Gilmour goes for live glory in "Gdansk"

Fri Aug 15, 2008 6:26pm EDT
 
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By Gary Graff

DETROIT (Billboard) - David Gilmour's upcoming concert album, "Live in Gdansk," turned out a little different than the Pink Floyd guitarist planned.

"The original intention was to make a live album out of the whole tour, selecting different songs from different nights," Gilmour told Billboard.com. "But so many of the best ones just seemed to come from that last night in Gdansk that in the end we thought, 'Oh, we'll just do the whole thing from Gdansk."

It was certainly a momentous night, a performance at the Polish city's historic shipyards on August 26, 2006, that marked the 26th anniversary of the founding of the Solidarity (Solidarnosc) Trade Union. For that night only, Gilmour and his band, who had been on the road promoting his latest solo album, "On An Island," were accompanied by a 40-piece string section from the Baltic Philharmonic Symphony conducted by one of Poland's leading film score composers, Zbigniew Preisner, who had done the orchestral arrangements on the album.

Represented on five different CD and DVD packages coming out September 16 via Columbia, "Live in Gdansk" also captures Gilmour reveling in a new era of his career in which he's comfortable with his Pink Floyd legacy but "finding new feet a little bit as an artist after all these years."

"It was the most satisfying and enjoyable experience in my touring life," Gilmour said. "I think on the last solo record ('About Face') I made back in '84, I was a bit nervous about the Pink Floyd thing and wanted to stay away from it, whereas most of what the Pink Floyd thing is a sound that I love. On ('On An Island') I finally got to a place where I felt free from any pressure either way from that whole specter."

Gilmour reaffirmed that these days "the thought of going back to Pink Floyd just doesn't interest me." But he doesn't yet have solid plans for his next recording venture, either.

"I want to get ('Live in Gdansk') completely put to bed before I even worry about anything new," Gilmour said. "I've got a lot of material left over form ('On An Island'), so ... I've got a lot of start points. ... It's good to have bits of music to start working on, but how many of them I will actually use and how much new stuff will come up is anyone's guess. That's in the lap of the gods."

Reuters/Billboard

 
<p>Lead singer of Pink Floyd David Gilmour in a file photo. Gilmour's upcoming concert album, "Live in Gdansk," turned out a little different than the Pink Floyd guitarist planned. REUTERS/Simon Kreitem</p>