Rychard Carrington reports on Think Floyd - The Junction, Cambridge 4 June 2009

Think Floyd logo
Junction 1, The

All hail Pink Floyd! Of the generation of bands that embarked upon the exhilarating project of taking over from where The Beatles left off in the expansion of  rock beyond the confines of pop, Pink Floyd were the most successful. After producing The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, the album that best represents the knowing charm and liberating spirit of the best of late sixties English counter-culture, Pink Floyd mutated, via post-psychedelic pastoral adventures, into the definitive purveyors of symphonic rock. For all Floyd's sophistication and earnestness, their monuments to contemporary alienation struck deep emotional chords with many listeners, and the commercial success of their avant-garde rock has been phenomenal. Even Pope Johnny Rotten conferred upon them a certain kudos by famously wearing an ‘I hate Pink Floyd' tee-shirt. And furthermore, the three most important members grew up in Cambridge.


The Floyd never bothered with exuding personal charisma, nor was virtuoso showman  musicianship quite their forte. A large proportion of their present-day fans (including me) never saw them live, and most of those that did only in stadia far larger than The Junction.  So a tribute band has potential. Without the special effects that characterised the later Floyd shows, tonight's presentation evoked more the Floyd at the start of the seventies - four unprepossessing longhaired guys in jeans and tee-shirts playing such wonderfully introspective music. Oh, the deep, delicate nuances of keyboards and guitar on Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Think Floyd's opening number. Echoes worked best of all. Dark Side of The Moon was represented impressively, with most of the tracks getting an airing. Backing vocalist Hayley Sanderson came into her own on The Great Gig In The Sky. Without scope for visual extravagance, the tracks from the grandiose psychodrama The Wall (in which the original Floyd forsook their laid-back cool) fared slightly less well, until Comfortably Numb provided a fitting encore. Think Floyd attempted little other than to reproduce faithfully, and in this they succeeded, to their considerable credit as instrumentalists, with only the lead vocals somewhat weak.


Classical symphonies are regularly reproduced by musicians with no affiliation to the composer or original players, so why shouldn't Floyd fans gather and enjoy a sincere musical tribute? The gig was well attended, the band much applauded. Vintage progressive rock lives on: hurrah, that's nice. ‘Is there anybody [still] out there?' Yes, most certainly.


Writer: Rychard Carrington