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Vesbim’s Pink Floyd Show The Wall at The Lowry Review

PinkFloydWallVesbim’s Pink Floyd Show – The Wall
The Lowry, Manchester

1 July 2016

www.thelowry.com

Reviewed by Catherine Joyce

Vesbim Media have put together a 10 piece band of very talented musicians to bring Pink Floyd’s 1979 album “The Wall” back to the stage. The almost three hour show is split into two very separate parts which are separated by the interval. The album is played without a break in the first half which we thought it worked very well as the album was written to be performed in its entirety.

Three hours sounded a long time but actually the show went remarkably fast. The opening notes of “In the Flesh?” had me a little worried as the sound was quite distorted but that was soon sorted and as the band began to play with their instruments everything was fine. Essential to the Pink Floyd experience are the additional non-instrumental sounds – babies crying, aeroplanes, bombs, explosions etc. these were all present and worked very well to add to the performance.

The show was performed in the 460 seat Quays theatre, which is a modern venue at Salford Quays with a more intimate feel than the larger Lyric theatre. We were surprised to see that the theatre wasn’t filled, which led to a fairly flat atmosphere which was a shame as any live performance is enhanced when the audience gets behind the band.

After the interval the band returned to the stage and began to play through a selection from Pink Floyd’s extensive back catalogue. Opening with audience favourite “Shine on you Crazy Diamond” and including most of the Dark Side of the Moon album the band really seemed to relax and began to enjoy themselves a little more.

After 50 more minutes of “Best of Floyd” the band closed the evening encouraging the audience to join in with “Wish You Were Here”.

I was a little disappointed with the lighting of the show, the band’s website seems to promise lasers and impressive lighting effects but actually whilst the lights were fine, it was nothing special. What did work well was the use of back projection throughout the night which made extensive use of Gerald Scarfe’s original animations for the accompanying movie.

All 10 of the band showed that they were very skilled musicians, with vocalist Michael David Ronson standing out for us. His delivery was excellent, very clear and his inflection was very close to the original. The band was lacking a powerful female vocalist especially noticeable to me on one of the tracks in the second half “Brain Damage”. It is difficult to pick out individuals but I really enjoyed the performances of Martin Byrne on bass and drummer Phil Westwood on the instrumental track “One of these Days” from the 1971 Meddle album.

Whilst my husband is a huge fan of Pink Floyd, I’m much less familiar with their music and only really recognised a few of the tracks. This actually didn’t matter and I enjoyed seeing talented musicians performing a classic album. I’m sure I’ll be hearing much more Pink Floyd though as my husband has been playing his old albums since we got home!

We were surprised that the band didn’t get more involved with the audience; no introductions, not even “Hello Salford”. I understand them wanting to launch straight into the album but though perhaps at the start of the second half of the evening we would be introduced to the band members. Perhaps the audience would have got a little more involved if they had done?

We really enjoyed our night out and would recommend any fan of Pink Floyd to go see them later in the year.

Rating: 4/5

Vesbim’s Pink Floyd Show The Wall is currently on tour around the UK, for more information and tour dates visit www.vesbimfloyd.com.

For other shows at The Lowry in Manchester visit www.thelowry.com.

The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | 0843 208 6000

4 Star

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