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David Gilmour - Live in Gdańsk CD (album) cover

LIVE IN GDAńSK

David Gilmour

 

Prog Related

4.19 | 111 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars We want "Poles apart"!

In 2006, David Gilmour embarked on an ambitious tour to promote his new studio album "On an island". I am proud to say I was in the audience for the Glasgow (Scotland) gig on that tour, and it remains one of the best I have attended.

The performance captured on this 2 CD set took place on the final day of the tour, in Gdansk shipyard in Poland. About 50,000 people attended the event, the Baltic Philharmonic Orchestra being brought in for this one gig. During the tour, various guests had appeared on stage, including Dave Crosby, Graham Nash and David Bowie. It was though the presence of Richard Wright throughout which gave it poignancy while linking it firmly back to Gilmour and Wright's past projects.

The first half of the set features a 12 minute extract from the first side of "Dark side of the moon" followed by the "On an island" album in its entirety. The renditions are largely faithful to the studio versions, the album still being new to Gilmour himself. The audience is receptive and polite as they enjoy the unfamiliar songs but totally familiar sounds. They are though, waiting in anticipation for the real meat of the gig.

The second part of the performance is given over to a potted history of Pink Floyd. Most of the band's history is touched on, with songs ranging from "Astronomy Dominé" to the last ever Pink Floyd song "High Hopes" appearing. The highlight has to be the sublime rendition of "Echoes", all 25 minutes of it. Gilmour and Wright never sounded better together as they harmonise perfectly on the verses. The only possible criticism is the fact that the orchestra is very hard to hear. On softer acoustic passages, such as "Wish you were here", the strings become apparent, but in general this could have been recorded at pretty much any gig on the tour.

One track however does distinguish this gig from the rest of the tour, as this was the only date where "A great day for freedom" was performed. Its inclusion here is of course relevant as the song celebrates the demise of the Warsaw Pact. The set closes with a superb version of "Comfortably numb", a song which for many has become Pink Floyd's anthem. Richard sings the verses here, with David taking the choruses, it is all quite emotional in retrospect.

Being entirely pragmatic, only about half of this album is actually essential. The full rendition of "On an island" is not particularly relevant, as it simply restates the studio album with little deviation. The wonderful collection of Pink Floyd tracks though transform this into an essential package. Even those who have the "Pulse" release will find plenty here to satisfy them. This is prog as it should be heard.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |

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