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Pink Floyd tribute band returns to Queen's Theatre with 'timeless music'

PUBLISHED: 15:00 27 February 2019

Think Floyd is returning to Queen's Theatre in Billet lane, Hornchurch for their celebration of one of the world's most popular bands Photo: Think Floyd

Think Floyd is returning to Queen's Theatre in Billet lane, Hornchurch for their celebration of one of the world's most popular bands Photo: Think Floyd

Ian Bateman

Think Floyd are coming back to where it all began: Hornchurch.

Think Floyd is returning to Queen's Theatre in Billet lane, Hornchurch for their celebration of one of the world's most popular bands Photo: Think FloydThink Floyd is returning to Queen's Theatre in Billet lane, Hornchurch for their celebration of one of the world's most popular bands Photo: Think Floyd

Britain’s first Pink Floyd tribute band played their first professional theatre gig at the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch and on Saturday 2nd March they’ll be returning for the first time in 14 years.

The group started as a covers band playing in London in the early 90s, before tribute acts had been popularised.

Lewis Hall, the band’s bass player, said: “It was just Bootleg Beatles and Bjorn Again back then.”

At a regular gig in a south east London pub, someone requested Comfortably Numb. They didn’t know how to play it but promised they would learn for next week.

Think Floyd is returning to Queen's Theatre in Billet lane, Hornchurch for their celebration of one of the world's most popular bands Photo: Andrew BriggsThink Floyd is returning to Queen's Theatre in Billet lane, Hornchurch for their celebration of one of the world's most popular bands Photo: Andrew Briggs

The performance went down very well and they began to get more requests for Pink Floyd songs.

One week they played a whole evening of Pink Floyd songs, calling it Think Floyd. It became a regular event.

Music promoter and Pink Floyd fan David Walker saw them perform and signed them. The semi-pro pub band became a professional music act.

Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason was so impressed with Think Floyd that, in a 2017 LBC interview, he described the tribute band as “better than we are”.

Think Floyd is returning to Queen's Theatre in Billet lane, Hornchurch for their celebration of one of the world's most popular bands Photo: Think FloydThink Floyd is returning to Queen's Theatre in Billet lane, Hornchurch for their celebration of one of the world's most popular bands Photo: Think Floyd

Think Floyd didn’t even know he had seen them perform.

Lewis Hall, the band’s bass player, says of Pink Floyd: “It’s just timeless music. It seems just as fresh now as it did 50 years ago and I’m very honoured to play it.”

He attributes their enduring popularity to their pioneering spirit and experimentation: “They were so ahead of their time that they still sound modern.”

The band members are attentive students of Pink Floyd. They pour over footage of the band’s original concerts to glean details for their own shows.

Think Floyd is returning to Queen's Theatre in Billet lane, Hornchurch for their celebration of one of the world's most popular bands Photo: Think FloydThink Floyd is returning to Queen's Theatre in Billet lane, Hornchurch for their celebration of one of the world's most popular bands Photo: Think Floyd

While there will not be an inflatable pig, the sounds and the lights are true to the spirit of Pink Floyd’s original performances.

With the help of their sound engineer, Paul Jennings, the band tries to recreate the sound of the studio albums as closely as possible.

For album effects that cannot be recreated live, they look to the live performances for inspiration.

Other, bigger Pink Floyd tribute acts like Brit Floyd or The Australian Pink Floyd Show recreate the grandeur of Pink Floyd in the 90s, but watching Think Floyd is like seeing the original band in the 70s, says Lewis.

Think Floyd is returning to Queen's Theatre in Billet lane, Hornchurch for their celebration of one of the world's most popular bands Photo: Think FloydThink Floyd is returning to Queen's Theatre in Billet lane, Hornchurch for their celebration of one of the world's most popular bands Photo: Think Floyd

All of Think Floyd’s original members have moved on or passed away but the band goes on with new blood. Each member is steeped in Pink Floyd.

Lewis recalls his older brother handing him Floyd albums as an 11-year-old child.

Their guitarist, Richard Morse, is an especially big fan. He learned to play guitar practicing Pink Floyd songs.

His performances of Dave Gilmour’s guitar solos are note-perfect.

Alluding to the band’s enigmatic stage presence, Lewis says: “We’re lucky we don’t have to look like them. When you go to see a Rolling Stones tribute band, you expect to see them dancing like Mick Jagger. We can focus on getting the music right.”

Lewis first heard the band when he was working at the Key Theatre in Peterborough 18 years ago.

They were looking for a bass player and he auditioned.

He’s now been with the band for 18 years and is their longest serving member.

As bassist and leader of the band, he compared his role to Roger Waters’s role in the original one.

Fans have asked them to put out their own original music. Lewis confirms there’s plans in the works but fans may have to hold their breath. He says their original material could take anywhere from “a few months to 10 years.”

The tour honours the 40th anniversary of Pink Floyd’s timeless album The Wall. They will be playing the whole album from start to finish plus a good selection of classic hits.

Think Floyd will be joined by the vocals of Rosie Osborne and Freddy de Lord on saxophone.

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