In 2000 Roger Waters showed that he still had what it took to produce a Floyd concert when he put together a sterling ensemble of people for his superb In The Flesh - Live concert. Certainly any concert fan and all Floyd fans should have this in their collection. You can't beat Waters, Snowy White, Andy Fairweather Low not to mention Doyle Bramhall who blew them all away with his excellent renditions of some classic Floyd tracks.
Now of course we have the opposite side of the coin, Dave Gilmour, a late member of Floyd after his long time friend Syd Barrett could no longer perform and some would say the lesser of the two main members. This is purely subjective opinion of course but here we see Dave himself taking to the stage to produce his finest work, a deeply personal experience, breaking away from the Floyd mould to some degree yet recognising and acknowledging those roots.
Shot at the Albert Hall in 2006 on his "On an Island Tour" Gilmour, like Waters before him, strung together a more then worthwhile set of band members and produced here a stunning performance which again should be included in any music or Floyd fan's collection. Such dignitaries include original Floyd member Richard Wright on keyboards, long term Gilmour collaborator Phil Manzanera on backing guitar, session musician Guy Pratt bass guitar ( and also son in-law to Richard Wright ), Jon Carin vocals, steel guitar and keyboards ( and note also on the previously mentioned In The Flesh - Live ), Steve DiStanislao percussion ( session musician with Gilmour and David Crosby & Graham Nash to name but a few ). On top of this he also utilises the excellent harmonic skills of the aforementioned David Crosby & Graham Nash, brings on one of my all time favourites David Bowie for a couple of numbers, Robert Wyatt ( from early psychedelic Soft Machine ) adds his coronet to the proceedings. All in then it's pretty much a historical family affair with everyone connected in some way. Summed up these performers are truly greater than the sum of their individual parts, the extensive footage on this disc testifies to that.
- "Speak to Me"
- "Breathe (Reprise)"
- "On an Island" (with David Crosby and Graham Nash)
- "The Blue" (with David Crosby and Graham Nash)
- "Red Sky at Night"
- "This Heaven"
- "Then I Close My Eyes" (with Robert Wyatt)
- "Take a Breath"
- "A Pocketful of Stones"
- "Where We Start"
- "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" (with David Crosby and Graham Nash)
- "Fat Old Sun
- "Coming Back to Life"
- "High Hopes"
- "Wish You Were Here"
- "Find the Cost of Freedom" (with David Crosby and Graham Nash)
- "Arnold Layne" (with David Bowie)
- "Comfortably Numb" (with David Bowie)
Dave obviously knows where the majority of his fans come from and wisely opens not with his own material but with 4 tracks from the seminal Dark Side of the Moon. As if trying to out do Waters on the earlier In The Flesh Gilmour and his cohorts produce the haunting progressive melodies to a degree where you can sit back, close your eyes and remember where you were when you first bought the album.
From then on in Gilmour treats us to not just a selection of his latest album but the whole damn thing, On An Island. Now I have not heard the studio album of this but can say from the performance here that Dave certainly adds his soul to this production. He's assisted by the wonderful harmonics of Crosby and Nash coming in on tracks On An Island and The Blue. Robert Wyatt adds his coronet tones for Then I Close My Eyes. One odd thing I did note however is the tack order. All are played as presented on the album apart from Take a Breath; the 4th track on the album but comes in here at number eight. Why he did the change around I can't say; what I can say is it doesn't appear out of place. So not only on this disc do we get to hear some old Floyd numbers but we also get an album in it's entirety. If that wasn't enough though Dave also treats us to some back catalogue material diving straight back in to songs from Meddle, The Division Bell, Wish You Were Here and The Wall.
Some of the later tracks on this first disc are a joy to listen to. The harmonies produced by Gilmour, Crosby and Nash from the latter two's Find the Cost of Freedom comes across as my own personal favourite from this set. It's a beautifully simple song from Crosby Stills and Nash's 4 Way Street album. The other, Arnold Layne sung superbly by Bowie from Floyd pre Gilmour is undoubtedly Dave's own tribute to Syd Barrett who passed away in 2006. This song could have been written for Bowie himself, he indulges himself in the on goings of a washing line knicker stealing transvestite.
Unfortunately the same cannot be said for Comfortably Numb, a duet with Gilmour and Bowie. Here Bowie seems strained a little and it's not really his thing. His interpretation comes across as a little weak however the lead guitar and backing vocals from Gilmour are what you would expect really.
It took a couple of viewings to get into Remember That Night, but now I have immersed myself in it I'm overjoyed that this has been added to my collection. It's a blast from the past, some wonderful performances and an insight into Gilmour's current musical direction. His ensemble cannot be faulted and all did in fact go on to produce a concert where the attendees would most certainly remember their night at the Albert Hall.
Our Review Ethos
- "Speak to Me"