30 May, 2012


The main part of this film is David Gilmour’s performance from the 2001 Meltdown festival which was curated by Robert Wyatt.  It was Gilmour’s first performance as a solo artist since the mid 80s.

The concert opens with Shine On You Crazy Diamond, and although it may seem like a rather predictable choice to open the show with, it possibly the most amazing performance of the song ever attempted.  Can you imagine a solo acoustic version of Shine On?  It’s nearly three minutes into the piece before some of the audience twig. 

Freed of the responsibility of being Mr Pink Floyd, this is where Gilmour gets to play what he wants how he wants, which includes Syd Barrett’s Terrapin, Fat Old Sun from Atom Heart Mother, the debut performance of Smile, which would later appear on the excellent On An Island album, and Bizet’s Je Crois Entendre Encore from The Pearl Fishers.  With a band that includes a ’cello, double bass and a 12-voice choir, even the more familiar songs like Wish You Were Here and Coming Back to Life sound new and fresh.

At the end of the set are three pieces from a later concert at the same venue – another Syd Barrett song, Dominoes, Breakthrough, performed by Richard Wright and another version of Comfortably Numb with Roger Waters’ vocal part performed by Bob Geldof (Robert Wyatt performed the same part in the previous set.)  On paper, getting Geldof to sing looks like a stroke of genius since Geldof played the character of Pink in the film of The Wall.  On stage though, it doesn’t quite work.  Both Geldof and Wyatt read the lyrics off a piece of paper and give the impression that they have never heard the song before, which is a pity because the sparse arrangement is really lovely.

The special features are a bit of a grab-bag, but all good stuff.  Possibly of most interest is a section called Spare Digits, which features solos from the main concert but each with a single close-up of Gilmour’s fingers.   Non-concert related extras are a performance of I Put a Spell on You with Jools Holland and Mica Paris from 1991, Don’t from the Leiber and Stoller tribute concert in 2001 and a beautiful version of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 (Shall I compare thee) set to music by Michael Kamen.

Highlight:  Shine On You Crazy Diamond
Feature:  * * * *
Extras:  * * * * *
Audio: LPCM Stereo, Dolby 5.1



  1. Love the spare digits idea - one for the bedroom imitators (which of course, includes me!) I have the DVD where David Bowie sings the Roger Waters part in Comfortably Numb. It's a sensational concert overall. Royal Albert Hall, I think. Had no idea Richard Wright did so much singing - and so well!

    1. I agree. I'll be posting that one soon.