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Home arrow David Gilmour 2006 arrow May 30th - ROYAL ALBERT HALL, LONDON, ENGLAND


Royal Albert Hall
Royal Albert Hall, London
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Ticket scan
Royal Albert Hall ticket scan
Concert starts: 7:30pm

Address of venue: Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AP. MAP


All three shows at this venue were recorded for a later DVD release. BD tried to count up all the cameras used for the recording. We spotted at least seventeen, so little would have escaped the camera's eye...!

FIRST HALF: Breathe/Time/Breathe Reprise, Castellorizon, On An Island (w/Crosby & Nash), The Blue (w/Crosby & Nash), Red Sky At Night, This Heaven, Then I Close My Eyes (w/Robert Wyatt), Smile, Take A Breath, A Pocketful Of Stones, Where We Start.

SECOND HALF: Shine On You Crazy Diamond (w/Crosby & Nash), Fat Old Sun, Arnold Layne, Coming Back To Life, High Hopes, Great Gig In The Sky (w/Mica Paris), Echoes.

ENCORE: Wish You Were Here, Find The Cost Of Freedom (w/Crosby & Nash), Comfortably Numb.


The first of three nights saw the band on great form, in what felt like a very intimate venue - some of the audience were so close to the stage they could almost touch the musicians! Standouts included Echoes (Richard's keyboard playing was particularly impressive and EXpressive) and On An Island, which had David Crosby beaming from ear to ear like the Cheshire Cat!

The appearance of David Bowie for the final two numbers was a shock to the audience...

The second night featured another special guest appearance - Mica Paris - and a blistering version of Echoes which the band will be hard pressed to better on the final night. Magnificent show again... can they top that on Wednesday?

Seemingly these things are possible to the likes of David and co. The final night was a very special one to go out on. Despite starting an hour later, the show was slightly longer than the preceeding nights! Guests aplenty on this final bash - Crosby, Nash, Wyatt, Mica Paris again, and taking the stage for the encore songs, Nick Mason!

Nick's special touch on WYWH and Comfortably Numb came shining through - not to take anything away from Stevie DiStanislao, who has been consistently excellent throughout the tour - but it's like guitarists; you can tell them apart by their own unique styles of playing.

Our friend Nick Gribben has an insight into the delay: "A college graduation was booked for the afternoon which meant that the stage and all the sundries had to be removed and then replaced after the graduation had finished at 5.30p.m.

"I went to the main door about 6.45p.m as I was going to go to the bar before the concert. The doorman let me in and I went for a look about... I then noticed the Technicians were going through a sound check. I kept watching and at about 7pm the whole band came on stage including Nick Mason (which spoiled the surprise for later). Steve Distanislao went through the drum kit with NM, whilst Rick Wright gave a note perfect rendition of the organ solo at the end of 'A Saucerful of secrets'. The band then ran through parts of 'Then I close my eyes', then with NM on the drums they warmed up with a full version of 'Comfortably numb' and 'Wish you were here', with full lighting effects, David was saving his voice as he wasn't hitting the usual high notes and Polly Samson was on the stage the whole time taking photographs.It was a real privilege with no-one other than technicians in the hall, and gave me a view that you don't usually see.

"When the concert started my seat was right behind the mixing desk where I noticed Nettie Mason and one of Nick's daughters viewing the concert, along with Polly Sampson who would disappear to take photos of the concert."

The tour now goes on hold for a couple of months before heading to Austria for the final(?) stretch. In the meantime, work will be progressed on the DVD of the shows, we're sure. We tried to count the number of cameras recording the show for the DVD, and saw at least 17 of them around the Royal Albert Hall. Impressive!

By Brain Damage contributor, Peter Mair

A fantastic night! Can’t wait to get home and listen to more DG this evening!

In terms of personnel/music the second half of the show was more or less a Floyd show without Roger and the big stage production.

From the heartbeat leading into Breathe to the closing notes of Comfortably numb, DG and the band put on an amazing performance – it is great to know it is all on tape for a forthcoming DVD.

The following moments are what stand out for me when I look back on the show:

  • The heartbeat really built the atmosphere prior to Breathe
  • Mica Paris, looking divine, belting out GGGITS
  • David carefully picking out the long compressed notes in the intro to Time, just making it to the mic in time for the first line!
  • The solo in CN of course!!
  • The relaxed soulful vibe of Where We Start
  • The guitar work at the end of On An Island
  • The acoustic work at the end of High Hopes lingering on a little longer than usual
  • Coming Back To Life!
DG has proved himself once again to be a master craftsman, both in terms of song writing and live performance.

Over almost three hours, he sang every song note perfectly as well as delivering complex and compelling guitar work at every turn.

By Brain Damage contributor, Su

We got these tickets via when they had the priority ticket lottery. We were in Row 6 of the Arena, seats 21 and 22. Perfect!

We actually took another Floyd fanatic and his girlfriend on Tuesday. They got tickets from the RAH website the day they were released. They hadn't been out since the birth of their baby and I tell you what, Mick couldn't stop shaking for excitement. He has Comfortably Numb tattooed on his lower back and must say I'm not a tattoo lover but it looks good.

Anyway, their seats were in the stalls at the back, so Rob and I decided to let them sit in our seats for the second half. Mick was choked, and by the end of the night he was too tearful to say anything coherent.

It was a triumph as audience members when we told off three very annoying people in the seats front of us, who wouldn't stop filming the show and taking pictures with their own cameras. It was really distracting and irritating. We told them in no uncertain terms that if they carry on, they'd find their silly cameras somewhere down the aisle. Thankfully, they got the message. I'm not a bully, never have been and don't condone it. But who the hell wants a flashing red light and someone fidgeting with the focus in their peripheral vision when a legend is on stage? A quick snap I understand, but these baboons wouldn't stop!

Asides that, we had a great time on Tuesday too. Crosby even came to sit in the audience between his performance . He was two rows in front of us near the sounds control desk. Speaking of which, one of the sound technicians at the desk couldn't stop bopping around in his seat along with Gilmours strumming for the life of him! It was so amusing to watch. Poor thing didn't know whether to work or play! Who can blame him though?

I think one of the most touching moments of the night for everyone was when in second half, a small voice from one of the balconies shouted:

“ I love you daddy”....

and on the stage, 'daddy' humbly began playing again, haunting the Royal Albert Hall with angelic whale like songs that resonated beautifully around us for the rest of the night.

By Brain Damage contributor, Aaron Burrows

Sitting in the Royal Albert Hall is a very special experience knowing you're sitting in a room where legends have played all through the decades - Clapton, The Who, etc - and now David Gilmour. I'm still in amazment at what I saw last night. It was just incredible: lasers, lights, strobe effects... wow. Before the band came on Harvey Goldsmith came out to say "no phones or flash cameras, if you are to take pics make sure the flash is off" but I saw loads of flashing cameras during the show.

The show started with the famous heartbeats of Speak to me and when Breathe started it was amazing. Then it went into Time where Steve Di did some brilliant drumming on the intro; David played some excellent solos on Time.

David welcomed everyone to the show and said the first half was going to be all from On an Island. He introduced the band after one of the songs, then he mentioned the special guest. I shouted out "Nick Mason" and David replied "Not him tonight".

On an Island started with Crosby Nash on backing vocals, and the solos David played last night were just amazing and so powerful. The Blue started with a single blue laser which slowly moved during the song. The song I was least looking forward to was Red Sky at Night with David on sax but after seeing it played live I actually like it now, and Robert Wyatt came on to reprise his role from the album which was really nice to see.

One of the songs I was looking forward to see from the first half was Take A Breath and boy the lightshow on this was awesome. When it got to the middle bit the whole of the Royal Albert Hall was strobing. David came back in with his guitar which was so powerful and rocking and was David at his best. The first half ended with Where we start and was a nice track to end with - very mellow and bluesy and the David said there was gonna be a 20 min break.

The second set kicked off with an brillant version of Shine On played to perfection. Phil Manzanera's guitar on this is so haunting but also very powerful. Crosby and Nash again on vocals; the song ended with a standing ovation.

I thought David was going to play Wearing the Inside out but didnt - he played Fat Old Sun which was just exceptional. Halfway through the song David changed from acoustic guitar to his white telecaster for the solo on FOS which was awe inspiring - I loved every second of it then they went straight into Arnold Layne which was quality as ever. Rick sure can sing, and had most people singing along.

Then straight into Coming Back to Life. Before it started, as David was playing around with his footpedals one of his children said "go on daddy" as i think Polly and their children were by the mixing desk.

Coming Back to Life was beautiful as ever and a really classy solo. I was thinking it can't get any better than this and yet it did. High Hopes was just brilliant and played really beautifully. Then came the special guest of the evening, Mica Paris, to sing on Great Gig. It was nice but as a surprise guest, not in the same league as David Bowie but none the less it was a good performance from her - shame it wasnt Sam Brown.

The one song i really wanted to see was of course Echoes and boy it sure does live up to its reviews. One of the best performances ever - the light show was awe inspiring, the lasers were clever and mezmerising. The 23 mins or so went past so quickly i want them back! I'm so glad I got see that song with my own eyes and Echoes is my favorite Floyd song ever now. It ended with a 5 min or so standing ovation.

They came back on stage for the final encore of Wish and Comfortably Numb. During Wish you Were Here you could hear a pindrop as most people were singing along to David. It ended and David said time for one more and you all know what it is and the band went straight into Comfortably Numb and was another tight performance of the song as ever. The final solo though was awesome: back of your neck hair stand on edge stuff - it was that good.

The show was brilliant and what a place to see a band live: the Royal Albert Hall. It had an awesome atmosphere throughout the whole show; you get your moneys worth with David, for sure. Can Roger's tour beat this? Well, he doesn't have Echoes which takes some beating for sure.

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