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Latest Album News

 Luck and Strange set to release September 6.

David Gilmour has announced his new album ‘Luck and Strange’, to be released on 6th September on Vinyl, CD, Blu-Ray, Digital and Deluxe Box Set editions via Sony Music. Musicians contributing to the record include Guy Pratt & Tom Herbert on bass, Adam Betts, Steve Gadd and Steve DiStanislao on drums, Rob Gentry & Roger Eno on keyboards with string and choral arrangements by Will Gardner. The title track also features the late Pink Floyd keyboard player Richard Wright, recorded in 2007 at a jam in a barn at David’s house.

Luck and Strange

1. Black Cat
2. Luck and Strange
3. The Piper’s Call 
4. A Single Spark
5. Vita Brevis
6. Between Two Points - with Romany Gilmour
7. Dark and Velvet Nights
8. Sings
9. Scattered

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David Gilmour Recording in Studio

David Gilmour’s first album in nine years ‘Luck And Strange’ began life with Gilmour and Polly Samson – a songwriting partnership that’s currently celebrating its 30th anniversary - working together in what Gilmour calls “a tiny house in London, with one room set up as a little studio and the room above it set up as Polly's writing room". “We just got really, really comfortable at home during lockdown, walking in the same woods, looking for the same mushrooms, we didn’t really un-lockdown,” says Samson. “I had bits of songs, David had bits of music, but there was a feeling we might never actually do anything if we didn’t make a change. Something had to give.”

That something was when Gilmour unexpectedly sent producer Charlie Andrew a DM on Instagram, impressed by his work with Mercury Prize-winning – and decidedly un-Pink Floyd-esque – indie band atl-J. After Andrew established that it really was David Gilmour contacting him – “I’m not sure he’d actually heard of David Gilmour,” laughs Samson - they had a meeting. “We invited him down to the house and he came and listened to a demo or two and he was sort of like: “well, why does there have to be a guitar solo there?”,” laughs Gilmour, “and “do they all fade out? Can’t some of them just end?” He has a wonderful lack of knowledge of, and respect for my past. And he’s very direct and he says what I think and he’s not in any way overawed and I loved that. This is just so good for me, because the last thing you want is people just deferring everything back to you.”

Luck and Strange’s story begins in early 2020 when Gilmour and Samson had plans. Samson had a new novel ready due for publication, A Theatre For Dreamers. They’d worked on music for the audiobook and planning on going on tour together, albeit to literary festivals, rather than rock venues. Their set designer son and daughter-in-law had even built a stage set, then came Covid, and lockdown, the latter literally the same week that A Theatre For Dreamers was published. “I was in floods of tears because my book was coming out, and I’d worked on it for 100 years and suddenly no one was going to be able to read it. And then my son Charlie kind of went “oh God, just do it online”. We both went “what?” And that became the livestream.”

The Von Trapped Family, as it became known, mushroomed into a weekly series that quickly became one of lockdown’s unexpected pleasures. It starred Gilmour and Samson’s extended family – and, indeed, pets – and its topics took in everything from Charlie Gilmour’s superb memoir Featherhood to Gilmour ruminating on his childhood friendship with the late Syd Barrett and performing the latter’s song Dominoes. In fact, it featured a lot of music, usually performed by Gilmour and daughter Romany. “It started off with everyone singing – me, Charlie, his baby and then, gradually, the rest of us started to realise what we sounded like and left them to it,” says Samson.

“It showed us what a great blend Romany’s voice and harp-playing could be to things,” adds Gilmour. “And that sort of led us into a whole extra sort of feeling of discarding the past that I was bound to, in a way. I could chuck out all those rule books and we could do whatever the fuck we liked. And that,” he adds. “has been a joy.” It’s also a feeling that informs Luck And Strange, the first David Gilmour album since 2015’s Rattle That Lock, an album that somehow manages to sound exactly like David Gilmour – there’s no mistaking who’s responsible for the guitar solo at the start of the title track – while sounding unlike any album he’s made before. It involves a young producer and a new set of musicians with a fresh approach to Gilmour and Samson’s songs. And whatever you thought David Gilmour might release in 2024, it’s unlikely to have involved a cover of a track by dimly remembered early 00s indie duo The Montgolfier Brothers. But there it is, on Luck And Strange: a version of Between Two Points, a song both Gilmour and Samson thought had been a hit – they’ve had it on a playlist for years – and which features vocals by Romany. “Her voice has got a slightly diffident thing to it because she didn’t want to do it: “Oh God, I’ve got to get a train home and write an essay!” We made her do it before she left. She was really cross.”

Charlie Andrew, as well as offering a sharp critique of the material, proved an impressively hard taskmaster in the studio. “He was doing a session with [legendary 78-year-old session drummer] Steve Gadd,” remembers Samson. “He flew in from LA, this is his first session with Charlie and he was there for 12 hours every day, hitting things, while Charlie said “another one just like that with the brushes! Right, now another one but change the snare!” We’ve both seen other producers at work and they don’t do that. At the end of the first day, David went “oh my God, what if Steve Gadd decides to just fuck off?” But he didn’t. Not a word of complaint. He just got on with it. And Charlie did exactly the same thing to David: “Right, another take, sing that verse again! OK, we’ve done that verse, now do it like this.” He’s really, really on it, he doesn’t mind listening to hundreds of takes.”

Andrew also brought in brought both alt-J arranger Will Gardner (“a genius,” says Gilmour) and a selection of fresh musicians into the album sessions, which took place in a repurposed Salvation Army hall in Brighton: drummer Adam Betts, bassist Tom Herbert and keyboard player Rob Gentry. All have backgrounds in jazz – Herbert was a member of Seb Rochford’s Polar Bear and Acoustic Ladyland; Betts plays with punk-jazz sextet Melt Yourself Down, although he’s also known for his ability to replicate the complex rhythms of drum & bass as part of Goldie’s live band – and all are, in Gilmour’s words “dynamite”, capable of pulling the music on Luck And Strange in different directions. “Tom Herbert turned up with a bass guitar and all these strange effects pedals. He was doing something I don’t really understand, that created a whole different vibe on the song. It took me a while to get used to,” laughs Gilmour. “I was quite grumpy for a day or two, but we got some really good stuff down.”

There’s also an unexpected posthumous appearance from Rick Wright on the album’s title track ‘Luck and Strange “I toured in 2006, and Rick asked if he could be in my band and I said ‘of course’,” explains Gilmour. “And when we finished that tour, in January, I got together that touring band and said, “come down to the house and we’ll jam for a week in the barn”. What was going through my addled brain I don’t know – it was fucking freezing in that barn. Anyway, the first jam we did on the Monday morning was the one that became that song – I added a chorus and middle-eight, rebuilt the stuff on top with different chords. There’s bits where Rick’s playing a Hammond lick and I’ve put guitars on since and I’m playing with him, bouncing off his keyboards and it is a bit weird, but I’m not phased by that element of Rick being there at all at the moment. I just think: “ah, it’s Rick, it’s me, we’re playing.”

Samson’s lyrics, meanwhile, ruminate darkly on mortality – “the constant,” she says, “something we talked about a lot during lockdown: ‘what am I going to do when you die and I’m left all alone?’” – and, on The Piper’s Call, what Samson calls “The Faustian pact – it could be with celebrity and fame, it could be with using up the planet, or it could be with hedonism”. The title track, meanwhile, attempts to place the recent horrors of the 21st Century into some kind of context, albeit a fairly despairing one. “That song really came from the time of the Ukraine invasion, thinking “this is awful, what’s going on – plague, then war. And then someone said to me ‘maybe if you look at history, you’ll see this is normal, you’ve just lived through periods that didn’t have those things and that’s abnormal’. And I think that’s chilling, really chilling.”

Dark times or not, it’s pretty clear that Gilmour and Samson feel energised by the experience of making Luck And Strange. There are a handful of live dates planned – Rob Gentry and Adam Betts are in his backing band – and then ensure that the next David Gilmour album doesn’t take nine years to appear. “Our plan is just to get this one out and run it and then do another one straight away,” he says. “. I will be working with all these people again. I’ve had this problem in the past, of wanting to throw myself in the studio with a few people and just kick stuff around, but not knowing who those people should be. And that is now a pressure that’s evaporated, because I’ve got these phone numbers. It feels like a team and I love being in a team - I didn’t choose to be a solo artist. Being in a band when you’re young, you’re equal members at the outset – you can shout at each other and criticise and have any tantrum you like, but you still stick together. But when you have achieved the higher levels of success, most of the people that come into your sphere are going to look to you. They’re not going to be like Charlie Andrew – Charlie is the kind of refreshing thing that you want to have happen to you.”

David GIlmour Luck and Strange
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