David Gilmour - ON AN ISLAND tour April 2006
I was invited to the 2nd of two sold out shows at Radio City Music Hall in New York City show by Phil Taylor. Phil has been working with David's equipment for about thirty years. I brought a Digitech WH-1 Whammy pedal, as he needs a few spares. He used one on BLUE from the new album and it sounded awesome. I had sent them two pairs of our Sunface pedal previously, one pair a while ago and another recently when David tried them in rehearsals for the tour and wanted a spare. The Bass player, Guy Pratt, had been using the Silicon BC108 sunface for part of ECHOES.
Below is a picture from rehearsals which is from Phil's excellent book The Black Strat.
I had also done some restoration work on David's old Astrotone fuzz, here is an article about it.
Below is Guy's Silicon BC108 Sunface. David had been putting his sunface beside his Cornish pedalboard and plugging directly into it (to avoid the Cornish tube buffers from changing the fuzzface functionality). He used it in rehearsals and early shows in Europe but was not using it for the NYC shows. Phil says he really likes it so it may show up again soon.
I arrived in NYC with Jim Weider and we had a dinner of Japanese food near the theatre. Doors were at 7PM so I called Phil and met him in the lobby where we did our little deal.
At the start of the show, the stage was filled with rising steam, just tons and tons of steam! This 1930s visual effect of the Radio City Music Hall may have caused the guitar sound to be a bit flat for the first few songs, may have done something to the speakers... but it was very cool.
David playing his old black Strat which he has used since the early 70s, and Richard Wright who did some excellent lead vocals (surprised me!).
Here is David playing his steel guitar, used a very thick sound for it.
I learned about David's Cornish fuzz pedal too. He loved his 1974 original big muff, got a 2nd one back then but did not sound the same. So they modded the 2nd one to sound like the 1st. Then Pete Cornish built one from scratch for his 2nd pedalboard and it came out exactly like his 1974 original. I will have to check my old Big Muff collection and see if I can find one like that then I will be able to mod the new LITTLE BIG MUFF to sound the same. The difference is the CLARITY of the 1974 pedal - when you hear Gilmour playing it, you can still hear the tone of the guitar, not all processed and flabby like most big muffs.
David is using a pair (and one extra) Hiwatt DR 103 amp heads. They are his original 1974 Hiwatts, with OLD tubes (well used but still work fine, as tested by Pete Cornish). He is running them through WEM 4x12" cabinets with Fane Crescendo speakers in one and the other has celestion 75s (clean speakers which don't sound so good alone but along with the Fanes he gets an awesome tone).
David is also using the new Butler Tube Driver pedal, sounds better than the old ones! His WH-1 whammy is in a loop, so out of the chain when not used.
This green LASER was amazing, working with the smoke to produce an other-wordly display.
Yellow Laser, David's Gibson jumbo.
A second keyboard and slide player was on Richard's side of the stage.
David Crosby and Graham Nash showed up to perform their backing vocals from the new album and also sang on "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" and did an awesome a-cappela version of CSN's "Find the Cost of Freedom."
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