David Gilmour Live in Gdansk Double-Live CD/DVD to Debut Sept. 23
It’s a very big deal any time David Gilmour releases an album. There is now cause for celebration—the former Pink Floyd guitarist is set to release one of his most epic solo effort to date, double-live CD/concert DVD David Gilmour Live in Gdansk, on September 23.
Live in Gdansk is Gilmour’s first live solo album, capturing the final performance of his 2006 On An Island tour before 50,000 eager fans in the shipyards of Gdansk, Poland. Further, the set presents the first-ever recording of selected Pink Floyd classics performed with an orchestra.
Sonically and visually, the set documents a most memorable concert event. Gilmour and his band were invited by Poland’s former president, Lech Walesa, and Gdansk mayor Pawel Adamowicz, to perform at a special concert marking the 26th anniversary of the 1980 founding of Solidarity, the Polish trade union that was led by Walesa and that helped topple the nation’s communist government nine years later. The concert, dubbed “It Started in Gdansk—The Space of Freedom,” took place on Aug. 26, 2006, a Polish national holiday commemorating the founding of Solidarity.
“This was my first concert in Poland,” Gilmour said. “And I was delighted that it marked one of the most important anniversaries in recent European history. The Gdansk shipyard is a deeply symbolic place, and we were all honored to perform our music there.”
David Gilmour Live in Gdansk boasts two discs of Gilmour and his band in peak form, performing Pink Floyd classics such as “Breathe,” “Time,” “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” “Astronomy Domine,” “Echoes,” “Wish You Were Here” and “Comfortably Numb,” in addition to selections from On An Island including “Castellorizon,” “The Blue,” “Take a Breath,” “Red Sky at Night” and others. The two-and-a-half-hour DVD includes several of these performances and a documentary showing Gilmour’s private meeting with Walesa, chats with the band and crew, concert rehearsals and a moving wreath-laying with Walesa at the memorial to the shipyard workers killed in the 1970 uprising.
On several selections at the Gdansk concert, Gilmour and his six-piece band were accompanied for the only time on the On An Island tour by an orchestra—the 40-strong string section of the Polish Baltic Philharmonic, conducted by On An Island orchestral arranger Zbigniew Preisner. The album contains the first-ever live recording with an orchestra of Pink Floyd’s “High Hopes” and “A Great Day For Freedom,” the latter performed especially for the Solidarity anniversary.
“It was great to be accompanied by the Polish Baltic Philharmonic, and to have our friends Zbigniew Preisner and pianist Leszek Mozdzer also performing,” Gilmour said.
Gilmour’s group included several longtime friends and bandmates—late Pink Floyd keyboardist Richard Wright, Roxy Music guitarist (and On An Island co-producer) Phil Manzanera, bassist Guy Pratt, keyboardist Jon Carin, drummer Steve Di Stanislao and saxophonist and longtime Pink Floyd collaborator Dick Parry.