The Australian Rock Collective (ARC) featuring Kram (Spiderbait), Davey Lane (You Am I), Darren Middleton (Powderfinger) and Mark Wilson (Jet) are not ones to shy away from a challenge. Challenges don’t get any bigger than Pink Floyd’s iconic album The Dark Side Of The Moon which is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year. Regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time it is a masterpiece of progressive rock and psychedelic music, featuring intricate instrumentals, ethereal soundscapes, and thought-provoking lyrics. Just the thought alone of attempting this album must be mind blowing but to pull it off is no mean feat either. This is not just any album and is intricate as it is complicated on so many levels.
The first set was focused on The Dark Side Of The Moon in full from start to end. We know that ARC individually are gun musicians but seeing them put to the test collectively was a sight to behold. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Kram concentrate so intensely ever before. The set opened with Speak To Me which introduces the album with the magic of this classic album to follow. Breathe, the most popular song from the album, was brilliantly done with Davey and Darren sharing vocal duties and maintaining that dreamy and mellow feel. Kram was all over Time and Money but if there was going to be a stand out moment it would have been Talei Wolfgramm’s stunning vocal performance on The Great Gig in the Sky. Darren’s vocals on Us And Them was sublime and the set closer Brain Damage and Eclipse was an absolute joy to watch with Davey’s influence coming to the fore.
With an intermission the band retreated backstage with plenty of chat amongst the crowd about what could possibly be played. Whilst the first set didn’t really lend itself to chat and insight from the band the second set did give more to the punters about what certain songs meant to them and why they made the set. Without giving away the entire second set there plenty of great moments for the highlights reel with Arnold Layne (Pink Floyd’s first single) a nod to Syd Barrett and brilliantly done by Davey. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V), Kram going it solo on Pigs on the Wing, Part 1, Comfortably Numb and Run Like Hell were fantastic.
The encore was equally monumental with Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2 (sung by Kram) and Wish You Were Here (sung by Davey) were pivotal moments finishing on In The Flesh. ARC can confidently tick Pink Floyd off their list of music challenges and if you have a chance to experience this show it is well worth it, appealing to Pink Floyd fans and fans of the individual members of ARC or even as a collective. I’m definitely looking forward to hearing what is next for ARC.
Live Review By Rob Lyon