ENTERING to a dimmed auditorium and thrumming bass and background music, the mood is set instantly for a Pink Floyd Experience, not just a show.

While obviously and necessarily on a smaller scale than the 1994 Division Bell tour Earl’s Court show, and subsequent live recording Pulse, the lighting rig and circular video screen set the tone before the nine-piece band appears.

Once they take up their instruments and launch into Shine On You Crazy Diamond, the audience becomes lost in the performance, which is note-perfect without being a dull rehash.

Paul Andrews’ vocals are strong, but with the same reedy quality and unassuming manner of David Gilmour, to the point where, on occasion, you could be convinced you’re listening to a live recording of the original band. His guitar skills appear effortless, but are as intricate and complex as the Pink Floyd frontman’s; exactly as they should be.

Guitar and keyboards were occasionally overshadowed by the bass and drums – far from a constant problem though, and an unavoidable hazard of live performance – as were the superb backing vocals from Louise Beadle, Linzi Martin and Marie McNally, although the freestyle vocal exercises of Great Gig In The Sky gave each a chance to shine (no pun intended), and each won well-earned applause from the crowd.

Special praise too, to McNally, whose first appearance during Shine On... wasn’t as a choreographed backing singer – she strolled on to the stage with a pair of saxophones and wowed the crowd by switching between the two, before joining Martin and Beadle at their mics.

While largely sticking to the Pulse album, there are a few surprises on the set list, which runs from Dark Side of the Moon to The Division Bell, and the running order is varied. The result is a stunning combination of a first-class band, a blinding light show, and incredible music which isn’t just for fans.

It really is a shame the Opera House was not full, because the only thing better than hearing the sublime original recordings of tracks like Wish You Were Here or Comfortably Numb, is hearing a live version by performers this good.