With over four million tickets sold to concerts that have taken place in 35 countries, The Australian Pink Floyd Show have aptly been described as one of the most in demand tribute bands in the world. Emily Lynn joined the group as a backing vocalist over a decade ago and has subsequently performed with them across the world.

A former student on our Popular Music and MA programmes, here Emily discusses the realities of life as a touring musician.

What attracted you to studying in Leeds and what do you think of the music community here?

The degree programme in Popular Music was new at the time and I wanted to be part of that.

Leeds is one of the largest student cities in the UK, so I knew there would be plenty of things to get involved in. During my time in the city, there were lots of venues and plenty of opportunities to practice my performance skills. 

What was the most important lessons you learnt during your time at Leeds Conservatoire?

You can't learn your craft unless you get out and actually do it in front of people regularly.

You’ve toured extensively with the Australian Pink Floyd. How did you first become involved in the band?

After finishing my Masters programme at Leeds Conservatoire, I worked in a function band for a year while I searched for job opportunities elsewhere. I applied for lots of unpaid jobs and attended auditions where I met other singers already working in the industry. These singers were also attending the audition for Aussie Floyd and mentioned the opportunity to me. It all fell into place from there.

Were you passionate about Pink Floyd’s music, prior to joining?

If I’m honest, I didn't know Pink Floyd at all! At the time, I just wanted to sing backing vocals and travel. Thankfully I have developed a strong love for the music now.

How much thought is required in terms of stage presence and persona when performing in a tribute band?

To me, what makes a fantastic tribute show is their ability to copy the original as closely as possible, as that is ultimately what the audience is there to see. As part of my performances, I have researched Pink Floyd's previous backing vocalists and tried to emulate them.  

What are the realities of life as a touring musician?

The pros include travelling the world, playing amazing venues to lots of people, meeting amazing musicians/friends on the road and fulfilling a lifelong dream.

The cons include missing loved ones at home for long periods of time, not having your own space, being around people 24/7, utter exhaustion from travelling and the complexities in finding other work/tours that fit in between touring times.

What’s coming up next for you in terms of gigs or releases/what other session work do you take on?

Over the last 6 years I have been learning the piano so I am looking forward to getting more session work or tours performing on keys as well as backing vocals.  

What advice would you give to someone wanting to break into the industry?

Go to jam nights and meet new musicians regularly.

Apply for everything - even if it's not something you particularly want to do, it could be a great stepping stone to where you want to be.

Get gigs. Any gigs. Pubs, bars, functions, covers/originals, paid/unpaid. Practice your craft and get seen by other musicians that might potentially want to work with or hire you.

Find other skills that you can use to secure an opportunity or gig. Mine are my skills in backing vocal arrangement performing on keys. However, if you have skills in videography, social media or website design, these things can make you more attractive to a potential employer. 

Learn more about The Australian Pink Floyd Show here

Find out about studying Popular Music at Leeds Conservatoire

Find out more about what our successful graduates have been up to in our Alumni Profiles

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