Home-grown take on a Pink Floyd show

Welcome To The Machine comprise (from left) Yuk Wong, Lim Kiang, Laurence Bucci, Arindam Chatterjee, Noel Ong and David Baptista.
Welcome To The Machine comprise (from left) Yuk Wong, Lim Kiang, Laurence Bucci, Arindam Chatterjee, Noel Ong and David Baptista.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

Tribute band Welcome To The Machine will stage their version of a live performance by the British band

Iconic British rock band Pink Floyd have a reputation for staging aurally and visually brilliant live concerts.

While fans are not likely to see the now-defunct band play in Singapore, a home-grown tribute band are planning to create their version of a live Pink Floyd show.

Welcome To The Machine, who pride themselves as South-east Asia's only Pink Floyd tribute band, will be staging a full-length, solo concert at The Pavilion at Far East Square on Saturday - a rare move for a home-grown cover band.

They will play all the songs from two seminal Pink Floyd albums from the 1970s, The Dark Side Of The Moon (1973) and its follow-up, Wish You Were Here (1975).

While the tribute band have performed many shows at clubs and festivals in Singapore, as well as in countries such as Vietnam and Thailand, since they formed in 2012, the upcoming concert will be their first self-organised show.

In an attempt to make the experience as close as they can to a real Pink Floyd show, the band are working with design and production companies Mi5chief Makers and Dreadnought Lighting.

  • BOOK IT / BRAIN DAMAGE - PINK FLOYD'S DARK SIDE OF THE MOON AND WISH YOU WERE HERE IN QUADRAPHONIC

  • WHERE: The Pavilion, 01-01 Far East Square, 28 China Street

    WHEN: Saturday, 7pm

    ADMISSION: $30 from kbraindamage.peatix.com

The concert will feature a multi-level stage, laser lighting and video projections.

Guitarist and co-founder Noel Ong, 46, describes Pink Floyd's live shows as "mind-blowing" and watching ex-Pink Floyd member Roger Waters play a similar show in Sydney last year with his fellow musicians inspired them to try and recreate "their own tiny version" of the concert.

Besides Ong, who plays the guitar in funk rock band Ugly In The Morning, the musicians who make up Welcome To The Machine come from various eras of bands here.

The oldest member of the band, bass player and co-founder Lim Kiang, 69, is best known as a member of pioneering 1960s R&B and blues band Straydogs.

Guitarist and keyboardist David Baptista, 48, plays in Ugly In The Morning and progressive rock band Forbidden Planet, who also include drummer Laurence Bucci, 44.

Keyboard player Yuk Wong, 30, is also part of percussive rock band Wicked Aura, while singer Arindam Chatterjee, 44, has fronted bands such as The Lunchboxes.

Their individual music tastes might differ, but as Baptista puts it: "Pink Floyd are one band who are present in all our album collections. There is a certain type of complexity to the songs."

The band, who have performed in festivals here such as Beerfest Asia last year and nightspots such as Barbershop by Timbre, have also recruited sessionists to beef up their ranks, including a saxophone player and two backing singers.

The upcoming show is proving to be a draw among live music fans. It was initially planned to take place at Kallang venue The Lab, but all tickets were quickly sold out.

To accommodate a larger audience, the band decided to move to the bigger The Pavilion. Tickets were still available at press time.

The band intend to take their performance to more Pink Floyd fans overseas and are planning a tour of Australia in the future.

Bucci says: "Pink Floyd have a cult following. You can't not respect the music. You have to show some kind of love and attention to the songs. You have to be obsessed with their music."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2019, with the headline 'Home-grown take on a Pink Floyd show'. Print Edition | Subscribe