Flashback: Gdańsk

David on stage in Gdańsk, Poland (26 August 2006)It was the final concert of the ‘On an Island’ tour. Were you there? If so, you should know by now that we’re always curious to find out what you remember most clearly and most fondly.

Two quick things to note about the live album:

1. There is not going to be a Blu-ray release.
2. There will be subtitles on the DVDs.

The following languages will be available: Cantonese, Dutch, English, French (including Canadian), German, Italian, Japanese, (simplified) Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish (including Latin American).

If you’re craving more from Gdańsk, you’ll be able to see just short of three minutes from ‘Comfortably Numb’ at Amazon tomorrow. Watch out for other snippets coming to Amazon UK, Fender and AOL this week. More on those when they’re live.

By the way, did you ever see anything at AOL, Best Buy, Borders or Yahoo? I didn’t.

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour’s official blog, The Blog (‘Features’ previously being its rather naff title), affectionately – or lazily – shortened to ‘FEd’.

58 thoughts on “Flashback: Gdańsk”

  1. Thanks FEd for keeping us up to speed.

    Hope you had a good Bank Holiday and managed to get a bit of that elusive sunshine this weekend!


    [I think we had 37 minutes of sunshine here. My plan was to stay in and watch DVDs, anyway, so I didn’t mind. That said, my water butts are over-flowing. (Has it rained all month?) – FEd]

  2. I was there, it was wonderful night. It was amazing…

    Always when he records an official release he is more technical but soulless. Here is different. =)

    Can you add Czech subtitles?

    [Sorry, Harman, but I think the subtitles are finished now. – FEd]

  3. Hi FEd,

    It’s been two years since the Gdansk show and I would like to show you two of many photos that I was lucky to take in the morning of the day of the show when David with some part of his team and with Lech Walesa went to the monument and laid wreaths. I met there Guy Pratt as well, whom I asked for his autograph. It was really exciting.

    Click my name.


    [Thank you, Michal. – FEd]

  4. [I think the subtitles are finished now. – FEd]

    How does David manage to sing in all these languages at the same time, that’s amazing!

  5. Hi Fed! Welcome back.

    [There is not going to be a Blu-ray release.]

    It’s a great pity!!!!

    Congratulations to the members of Pink Floyd!!! Today they are awarded with the 2008 Polar Music Prize by King Carl XVI Gustaf in Stockholm (Sweden).

    With best wishes from Berlin

  6. The Gdansk show, what a great way to end the tour, I think, une sorte d’apothéose (=?)…

    I am looking forward to listening to ‘High Hopes’ with the orchestra (but, no, not on You Tube, I prefer waiting for the CD/DVD version).

    Thank you for letting us know about the subtitles, FEd, I hope you had a relaxing weekend.


    [Very, thank you. – FEd]

  7. Hi FEd,

    will the clip from “Comfortably Numb” be on Amazon’s “main page”? What is the URL if not? I couldn’t find TAB or HH on the Best Buy or Borders sites last week.

    Thanks for the previews FEd and record company and DAVID!!!

    [No idea. All I know is that they’re supposed to be there. (It’s more than likely that Amazon’s videos will be on the pages where the album’s details are listed and you order.) – FEd]

  8. After much cajoling and pleading, Guy played Fat Old Sun from Live in Gdansk, on his Planet Rock show on Sunday. It was also stunning.

    Guy commented that upon hearing Live in Gdansk, he asked David, “is that really us?” (or something to that effect, he might have asked if they’d really done that. Sorry Guy if I’ve misquoted but the gist is there).

    I remember seeing an interview where David said he’d wished he could have been a music fan hearing Dark Side of the Moon for the first time.

    I hope you and the rest of the band are able to experience something of what it is like for us in the way Guy described. 🙂

    Fed, it has rained all month, we haven’t needed to water the garden! My water butts were overflowing as well. To save wasting the water though I’m going to stand in mine to bathe. 🙂

    Did you buy the plastic diverter kits for yours ? I’ve detached them from the downspouts and stuck bungs in the pipes (get them from home brew suppliers).

    ash X

    [Yes, I’ve disconnected the diverters. I’m thinking of starting my own car-washing business just to get rid of it in a useful way. – FEd]

  9. [That said, my water butts are over-flowing. (Has it rained all month?) – FEd]

    It has! Many of the plants in my poor garden have had about as much water as they can take!

  10. Fed, how many languages can you speak? Hope you had a relaxing holiday.

    [Only English. I can mumble and stammer in Welsh, French and German. – FEd]

  11. Well, FEd, hearing you mumble and stammer in French is delightful! (not joking), you should do it more often, why don’t you?…


    [Parce que, toujours, j’ai le douter. Je suis incertain au sujet de la clarté, avec l’erreur après erreur après erreur… probablement. C’est plus facile de parler que pour écrire – certainement. (Mais vous êtes toujours sorte, ma belle. Merci.) – FEd]

  12. I haven’t seen anything at those sites, but it has rained all month, LOL! I’ve got a water butt too.

    [Good man. Did you ever see ‘A World Without Water’? It’s a disgraceful fact that, every day, close to 4,000 children die because they don’t have access to a ready supply of clean water. We ought to be ashamed to waste it so carelessly. Click your name, if you’re interested. – FEd]

  13. Hey Fed!

    No, I didn’t catch any video on Best Buy or Borders… perhaps I don’t know where to search…

    [You shouldn’t have to search. They should be there eventually and direct links will follow. – FEd]

  14. I’m looking at the World Without Water video at present Fed (thanks for the link). Besides the moral reason to not drink Coca Cola, the farming community’s livelihood, there was a report sometime ago about arsenic pollution of groundwater in parts of Asia.

    I think we all need to think for our own health about where companies are sourcing the products they try to sell us if the moral reason isn’t enough.

    It’s startling to think that when our planet is made up of so much water, there are people who are denied access to it because they can’t afford to pay! To add insult to injury, some big corporation buys the land and drains the water which used to flow.

    Sorry to rant Fed. I hate the effin world sometimes.

    ash X

    [You and me both. – FEd]

  15. Aug.26th 2006 : the final concert of the ‘On an Island’
    Aug.26th 2008 : The Polar Music Prize as Pink Floyd

    I find this coincidence quite unique
    there is nearly a real connection, isn’t it?
    finally! you deserve it as you’ve “reached the dizzy
    heights of that dreamed of world”
    many congratulations and warm wishes

    you are the best

    Bye/ciao Elisabetta

  16. Boo hoo to no Blu-ray.

    I have a couple of questions Fed:

    1. Is there going to be anything to preview the material like David did for the Remember That Night release?

    2. Normal bands tour new album releases, hint hint nudge nudge…(long shot I know!)

    Happy Tuesday.

    [Thank you, the same to you. I like questions. More answers as the weeks progress. – FEd]

  17. Fed, see this page (click my name).

    [There are so many companies to boycott, aren’t they? In the case of Coca-Cola, don’t forget the allegations that illegal para-military death squads have been used to intimidate, threaten and even kill its workers in Colombia. – FEd]

  18. I’ve just listened to the Comfortably Numb track from EMI.

    All I can say is WOW.

    Everyone will enjoy the track. Thank you Mr. Gilmour.

    Happy Days!

    Simon J

  19. Just had a listen to the audio of Comfortably Numb, Sweet Jaysus…

    Steve almost steals it with some superb drumming, well done the whole band!!!!

  20. FEd, this live album I have been dreaming for is going to surpass expectations. The clips that will be on the DVD I saw on YouTube were “The Blue”, “A Great Day for Freedom”, “This Heaven” and “Astronomy Domine” (was briefly up there, wonder why it was removed) and all sounded great. The OAI material sounds more haunting with the orchestra.

    I see Amazon.com has the 5-disc version available as an import with PAL code DVDs whereas the US version (at Best Buy) the DVDs will be in NTSC code.

  21. I clearly Remember That Night. I was standing in sector A2, fifteen meters from the stage. I see my face in the video. Thanks operator. But if i knew that camera should be there I should be coming early for placing and standing at first row. Little sad and great joy for me.

    I arrived from Kiev (Ukraine) for the concert. It was a friendly atmosphere before the concert, toys, mobile telephones of the public on big screens that were shown by operators.

    Can we see it again on the 36-minute documentary part of the DVD?

    [Maybe. You’ll be able to see some of that soon. – FEd]

  22. Hello, my name is Rodrigo and I am 18 years old, I write from Argentina. I hope many longings departure from “Live in Gdansk” in Latin America, I guess delayed several days more than in Europe or North America.

    I also wanted to ask about something that I always wanted to know. Why David never visited Argentina (or Latin America), in his tour with Pink Floyd or as a soloist?

    I have heard rumours that had bad experiences in Colombia, and since there never visited any country in Latin America. I do not know if these rumors are true. I would like if someone I could respond and give guidance on the subject.

    I hope some day to see David Gilmour live, IT WOULD BE A DREAM FULFILLED FOR ME and thousands of fans here. David, Argentina awaits you!

    Thank you very much and I expect an answer.

    Sorry for my English.

    [Thank you for writing. David cannot visit every country, unfortunately: someone always has to miss out. The tour organisers and promoters naturally focus on where the most money is to be made, and the market is very much led by Europe and North America – always has been. It really is as simple as that. I’m sure that any rumours about Latin America are completely untrue. I do hope that you will have the opportunity to see David in concert one of these days. – FEd]

  23. Hi Fed and all.

    Well, yet again it’s been a while. New home, new beginning, a new start and I’ve only moved 2 miles up the road.

    I have a lot of catching up to do. Great to see David’s site still rolling along nicely.

    I asked Kat to get me one of them Strats for Chrimbo. I didn’t say how much, hee hee. She said she will have a look. I’d love to be there when they say the price.

    Speak soon Fed, I hope.

    Kind regards as ever,

    [Good to hear from you, Damian. – FEd]

  24. Some of you speak of the audio for C-Numb from EMI…can I get a link for that one?

    [You hadn’t signed up for their once-in-a-blue-moon newsletter, then? Please check your e-mail (and everyone else, please click the link above). – FEd]

  25. Thank you for responding.

    Perhaps it seems silly, but I wanted to ask whether there was any way to express this desire to all Argentine followers (gather signatures or something like that), so that there is a remote possibility that David learns of the item.

    If there is, please let me know. The music of this man means a lot to many. Thank you.

    [I understand, but gathering signatures is really not necessary. David knows of the many passionate fans and the long-time support he has in the ‘forgotten’ (when it comes to touring, that is) parts of the world. A petition would not help anyone. – FEd]

  26. FEd,

    Qual seu ponto de vista sobre a refração da luz no PRISMA?

    Muito Obrigado!

    [Yes, good question. Very good. – FEd]

  27. Part I

    Yes, I was there and for sure it was the most unforgettable gig in my life. I was not able to find any hotel room, so I decided to get there by coach. I live more or less 300 km south of Gdańsk, so the journey started at 10 a.m.

    The weather looked brilliant in Poznań, as sun was shining, however during the trip it rained heavily and as always I didn’t have any rain coat or umbrella with me, so I was worried (no spare clothes too). It seemed that all the cars on road headed north to Gdańsk for the show.

    Coach arrived to Gdańsk at 5 p.m., and there was no rain and even sun started to shine, and I went to Friday’s where I met Melissa. It was really nice to meet her and talk a bit. I received some phone calls that more and more people were gathering at the venue.

    So we decided to move to Shipyards. It was not too far away, but when I saw how many people were on the streets I was really shocked, and the queues to exchange ticket for an armband were extremely long. At one moment someone shouted that they started to let people in without armbands. Suddenly about 20.000 people rushed to the venue. I had never seen anything like that, everybody was running.

    At the gates, I remember that it was one giant mess, and umbrellas, everywhere. It was forbidden to get in with your umbrella for security reasons and there were thousands of them near the gates…

  28. Part II

    …I get to my sector A2 (orange armbands) just 10 min before start of the show, and still was able to meet some colleagues from my company, which I had not known that they were going to attend too. I was center right to the stage, and I had good view.

    The show started with heartbeats and it was quite silent, and most of the crowd did not realize that final show of On An Island tour was on the way. Soon artists appeared on stage and Breathe was performed.

    It was quite cold and at the beginning David wasn’t sure about his voice, but shortly he wet his whistle probably not with pure vodka, I guess, and he quickly returned to top form. However cold weather negatively affected on Richard’s voice and he missed a verse in Time. Other band members helped to comeback, but later during the show Jon supported Richard’s vocal parts a little bit more than usual.

    What impressed me the most in the first part of course, was On An Island with the orchestra. I had been thinking quite a lot what the outcome would be. I never liked Metallica with orchestra (it was not Michael Kamen’s fault), I put it simply trash metal with orchestra is not a good idea, at least for me. But in case of On An Island it worked exceptionally well, as orchestra did not dominated over the band, but secured wonderful soundscapes and it made the experience much richer…

  29. Part III

    …Another important aspect was band presentation, where all band members were greeted very warmly and of course Mr. Wright got an extra cheer. What was so special about that, the crowd shouted David’s name for a few times and I had an impression that he liked that.

    Another unforgettable moment was A Pocketful Of Stones, one of my favorites from the album. Leszek Możdżer joined the band, and I think it was the best performance, of what I saw (2 first nights at the Albert Hall and Gdańsk), and grand piano made the difference, and probably the classical and jazz background of Leszek musical experience.

    Where We Start finished the first part. What I missed was Robert Wyatt’s cornet, unfortunately he wasn’t there and I wasn’t mentally prepared for that.

    During the break I closed toward the stage and it improved my view and listening ability (PA system was insufficient for that lot).

    Second part started with Shine On You Crazy Diamond with glasses probably filled with water. Great version followed by Wot’s…Uh The Deal. Astronomy Domine was next, which featured fluids projections on specially prepared screen. Another problem occurred at the beginning of Fat Old Sun as Jon’s slide guitar wasn’t connected. But it was not a big thing (we got an extra acoustic piece of a song free of charge), as soon David started it again, this time everything was fine…

  30. Part IV

    …Orchestra again was employed on High Hopes and I didn’t count that it could make such a difference. Sound was very specific and separation of particular instruments was great. Echoes version was also unbelievable, and the crowd was on their knees.

    Wish You Were Here was sung along by the crowd and The Great Day For Freedom was next, and it was another one with orchestra which added new dimension to the song. Comfortably Numb another one with orchestra and it was really, positively surprised with this performance. I did not expect that anything can beat 30th of May RAH version, but it was much better.

    This was the last one and I came back to the coach which waited not too far away from the venue. I started to listen to the radio and I was quite surprised to hear David, who agreed to talk just a little bit and share his feelings. It was great to hear that was happy with the performance, with the band, orchestra, Leszek Możdżer. Soon also Zbigniew Preisner and Leszek joined the show, and they were also extremely happy with the concert.

    Great night, thanks a lot and I deeply believe that was not the last one.

    [Thank you, Tomasz. – FEd]

  31. 26th August 2006 – the unforgettable evening, the unforgettable concert, fantastic people who came for the same purpose, many after twenty or thirty years of waiting to see David (and Richard and other legendary musicians) live for the first time in Poland.

    I was really proud to be a small part of this historic event.

    It is impossible to describe feelings during the concert so I am very happy to know that the “Live in Gdansk” CD/DVD set is going to be released soon. Thank you David for this release which will be for those who were in Gdansk the unique souvenir for the whole lives. Although we still believe to see David again in Poland.

    It is a good idea to take a few days off after 22 September, isn’t it? Employees/David Gilmour fans may be … sleepy at work after that day, I think.

    Greetings to all (Tomasz – great work, nothing to add)

    [You could be right about taking time off work, Lucas. – FEd]

  32. Hi FEd,

    Hope you had a good weekend.

    Thanks for the Comfortably Numb audio, one of the best versions in my opinion. You mentioned an EMI newsletter. Where exactly can I sign up for it?

    And also thank you to Tomasz for your Gdańsk experience. I wish I could have been there, even though I will see it in less than a month.


    [You used to be able to sign up on the homepage. Please click your name above for the other track mentioned in the newsletter: ‘Astronomy Domine’ (and check your e-mail, too). – FEd]

  33. [Yes, good question. Very good. – FEd]

    Laughed for about 4 mins and 24 seconds on that one FEd. Da Iawn!

    [You hadn’t signed up for their once-in-a-blue-moon newsletter, then? – FEd]

    More like once in a leap year.

    Oh, by the way, my birthday this Friday, let’s all meet in the chatroom.

    Happy Days!
    Simon J

    [Good idea, Simon. – FEd]

  34. well, everything Mr Gilmour does is unbelievable, I have a big collection of his works including on an island and i will not think twice to get this new one in blu-ray, I hope…

    just by curiosity any plans to play in seattle wa?

    thanks a lot Mr Gilmour, your inspiration is our greatest moments.

    [No plans and no Blu-ray, sorry. – FEd

  35. FEd, hope you had a restful long weekend! Ours in the US falls on this coming week with September 1st known as the Labor Day.

    Perfect picture of that charming smile of David; I venture to say that you can only spot that “special” smile of David during his performances – symbolizing his intense satisfaction when performing (my interpretation, of course).

    FEd, since you are mentioning about the different languages that will be available for the live album, I would like to share this article that I came across today – I hope the link works.

    Thank you.

    [I’m afraid there was no link. – FEd]

  36. Just watched the screener for the Gdansk DVD and also got to listen to the 2 audio CDs. Simply brilliant. The YouTube clips are nice appetizers but nothing like the main course.

    Thanks David for yet another great document of your amazing tour!

  37. I thought all this music was covered on Remember That Night.

    This just seems like a repeat with the exception of live CDs.

    [That’s very unfair, George. This is a live CD with assorted extras, one of which is a concert DVD from what was not only the culmination of David’s first solo tour in 20-odd years, but also a very special, emotional event in a highly-charged, historic setting (at the request of one of the last century’s most inspirational men, don’t forget). – FEd]

  38. I went to Gdansk for three days, perhaps to avoid haste.

    I arrived there on the 25th of August and I decided to have a walk through the Gdansk streets. Suddenly some well-known sound came to my ears, someone was playing saxophone.

    I turned right and between some buildings I saw some part of the stage and the screens. Quite excited I went closer to see it better. Eventually I found a nice piece of land from where I was able to observe the whole stage and the rehearsal that was taking place.

    I felt a bit shaky when I heard ‘High Hopes’ and ‘A Great Day For Freedom’, that was really amazing.

    On the next day, at 11 a.m. I went to the monument where David and Lech Walesa were supposed to lay wreaths (I had read it on a leaflet). When I got there, I didn’t find many people so I thought everything had finished. But immediately the journalists parted and I was face to face with David Gilmour, his wife, children and Rick Wright. They were just in front of me, looking at me. Oh my god!

  39. Thanks for the link on “A World without Water”. Water is a simple and basic thing in our daily life and many of us may even have taken it for granted.

    I am saddened and alarmed by such terrible conditions that many people are living in without it.

    I am much annoyed and agitated by the big corporations that conveniently “taking over” the lands for their own gains where water is available to those who need it… SAD!!

  40. [I thought all this music was covered on Remember That Night. This just seems like a repeat with the exception of live CDs. – George Beatty]

    Don’t buy it then!

  41. What a pleasure to read you, Tomasz, thank you!

    I am still hoping for your memories (and extra adventures on the way to Gdansk), Melissa … and also for yours, FEd…


  42. Smashing review Tomasz !

    I’ve been reading an article in New Scientist magazine, 23rd August issue, about global use of water and why it is scarce to some.

    There is a term, Virtual Water, coined by a researcher in the field who describes the practice of importing crops that require a lot of water to grow, into a country that is compensating for water scarcity. Apparently sub-Saharan Africa and similar less well developed countries have become major importers of this virtual water even though they don’t have a particular scarcity of water.

    The writer of the article proposes that the “looming water crisis is primarily a problem of distribution and management rather than supply”.

    Its a very interesting article, some of it can be read on the web site, they have a facility for you to subscribe for a trial period free of charge I think.

    Fed, the UK, Netherlands and Uruguay are the most water efficient countries in the developed world. New Zealand and Canada have the highest water consumption.

    ash X

    [Very interesting. Thanks, Ash. – FEd]

  43. Where has the time gone? I can hardly believe that it’s been two years since I saw David in Gdansk, and watched Tomasz experience his very first jalapeno pepper. 🙂

    Great moments like these must be remembered often to counteract all the bad moments in life.

    On the day of the show, it poured rain all day, and I was in a panic worrying that the concert would be rained out, but in the late afternoon, the rain stopped and blue skies prevailed.

    Not long after I was seated, I decided to make a dash for the restroom before the show started, and right as I made it to the door, I heard a heart beat and then I felt the sound waves from that first note of ‘Breathe’. I turned right around and ran back to my seat. Funnily enough, the same thing happened to Tracy and I at The Ritzy last year…

  44. …It’s hard for me to put into words the feelings I had that night. It was so emotionally overwhelming that I wish I had some way to express how I truly felt. If I could play a guitar, then maybe I could express myself in that way. What a song I would play.

    I am really thankful that David has decided to share that event with the rest of you, as it was indeed the best show ever! Just wait till you hear the orchestra. It was such a beautiful compliment to the already brilliant line up on stage.

    Thank you David for such a beautiful experience. I will never forget the special things you did to make the show a special event…the wine glasses, the big screens, ‘Wot’s… Uh The Deal’, ‘Fat Old Sun’ and of course ‘Comfortably Numb’ was gripping. Your voice and guitar never fails to please.

  45. What great memories of a great show, I wished I was there!

    But my claim to fame is that it happened on my birthday, so it has got to be worth buying the DVD for that alone!!

    [Belated birthday greetings, Adrian. – FEd]

  46. …and another thing, if not for David’s show in Gdansk, I may have never travelled overseas. I may have never rode in the back of a Polish paddy wagon, on my way to the police department, where I was to report my lost/stolen passport.

    I’d have never sat on the Polish seashore, all alone at midnight listening to OAI, with my new friend Zywiec (a Polish beer), and crying over the fact that the show was in the past, as was my passport.

    If not for losing my passport , I’d never have taken a train ride through the interior of Poland, headed to Warsaw where the US Embassy is located. Going down those tracks, I couldn’t help but think of the people loaded in rail cars on their way to the concentration camps. I wondered if I may have looked upon the same field or tree which was seen by their scared eyes.

    I told you it was an emotional event.

  47. I like the samples of the DVD. Tastefully done!

    I like the idea of assorted extras. Each experience is richer than the next. When you cover different/special events you’re always capturing something special!

  48. Great picture above. Would it happen to be one of Polly’s?

    Barbara P

    [Yes, it is. Please click it for the full image. – FEd]

  49. Just watched the DVD screener for the 5th time. Remember That Night was a small, intimate show compared to Gdansk.

    I stopped comparing the two after the 1st viewing. Although the tracks are similar, these are 2 very different concert experiences, sonically and visually. Both are brilliant and wonderful representations of the tour.

    I’m still excited about buying the 5-disc set even though I have the screener and CDs! Nobody will be disappointed by the Gdansk material.

    Thanks again David for all you’ve given us over the past 2 years.


  50. Gdansk was an amazing experience. I had some flight bonus points and took a plane down to Poland – I didn’t dare to miss out on David & co playing together with a symphony orchestra!

    So much good stuff happened during that show that I’m sure I will relive watching and listening to the upcoming release.

    As always – Echoes was one of the highlights and it brought tears to my eyes and chills all over my body. People were all in a good mood and the band was in their best of form. Hearing Comfy Numb with the whole orchestra was an out of body experience.

    David’s live band is amazing and I hope I will be able to see him sometime in the future.


  51. Michal, your photo is so representative of the love between David and Polly. They look so in love together even with many people disturbing around!!! It is a nice photo!

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