The award winning 'Dark Side Of The Wall' are one of the country's leading Pink Floyd tribute bands with over 18 years of live performances behind them.
Dark Side Of The Wall are a Coventry based 8 piece band who have just completed an amazing 16 years of live performances. During this time they have built up a substantial following and a reputation for recreating not just the music, but also the atmospheric live performances of one of the world’s most enduring rock bands, the legendary Pink Floyd.
DSOTW have experienced several line-up changes over the years and these have enabled the band to stay fresh, and faithful to their original premise; performing live Pink Floyd music to dedicated fans throughout the midlands and beyond.
The band originally started back in 1996 when former lead guitarist John Wall decided to perform some Pink Floyd numbers at his 50th Birthday party. The event was so well received it seemed natural to expand the set and start hitting the gig circuit. From these humble beginnings the band gradually grew in stature, both in terms of their audience and the type of venues they were now able to appear at. The addition of live percussion and saxophone in 2001 took DSOTW from their regular 6 piece line up to 8 full time band members. It also took the band to a new level and they started performing regularly to sell-out theatres, halls and arts centres. A year later they brought onboard an intelligent lighting show to give the full Floydian effect, as well as several home designed effects such as the Comfortably Numb mirror ball and two inflatable pigs!
The band went through a watershed moment in their history at the end of 2004 with the departure of a couple of founder members, including the aforementioned John Wall and his son Michael, who left at the same time as the incumbent lead vocalist and the sax player - leaving just half a band! Their final show was marked by DSOTW winning the prestigious Leicester Mercury ‘Performance of the Year’ Award for that year! However, despite many people fearing the end of the line at this point, a concerted effort was made by the four remaining members to find, audition and rehearse four new people for 2005. The very apparent enthusiasm these new members brought along simply added a fresh impetus and resulted in the band going from strength to strength, including a further awards nomination the following year.
That new line up remained fairly consistent with just the retirement of Barry Page at the end of 2006 to contend with, his son Jody taking over the sole drumming responsibilities, bringing the band down to a 7-piece. April 2009 saw the departure of sax player Sarah Price and it was decided that the best way forward was to employ session sax players on a gig-by-gig basis. To that end DSOTW temporarily recruited the talents of both Tom Joris from Birmingham and Dave Goodwin from Coventry. The drumming department then required a further change following Jody's decision to leave and become a full-time professional with his other band. Thankfully DSOTW were delighted to be able to recruit renowned session drummer Ted Duggan (another Coventry based member) who made his debut in February 2010.
Following Ted into the band in the summer of 2010 was female backing vocalist Emily Freeman (daughter of Mick!) who remained a fixture for the next 12 months. 2011 heralded two further changes when a change to the previous policy meant that Pete 'Taz' Morgan was invited to become the band's permanent sax player following a couple of impressive dep performances when Tom and Dave were unavailable. Then, following Emily's departure in October the band dropped extremely lucky when they were able to recruit the services of the amazing Sofia Wilks as their new female vocalist. Sofia's impact was immediate as the vocals were pushed up several levels. And, her performance of 'The Great Gig In The Sky' has become something of a show-stopper at all the live shows!
Still going strong, and with 12 years in the band behind them now, are Steve Chilton on bass and Pete Riley on keyboards. Originally recruited as 'new boys' back in January 2000 they are now the longest serving members by some distance and will celebrate their 200th DSOTW gig later in the year. The three remaining 2005 recruits completing the present line up are Andy Nixon on lead guitar, Jon Murdock on rhythm guitar and keyboards and Mick Freeman on lead vocals. With five vocalists and a tendency to swap instruments depending on the demands of each song the band prides itself on it’s flexibility, something which is crucial in doing justice to Floyd’s amazingly diverse back catalogue.
Playing well over 2 hours of classic tracks in an almost reverent tribute to Pink Floyd, a Dark Side Of The Wall show is terrific entertainment and, despite the perceived seriousness of the music, they prove that a Floyd show can put a smile on your face! Entertainment is key and the priority is to ensure the audience have thoroughly enjoyed themselves. A superb moving light show and several special effects add to the overall visual spectacle, being an essential part of the band’s performance.
Whether you are a bona-fide ‘Floydie’ or just looking for a really good night out, a DSOTW show is a must for all genuine fans of rock music at it’s best and it’s most evocative.