Pink Floyd singer and guitarist Dave Gilmour is set to play at the Roman amphitheatre in Pompeii for the first time since 1971.
Back in October 1971 Pink Floyd travelled to Italy for a live performance – the only catch was that there was actually no audience on hand to watch them.
Over four days, the band filmed a collection of songs in the empty arena, which they then released later as the concert film titled Live in Pompeii. The film, directed by Adrian Maben, went on to be a critically acclaimed hit and remains one of the greatest live concert films ever made.
Dave Gilmour will return later this year and this time he will be performing in front of an audience as he continues to promote his latest solo record Rattle That Lock.
The record was only released towards the end of last year but has already been warmly received. It is a loosely based concept album that centres on the thoughts of a man across a whole day.
“I certainly wanted to end with the theme of carpe diem, seize the day, life can be as good as you make it. There are moments of encouraging people to fight for the right to be here, to make their presence felt and protest against injustices in the world. The theme is to get in there and rattle that lock,” Gilmour said of the record in a recent interview with Rolling Stone.
Pompeii’s Cultural Minister Dario Franceschini was the first man to announce the news of Gilmour’s return on his Twitter page, where he also confirmed the dates of July 7th and 8th for the performances.
“Agreement reached. After 45 years David Gilmour will play again at Pompeii on 7 and 8 July,” he tweeted.
The site, which lay buried under ash for more than 1,500 years after the Vesuvius volcano erupted, will play host to Gilmour but it won’t all be exactly the same. Pink Floyd recorded their concert over four days at the Large Theatre, but this time it is believed he will play in the smaller amphitheatre nearby. The stone built theatre was originally made to host gladiator fights but will now host the 70-year old legend as he plays in front of 2,000 fans.
Revisit some of the epic 1971 performances if you have a spare half an hour:
Image: Mario Ruiz/EPA