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Something great happened last night!

 

The Great Gig In . . .

 

not in the sky but this time here in Aquincum, in Budapest!

 

A small Hungarian group of musicians play Pink Floyd in their spare time, they are a so called tribute band. They have been doing it for 20 years and now at last a dream came true for the band Keep Floyding. Last night they played a gig in the ancient roman amphitheatre not far from where I live in North of Budapest. One has to know that Hungary (Pannonia to Romans) was part of the Roman Empire and there was a bustling city (50-60 thousand) named Aquincum. It had at least two amphitheatre of which only the ruins remain but the Northern one provided a perfect stage for the band this time. Keep Floyding plays the songs in professional way, but there are other bands around the world doing the same.

 

So what differentiates KF is that they add some great ideas to the shows. For instance in 2014 together with a Symphonic orchestra they played Atom Heart Mother as a one-off show. For 20 years they dreamed of reproducing the 1971 Live at Pompeii in an authentic surrounding, a real roman setting, (one which was once used for gruesome “plays” by Aquincum citizens). It all became true this week.  

 

The one thousand tickets were sold out in no time. Unfortunately they only had permission to get 1000 into the place. The area is fairly open so there were at least 1200 viewers to witness the show, enthusiastic fans without tickets even watching from outside of the low theatre walls.

 

With long days of heavy rain during the week there was a big question mark if the weather is going to play. A stage roof was erected but by Friday afternoon it was clear that there will be no need for it so even the stage looked similar puritan to the one used by Floyd all those 48 years ago at Pompeii.

 

 

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In the afternoon I passed by and had a look what will be in store. Sound check was in progress with the band.

 

 

 

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The show started early at 19.20 with sun still shining, they “Just” played the original music song by song, note for note. Theatrically of course the sun went down to the notes of “Set the controls for the heart of the sun”.  

 

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Unfortunately there are songs which one is not able to reproduce for obvious reasons, Mademoiselle Nobbs is one of them! So this one was missing from the set.

I know David Gilmour played the Pompeii stage few years ago but it was a mix of his own songs and Pink Floyd stuff. I don’t know if anyone ever played the full set of what the band did back in 1971. This was a great chance to see it, hear it and relive the experience that audience would have had if allowed back in 1971. I was not going to miss it! Great performance! :worship:

 

In the second part of the show as an extra it was obvious that Dark Side of the Moon will be played as a continuation from the Live at Pompeii.  For “Great Gig in the Sky” I know that it is very difficult to follow in the steps of Clair Torry, and yes I heard Ola Bienkowska sing it too with another tribute band. Have to say that the perfect singing by Zsuzsa Garda was equal with them. WOW, she was good!!!  

 

 

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Encore was Comfortably Numb and Run . . .  from The Wall closing the two hour show.

 

There is a debate on what Tribute bands do. I believe that Keep Floyding and others simply play some great music which is no longer accessible live for today’s audiences from the original bands. (Would love to go and see this show live with Pink Floyd, I think there would be "few" others to do so . . .)

 

After all do you call the London or Vienna Symphonic orchestra a Tribute band? They do the same: play great Mozart and Bach today, it’s the music that counts! Keep Floyding and others play great music (by now “classic music”) in a similar way today giving a chance to celebrate live music to audiences.  

 

The bands moto is: We play Pink Floyd, and boy - we enjoy it! was perfectly shown on stage last night, with a happy 1000+ audience leaving the venue!

I did take some photos of the show, but it’s the music that counts, and it was great!

 

The show by Keep Floyding was a start for the traditional Floralia weekend at Aquincum museum (few hundred meters from the amphitheatre), a reincarnation of a Roman celebration of spring with varied programs for the whole family.

  

Best regards

Gabor

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Sounds like it was a great concert Gabor. I think it is wonderful that people are keeping the music of these great musicians alive. I recently went to one of the Experience Hendrix concerts. I was great to see and hear some truly talented musicians playing Jimi's music. I would dearly like to see a Zappa Plays Zappa concert with Dweezil Zappa. I've seen live recordings of his concerts on YouTube and would venture to say that he plays Zappa better that his dad (I saw Frank play back in the 70s).

So, tribute bands are great in my book. There is something about hearing and SEEING the music being performed. No recording comes close.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Has anyone seen this documentary? I know it is about the real Pink Floyd and has nothing to do with the subject above, but just asking.

 

Fascinating story behind a great album, where, how, why it was made. I love it!

 

 

 

Best regards

Gabor

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  • 2 years later...

If any one remembers 2019 and the Hungarian Keep Floyding band playing the Roman aquincum theatre . . . Most probably not. But I was there and the gig was fantastic!

I did not follow on daily bases what is happening with the group in the past years. Sure, due to Covid there was little to see.

But . . .

It is purely by accident that today on the way into the city I noticed some cars around the same ancient roman era theatre. Stage was built and the special lights were already in place. It did look familiar to me. I asked a friend and he confirmed that yes it is the Keep Floyding team who will be playing here tonight from 7PM. This time the main part of the gig will be from Atom Heart Mother. Of course the plan is to have some “classics” also from Dark Side, Wish You Were Here and The Wall in the encore.

 

On the way back home I stopped at the aquincum and had a closer look. Ending up speaking to band members. The stage is set, guitars are in place so lets the show begin.   

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Based on my experience in 2019 I can only say to those who like Pink Floyd music, is Wish You Were Here!

 

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Best regards

Gabor

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Wish I was there....

 

 

Ah well, we also have a decent tribute band in Ireland too (Breathe) that I've been lucky enough to see a couple of times pre-pandemic. Agreed better to have a decent tribute re-creating the live sound than a karaoke band or worse not being able to experience that live sound ever again. 

At least I get to go see Munster Rugby live tonight so still all good.

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The gig last night was excellent!!!

It was timed to go with the May Day weekend which brings a lot of outdoor events to the city.

Weather perfect with sunny clear sky’s, 20-23 C temperature during the day and getting down to around 10 in the evening. Little wind so the smoke machines did not have to work so hard. Fairly big crowd with more than thousand. Thinking of last minute fans with no cell phones it was possible to buy tickets at the gate for cash also.

 

The concert was far from the same as in 2019. Very different this time. Although the beginning was the same with Echoes Part 1.  

 

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Perfect as always. Atom Heart Mother was the main attraction of the night. It is not an easy choice as you need a lot of extras. There was a 16 member choir and a brass band as well. Also a lady with cello who played important part in this song. I think I counted some 33 members on stage at this point.

 

 

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They went into Time to be followed by The Great Gig in the Sky. Have to mention this as there are two ladies doing backing vocals regularly. One of them Zsuzsa Garda was singing the part of Clare Torry. I have seen many videos of different PF concerts as well as many tribute bands. In many cases The Great Gig is changed by the vocalist, some a little others considerably depending on their own ideas or simply vocal range. Zsuzsa tried to stick note for note to the original LP version, and boy she was good!!!!!! For the middle part the other lady also had a say to the story but Zsuzsa Garda was something special!

 

A wide variety of Floyd songs followed. It was surprising that they went back to the very beginnings (apart from Atom Heart) playing for example Astronomy Domine but also from very late albums things like Dogs of War. With songs like One Of These Days also included. This was a nice change!

 

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Echoes Part II closed the concert. Only for them to return with Wish You Were Here (of course, what else) and some songs from The Wall (Another brick, Run . . .)  to wrap up the evening after almost two and a half hours on stage.   

 

 

Unfortunately NO Shine on  You . . .    nothing from Animals : (  : (   but you can’t have them all.  

 

The venue is good, so I think in long term they will keep it as a regular gig in the bands calendar.

 

Did not take too many photos, partly due to the smoke machines but also simply because wanted to enjoy the gig and not play around with the camera and settings!

There was a wide selection of spectators, old guy’s, families who based on their age at one time could have seen the original Pink Floyd with Waters in the 70’s. It was interesting to see a lot of very young faces, but what was more interesting is that it was evident that they knew all the songs by heart, even the very early ones! So there is a new generation of Pink Floyd fans around!

 

Have to thank Keep Floyding for a great event yesterday!

 

Best regards

Gabor

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