May 25, 2024

Various Artists – ‘Punk Floyd – A Tribute To Pink Floyd’ – “this shouldn’t really work”


On the face of it, this shouldn’t really work. It’s the sort of idea that starts from a pun on Pink Floyd’s name over a pint or two and usually ends with a dream list of who should play what. Except Cleopatra Records have a phone book with all sorts of old punkers in it and it actually happened. And it works far better than it should.

I’ll admit I only gave it a go because the legend that is Jah Wobble covers ‘Time’ with current collaborator Jon Klein (ex-Siouxsie & The Banshees) in a jittery punky rush. And it turns out the rest of the tracks are never less than fun. We all know the songs so well and a healthy emphasis is given to early psychedelic songs that suit a direct approach. The Anti-Nowhere League do a lively chugging rock take on ‘Hey You’, the Angry Samoans sound like The Tubes go punk, having racey fun with ‘Another Brick in the Wall’. ‘Lucifer Sam’ becomes Hawkwind-style spacey rock in the hands of MDC and The Vibrators do a decent psych version of ‘Arnold Layne’. Surprisingly, The UK Subs go for a calmly spoken vocal atop the usual rocking bluster for ‘Comfortably Numb’, while Fear favour an energetic garage approach to ‘Astronomy Domine’. ‘Pigs On The Wing’ becomes an acoustic ballad in the hands of the Dead Boys and Peter and The Test Tube Babies have fun with ‘Bike’.

There’s plenty more on this 16-track set but the enjoyment is removing the songs from their positions in the long-established order of ‘serious’ albums and enjoying the sound and feel of them, stripping them down to the basic chords, melodies and words. Nothing is going to punk you up into a moshpit frenzy but I really liked hearing the songs for what they are and some energetic simplicity.


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