Back by popular demand, Comfortably Numb – Canada’s Pink Floyd Show return to Algonquin Commons Theatre on Saturday March 4 to deliver what they consider to be their best show to date. The Pigs, Wishes & Moons tour centers around selected tracks from Pink Floyd albums Animals, Dark Side of the Moon, and Wish You Were Here, with a focus on Animals, which celebrated its 40 year anniversary last month.
Fans can expect a three hour state-of-the-art sound and lighting show that captures the essence and spirit of Pink Floyd in the seventies. Those who were fortunate enough to attend shows like Pink Floyd’s legendary 1975 Boston Garden concert can recall witnessing these master forgers of art who took their listeners into the uncharted territories of their musical creativity.
Comfortably Numb’s founder, executive producer, and guitarist – who goes only by his initials, AK – formed the band in 1993, right here in Ottawa. Since then, the band has performed on stages as far away as Panama, thrilling Pink Floyd fans everywhere. Playing guitar since he was old enough to hold one, AK went on to study classical, flamenco, rock, jazz, and world music styles. AK talks to Apt613 about some of his influences, and how Comfortably Numb came to be:
“Some of my influences include David Gilmour, Mark Knopfler, Alex Lifeson, Paco Peña, Paco De Lucia, Steve Hackett, and a number of others. Truthfully, each brings something different that ranges from tone, to style, to technique. There’s always new things to absorb and the excitement of learning truly drives me.”
“Comfortably Numb was formed out of the growth of a previous band I was in. We played a lot and had a specific Pink Floyd set that was quite popular, so one day I simply said, ‘right, let’s do a full Floyd show,’ and it grew from there.”
The band’s current lineup includes original members, Solveig Keshavjee (vocals, keys), and Brent Hultquist (keys, sax), as well as Paul Oatway (bass), and Chris Houle (drums).
“We played a lot and had a specific Pink Floyd set that was quite popular, so one day I simply said, “right, let’s do a full Floyd show”, and it grew from there.”
“I am very grateful for all we have achieved and don’t take a single moment for granted. We realize this is very important music to many people and Pink Floyd has a special place for them and for us, so we are very serious about what we do. We don’t play outside the style of Pink Floyd… we try to capture the spirit of the sound and feel from their live and rare recordings. The key hooks and melodies have not been altered. The people that come to the shows are what drive the band…every show is special because of the fans of the music of Pink Floyd. The whole experience and influence of prog rock – Floyd, Genesis, and bands like them – are very important to me in how I present these shows in terms of mood, atmosphere, and presence… musically, sonically, and visually. If I can achieve this then I am truly happy and grateful.”
Besides Comfortably Numb, AK has other successful side projects on the go, including his own band, The AK Project, which features his original compositions that are heavily steeped in similar influences of alternative progressive and ambient rock styles. His other involvement as a flamenco guitarist also has him travelling to different parts of the world. In fact, this interview was conducted while en route to Spain to play a series of shows there.
Comfortably Numb’s sold out show, last year at Algonquin Commons Theatre, captured the hearts of the most diehard of Pink Floyd fans. Their 2017 tour has been carefully and lovingly crafted to achieve these same results, and will likely sell out again. It is truly an experience not to be missed.
Comfortably Numb – Canada’s Pink Floyd Show perform at the Algonquin Commons Theatre (1385 Woodroffe Dr) on Saturday March 4. Tickets cost $38–46 and are available online at www.algonquinsa.com. Two lucky readers have the chance to win tickets to the show. To enter the contest, leave a comment with your top 3 albums by Pink Floyd. Winners will be selected by a random draw on February 24.