March 15 2013 – In March, 2011 we saw Brit Floyd playing Toronto’s Sony Centre (reviewed here). That show impressed so much it would end up on our list of Top 10 Concerts of 2012. Brit Floyd is back close enough to Toronto that we can drive for an hour or so to Hamilton to see them yet again. On Sunday March 24, Brit Floyd is playing Hamilton Place Theatre (obviously in Hamilton, Ontario). As of today (Friday March 15th) the interactive Ticketmaster map shows there are only about 25 tickets left so do not wait any longer, go snap up a ticket and then come back to read this interview! This show is NOT to be missed. We had the privilege and honor of speaking to Ian Cattell (bassist/vocalist) before this gig, this is how it went down:
T-Mak World: Ian, thank you so much for talking to us. You are playing Hamilton which is about an hour from Toronto so we are sort of considering it a Toronto gig. The band bills itself as The World’s Greatest Pink Floyd Show (which we can’t really disagree with). It’s a bold statement to make, how do you back it up?
Cattell: I like to let the fans validate that one (laughing).
T-Mak World: Brit Floyd played at the iconic Red Rocks Theatre outside of Denver. How different is that venue and is that the coolest venue you have played in?
Cattell: Definitely, it was an amazing experience unlike any other. You are surrounded by mountains and rock and the seating is very steep. Its like a wall of people sitting in front of you. The history of it is quite humbling as well. Its a huge venue upwards of 10000 people but people are up right there in your face.
T-Mak World: In our earlier review of Brit Floyd we stated that for a tribute show 3 things matter. The music, the visuals, and the experience. Needless to say the band nails the music and the visuals with ease, but the intangible is the experience. It is hard to describe but being at a Brit Floyd show for me had the feeling of tricking my mind into believing that I was seeing Pink Floyd in a very hypnotic sort of way. Why is it that you think Brit Floyd succeeds in that experience?
Cattell: We work very very hard at all aspects whether it be the music itself, or details to the some of the samples we created, or the lighting. It’s also how we treat the music onstage,we don’t feel like we are jut performing the music. We let the whole stage and the show itself take front and center. It was kind of the way Pink Floyd approach it. It wasn’t about them it was about the music and the experience and that’s where we are putting our emphasis. It’s great to hear we are having that effect.
T-Mak World: In that earlier review I wrote something which I would like to read to you and get your thoughts on it. “ Pink Floyd (broke up) in 1984. What is a rabid fan of the band to do? Well just as you can still go listen to Mozart music live at a symphony orchestra in any major metropolis in the world, you likewise can still go listen to Zeppelin, Floyd and really any other band you crave.” I truly believe that Pink Floyd will be played 200 years from now, do you agree?
Cattell: Oh absolutely. With all the music that is out today and 60 years of rock and roll there are only a handful that will be in it for the long haul. Pink Floyd will be going down in history with Beethoven and Mozart. Its just not the quality of the music but also the emotional connection that it has with people. It’s the themes, the emotions and they are universal and that’s the key.
T-Mak World: Exactly, its even the lyrics which are even philosophical. They could probably be studied as a philosophical text.
Cattell: Ya well we just did a gig in Indianapolis where a University professor came to our show last year and he actually teaches a course in Pink Floyd. Sounds like a fun class!
T-Mak World: Wow I didn’t know that I will have to track him down and chat with him! It seems that you guys have been touring pretty much non stop for over 2 years, is the touring life as exciting as many of us romanticized about as teenagers?
Cattell: Well I love my job its a lot of fun, but there is a lot of waiting around. here are some aspects that are not Rock n Roll. It’s a labour of love really and the 3 hours on stage make it worthwhile.
T-Mak World: No kidding I was clocking the show last time and it came in at over 2 and a half hours of music – how are you guys not fatigued?
Catell: You have to take care of yourself you cant live a rock and roll lifestyle and do 120 shows a year. Alot of us spend time working out every day or going running and keeping a healthy diet, that’s how I find the easiest way to keep the energy up.
T-Mak World: To add to that, 90% of the people in the audience will know every note in all the songs. If you mess up on a note, they are sure to notice. Talk about pressure.
Catell: Well ya that’s the thing if you play your own music you have a licence to play it any way you want, but with Pink Floyd there are many knowledgeable fans out there and they know every single note and nuance so it is a lot of pressure. We have put a lot of work into it and hopefully the people do know the music that intimately can attest we are up to the task.
T-Mak World: What’s next for Brit Floyd, just keep touring the world for as many years as possible?
Catell: Yup that’s the plan (laughing). Unlike the real Pink Floyd we have no revenue from record sales so our job is to go out there and bring the music to the people and that is what keeps us going.
T-Mak World: What about you personally, have you ever released any solo material or any plans to?
Catell: I do work with local musicians when I am not touring, but Brit Floyd has kept me quite busy. I am working on my own stuff and hope to have something out in the near future.
T-Mak World: Thanks so much for the time Ian, let me get back to your day but one last random question for fun. If the members of Led Zeppelin got into a fight with members of Pink Floyd in 1974 who would have won (laughing)?
Cattell: I think it would come down to John Bonham vs Roger Waters, everyone else would be battered and spent and those two would still be going at it today. (LAUGHTER)
T-Mak World: Ha! I think Bonzo himself would be able to take all of Floyd including Roger.
There you have it folks, Ian Cattell of Brit Floyd. Make sure you check them out live, you won’t be disappointed. Ian I want to sincerely thank you for giving me the honor to speak to you and we can’t wait to be in Hamilton to watch a remarkable show.
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