Breathing new life into iconic Pink Floyd work

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

It is fifty years since the release of Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd’s iconic eighth studio album and one of the pioneering records of psychedelic rock music. And to celebrate its anniversary, Ireland’s most renowned Pink Floyd tribute act are in the midst of a national tour. Their own story began in 2015 and has developed into an eight-piece built out of some of the finest session musicians in the country.

On Saturday November 18, Breathe – The Pink Floyd Experience play Galway’s Black Box theatre. The show will feature a full run of Dark Side of the Moon from start to finish, as well as an elaborate visual show in the mould of the album’s style. It is fitting that, eight years ago, the idea for the project was built around a shared love for the LP.

“I’m a session musician so I work with a lot of different bands,” Breathe drummer Graham Carey explains.

“I was doing a rehearsal with a different act and, while there was some downtime, the guitarist [Karl Breen] started playing the guitar figure from the song Breathe. I adore Pink Floyd so immediately it caught my ear. He was just noodling… I happened to say I’d love to do a Pink Floyd gig.

“An awful lot of my work can be standing in or jumping in for a gig. I was kind of thinking, if there was an existing Pink Floyd tribute band, I’d love to fill in and play a gig. Two days later, my friend sent me a message and said ‘Were you serious about that Pink Floyd thing? Why don’t we put one together?’

“We rang the people we knew were Pink Floyd fans and great players. The idea was to do one show – it was a vanity project in my mind… It grew really quickly and that’s how we’ve kept it going. I adore playing Pink Floyd and trying to get things as exact as possible is a real thrill for me.”

Graham’s attachment to Dark Side of the Moon dates back to his teenage years. From the start, the structure of the act relied on each of Breathe’s members sharing a passion for Pink Floyd.

As individual players, they have worked alongside acts like Sinéad O’Connor, Shane MacGowan, Mary Black and Imelda May, but at its core this band is a passion project.

Pictured: Galway gig…Breathe – the Pink Floyd Experience on stage at Vicar Street.


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