By Cliff Moore

YOU know it’s nearly Christmas when the Australian Pink Floyd Show rolls into town.

They arrive regular as clockwork every December with their note-perfect renditions of Floyd classics and were here on the penultimate night of the UK tour.

But don’t ever accuse this bunch of being a tribute act – they are far from it and use the words and music of Gilmour, Waters and co to create an audio visual extravaganza second to none.

The opener Obscured By Clouds was impressively set behind a gauze curtain with imaginative use of shadows and dry ice – and the glorious light show, particularly lasers, continued throughout.

As ever with the APFS – now in their third decade – there was liberal use of inflatables, the teacher, pig and kangaroo all featuring to good effect, and a great deal of film.

The first half included more popular material – many parts of Another Brick In The Wall, Great Gig In The Sky, Money, Eclipse and Brain Damage.

Highlight was the eulogy to Syd Barrett, Wish You Were Here, which began with iconic Australian images such as Neighbours, Skippy, Men at Work and AC/DC before that haunting riff kicked in.

Founder member and keyboardist Jason Sawford’s five-piece band, plus quality singer Chris Barnes, three backing singers and the occasional sax rendition from Mike Kidson are drilled to perfection.

Guitarists, the veteran Steve Mac and relative newcomer David Domminney Fowler get the glory, of course, but the engine room of drummer Paul Bonney and bassist/vocalist Ricky Howard is the glue holding it all together.

However, there is absolutely no cult of the personality, with little or no audience communication save for a word of thanks from Sawford; the band preferring to let the music speak for itself.

After the break we had Shine On You Crazy Diamond and then it all got a little self-indulgent and twiddly (or intricate and absorbing, depending on your perspective) as the band got into a groove or two.

We had Pigs, Time, Run Like Hell and a rip-roaring encore of Comfortably Numb – and the band were gone into the night.