Contact Us

10 Years Ago: David Bowie Joins David Gilmour Onstage at London’s Royal Albert Hall

On May 29, 2006, David Bowie performed two songs with David Gilmour during the Pink Floyd guitarist/vocalist’s three-night stand at London’s Royal Albert Hall. It turned out to be Bowie’s last-ever U.K. live performance.

As befitting the Thin White Duke’s nonchalant demeanor, however, this cameo was low-key. During the encore, Gilmour casually welcomed Bowie to the stage, who took his place at the mic amidst a rapturous standing ovation from the crowd.

His presence was admittedly a surprise. At the time, Bowie had been lying low since his 2004 Reality tour had been abruptly canceled due to an emergency angioplasty, and his live appearances were few and far between.

Vocally, however, he showed no rust on “Arnold Layne,” a Syd Barrett composition dating from 1967. Bowie added desperate-sounding, velvety vibrato and a winking mod touch to the psych-folk classic, which also featured appropriately retro-sounding keyboards from Pink Floyd’s Richard Wright.

Bowie then sang the ominous verses on the set-closing “Comfortably Numb,” which you can see above. Unfortunately, the song wasn’t as much in his wheelhouse: During the first verse, his vocals had plenty of added echo and reverb, as if to add emotional heft to the thin-sounding performance, although by the second verse he sounded much more haunted and wary.

Still, it was a minor quibble. Bowie’s performances—which also marked his only live appearance at Royal Albert Hall—were strong enough to later end up on Remember That Night, a 2007 DVD of Gilmour’s residency. Perhaps more important, the Pink Floyd member was clearly pleased with the collaboration.

“David Bowie might not have worked with Pink Floyd,” Gilmour said in 2007. “But it fits with me.”

Watch David Gilmour and David Bowie Perform “Arnold Layne”

David Bowie Albums Ranked Worst to Best

Next: Top 10 David Gilmour Pink Floyd Songs

Best of Q107.5

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for Q 107.5 VIP quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive Q 107.5 VIP contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.