A History of The Wall review

September 30th 2006 | Posted in Reviews | 7 Comments

I have finally recieved the new book from Vernon Fitch and Richard Mahon, – “Comfortably Numb, A History of The Wall, Pink Floyd 1978-1981″. It was worth the wait… This is one of the most impressive books I’ve seen!
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David’s Guitar Strap

August 26th 2006 | Posted in David's Gear | Comments Closed

Many fans have wondered were David got his new guitar strap. It is quite unique and no-one seemed to have seen it before until David revealed that he got it for his 60th birthday from his wife Polly. She bought it at an auction and it used to belong to Jimi Hendrix. I can imagine David being very proud to wear it.

Strap

Finally, there’s someone making this cool strap. Jeri Hart is an American artist making beautiful custom straps. She makes duplicates of many famous straps as well as some of her own designs. You can also order a one of a kind strap with a design you’ve made your self.

The Hendrix/Gilmour strap is dead on the original using the same fabrics and colours. The price is $250 which, considering the work and uniqueness of the strap, isn’t all that. Visit Jeri Designs.

Gilmour VS. Waters

June 8th 2006 | Posted in Miscellaneous | 189 Comments

Every now and then, we (my band) have these little fights or arguments over who is better; Gilmour or Waters. We (well, most of us) always end up with Gilmour and judging by the way we perform the Floyd songs, we are on Gilmour’s side… If there is such a thing as taking sides in this matter. Still, very early on we decided that we were only to perform songs from the original era.. the Waters era. Why? Both the songs and live experience was better in the 70’s.
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Royal Albert Hall review

June 1st 2006 | Posted in Reviews | 4 Comments

So, then it’s over… After waiting for almost half a year, the two concerts hit me like a train. I am absolutely speechless.

We (our band) had a fantastic time and a great trip to London. We visited Battersea of course and a lot of other historical Floyd places like Abbey Road and Earl’s Court.

Here’s a loooooong review of the two first nights in Albert Hall.

Just being at the Albert is a huge experience. Beautiful architecture and one gets a bit intimidated by this historical ground. The arena had a specially designed light rig for the event and the walls were covered with all kinds of strobes and lights. Very nice.

I noticed that Gilmour had two new pedals placed ontop of the Cornish board, – a ’71 “triangle” Big Muff and a T-Rex Replica delay. I tried to ask Phil, but he waved me off “Well, I can’t tell you that! You have to check all the pictures on the net!” and he smiled… At least I got to talk to him and maybe he ment my site (dreaming)… :-)
I also noticed a brighter sound from David’s guitars and the fuzz sounds (P-1/G-2) was VERY bright and transparent, compared to the rather dull sounds from earlier dates.

First Half;

Breathe
Starting with a couple of Floyd tunes really warmed up the crowd and compared to Amsterdam, the audience seemed more excited now that some familiar tunes opened the concert. A beautiful version both nights… Very Live 8.
- Fender lap steel and “Blackie”

Time/ Breathe rep
Very powerful versions and a bit heavier than in Amsterdam, – Mazanera did a very good job playing rhythms. The light show was quite dramatic and David seemded to be enjoying the solo.
On the second night, David forgot to change chords on the intro and everyone seemed very confused on stage. Once they all understood that the boss himself had made a mistake, they laughed their ass off. Guy Pratt could barely stand on his feet and had a hard time keeping time… Very funny!
- “Blackie”

- David says that they will perform the new album and the band leaves the stage. Castellorizon begins.

Castellorizon
Pretty much the same as on the album. As I’ve said before, this is not a favourite of mine, but David did the solo very well and again his tone was very bright and cut nicely through the “orchestra”.
- “Blackie”

On An Island
In enters David Crosby and Graham Nash! We expected this, but the crowd jumped to their feet and it was almost impossible to hear the intro. It was so cool to see Crosby and Nash giving their best and really enjoying them selves. The song reached a new highpoint during the first guitar solo, when Gilmour and Mazanera did a powerful duel! Just amazing!
- “Blackie”

The Blue
A beautiful version and pretty much performed as on the album. Great guitar playing again, but I missed the Uni-Vibe ontop of the Whammy as he did in Amsterdam. Crosby and Nash also sang on this one.
- “Blackie”

Red Sky at Night
More or less like the album version. For some reason (and I don’t know if it’s just me) it seems that the audience is a bit sceptic to this song and the fact that David is playing sax. To be honest, and I think I have mentioned this before, I dond’t care much for the song and I had hoped that he had given the duties to Parry… Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very emotional song, but I don’t think it fits the consept and it seems like I’m not the only one who thinks that. A bleak response from the audience…

This Heaven
Again, a song I don’t like that much… (I’m beginning to sound very critical now…). Still, this was by far the best performances of the song and it’s amazing how much that Les Paul sounds like a Strat!
- Gibson Les Paul Goldtop

Then I Close My Eyes
Definitely the highpoint of the first half! They had done some changes in the progression of the song and added a long jam piece over a beat similar to Us and Them. Gimlour played a beautiful giutar solo and then everyone got a spot, – Wright with an Rhodes piano solo, Dick Parry with his sax and Mazanera played a very emotional solo on his black Les Paul. The guy really impressed me on these performances (not that I didn’t think he could play!). Robert Wyatt also made an appearance playing the trumpet.
Gilmour used the black Strat this time, as opposed to the Gretch. We also noticed that Jon Carin played bass on his keyboard… (with Pratt playing the loop-guitar)
On the second night, Wyatt plays a bad tone and he screams out “fuck!”… That spoiled the DVD take :-)
- Cumbus on the intro and “Blackie”

Smile
A nice version pretty much as on the album.
- Gibson acoustic and Weissenborn slide

Take A Breath
This song will definitely go into David’s backcatalogue as one of the live classics! Extremely powerful and the band rocked big time! It just hits you like a train and you feel a little abused afterwards…
- “Blackie”

A Pocketful of Stones
Again, not one of my favourites but one gets struck by the fact that Gilmour’s voice is better than ever. So clear and not a single note out of pitch. Nice guitar work and very dramatic lights.
- “Blackie”

Where We Start
One of my favourites… if not the best song song on the album. Very beautiful version and David shows that he has a wide reportoir as a guitarist. His finger picked solos is very emotional and a little different than the “normal” Gilmour. I think it’s very cool that he has explored different styles and techniques on this record and they all work very well live too.
- Gretsch Duo Jet

Second Half;

Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts 1-5)
This was the only time on the two concerts that he used the red Strat. I was a little disappointed with the sound in Amsterdam (too muddy), but this time it sounded dead on PULSE. Very warm and nicely compressed (did I hear a leslie sim too???). Crosby and Nash joined in doing the choir parts on both the verses and choruses (version similar to Meltdown). I have never attended a concert before where the crowd were this quiet. You could hear a feather fall…
It’s so funny to watch Dick Parry as he enters with two large saxophones. He can barely stand up by their weight, but he playes with a great feeling and he steals the show completely! Even Gilmour couldn’t stop smiling… Great moment!
- the red Strat

Wot’s… Uh the deal
- first night only
I was very surprised when they did this in Amsterdam… A real treat to hear something from Obscured. But, as then, I don’t really feel that this song fits in with the others. The band seems a bit bored, which is a shame, but the audience doesn’t seem to get it either. Great slide solo though…
- Gibson acoustic and Fender lap steel

Fat Old Sun
- second night only
Fat Old Sun has always been one of my favourites and this is the coolest version I’ve heard to date! They just wouldn’t stop and the solo went on for ages! Even the crowd started cheering in the middle of the solo beacuse the band just kept playing harder and harder! Absolutely amazing! It was cool to see David playing the “new” blonde Telecaster too.
- Fender Telecaster

Wearing the Inside Out
- first night only
I don’t know what it is with this song, but I cried like a child… and I wasn’t the only one. Extremely emotional and the performance was outstanding. I must hand it to Wright and commend his singing. He was a little (to say the least) rusty in Amsterdam, but now he sang better than the album version…
- “Blackie”

Coming Back to Life
Great version and surprisingly heavy! Great solos and singing by David. Carin had changed the sound of the intro strings a little and there was a second there that I tought we were gonna hear Sorrow, but unfortunately they didn’t…
- “Blackie”

High Hopes
This “new” live version is a little more stripped down compared to PULSE and I miss the climatic strings during the slide solo. We also agreed that David played the slide really bad… Sorry to say, but this was a bummer both nights.
- Taylor acoustic nylon string guitar and Jedson lap steel

The Great Gig in the Sky
- second night only

What a surprise! Naturally we expected Sam Brown, but Mica Paris did a wonderful job performing a soulful version much like the old 73-75 version with the Blackberries girls. Wright gave her a standing ovation afterwards and nearly forgot that he had some more songs to play… :-)
- Fender lap steel

Echoes
What can I say? A demonstration of power… nothing less. David’s guitar sounded raspy and fuzzy and screamed like in the old days! But, this was Wright’s number. He nearly fell of his chair a couple of times during the “funky” part! He just kept hitting the organ keys like there was no tomorrow!
The mid section was like seeing them in ’74 with the stage covered in blue lights and dried ice pouring down over the first couple of rows (us included)… The hall exploded into an inferno of lasers and strobes during the climax before the singing. It’s impossible to describe but luckily this is all filmed for a DVD!
- “Blackie”

Encores;

Wish You Were Here
As usual a great version and the stage looked very PULSE covered in white light and lasers.
- Gibson acoustic

Find the Cost of Freedom
Crosby and Nash enters the stage and the three does an a capella version of this old classic. On the second night, Crosby enters the stage doing the “I’m not worthy” gesture towards Gilmour… Who’s the biggest legend?

Arnold Layne
- performed after Fat Old Sun the second night
On the first night Gilmour thanks the audience after “Find the Cost…” and says “We’re gonna do an old Barrett song for you now. I’ve invited someone special to help us out… please welcome mr David Bowie!” The crowd goes berserk! I mean really nuts! What a surprise! They did a very heavy version with Bowie’s characteristic “creepy” vocals. Priceless!
- Fender Telecaster

Comfortably Numb
Great versions as usual and David seems to be enjoyng himself more and more during the solo… This can’t be the last we hear from him! Another album… another tour…?
The stage is covered in lasers, smoke and strobe beams coming from all corners of the hall. On the first night, Bowie stays and “plays” the doctor!
(For those especially interested,- David did not use the “magic button” on the first solo…)
- “Blackie”

As you can imagine, this was two amazing nights. I wish you all were there… Just attending Albert Hall was a huge experience. The band sounded very tight, yet not sterile. They were not afraid of making mistakes or jamming. They had a great chemistry between them selves and this affects the audience too of course. I must also commend the audience for being very civiliced only applauding on the right places and keeping quiet on the gentle parts. This has been the greatest concert experience in my life!

Amsterdam Heinecken Hall review

March 22nd 2006 | Posted in Reviews | 2 Comments

Home again… My trip to Amsterdam has been beyond anything I ever expected! Two fantastic concerts and on both nights, we stood just a few feet away during the encores! I can’t describe the feeling and the experience is only enhanced when 100 fellow maniacs stands around you crying and cheering! I managed to take some really good pictures too…

Here’s a looooong review of both nights…

We got to the Heineken Music Hall one hour before the show, – just enough time to buy some t-shirts, a tour book and get a close look at David’s power station. Sadly it was impossible to get decent shots since the stage was dark and too high above the ground floor. I got to see Phil Taylor in action though, as he cleaned the guitars and prepared for the show. He is unbelievably thorough and seems to enjoy every minute of his job. I must admit that I got a little shaky seeing him. A hero in his own right!

In general, I was a bit disappointed after the first set. At times the sound was really bad and the band seemed very off. David used the red Strat throughout the album but it didn’t sound right. I couldn’t see the black one on stage either… Maybe it was sick??? Anyway, he used it on a couple of songs on the second half, so I guess he just tried a different set-up.
The second night was much better. The band seemed very relaxed and clearly enjoyed them selves on stage. The songs worked better and the sound was really good. They also did a couple of changes in the set-list…

It warms my heart seeing Wright back in action. I have always had a lot of respect for him and feel that he doesn’t get the credit he deserves. The chemistry between Gilmour and him is priceless and such a vital part of these concerts.

David seems to enjoy every minute of playing live and it affects the rest of the band too (especially Pratt). He plays and sings very well and he’s not afraid of going out on a limb trying out different stuff. His guitars are mixed very loud and the sound is very crisp and smooth. I also sense a change in his playing when he’s using the black Strat, compared to the red. He seems more relaxed and it’s almost as if he is one with the guitar and they just play off each other. Very fascinating… It’s also very cool seeing David doing constant changes in his sound, – stomping on and off compressors, adding boost and adjusting delay volumes/repeats. It’s just minor details, and only guitar freaks like me notice the change, but I guess he likes to try different stuff and is always listening for the perfect sound.

First half/ On an Island (complete album)

Castellorizon
The song opens with a playback of the album. Carin takes over the keyboards as David enters the stage and plays the guitar solo, – more or less as on the album.
– first night; red Strat/ it sounded very boomy and he clearly had problems controlling the tones.
– second night; black Strat/ much better and dead on the album version. You could hear the fat sound of the bridge/neck switch.

On an Island
They had serious problems with this one on the first night. Manzanera (who is changing to electric for the solos) didn’t have any sound and Gilmour’s voice was raspy. However, the band played fantastic on the second night and David did some outstanding solos. (Jon Carin is playing electric slide)
– first night; red Strat
– second night; black Strat

The Blue
This song worked really well both nights, and was definitely one of the high points of the concert.
– first night; red Strat
– second night; black Strat

Red Sky at Night
As the earlier shows, they placed Take a Breath later in the set. Red Sky was very close to the album version. Very cool seeing David playing saxophone and the atmosphere in the hall was pure magic. You could hear a pin drop.

This Heaven
I never really liked the album version of this song, but they played it really well live and David showed off his enormous blues talent.
– both nights; Gibson Les Paul Gold Top

Then I Close My Eyes
One of my favorites and definitely the highpoint of the first set. A beautiful version both nights and the stage lights was perfectly designed. David changed between playing slides on the Weissenborn guitar and very sweet solos on the Gretsch. Dick Parry entered the stage halfway into the song and played saxophone to the applauding crowd. (Guy Pratt plays the “loop” guitar on a white Fender Strat)
– both nights; Gretsch Duo Jet and Weissenborn acoustic slide

Smile
Very close to the album and David changed between playing acoustic guitar and slide solos on the Weissenborn. (Jon Carin plays slide on the verse)
– both nights; Gibson acoustic and Weissenborn acoustic slide

Take a Breath
Really powerful version with dramatic lights. David played really well and I couldn’t help but think about Astronomy Domine and Interstellar Overdrive! (Jon Carin plays the slide solo)
On the second night they placed this song before Smile and as David puts on his acoustic he says “Well, enough of this noisy stuff… This is Smile”.
– first night; red Strat
– second night; black Strat

Pocket Full of Stones
I was really afraid that they had to ditch this song on the first night. David’s voice was very raspy and he had difficulties here too, but he managed gracefully. The other night however was magic and he sang as clear as a teenager!
– first night; red Strat
– second night; black Strat/ again, this is a song that requires much tone control and bright overtones. The red Strat didn’t sound any good and David had problems with feedback.

Where We Start
My favorite on the album and the band did very good versions both nights. David almost lost the Gretsch to the floor when the strap lock fell off. He and Taylor searched with a flashlight and David repeated many times “sorry about this”. They finally found it and he said “Hmmm… I seem to lost a bit of the guitar…”
– both nights; Gretsch Duo Jet

Second half/ Floyd classics


Shine On You Crazy Diamond

As the on Meltdown, David opens with the Sound on Sound effect, only this time with electric guitar. It was almost like hearing an old bootleg from Animals! I was really thrilled when the band joined in after Syd’s Theme and played the second guitar solo part. Although I wish they had continued with the moog solo and ultimately the third guitar solo, it was really beautiful when they stopped and David sang the song alone. Outstanding version and very cool that the band joined in again during the sax solo. Dick Parry played well as always!
– both nights; red Strat/ this is the only time I felt that “red” sounded great.

Wot’s… Uh the Deal
Very close to the album version. A surprise to say the least and very bold! David played the slide solo on the crème Jedson slide with a really cool sound, – distortion and very deep chorus. Although it was a treat hearing this live, I felt that the audience didn’t respond very well and the band seemed a bit bored…
– both nights; Gibson acoustic and crème Jedson lap steel

Wearing the Inside Out
This has always been my favorite Wright song and to finally hear it live was an absolute highpoint of the evening. I have to admit that I felt some tears on my chin… Very slow and very sad. It almost felt like Wright sang about his mental problems over the last decades. Just wonderful… David played beautiful blues fill-ins and a very soulful solo.
– first night (only); red Strat

Coming Back to Life
The second night they did this one instead of Wearing. A shame really, but it was cool hearing it live again! It seemed (and sounded!) like this was decided very quickly and the band sucked big time. David fell out of the solos many times and laughed at his faults. Anyway, this made them play only heavier and the band seemed to enjoy them selves!
– second night (only); black Strat

Breathe/Time/Breathe rep
Breathe sounded exactly like Live 8 and David played the crème slide. Time sounded very 70’s and they had sampled the girl choir during the chorus, – great “trick”. David stuck mostly to the PULSE version of the solo, but did some very nice new stuff too. The lightshow was cool and Steve (drums) really impressed my by “doing” Mason dead on. This was the first time David used the black Strat during the first night… Breathe was dropped the second night.
– both nights; black Strat

Dominoes
The Syd Barrett classic performed a bit more electric than on Meltdown. Manzanera did some wonderful soundscapes in the best Roxy tradition. It seemed like they initially had decided on playing Fat Old Sun, but David signaled a change during Time… probably because some raving maniac kept shouting for Barrett.
– first night (only); Gibson acoustic

Fat Old Sun
Very close to the album and again, Steve (drums), impressed me. I have always loved this song and especially the live versions from 70-71. I jumped in my seat when David changed guitars and played an awesome guitar solo just like in the old days! Just fantastic!! Fat was performed after Wot’s…
– second night (only); Gibson acoustic and black Strat

High Hopes
A beautiful version, sounding like a mix between PULSE and Meltdown. After the slide solo (which was remarkably close to the album version), David sat down with his acoustic and played a Spanish sounding solo over the strings. Another highpoint!
– both nights; Taylor acoustic and red Jedson lap steel

Echoes
Well… no words can describe this! Over 20min and you could feel the smell of old equipment and warm sand from Pompeii. The overall sound was very Meddle, although you could definitely hear many details of the old live versions. It was so good seeing David and Richard singing together again. It’s in their blood… If I were to point out a couple of things, I missed David’s run down on the C#m A part and the solo lacked the “out of control, screaming fuzz” sound. Still, it’s only minor stuff and I was totally freaked out when it was over. I had never expected it to sound as authentic 70’s as it did.
– both nights; black Strat

Encores

Wish You Were Here
Pretty straightforward PULSE version. I honestly don’t remember much since we managed to run down to the front of the stage. It took some minutes before I could grasp the fact that we were only a few feet from the band and David…
– both nights; Gibson acoustic

Comfortably Numb
Another surprise! Richard as the Doctor! How’s that for irony?? Again I don’t remember much, standing with my eyes pinned to the black Strat I have dreamed to see for so many years (see pictures above)! For the first time I heard the real sound from David’s amps… My god, he is playing loud on that stage! His guitar was so crisp and it felt like he cut me in half with a very sharp knife. I have never felt so shaky and (naturally) high before. Truly amazing!
– both nights; black Strat

So… two nights of pure magic, even though the second night stands out as by far the better of the two. I just want to go to sleep for two months and wake up in time for Albert Hall!

On an Island review

March 8th 2006 | Posted in Reviews | Comments Closed

It’s been two days since On an Island got released and good reviews are coming from all over the world. Here in Norway it got a 5/6 from VG, the biggest selling newspaper. I thought I’d share my views on the album.

Strap

On an Island has really grown on me. The first time I heard it, I though that there was some really good tunes, but I needed some time getting used to others. Once I got the actual CD and got to listen to the whole album as one piece, I was amazed how consistent it was.
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