Personalities | Pink Floyd | The Post-Break Up Era (2001) | Key Events
The Meltdown Festival
When Robert Wyatt was asked to curate the Meltdown Festival at the Royal Festival Hall, London, in June 2001 an eclectic mix of artists was guaranteed. The surprise package was Dave Gilmour agreeing to play in a venue that only seated 2,000 people with no room for airships and inflatables. Concentrating on the music Gilmour opened the set alone with an acoustic guitar and ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’. Joined by a hand-picked band and nine backing singers Gilmour then prowled through undergrowth as neglected as ‘Fat Old Sun’ from Atom Heart Mother to the well-trimmed lawn of ‘Wish You Were Here’. The final encore was a real shock: ‘Hushabye Mountain’ from the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968). The entire concert was captured for posterity and released on DVD in October 2002 as David Gilmour In Concert.
Echoes: The Best Of Pink Floyd
Floyd had been ill-served by compilation albums: Relics and A Collection Of Great Dance Songs were poorly cobbled shoes. This all changed in November 2001 with the release of the career-spanning Echoes: The Best Of Pink Floyd. What made this 26-track, two-CD set work was the fact that the running order was not chronological but tracks from all different eras and line-ups sat comfortably next to or segued into each other. The classic 1967 single ‘See Emily Play’ was followed by ‘The Happiest Days Of Our Lives’ and then ‘Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)’ from The Wall (both 1979). Nick Mason revealed in his autobiography that the band had a major say in the compilation, devising a voting system for inclusion; Roger Waters, he said, ‘would only vote for his own tracks’.
Prior to the broadband explosion it was hard to see archive footage of the early Floyd. This was remedied on 24 November 2001 when the BBC Omnibus programme aired a one-hour documentary entitled The Pink Floyd And Syd Barrett Story. The focus was on Barrett and, although Waters and early associates like guitarist Bob Klose, photographer Mick Rock and even Blur guitarist Graham Coxon were interviewed, the arresting archive footage and pictures of the Barrett-led Floyd performing tracks like ‘Interstellar Overdrive’ made for compelling viewing. ‘Too loud,’ Barrett apparently told his mother after watching the TV broadcast at his Cambridge home.
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