I remember very well when Pink Floyd’s Ummagumma came out, we all got a copy of course. I wasn’t allowed to play mine, though, when my Dad was in the house (that does not mean “In Da House”) because he objected to the various howls and screams that appeared on that album – a fisherman’s superstition, I believe. But I still listened to it a heck of a lot, and the albums before it too -we thought Syd Barrett was a mad(cap) genius and Gilmour was a guitar god. I guess we were close to being right. But somewhere after Ummagumma I kind of lost the way with Pink Floyd (named after an imaginary bluesman, dontcha know). Although I certainly had plenty of chilled out evenings in various states of altered while listening to Dark Side Of The Moon, I have a major confession – ready? I never owned it. Wait, let me say that again – I Never Owned A Copy Of Dark Side Of The Moon. I realise that any street-cred I had has just plummeted further than the stock market, but hey, that’s the way it is.
So here we are a lot of years later, with “Live In Gdansk” the latest release from David Gilmour. A timely release and memorial too for Floyd keyboard player Richard Wright, who died shortly after its release.
And you know what? I love it. There’s obviously tracks from Gilmour’s solo albums “On An Island”, etc. And there’s well known Floyd tracks, too: “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”, Astronomy Domine” (used to try and play that in a band a long long long time ago), “Wish You Were Here” and more. There’s great guitar playing from Gilmour, of course, with support from Phil Manzanera, one of the coolest men in rock, I think. And fantastic lap steel from keyboard player Joe Carin.
I’s like to see the DVD of this show in Gdansk, with the Baltic Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, though if I close my eyes while listening to Disc 2, I can almost transport myself back to that grotty bedsit in Hartlepool, when life was free and love was freer. Now, Praise Karl Marx and pass the headphones.