Ben Watt, perhaps best known from 90s trip-hop duo Everything But The Girl, will release his new solo album, Hendra, on April 29 and joining him on the track The Levels, are none other than David Gilmour! Watt recently released a clip, featuring David, performing a stripped down version of the song.
According to Watt, he and David met by chance in London just recently: “We didn’t know each other. He invited me to hear his demos. I thought he was joking, but two days later he texted me and invited me down to his studio and we got on well. During my album, The Levels seemed like a perfect track for him. I rang him up and he loved the song and he did it the same weekend. Wish everything was that simple sometimes!”
The clip is filmed in David’s new recording studio located in Hove, just outside Brighton. The room is packed with some familiar amps and guitars and some new and interesting stuff as well. David’s playing the blonde Fender Deluxe lap steel into (it seems) the Alessandro Bluetick amp, using just a clean tone with delay. He’s also using a volume pedal (Ernie Ball?) for controlling the volume and creating swells.
To David’s left sits what looks like two shelfs loaded with different pedals, including two Tube Drivers, Boss CS-2 (?), several Effectrode pedals including the Fire Bottle, PC-2A compressor and Tube Vibe and there’s also a new Peterson Stomp Classic Strobotuner. Next to the pedals, in the back, is a familiar looking Binson Echorec II! Underneath all the pedals are what looks like several Loop-Master switches.
The guitar stand behind Gilmour feature a range of different guitars – top from left: Gibson ES with P90s (?), 1956 Gibson Les Paul Gold Top with Bigsby tremolo, a blonde Fender Telecaster (1950s Custom Shop replica?), unknown black guitar and a customized Black Strat NOS body featuring a fretless neck. Bottom from left: The Black Strat, the Red Strat, Gretsch Duo Jet (?) and a Gretsch Falcon. A third guitar stand feature the Gibson EH-150 lap steel and a (black?) Fender Custom Telecaster with a maple neck.
Behind Watt are several amps. Left to right: Alessandro Bluetick with cabinet, Magnatone 280-A 50w combo, with a Conn Strobo tuner on top, Fender tweed Twin combo, Yamaha RA-200 rotating speaker, with the Alembic F-2B on top, Hiwatt SA212 50w combo, with a Fender Champ on top. The amps are mic’ed with (it seems) both Shure KSM 32 and Neuman u87s.
David’s playing reminds me very much of Fat old Sun and his slide tones from the early days, which fits this song, or at least this performance, very well. Perhaps a glimpse into what we’ll be hearing on David’s own solo album, when that may appear sometime in the future. The rig and choice of guitars and pedals sure look like he’s rediscovering some of his earlier tones.