On the 29th of May, 2006, David Bowie would join David Gilmour on stage at London’s Royal Albert Hall to give his last ever live performance in the UK. The formidable duo performed two songs together at Gilmour’s three-night stand concert “On an Island Tour”.
The crowd were completely stunned when Bowie walked on stage during an encore where they got more than they bargained for. The crowd gave both musicians a standing ovation as Gilmour casually welcomed Bowie to the stage. Bowie’s performance was very unexpected as he had been lying low since his 2004 “Reality” tour was cancelled after he required an emergency angioplasty.
His presence at the concert was a massive surprise for millions of people, but a much welcomed return for the super star. He sung alongside David Gilmour’s sensational guitar solos and Richard Wright’s retro sounding keyboard.
They performed ‘Arnold Layne’ in honour of Syd Barett. Many fans saw this as a tribute to Pink Floyd’s founding member, Syd Barett, who not only wrote the song he also named the band.
Syd was also the lead singer in the band before Gilmour’s introduction as his replacement – following a his tough relationship with substance abuse.
To close the concert, David Bowie sang verses of the set closing “Comfortably Numb”. People commented on his voice not quite providing the power needed throughout the first verse with lots of added echo and reverb on his vocals, however, the performance still made it on “Remember That Night, a 2007 DVD of Gilmour’s residency”.
More importantly, David Gilmour was clearly happy with the duet, saying in 2007, “David Bowie might not have worked with Pink Floyd, but it fits with me.”