• Ben Watt with David Gilmour!

    David Gilmour Ben Watt The Levels

    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.

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29 Responsesso far.

  1. Giles says:

    ok, after doing some checking I am pretty sure the Magnatone is a 260, not a 280. The distinction is best described here;
    “If you study the location of the “V” on the 260 (middle) in relationship to the speaker hole, when compared to the similarly located emblems on the 280, the difference stands out as an easy distinction between a 260 and a 280.”

    ps- the link over for the first photo of DG and BW appears to be broken.

    Thank you!

  2. Giles says:

    Musicradar Feb 2015 in an interview with PT with lots of pics says the Magnatone is 260 combo…. hmm

  3. Cody says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    This may be the Alessandro Redbone Special that David was using to power his leslie studio cab in his studio and is using on the RTL tour with his Hiwatt Custom 50’s. It looks a lot like the Alessandro next to the flamed maple one in his current live rig, which are both Redbone Specials. Also, he’s got the Alessandro Muzzle attenuator sitting atop the amp here, which would make even more sense being that the Redbone Special is 55 watts. However, this is a quiet session so the Bluetick is also a possibility but he is definitely using Alessandro’s attenuator. Just some information I thought I would pass on!


  4. Gary says:

    Meddle side “B” had some great music IMO. Wouldn’t it be different if they follow that side to stardom, lol. Or not!

  5. Dave rolland says:

    I play in a project in the South of England hoping to become a Pink Floyd tribute band. We are working hard and starting to refine our performance.
    My colleague and fellow musician John worked as Bens guitar tech for a gig at Islington Assembly Rooms at the end of May and had the pleasure of Mr Gilmours company for rehearsals and a special appearance at the gig. Mr Taylor was also there so a lot of things were discussed and signed!
    I wl get my friend (a technofobe) to post his recollections of the gig to you!!

    [Awesome! – Bjorn]

  6. Roger Sartori says:

    here’s another Watt video with appearance of Gilmour: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mppfduvkhfg

  7. Roger Sartori says:

    Hi, Bjorn.
    News from the end of last year: Graham Nash on a tv interview has confirmed that is making some performances on a new album of David Gilmour! Let’s just wait! Cheers.

    [Yep. Lots of people are confirming the sessions. Too early to tell whether it’s gonna be this year or 2015 but I’ll wait :) – Bjorn]

  8. Stephen says:

    Thanks for the Write up Bjorn. I hope to hear Gilmour’s new work out sometime soon!

  9. Hud says:

    Of course Ben Watt started all the way back in 1982 where an early song appears on Cherry Red LP called Pillows and Prayers, geeez is that how long ago it was?

  10. Claudio says:

    Thanks Martin, You are right! Theses K&M 17515 looks fantastic! Anyway thanks Bjorn for the search!


  11. Rodion says:

    Hi guys! Just listen to this song by ukrainian singer Tina Carol? written in 2005. Listen to the melody, its pretty much alike the song above

  12. Roger Sartori says:

    Best of all: great to see DG on action again!!

    [Definitely! – Bjorn]

  13. Liam says:

    You can here the full version here

    I prefer the album version. Some great tones.

  14. Pete says:

    WOW! Like something from Meddle. Very retro sound!
    What would you give to have been able to be in that room with unlimited access to all that gear?

  15. Martin says:

    Hi Claudio,

    I’m pretty sure these racks are K&M 17515 (for five guitars) and 17513 (for three guitars). I have a 17515. It is translucent so that it doesn’t colour guitars with nitro finishes. It is indeed very solid and I can strongly recommend it.


  16. Joshj says:

    That guy is so lucky!! Maybe one day David will sit in with airbag! Just find out wear he eats lunch, then go there everyday so you run into him by chance, then your in.haha

    [Ha ha! I’m afraid the police would have arrested me for stalking… :) – Bjorn]

  17. Jae says:

    No reason to think you would take offense at all. Just a phrase I use, think Rodney Dangerfield in Caddyshack. Looking back at the post I don’t see why I put it in there. I’ve listened to this song a half dozen times and I’ll be buying the CD. Thanks for posting!


    [Ah… me no hablo ingles… BTW, Caddyshack is a classic :) Cheers! – Bjorn]

  18. Andy McKay says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Like you I instantly thought; Fat Old Sun, very reminiscent.
    Interesting look at DG’s new studio too, I wonder why he isn’t using the Astoria?

    Best wishes mate :@)

    [Astoria is small and although they’ve recorded a few albums there, it’s not an ideal studio to record in. From what I gather from reading interviews etc, they struggled with not being able to isolate and eliminate noise and there was also ground issues. I’m sure this new studio is a much better and more professional environment. Judging by the pictures from David’s birthday party earlies this year, it also seems like the studio has enough space for band rehearsals during a writing and arranging process, which was nearly impossible, or at least very cramped, at Astoria. – Bjorn]

  19. Claudio says:

    Lovely song and, as always, interesting description of the gears! Thanks Bjorn! One question: do you know what type of guitar racks are the ones in the background? Do you know who produces them? They look very solid and with a nice design! My wife would love them – and I could keep my guitars in the living room! :-)


    [Tried a few search on the net but couldn’t find any info. Custom models? – Bjorn]

  20. ruodi says:

    Obscured by clouds?

    [Some classic tones there. Very British. – Bjorn]

  21. Scooter says:

    Super link Bjorn thanks for sharing sounds a little like the slide on A Pillow of Winds cool retro-ish sound also very interesting look at DG’s studio and gear
    Great Stuff as always

  22. Brad Roller says:

    This sounds beautiful! This song makes me think of Pillow Of Winds a bit does it you? Is it weird I played 5 times in a row? lol Thanks for sharing this Bjorn! Im interested to hear if he will use the tube vibe on his new album. Take care!

  23. boonexy says:

    Thats exactly what I thought, it was a little emotional to hear that 68 kind of sound. Can’t wait to see what happens.

  24. Jae says:

    No offense Bjorn, but between you and me that’s the best new song I’ve heard in many years. It’s the perfect example of why Dave is the finest slide player alive.


    [Why would I take offense? – Bjorn]

  25. Adam Duarte says:

    Beautiful song! Every time I see some new bit of material released by David, whether it’s a guest appearance or anything else, I always freak out a little bit ;) I cannot wait to hear more about a potential new album this year! I wouldn’t mind a throwback to some of his earlier tones at all!

  26. Will says:

    I knew we’d see something about this on Gilmourish!!! :D Fantastic clip! I’m actually tempted to buy Ben’s new album… Really enjoyed “The Levels” :)

    [I remember Everything But The Girl from the 90s and was very fond of their singer/songwriter stuff and also the trip-hot stuff. Watt has a great sense of melody and I’m very eager to hear this song with the full production. – Bjorn]

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