David Gilmour at "Miller Strat Pack" charity concert - show report
Written by Matt   
Sunday, 26 September 2004

On Friday night, Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour appeared alongside a whole host of top musicians at the London Wembley Arena charity event to celebrate the Fender Stratocaster guitar. The event, in aid of Nordoff-Robins Music Therapy, included Ronnie Wood (The Rolling Stones), Joe Walsh (The Eagles), Brian May (Queen), The Shadows' Hank Marvin, Phil Manzanera (Roxy Music), Mike Rutherford (Genesis/Mike & The Mechanics), Paul Carrack (Squeeze/Mike & The Mechanics), The Crickets, Gary Moore, Jamie Cullum and Amy Winehouse. Jeff Beck, Johnny Marr and Bryan Adams were all scheduled to appear but were unable to attend.

The event was fantastic - some wonderful performances from the gathered musicians, who took a lot of pleasure in joining each other to help out on various songs. The spirits of George Harrison and Jimi Hendrix were strong in the hall, with tributes paid to them in the performances - particularly "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" with Andy Fairweather-Low, Mike Rutherford, and Paul Carrack. Gary Moore's "Red House" was a stunning trip through one of Jimi's well-known renditions, with even more stunning facial expressions!

The highlight for most of the audience was the appearance of David Gilmour, towards the end of the show. In a move to reward the Floyd fans in the audience (at a risk of losing some of the non-Floyd fans) he shied away from the expected, instead treating us to Marooned (only even played live once before), Coming Back To Life, and Sorrow.

Marooned came across well, even though David appeared somewhat nervous and some notes, especially initially, didn't come across too well. However, as the song progressed, so those fingers warmed to the task, and it really came into its own, making it a privilege to hear.

Coming Back To Life was a pretty standard reading, but nice all the same, lulling us into a false sense of security prior to Sorrow being unleashed. He played this with a passion, and ranks as one of the best live performances of the track that I've heard! With the concert soon to be broadcast on UK radio station Capital Gold, with a subsequent broadcast on TV and eventual DVD release, Pink Floyd fans worldwide will soon be able to experience those wonderful 25 minutes for themselves.

It was a shame that David never really connected with the audience though, preferring to communicate through his songs. Unless my memory has gone wonky, he made no attempt to say even a "hello" to the audience before, during and after his performance.

The rest of the show, which easily went on for around three hours, had a number of highlights. Some of the performers seemed a little uneasy or stuck out on the bill like a sore thumb - Amy Winehouse was particularly poorly received, and Mike Rutherford seemed to do very little, preferring to do the odd little strums in the background. Ronnie Wood was his usual live wire self, and to see and hear the remaining Crickets take us back to the fifties was a great moment. The age of many of the performers was exemplified by Hank Marvin, who thanked the audience for "supporting a worthy cause - old men!"

The finale of the show - Stay With Me - saw all the musicians make a return to the stage for a big sing and strum-along. For once, David made a reappearance, and even interjected some humour into the performance with some deliberate bad playing!

Our thanks to Claire at LD for her help regarding this show... and once we have more info on when you can hear the radio broadcast, watch the show on TV, and buy it on DVD, we will let you know!