Tribute bands are often a mixed bag when it comes to talent, and few groups have as many replicas as Pink Floyd. As they’ve been split up for so long, fans have been flocking to watch cover versions of their material, and drummer Nick Mason certainly has his favourites.
Undoubtedly, the most famous Pink Floyd tribute is The Australian Pink Floyd Show. The band perform in mammoth venues across the world and even occasionally take their experience to arenas. However, for Mason, they’re not his favourite. This decision is likely due to a group attempting to recreate a Pink Floyd concert rather than putting their own spin on the collection of songs.
While The Australian Pink Floyd Show’s live efforts have garnered an incredible reputation among Floyd’s fanbase, undoubtedly one of the closest things you’re going to get to the real thing, what’s important for Mason is for bands not to try to imitate Pink Floyd and, instead, spice up the songs by putting their own take on it.
“I do really like it when people do cover our songs and do their interpretations of it,” he told The Coda Collection. “I’m always a little bit sarky about tribute bands, because I’d prefer to hear. I love Dub Side of the Moon, for the sort of reggae feel to the songs. And there’s another one, Luther Wright and the Wrongs, who did The Wall as a country and Western album, I thought was terrific.”
Easy Star All-Stars are the architects behind Dub Side Of The Moon, and unlike your standard cover band, the group managed to create an audio experience that allowed fans to listen to Pink Floyd like never before.
Commenting on the Floyd’s reaction to the record, Michael Goldwasser from the group said in 2012, “Roger Waters sent us a fax – because this was 2003, the old days – he sent us a fax, and it was so funny, it said ‘Thank you for sending me the album. I read the liner notes. It’s my policy not to comment on covers of my work.’ So, we don’t know if he liked it or not, but at least he got it.”
Adding: “About a year or so later, someone alerted us to a broadcast on BBC Radio where David Gilmour was being interviewed, and the host of the program asked him about Dub Side of the Moon — and he actually knew it. He said that it was great fun, and that he wished that he had seen us the last time we were in London. It was cool to hear David Gilmour say that.”
Now, he’s got Mason’s nod of approval to add to the list next to Gilmour’s and Waters’ ambiguous message to say he received the album while refusing to give his opinion on the record.