Australian Pink Floyd

Another mysterious and very serious cover band


There will be scintillating light effects. There will be a tight crowd singing all the words. There will be $25 T-shirts. And you will be comfortably numb--with awe, that is, because when you shut your eyes you will transport to a real live Pink Floyd concert, except it's not the Floyd you know; it's Pink Fraud.

Meet Australian Pink Floyd, a group of Aussie musicians that have devoted their lives to meticulously aping one of the greatest rock bands of all time: Styx! Just kidding, not Styx.

According to the London Times, APF is the number one tribute band in the world and billed as one of the best live shows now touring. That's a lot of title to live up to. This is no lip-syncing Ashlee Simpson-style either, these guys recreate--to the minute details--the sonorous journey through madness, aging and death originally fashioned by their British art rock idols.

APF will replicate the entire Dark Side of the Moon album note for note, including all the unusual sound effects (think cash register on "Money") and female background voices that make the 30-year-old collection one of the top ten best sellers of all time. Plus they do the rest of the Floyd crème. You don't see covers like that in your friend's basement.

Australian Pink Floyd originally united in Adelaide, Australia, in 1988 like any other group of music appreciators. "It was just a bunch of guys getting together just to see if it could be done to start with, getting the sounds right and the music right and the challenge of doing that. It was just being fans of the music," bassist Colin Wilson said in an interview with Gary Graff of The Daily Oakland Press.

But it wasn't until the early '90s, when the group moved across the seas to the United Kingdom that it became the Australian Pink Floyd Show it is now. What with all the zillions of cover bands circling the globe (not to mention this city alone), why emulate such an empyrean band? Seems like inevitable catastrophe, backlash and mockery. In fact, not much is known about the members of APF. They strategically adhere to a fair degree of anonymity, skirting potentially negative comparisons to the real thing.

They aren't the real thing, though, and they know it. For instance, it takes two guitarists to capture the sound of one David Gilmour. But if you think fake Floyd ain't worth it, you're off; the authenticity is astounding. This is no paltry homeboy production--the guys have done their homework, each original Floydism is accounted for, and the audience can expect a visual shower of on-stage screen projections of classic Floydian images.

But back to classic Pink Floyd: In a marked tribute to his tribute, Gilmour actually booked this band to play at his own 50th birthday party a few years ago. Perhaps comical, perhaps narcissistic, in the end Gilmour jumped on stage with them and sang along in some weird postmodern Patty Duke moment.

With the progressive British group quiescent since 1994, this is possibly the closest you'll get to experiencing a Floyd show. Only difference, no giant pink pig balloon hovering above. APF may do everything in their power to honor Pink Floyd as a living, but they also honor their national pride: Check out the flying pink kangaroo at the show. What rascals!

If you like the real Pink Floyd and you miss this show, expect serious pains of remorse when your friends buy one of the concert T-shirts and send a scribbled postcard to you, "Having fun, wish you were here ..."

Australian Pink Floyd's Darkside of the Moon Anniversary Tour, Thursday, November 11, doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m., $25-35, Bank of America Centre, 223 S. Capitol Blvd. Tickets at ticketweb or 331-TIXS.