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It is 45 years since Pink Floyd recorded their seminal live film at the desolate Pompeii amphitheatre for a live performance of their album Meddle. David Gilmour returned to perform a one-off concert to a select crowd of about 3,000 people, at the foot of Mount Vesuvius.

 

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Polly Samson is an author and lyricist who has written many lyrics for Pink Floyd albums. She is also a photographer and, try as she might, she could not persuade her husband to take off his shirt to revisit the 1971 look of the first Pompeii movie.

 

 

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The lighting rig is fully tested in the afternoon before the show, while the musicians take a break to look around the city.

 

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Historian Mary Beard gives Gilmour and Samson a tour of the ancient site. She explained how Pompeii as a provincial town was the ‘Shepton Mallet of the Roman World’.

 

 

 

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Beard and Gilmour catch up.

 

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Adrian Maben conceived and directed the original 1971 Pink Floyd production.

 

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Gilmour and Samson head to the stage, down one of the tunnels which would last have been used by performing gladiators.

 

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Gilmour works through his guitar set-up during the afternoon with guitar technician Phil Taylor. With a mixture of modern digital boxes and vintage pedals from the 60s, 70s and 80s his uniquely authentic live sound is crafted in incredible detail.

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A vintage Electric Mistress flanger pedal, BK Butler handmade Tube driver pedals, the Cali-76 studio compressor, a vintage Big Muff fuzz box, and Boss graphic equaliser pedal.

A pair of programmable MIDI EQ pedals, Vitalizer digital delay pedal, Free The Tone digital delay, picks, and all-important cup of tea.

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A pair of acoustic guitars sit behind The Workmate, a Gibson Les Paul and the famous ‘Black Strat’ – a black Fender Stratocaster, complete with Jimi Hendrix’s guitar strap, which he wore at the Isle of Wight festival weeks before he died. The strap was a gift from his wife for his 60th birthday.

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People wait outside the venue before the show. There was a real awareness in the crowd that to be allowed into the amphitheatre for a concert was something special.

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The band take a bow at the end of the show.

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Gilmour and the rest of the band leave the stage.