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David Gilmour - Remember That Night: Live at The Royal Albert Hall CD (album) cover


David Gilmour


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4.19 | 152 ratings

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Symphonic Team
4 stars More pulse!

I must admit that I've never been a big Pink Floyd fan. In fact, I think that they are one of the most overrated bands on this site (and elsewhere). But this solo David Gilmour live DVD deserves all the praise it gets here on Prog Archives. This is indeed a high quality product!

The comparison with Pink Floyd's PULSE live DVD is very relevant as there are quite a few similarities between these two releases. Many of the same musicians were involved in both shows (including Floyd's Richard Wright) and many of the same songs were played in both sets (Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Coming Back To Life, High Hopes, Wish You Were Here, Comfortably Numb and the Dark Side Of The Moon tracks were all included on the PULSE DVD as well), even the packaging and art work is very similar! The picture and sound quality is as perfect as it gets.

What then are the relevant differences between this and PULSE? Well, one difference is that Remember That Night has a much warmer and more organic sound. This is due to the more extensive use of acoustic guitars, lap steel guitar, grand piano, Hammond organ and male harmony vocals (by the band themselves and also on some songs by guests David Crosby and Graham Nash). This approach is also reflected in the songs chosen, with Gilmore's most recent solo album On An Island (performed in its entirety here) having a much warmer and more organic and acoustic, down to earth sound compared to most Pink Floyd material. And among the Pink Floyd songs played here we get things like the semi-acoustic Fat Old Sun which also has that warm, almost folky sound. This song is much better here than on the studio album Atom Heart Mother, on which it sounds rather boring in my opinion! Here it really comes to life and the second electric part of the song is really good.

The performance here is also much more personal and emotional compared to the PULSE show. The atmosphere on the stage is more personal, with Gilmour basically being surrounded by his best friends (with David Bowie and Robert Wyatt as guests plus the presence of Wright). The stage is smaller (but not the audience), bringing the musicians closer together and giving the show more of a band feeling, almost as if they were playing in a smaller club (even though it is in the enormous Royal Albert Hall). And most important of all, I think, the show is about the musicians and the music rather than things like huge video screens, inflatable pigs, aeroplanes flying across the auditorium crashing in the side of the stage and all of those (in my opinion exaggerated and unnecessary!) visual effects that can be seen on PULSE. Remember That Night is just about some very talented people playing their instruments with emotion and enthusiasm (only supported by some great lighting, lasers and a bit of smoke) and having fun on stage (and off stage too, as can be seen on the documentaries on the bonus disc).

For the Prog fan, I guess that the 20 minute plus Echoes is the most interesting moment in the show. I must say that this performance outshines the studio version by a wide margin. Indeed, all the songs on Remember That Night tend to outshine their original studio versions! These are then, in my opinion, the ultimate versions of most of these songs. I, for example, think it is great that we don't have to listen to the tedious On The Run part of Dark Side Of The Moon. And the choice of songs could hardly be bettered, even though one could have expected a couple of songs from David's previous two solo albums. The On An Island tracks are very good, but hardly exceptional. It really shows great confidence to perform the whole new album live.

David Bowie makes an excellent performance on Comfortably Numb. He really makes this song his own. And it's really great to see Bowie so fit (and extremely good-looking as always, I would like to look like that when I'm his age!). Arnold Layne, is just fun. The other guest is Robert Wyatt, an artist I don't know very well. His contribution here is very low key and he just plays a cornet solo. The extra material on the second disc is exactly like it should be; informative and entertaining - it really adds to the value of the product.

So, while I'm not really a big Pink Floyd fan, from this moment onwards I consider myself a David Gilmour fan. I like Gilmour's distinctive guitar sound and his vocals are really good as well (it really makes you wonder why Roger Waters ever was allowed near the microphone!), and he seems to be a very nice person as well (judging from the interviews on the bonus disc). I'm now officially converted to Gilmour-ism.

Though good, the weakest link lies in the On An Island tracks. They are not up to par with the rest. But this is still highly recommended and certainly my favourite Pink Floyd (related) product.

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |


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