THE Villa Marina may not have the capacity of London’s Earls Court, but on nights like this, it does have the atmosphere.
Pigs on the Wing are a (mostly) local collective which offers an authentic Pink Floyd live performance; that’s what the audience came to see, and that’s what they got.
With an air of sonic majesty the band launched into Wish You Were Here’s Shine On You Crazy Diamond, and when the crowd joined in with the iconic chant with gusto, it was clear that this was going to be a mutually enjoyable evening; a great performance matched by an enthusiastic audience.
Close your eyes and singer Pete Williamson is David Gilmour, and he led the band through Gilmour-era numbers What Do You Want From Me, Take it Back, Learning to Fly and Coming Back to Life.
The projected on-stage visuals add a hypnotic dimension, and the sound is faithfully recreated, and it was a note-perfect effort from Ian Corlett on keys, Dick Raine on bass, Roger Leece on drums, Brian Foley on saxophone and backing vocals, and James Craig on soaring lead guitar.
And accompanying vocalist Shaz Cleator is a one-woman gospel choir.
It was the older Roger Waters-led tracks that really scratched the audience’s misty-eyed nostalgic itch, though, and songs like Have a Cigar and The Wall’s Mother had a bewitching effect, as those of a certain generation closed their eyes and swayed like it was 1979 all over again.
Such was the quality of the sound at the Villa, Leece’s kick drum felt as though it was beating my heart for me as the rhythmical impact resonated through my chest.
A memorable moment came as 14 members of Ballacottier Primary School’s junior choir walked on stage for Another Brick In The Wall Part II. After the first chorus the band broke down to just the drum beat, and it was the kids’ time to shine: ‘We don’t need no education...’ The huge reception from the crowd was goosebump-worthy, and made for an experience the kids will keep with them for some time, played off with a scorching solo from Craig. The familiar chords of Breathe filled the air, signalling the start of the Dark Side of the Moon part of the show.
The bells chimed for Time, before Shaz Cleator stepped into the spotlight for The Great Gig in the Sky.
Challenged with recreating session singer Clare Torry’s original recording, Shaz’s lung-busting vocal acrobatics were something of a show-stealer.
The crowd had barely picked their jaws off the floor as the bass intro of Money kicked in, and you could hear Pigs had stepped up a level. The audience lapped it up: there are no lulls in the set when your track-list is taken from a 50-million-selling album.
The anthemic Brain Damage seemingly closed the show, but everyone knew better.
It was encore time, starting with the best sing-along of the night, Wish You Were Here. Craig made his guitar sing for the extended outro of Comfortably Numb, before the stomping drive of the climactic Run Like Hell.