Ask any one of the 3 portly, greying survivors of the original Pink
Floyd why their music clicks with millions of people, and it's very
likely the answer will be "I've no idea". But click it most
certainly does, even now ~ more than 35 years after this group of
middle-class students launched themselves into the burgeoning British
psychedelic pop scene of the sixties. Named after legendary Georgia
blues men Pink Anderson and Floyd Council, Pink Floyd is arguably
the greatest mainstream rock phenomenon in the world.
Masters of technical wizardry and radiant visuals, this progressive
art-rock band have always been leaders rather than followers, always
believing that their music, psychedelic lighting and atmospheric effects
were part of the same scene - each one enhancing and adding to the
other. Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" is one of the
most consistent selling albums in the history of the record industry
- a darkly haunting masterpiece exploring the evocative themes of
loneliness, alienation, madness & death. In the years since its
release, the Floyd have continued to produce outstanding 'concept'
albums - complete and self-contained works exploring the intricacies,
foibles, and darkness of the human psyche.
The Floyd was never a bunch of prancing, power-tripping musicians;
despite being one of rock's most celebrated & iconic bands, its
members are among rock's most reluctant celebrities. The band that
created a series of cosmic, thought provoking anthems for every emerging
generation since the sixties is enigmatic and reclusive, only turning
out for rare live appearances and even rarer album releases. There
are few opportunities for fans to immerse themselves in the visual
and auditory rhapsody that is Pink Floyd live - the technicolour dream
- a technological kaleidoscope of lights and lasers pulsating to a
sumptuous and seductive sonic artistry.
In 1991, an ambitious and visionary production appeared on the Australian
touring circuit with a promise to recapture some of the immense magic
of Pink Floyd. Masterminded by UK musician Kevin Hunt, 'Floyd - the
Concept' set out to recreate the visual and auditory dimensions of
a live Pink Floyd concert experience in a three-hour live extravaganza
incorporating state of the art lighting and laser technology, quad
sound and special effects. First and foremost though has always been
the quality of the music and musicianship - only the highest standards
of both are acceptable in emulating the 'Masters'.
Floyd the Concept carved itself a niche in the Australia theatre
scene, along the way gathering a growing throng of Floyd devotees,
and setting the stage for the creation of Hunt's greatest theatrical
challenge and achievement.
In 1995 he presented an all-new homage to Pink Floyd, titled 'Beyond
the Darkside'. A massive production based, at that time, upon the
hugely successful 'Pulse' and 'Delicate Sound of Thunder' tours, and
incorporating a seminal repertoire spanning early classics such as
'Ummagumma' and 'Wish You Were Here' & Dark Side of the Moon'
up to the more recent 'Division Bell'.
'Beyond the Darkside' now employs one of the largest privately owned,
digital light shows ever to tour Australia. Technically, it incorporates
110 digital, automated light fixtures, animated-backdrops, time-lined
video footage, pyrotechnics, a flying pig and a 5-watt, fully computerized,
The latest production of 'Beyond the Darkside' is a million-dollar
compilation of Pink Floyd's most popular 'concept' albums - 'Wish
You Were Here', featuring the song 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond', dedicated
to Floyd-founder Syd Barrett and mourning his tragic decline into
mental illness - and the stunning 'Dark Side of the Moon', a highlight
of Roger Water's incisive observations of schizophrenia, alienation
and man's inexorable march toward death - to date one of the highest
selling albums ever in the history of rock music. Add to this mix
six cult classics from 'The Wall' plus selected highlights from 'Momentary
Lapse of Reason', 'Division Bell', 'Piper at the Gates of Dawn', 'Meddle'
and 'Animals' - a feast for any Floyd fan!
'Beyond the Darkside' is a great exhibition of meticulous musicianship,
accompanied by a staggering array of computer and synthesizers equipment
- a true reproduction of the sights and sounds of Pink Floyd.
Lighting Director and co-owner Athol Sargood has invested years in
programming the highly specialised, computerised lighting system,
capturing both the subtle nuances and theatrical crescendo's of Floyd's
music, and translating them into a visual symphony. 'Beyond the Darkside'
leads its audience on a pilgrimage through the essence of all that
is Floyd - a spectacular 4.5m circular video screen looms over the
stage surrounded by moving lights, featuring animation and video footage;
the atmospheric mirror-ball effects throughout 'Comfortably Numb',
the giant 'flying pig' and special laser effects - all in the true
'Beyond the Darkside' has received rave reviews and acclaim everywhere
it has played - Melbourne's Crown Casino named it as one of the most
spectacular shows ever to play its showroom, and it was only the second
show in the room's history to receive a standing ovation. For co-producers
Kevin Hunt and Athol Sargood, this latest production of "Beyond
the Darkside" is the culmination of many years of hard work and
enterprise, a continuing refinement and reworking of ideas in order
to present one of the most exciting and awe-inspiring productions
ever to tour Australia. 'Beyond the Darkside' is now embarking on
its last series of Australian performances, before being launched
onto the lucrative overseas markets of the U.K., Europe and the U.S.A.
'Beyond the Darkside' is the embodiment of all that is Pink Floyd
- keening guitar solos and soaring keyboards - haunting, exultant,
passionate, thought provoking, and coming soon to take you to the
Dark Side of the Moon .......... and beyond……. * Suzanne
Hunt 1991 - 2004.