Andy Claridge and Steve Nelson will be performing their Pink Floyd tribute on 27 June in Mijas. :: M. W.
Andy Claridge and Steve Nelson bring their ‘Pink Floyd Tribute Concert’ to the Auditorio de Mijas in Mijas Pueblo later this month. Here the musicians reveal what Pink Floyd fans can expect from this concert as well as their forthcoming European tour to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the band.
What gave you the idea for a Pink Floyd tribute show?
Andy Claridge: Basically it was the love of Floyd. Back in 1990 in London I was listening to ‘Dark side of the moon’ and I decided to do a one-man tribute show. People said to me at the time, “One man can’t perform Pink Floyd,” and that just spurred me on to do it! I used a small sequencer, keyboards, a drum machine saxophone and vocals; I played around the pubs and everyone seemed to like it.
When did you first perform the show with other musicians?
A.C. It was back in 2000. I hadn’t performed the show in Spain before that but had the opportunity to get five good musicians together to play in The Mirror Tent in Mundo Studios, Cancelada. It was a dream come true!
Steve, when did you get together with Andy?
Steve Nelson: Well Andy and I played in a band at Chicken Shack back in the 90s; it closed years ago, but then we went our separate ways until we met up again when I was playing at Sharky’s in Estepona. I heard there was a Pink Floyd band playing at Cancelada and there was Andy. I fell in love with the whole Pink Floyd thing in 1979 when I saw them in Earls Court - the lights, special effects and the music of course. Andy then moved to a bar called ‘The Gun’ in Fuengirola in 2008 and we played some of the Floyd show together there for the first time.
So how has the show grown?
S.N. Andy asked me if I wanted to learn the whole show and put together a more complete production, so I started with the videos that Floyd show on the circular screen.
A.C. What we have done since then is add our own visualisations to the original Floyd videos to make it our own. We have increased the size of the stage show, as well as the musical content, to the point where it is impossible to do it in smaller venues; we need a theatre or similar sized place. Which is why we are so pleased to be able to perform this new production for the first time in the Mijas auditorium.
S.N. The actual stage set now includes huge banners depicting the ‘Heads’ from the ‘Division bell’ album, the ‘Hammers’ from ‘The wall’ and of course the circular video screen.
A.C. The whole thing is a labour of love; I do it because I love the music, the whole Pink Floyd thing. It took me over a year to record the backing tracks that we use in the show, something a lot of people don’t realise: the backing track is not someone else, it’s me, and that is important to me as I can honestly say the whole production is ours.
S.N. We haven’t made any money from any of the performances as we keep ploughing in the cash, buying more lights, more scenery.
What is it about Pink Floyd?
S.N. They are just magic!
A.C. They were an album band and people loved them for that; they weren’t intentionally commercial. People waited to buy the albums and listen to them from start to finish.
S.N. There were a few singles that helped to bring Pink Floyd to the public’s attention, but it was the ‘whole album’ concept that people loved.
Does your tribute show follow this concept?
A.C. Yes, the show has a storyline. It was a challenge to create a show that made sense to Floyd lovers. We have many followers who come to every show as they know that each performance has something new, something different.
S.N. I love creating more visual aspects to the show; there is always a new effect that adds to the overall production.
How often have you performed the show?
A.C. I decided I didn’t want to overdo the number of performances; two or three times a year maintains both my interest and the public’s. Steve and I have our regular venues and it is something we look forward to when a Pink Floyd date comes around.
You have a big tour coming up, how did that come about?
A.C. It was about 18 months ago, I was in Denmark doing some recording when a producer came into the studios and we started chatting about the Floyd show. He is also a promoter and books bands to play at music festivals and fairs all over northern Europe. Luckily I had some videos of the show with me and he liked the concept enough to book us for 18 gigs over 31 days in Denmark, Sweden and Germany.
S.N. It’s like a caravan of bands; each of the five or six bands has its own articulated truck that is the stage when opened out. We will all drive from place to place and park up, drop the front and there we are! Ready to perform! We will be on last as we need it to be dark for the lighting effects, but that also makes us the headline band by default. How’s that for luck!
A. C. I haven’t been on the road for over 20 years. I said years ago I wouldn’t go back on tour but this is different, this is MY show that we are taking, and that is more than I ever hoped to achieve.
What comes next?
A. C. We start adding more material this coming winter.
S. N. I would like to add some more of the older tracks, like “Sorrow”... and “Echoes”.
Is the upcoming concert in Mijas the same show you are taking on tour?
A. C. Yes, actually it will be bigger as there are some elements that would be impossible to fit into the tour show, so those coming to the concert in Mijas will see the biggest production we will be doing.
S. N. The special effects are the best we have ever had, the audience is going to get a real visual experience.
A. C. The pinnacle of the show for many is when Denirichar Delay steps forward to sing “Greatest gig in the sky”, you can feel the emotional feedback on stage, and it’s magical.