Acoustically Pink (Highland HL602/603)
Royal Festival Hall, London, England – January 16th, 2002
Disc 1 (48:18): Shine On You Crazy Diamond Pt 1-5, Fat Old Sun, Coming Back to Life, Dominoes, High Hopes, Je crois entendre encore, Smile
Disc 2 (46:49): Breakthrough, Wish You Were Here, Comfortably Numb (with Robert Wyatt), Dimming of the Day, Shine On You Crazy Diamond Pt 6-9, A Great Day For Freedom, Hushabye Mountain
When Pink Floyd ended touring for the Division Bell in 1994, David Gilmour entered a long period of very rare public appearances. For the rest of the nineties, he appeared at various charity gigs. It wasn’t until June 2001 when he played a gig for the Meltdown Festival at the Royal Festival Hall in London, run that year by Robert Wyatt.
Six months later Gilmour returned to the Royal Festival hall for three semi-acoustic gigs on January 16th, 17th and 18th, and two concerts in Palais de Congres in Paris on January 23rd and 24th. Acoustically Pink utilizes an excellent audience recording of the first London night.
The setlist is very similar to that used during the Meltdown Festival in June. A quick “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 1 – 5,” an acoustic arrangement devoid of the power of the original. “Fat Old Sun” follows, reduced to four minutes with the verses only, lacking the long guitar solos from the old live versions.
“Coming Back To Life” and “High Hopes” are the only two latter-day Pink Floyd numbers in the set, both coming from the last album Division Bell. The latter is particularly effective in a smaller venue environment. “Dominoes” is a Syd Barrett cover, replacing Barrett’s “Terrapin” from the June shows.
Also retained from the June show is the cover of Bizet’s “Je crois entendre encore” from Les pêcheurs de perleses. The first disc ends with the newly written song “Smile” which would be released on 2006’s solo album On An Island.
At this point Gilmour introduces Richard Wright to come onstage and sing “Breakthrough,” another addition to the Meltdown set. This is the final track from his 1996 solo album Broken China, a piece dealing with wife’s battle with depression. Sinead O’Connor sang the song on the album, but Wright himself handles the vocals in the performance. It breaks down in the middle because Dick Parry missed he cue for the saxophone solo.
Each of the different nights would have a guest singer joining Gilmour on stage for “Comfortably Numb.” Robert Wyatt is featured in the first night, singing the Roger Waters parts of the song and Gilmour handling his own. (On other nights Bob Geldof, Kate Bush and Neil MacColl would join in). Gilmour is a tad late on the first guitar solo and Wyatt narrates the lyrics, but it’s a fun version to hear.
“Dimming Of The Day” is a cover of the Richard Thompson tune. The show ends with “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 6 – 9.” “Great Day For Freedom” and a short cover of the ballad “Hushabye Mountain” close what is a very intimate, laid back and fun evening with David Gilmour. This was released soon after the event by Highland and is an excellent document.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)