Live 8 2005

Effects, guitars and amps Settings and setups

Pink Floyd’s triumphant reunion at the Live 8 show in London’s Hyde Park in 2005 was not only a burying of old war hatches but also the return of David’s legendary Blak Strat. The short 4-songs performance saw Pink Floyd give their best for the last time and David’s solos and tones has almost never been peformed with such authenticity to the original versions.

Pete Cornish All Tubes MKI pedal board and additional effects

Pedal board effects listed as in chain
Demeter Compulator
Pete Cornish G-2
Electro Harmonix Big Muff (“Ram’s Head”)
Pete Cornish SS-2
Chandler Tube Driver
Pete Cornish Tape Echo Simulator
Pete Cornish Custom Stereo Chorus (modified Boss CE-2)

Additional units
Ernie Ball volume pedal

Effect rack
MXR Digital Delay System model II
Univox Uni-Vibe (custom rack unit)

Note: It’s hard to tell just what the rack included. Judging from photage from the show it’s clear that it’s a scaled down version much like the On an Island live setup. The MXR Digital Delay and UniVibe was however used for the performace.

Pete Cornish All Tubes MKI pedal board

The pedal board dates from 1999 and was requested by David to be used for future guest appearances etc. The board featured Cornish custom tube preamps between each effect to ensure minimum signal loss. It could also perform in both stereo and mono. Additionally the board was designed not to allow two distortion pedals to be engaged at once, only distortion+overdrive. The board was later used for the 2006 On an Island recording sessions and 2010 guest appearances.

David with the Black Strat. This was the first time he used it on a stage since the 1984 About Face tour.

Guitars and amps live performance

Fender Stratocaster “The Black Strat”
- 1969 black alder body with black pickguard, Fender ‘57 reissue maple neck and Fender ‘71 neck and bridge pickups and a Seymour Duncan custom SSL-1 bridge pickup.
Fender Deluxe lap steel
- Blonde with stock Fender pickups and an open G chord tuning (D G D G B E) for Breathe.
Gibson J-200 Celebrity acoustic steel string guitar
- EMG and Crown pickups with separate outputs.

3 Hiwatt DR103 All Purpose 100W heads
- With Mullard 4xEL34’s power tubes and 4xECC83’s pre-amp tubes. Modified for linked normal and brilliance inputs. The third head is a backup.
WEM Super Starfinder 200 cabinet
- with 4×12” Fane Crescendo speakers.
Marshall JCM 800 400w cabinets
- with 4×12” Celestion G12M speakers.

Note: David is also seen using the candy apple red 1983 Fender ’57 reissue Stratocaster at the rehearsals but Phil Taylor insisted that David should use the Black Strat. Tim Renwick is also seen using David’s cream 1983 Fender ’57 reissue Stratocaster during the show.

(left) David playing a blonde Fender lap steel. This one replaced the old blonde Jedson. It was actually the first time David performed the slide solo live. Earlier 1973-75 live versions featured a guitar solo played on the Black Strat and in 1994 Tim Renwick played slides on his Stratocaster. (right) David with the Gibson J-200 Celebrity while performning Wish You Were Here.

Guitar setup

The Black Strat and Fender lap steel were strung with GHS Boomers (custom set 0.10-0.48) and the Gibson acoustic with Ernie Ball Lightwound strings. All guitars were hooked up with Evidence Audio instrument cables.

Further reading

See these in-depth features for more on David’s gear: Big Muff, The Black Stratocaster, Slide Guitars and Hiwatt amps & WEM cabinets.

Acknowledgements and credits
Live 8 (concert film 2005), tonefromheaven.com and “The Black Strat – A History of David Gilmour’s black Fender Stratocaster” by Phil Taylor. See feature for other references.