Tuesday, 7 October 2008

CD Review: David Gilmour - Live in Gdansk

David Gilmour Live in Gdansk...or to give it its full title, "Live in Gdansk Shipyard with the Symphony Orchestra of the Polish Baltic Philmarmonic", my review copy is a double CD set, although a quick glance at Amazon shows me that there is also a 3-disc set, a 4-disc set, and a deluxe 5-disc boxset. Sounds like too much choice to me. Aside from the DVD, the extra discs seem to have quite a lot of filler on them - the same songs but from different venues on the same tour. I wonder if anyone is bonkers enough to buy the lot?

Anyway, as I said, I have the bog-standard two-disc version with no DVD, so that's what I'm going to be talking about here. Roughly speaking Disc 1 seems to be mainly Gilmour solo material (lots of tracks from "On An Island" which are all nice enough although not earth-shattering) whilst Disc 2 is largely composed of Pink Floyd numbers. This caused me to ponder the fact that with Richard Wright on board on this tour, it's more or less latter-day Pink Floyd in all but name anyway. They just have a different drummer, and of course Roger Waters was long gone in the latter-day Floyd anyway. (On a sad note, this release has become the swansong for Richard Wright who died last month).

So, what's it like? Well, if you are a fan of Pink Floyd and/or David Gilmour then you'll probably love it. You might even want to buy the posher editions with the extra bits and pieces. It sounds like a really atmospheric concert. The audience are clearly loving it. The sound is absolutely faultless. The playing is all perfectly executed.

So why did I find the whole thing so dull?

David GilmourSomehow it all feels too safe, too respectable. In their day Pink Floyd had a bit of an edge to them, and that seems to be lacking here. There are some intense guitar solos, as you would expect from the Strat-wielding Gilmour, but even these feel sanitised to my mind.

I'm not saying that it's a bad set, it's just for me that it lacks excitement. It just isn't stimulating. Perhaps you had to be there. Perhaps I needed the visuals and would have found the DVD edition more to my liking.

This is the sort of music that I'd put on as background music if I wanted to chill out. Somehow that seems wrong for someone from Pink Floyd.

If you are a fan, ignore me, you'll probably love it.

Buy it here.

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