Lee Speaks About Music… #35

Live At Pompeii (2 CD/2 Blu Ray Deluxe Box Set) – David Gilmour



The amphitheatre at Pompeii in Italy is no stranger to David Gilmour. It was the very place where he and the band Pink Floyd decided to film a documentary way back in October 1971. It featured the band playing a set of their songs to camera crew only and no live audience, due to the fact that a live audience was not permitted at the time.

The last time the amphitheatre had seen a live audience was many, many moons ago back in AD 79 and that would of been to see some gladiator in battle or thrown to the lions, rather than watch some 70 year old man in 2016 plug in his guitar and play to a much smaller audience that they did this time around.

Since the release of David Gilmour’s last solo album Rattle That Lock in September 2015. He very much spent the rest of 2015 and 2016 touring to promote the album with live shows performed in various parts of the world. The amphitheatre at Pompeii was the smallest venue of them all. But I dare say Mr. Gilmour now granted with the permission to play in front of a live audience, perhaps wanted to make another little piece of history.

Live At Pompeii Release…

Live At Pompeii by David Gilmour was released on the 29th September 2017 and was made available with the choice of the following releases. A 2 CD version. 4 Vinyl LP version. A DVD. A single Blu Ray version. A Digital Download and a Deluxe Box Set containing 2 CD’s. 2 Blu Rays and various other collectibles inside the box.

Prior to its release it was screened worldwide on various cinema houses from the 13th September 2017. Though some of the songs on the official release were omitted from the cinema screenings. Maybe Mr. Gilmour is getting a bit hard up for cash or something because it does appear that he is certainly milking this release.

I myself opted for the 2 CD/2 Blu Ray Deluxe Box Set and there were a few reasons why I did so. The main reason was for the 2 Blu Rays simply because I already have quite a few David Gilmour concerts on DVD and I can tell you the best one by far is the 2 DVD Special Edition of Remember That Night which was released back in 2007. The venue for that concert was at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

The really good thing about that particular release is that the 2nd DVD contained some superb bonus material and the double DVD contained over 5 hours of footage on it. It cost me all of about £14 back then which was a genuine bargain. So that was another good thing I liked about it :)))))

So it was a must for me to make sure I had all the extras by going for the Deluxe Box Set of Live At Pompeii has it was the only way I could be sure of not missing out on anything.

The single Blu Ray release was never gonna do it for myself and being as this was not like expensive Pink Floyd Box Sets costing hundreds of pounds and at a more modest price of £45.68p which I eventually got it for having it pre-ordered on Amazon a couple of months before its release.

So What’s In The Box?…

Well regarding of what you get inside the box and is it worthy of its price point? I done a quick unboxing video on the same day of its release when it arrived.

You may think my video presentation of the unboxing is a bit unfair with some of the things I said here about the way it’s packaged and everything you are getting here for the money. But having already brought the CD/Blu Ray Deluxe Box Set of David Gilmour’s Rattle That Lock back in 2015 which only cost me £20. I knew exactly what to expect before I even opened the packaging, and both Box Sets have been packaged in exactly the same way.

Comparing The 2 Box Sets & Weighing Up The Price Point…

I thought it would be a good idea to make a comparison between the both box sets to try and measure up why this particular cost me £25 more than the previous one. Here is what comes in both the box sets, starting with the 2015 Box Set of Rattle That Lock.



The contents you get inside are as follows: A Poster. An envelope that contains 1 Post Card. 1 Small white Guitar Plectrum with David Gilmour signature on it. 2 Mini sized hardbound books. 1 CD and 1 Blu Ray. Now let’s take a look at the Live At Pompeii Box Set.



The contents inside are as follows: A Poster. 4 Postcards. A Booklet. 1 Mini sized hardbound book. 2 CD’s and 2 Blu Rays.

Although it may look like there is a lot more inside the Live At Pompeii Box Set out of the 2 here, it practically only weighs half as heavy as the Rattle That Lock Box Set. This is down to the fact that you get 2 Mini sized hardbound books instead of only 1. These mini sized books are also the most expensive items to make that are inside these box sets.

Inside the Live At Pompeii Box Set you get 4 post cards instead of 1 that comes with the Rattle That Lock Box Set. But you do not get a guitar plectrum. In terms of cost it works out pretty much the same, but the guitar plectrum is perhaps the most collectable item here, and right now I would also say that the Rattle That Lock Box Set is winning by 2 points to 0.

You do get a booklet inside the Live At Pompeii Box Set to which you do not in the Rattle That Lock Box Set. I am not entirely sure if it’s worth a point but never the less let’s give it one, and so far the Rattle That Lock Box Set is winning by 2 points to 1.

The last contents inside the box sets are the discs. No doubt the Live At Pompeii Box Set is the winner of this section being has it does have 4 discs instead of 2. So has it does have 2 discs more I am going to give it another 2 points, making the overall score 3 – 2 to the Live At Pompeii Box Set.

Overall it’s only really the amount of discs being twice as much that really makes the Live At Pompeii Box Set the winner here. But in reality it still cost more to make the Rattle That Lock Box Set simply because it has 2 mini hardbound books which are without a doubt the most expensive items to make.

Regarding the price point of the Live At Pompeii Box Set I would say that in relation to the Rattle That Lock Box Set that only cost £20 that it’s well overpriced by at least £15. I think that £25 to £30 is where the price point should of been set for the Live At Pompeii Box Set and not £45.

Live At Pompeii (2 CD/2 Blu Ray Deluxe Box Set) Review…

Released on the 29th September 2017 David Gilmour’s Live At Pompeii is yet another live concert release and this one takes in his tour of his latest album to date Rattle That Lock which he released in 2015 so your lead to believe :))))). I say that simply because regardless of if you are buying a David Gilmour live concert or a Roger Waters live concert. The one thing you are sure to get is very little of their own solo material and the biggest majority of it will always be made up of Pink Floyd material.

Though to be fair Gilmour does tend to feature a lot more of his own material than Waters does at live shows, and you do get 8 out of the 10 tracks from the album Rattle That Lock in total.

Oddly enough both Waters and Gilmour have both made 4 rock solo albums to date, yet when they go on tour they would both rather play the material they made with Pink Floyd simply because that name alone is bigger than both of them. It’s that very name alone and the fact that they both still go out and still play Floyd’s material, that attracts and draws the attention to pull in a crowd for people to pay for a ticket and to buy releases such as this one, and not the solo material they both make, which I feel is a shame in a way.

There is no doubt that both artists on tour are capable of still playing and making good the material they did with Pink Floyd regardless of who’s on the stage playing it with them. Nearly every concert they have both put out is still exiting in that they have always made slightly different arrangements to the songs with the different musicians they do take on tour with them. Its this that keeps it perhaps a bit more fresh and is why even I still buy them today. Though no doubt some will stand out way more than others.

This particular box set of David Gilmour Live At Pompeii comes with many extras besides the actual concert he played in 2016 at the amphitheatre itself. So let’s take a look at the contents more closely and see exactly what you’re getting here.

The 2 CD’s…

The both CD’s contain the whole of the concert that David Gilmour played at the amphitheatre in Pompeii. The 1st CD contains 12 tracks and has a total playing time of 73 minutes and 56 seconds. The 2nd CD contains 9 tracks spread over a total playing time of 74 minutes and 26 seconds. Making the whole concert near enough 2 and half hours long.

The sound quality is really excellent and the concert has been very well mixed to make it even enjoyable listening to it on CD. Though with any concert I myself very much more prefer to watch it, rather than listen to it on CD. But I have played the CD’s just for the sake of making this review, and they are quality.

The track listing of the both CD’s are as follows:

CD 1. 1. 5 A.M. 2. Rattle That Lock. 3. Faces of Stone. 4. What Do You Want From Me. 5. The Blue. 6. The Great Gig in the Sky. 7. A Boat Lies Waiting. 8. Wish You Were Here. 9. Money. 10. In Any Tongue. 11. High Hopes. 12. One of These Days.

CD 2. 1. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Pts. 1-5). 2. Fat Old Sun. 3. Coming Back to Life. 4. On an Island. 5. Today. 6. Sorrow. 7. Run Like Hell. 8. Time/Breathe (In The Air) (Reprise). 9. Comfortably Numb.

As we can see from the set list we have quite a mixed bag of David Gilmour and Pink Floyd material here. 6 of the songs here are from his latest album Rattle That Lock and he has also done 2 from his previous solo album On An Island. The other 13 songs are all Pink Floyd songs.

The Blu Ray’s…

The Blu Ray’s for me are my personal incentive with this release. To be honest I would not give a damn if it never came with the CD’s at all. Why listen to a concert when you can see it with your own eyes in high definition (HD) picture quality and have a far more superior sound quality over 6 channels in 5.1 at an high end audio rate of 24 bits 96 K. This is by far the best thing to being at the actual concert itself, and no vinyl record or CD is gonna ever get as near either.

Blu Ray Disc 1.

SS 1 Main 1

The menus are very well detailed and when the disc loads up they change colour and provides you with some background music which happens to be a snippet of “5:15 A.M.” from the Rattle That Lock album.

The 1st Blu Ray disc contains the whole of concert played at the amphitheatre in Pompeii. It features the same set list that are on the CD’s only hear you do not get any interruptions by having to change the CD :)))) and you get to see the guys playing the whole thing as well as the audience enjoying it all.

But you can also choose to play either part 1 or part 2 of the set if you do not fancy taking on all the 2 and half hours in one sitting.

Besides the actual concert itself on the first Blu Ray. You also get a 7 minute documentary entitled “Pompeii Then And Now”. This is really a great to see and for most of the documentary David Gilmour is with his other half Polly Samson and a another guy or two inside one of the tunnels in the amphitheatre which has a great photography display of Pink Floyd back when they was there back in 1971.

SS 5

I have to say the inside of the tunnels looks as if it’s been well cleaned since the days I last seen them on some old films many moons ago. It really does like a stunning display but I guess it’s only a temporary one put on for the show.

SS 6

Those were the days and this display is that impressive I am wishing I was there to see it myself.

SS 3

Besides being stuck in one of the tunnels it also shows you outside and them setting up the stage for David Gilmour’s 2016 concert to which he played there for 2 nights.

SS 4

This really is a super bit of footage and my only gripe about it, is that I wished they filmed a lot more and discussed a bit more about it, and the 7 minutes and 16 seconds you get here is just not long enough.

Blu Ray Disc 2.

SS 2 Main 2

The 2nd Blu Ray disc features the bonus material and as we can see from the menu here it contains more music and documentaries. So let’s take a look at the extra music section we get here first.

SS 7

Has you can see from the menu above here, the extra music we get here is from 2 of the other countries David Gilmour played at during the tour of his 2015 album Rattle That Lock. Though it does not give the whole of these concerts, it does show that the set list got changed during the tour, and you do get a couple of extra tracks on the both set lists that were not featured on the main concert at Pompeii.

The first mini set is from the South American tour from 2015 contains 5 songs and is some 35 minutes long. Both “Astronomy Domine” and “Us and Them” were not played at Pompeii. For this tour the band was also different in relation to the other 2 tours at Wroclaw and Pompeii he played at in 2016.

The band consisted of the following:

David Gilmour – electric guitars, lead vocals.
Phil Manzanera – electric guitars, acoustic guitars, backing vocals, high-strung acoustic guitar on “Comfortably Numb”.
Guy Pratt – bass guitars, backing vocals.
Jon Carin – piano, keyboards, electric guitars, backing vocals, lead vocals on “Time” and “Comfortably Numb”.
Kevin McAlea – keyboards.
Steve DiStanislao – drums, percussion, backing vocals.
João Mello – saxophones.
Bryan Chambers & Lucita Jules – backing vocals.

The 2nd concert footage is from Wroclaw in Poland on the 25th June 2016 and once again it contains 5 songs and is 29 minutes long. Both “Dancing Right In Front of Me” and “The Girl In the Yellow Dress” were not played at Pompeii.

The band features the same line up that played at Pompeii apart from the fact that this concert also contained an orchestra which was the Wrocław Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Zbigniew Preisner. It also featured Leszek Możdżer playing the piano on “The Girl in the Yellow Dress“.

SS 8

In the documentary section there are 5 of them in total, but the first 4 are really short ones just showing the setting up and the odd little snippet of a performance at the different venues Gilmour played at.

For example the Europe 2015 is a 12 minute Doc. South America 2015 14 minutes. North America 2016 15 minutes and Europe 2016 16 minutes.

The best documentary out of them all in this package is by far the last one entitled David Gilmour Wider Horizons. This documentary is 72 minutes long and was made back in 2015 and shown on BBC 2 back in March 2016. But it’s a great bonus to have because it’s very much an autobiography of his life from a child to where he is now.

Live At Pompeii Concert Review…

David Gilmour’s return to Pompeii started with him playing 2 live concerts at the amphitheatre on the 7th and 8th of July 2016. The concert that is featured on this release I do believe the concert footage was taken from the first night he played there being as it was the first public performance the amphitheatre had seen since August in AD 79.

The Musicians…

David Gilmour – electric guitars, acoustic guitars, classical guitar, console steel guitar, lead vocals, cymbals on “One of These Days”, whistling on “In Any Tongue”.
Chester Kamen – electric guitars, acoustic guitars, 12 string acoustic guitar, high-strung acoustic guitar on “Comfortably Numb”, backing vocals, harmonica on “The Blue”.
Guy Pratt – bass guitars, double bass, backing vocals, lead vocals on “Run Like Hell”.
Greg Phillinganes – piano, keyboards, backing vocals, lead vocals on “Time”.
Chuck Leavell – organ, keyboards, accordion, backing vocals, lead vocals on “Comfortably Numb”.
Steve DiStanislao – drums, percussion, backing vocals, aeoliphone on “One of These Days”.
João Mello – saxophones, clarinet, additional keyboards on “The Blue”, high-strung acoustic guitar on “In Any Tongue”.
Bryan Chambers – backing vocals, lead vocals on “In Any Tongue” and “The Great Gig in the Sky”.
Lucita Jules – backing vocals, lead vocals on “The Great Gig in the Sky”.
Louise Clare Marshall – backing vocals, cowbell on “Rattle That Lock”, lead vocals on “The Great Gig in the Sky”.

This was the same line up that played at the Wroclaw in Poland on the 25th June 2016 apart from Louise Clare Marshall who was brought in for the Pompeii concert only.

There are some extremely talented session players in this line up especially with the likes of both keyboard players Chuck Leavell and Greg Phillinganes and the bass player Guy Pratt who have all played for many other well known artists over the many years they have spent in their career as professional musicians. These musicians are more than capable of playing both David Gilmour’s solo material and the Pink Floyd material.

Even the rest of the guys in the line up here do a very good job to be fair, though I would not say that João Mello was a replacement for either Dick Parry or Mel Collins when it comes to playing the saxophone.

Back To The review…

There is no doubt that David Gilmour is devoting this concert to his latest album Rattle That Lock and he rolls off the first 3 tracks from that album straight away here at Pompeii. I am not going to go through every track that was played at the concert with my review here, and will merely point out some of the highlights of the show that stick out.

Set 1.

The first track that does stick out is very much the opening instrumental track “5 A.M.” this is also perhaps my favourite track off the original album, only on this live version of it touches me more deeper, and the precision of Gilmour’s tone, touch and feel on the guitar on this opening track, brought tears of joy streaming down my face.

The one thing you are going to notice on this concert is that Gilmour’s voice is not perhaps what it used to be. I am not saying it’s in any way bad, but he does appear to have lost some certain tonal and refined qualities he used to have in it.

But hey this guy was 70 years old when he did this concert and it’s quite remarkable that he still has got quite a good voice still at his age. He does struggle a bit on some of the tracks, but it’s nothing in comparison to say watching Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull who’s voice has been shot since the mid 80’s.

Another great track that has a great slightly different arrangement is “What Do You Want from Me” and Guy Pratt’s bass guitar goes to town on this track and in some ways it’s got quite a disco vibe about, even though it is more hard edged. It’s not quite got the same grit that it has when Pink Floyd performed it live back in 1994 at Earls Court or even the studio version on the Division Bell. album, but never the less it’s always great to hear it done that bit different to keep it fresh, and it works very well here for it.

At the end of the 6th track “The Great Gig In The Sky” Gilmour says a few words about the writer of the song, his old band mate Richard Wright who has we know is sadly no longer with us, and he dedicates the next song from his latest solo album “A Boat Lies Waiting” to him. It’s very much a song he wrote for Wright and it’s quite moving.

The first set finishes off with 2 Floyd classics “High Hopes” and “One Of These Days” and they do them extremely well. The latter of the 2 songs is the only song that Pink Floyd played in Pompeii back in 1971, and I would of also of loved to see them do “Echoes” here again, especially with how well Gilmour last done it live with Richard Wright back in 2007 at the Royal Albert Hall.

Set 2.

Whereas the first set rolled out 3 tracks from Gilmour’s Rattle That Lock album. The 2nd set rolls out 3 Pink Floyd tracks and mainly features the bands material. It opens up with a classic from the Wish You Were Here album with parts 1 – 5 of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond“. This is followed by “Fat Old Sun” from the Meddle album which is becoming another regular feature with Gilmour’s solo concerts and it’s another classic he can pull off very well.

It’s nice to see the self titled album track “On An Island” here, and it’s the 2nd track that gets featured from his 3rd solo album and for me personally is damn site better than “The Blue” which he does play in the first set. But it’s one song from that album that I have always found completely boring. The only good thing about that song is the musical outro I am afraid.

I never thought I would say this, but it’s also great to see one of the song’s from Floyd’s Momentary Lapse Of Reason album. For me personally that album only does have a couple of good tracks on it and “Sorrow” is certainly one of them.

I cannot say I am a fan of the track “Run Like Hell” from “The Wall” either, but they do this one very well I will say. They also do a super job of “Time/Breathe (Reprise)” and that is the best classic out of the 3 tracks that are in this encore.

The show gets ended off with a 10 minute version of “Comfortably Numb” which is a real treat for the fans I am sure and another superb job is done on it here, and it winds up a very satisfying and very good concert.


There is no doubt that David Gilmour’s Live At Pompeii is a very good concert that comes with not only really great picture and sound quality but also comes with all the lights, lasers and visuals you would get at a Pink Floyd concert. The material upon it is very much like I said earlier a mixed bag of David Gilmour and Pink Floyd songs and is what perhaps is to be expected.

Though regarding both sides of the material. I personally would of loved to seen perhaps a couple of songs each off Gilmour’s first 2 solo albums on here as well, and something you never get to see on any of the David Gilmour or Pink Floyd concerts without Roger Waters which is something from the classic album Animals.


To conclude my review of the Live At Pompeii 2 CD/2 Blu Ray/Deluxe Box Set by David Gilmour  I would say at its price point it’s very expensive and well overpriced. For me personally there is loads more in the bonus department on his 2007 2 DVD version of Remember That Night which can still be purchased for around £17. I also think that is the best concert of David Gilmour too.

The only real good thing that is on the 2nd Blu Ray in this particular package is the BBC documentary David Gilmour Wilder Horizons. Which is something I dare say you could even watch on Youtube.

There is no doubt that Live At Pompeii is worthy of buying though, and it’s a different concert that features material from his latest album Rattle That Lock beside the usual Pink Floyd material that he always tends to play. It is without doubt a very good concert and has been captured very well. It comes with stunning HD picture quality and very well detailed 5.1 Surround sound in 24/96k.

I would personally recommend the single Blu Ray or DVD version of it, rather than forking out the £45 I did for it.

Lee’s overall Complete Package Value Rating…

The Packaging Rating Score. 5/10.

The Price Point.  6/10

The Bonus Material. 6/10.

The 5.1 Mix Rating Score. 8/10.

The Overall Concert Rating Score. 8/10.

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