David Gilmour - North America DVD Premiere event report
Written by Matt   
Sunday, 16 September 2007

ritzy outsideLast night, the Brixton Ritzy in south London was the setting for the North American cinematic HD premiere of David Gilmour's forthcoming 2DVD set, "Remember That Night - Live At The Royal Albert Hall", which is released in the US on Tuesday (September 18th).

In a much more intimate setting than the European event some nine days prior, the event was broadcast live via satellite to around 162 cinemas across the US and Canada. As with the European screening, it was a stunning reminder of David's tour last year, and had its own share of great moments...

Built in 1910, the Ritzy is an impressive, small and cosy venue. The elaborate design has remained unaltered over the years, despite the demands of modern cinema, and the main auditorium features a proscenium arch, echoed by eight plaster arches, supported by pilasters (flattened columns) from the front to the rear. Seating around 300 people, the Ritzy gave the event a completely different feel from the Odeon.

Following the screening of the first half of the Breaking Bread, Drinking Wine documentary from disc 2 of the DVD package, Phil Manzanera appeared to introduce the evening, and David in particular, who then waited patiently in the wings until the right moment in the opener, Castellorizon, to appear - alone - on stage.

As before, as the track came to its conclusion, the concert footage faded up on the screen and seamlessly segued into the first track.

The 85-minute selection ran as follows: On An Island / This Heaven / The Blue / Take A Breath / Shine On You Crazy Diamond / Time / Breathe (Reprise) / Arnold Layne (with David Bowie) / High Hopes / Wish You Were Here / Echoes. Unchanged from the edit used at the Odeon, Leicester Square, it was an interesting balance of songs, and with the tracks being out of the expected order, it kept the audience on their toes!

We talked just over a week ago about the quality of the sound, and the footage, so nothing more needs be said here. We understand that the ground-breaking satellite transmission (first time across the Atlantic in full 5.1 surround!) went extremely well with no reported errors or drop-outs, so hopefully there were no local glitches, and all 162 cinemas enjoyed a stunning assault on the senses!

At the end of the footage, a collage of photos from the tour followed, enabling the stage to be made ready for the 30 minute Q&A session that followed. The excellent DavidGilmour.com will be making the footage of this available on their website next week (according to their blog) and it is worth watching!

Rather than spoil the surprise of David's answers, before you see the footage, suffice it to say that the highlights included David relating an anecdote about rehearsing in the elephant room of New York's Radio City Music Hall, a discussion about his guitars (he owns around 100, although only 20 or so are in regular use), how he did his bit for the environment by recycling some of Pete Townshend's broken guitar parts, and what some of his favourite songs are - not just his own, but those by others too.

Phil proved to be an amusing interviewer; whilst not seeming to be completely at ease (were the fan's questions picked on the basis of interesting names?!) he at times interjected with his own perspective on things.

Sadly, the Q&A had to be wrapped up at 10pm (UK time), but one last treat for the audiences on both sides of the Atlantic - the Island Jam performed at the Odeon nine days previously... a nice end to the second of the two great DVD launch events.

Our congratulations to all those behind the creation of the DVD, and of both the launch events. Clearly, a huge amount of work has gone into both entities, and it has paid off handsomely.


Amazon are currently taking orders for the DVD (with a discount) through the following special links: Amazon US/International, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Amazon Germany, or Amazon France.

The high definition Blu-Ray version of this can also be ordered from Amazon.com through this link. We'll have links so that you can buy this from the other Amazon stores shortly.