Tag Archives: David Gilmour

David Gilmour: Rattle That Lock

28 Dec

Note: This review is a “media blackout” first look at Gilmour’s solo work, hence it may well be an incomplete collection of obvious statements.

rattle that lock_smallA lot of guitarists are all about flair and flames and showing off their hottest tricks. Not David Gilmour. Despite being a guitarist of mythic proportions, Gilmour’s leadwork is all about sentiment and storytelling, which he rouses and relays through the emotive and intriguing melodies carried across in his signature tone.

While the cinematic, orchestral instrumentation and tender, mournful guitar solos permeating Rattle That Lock could well have been plucked from a Pink Floyd album (circa Dark Side of the Moon, however much I hate to make the typical reference), this is a much purer taste of what Gilmour brought to the band.

The long, plaintive, and beautifully-backdropped leadwork of opening track “5 A.M.” perfectly encapsulates this, as do the lone elegy that is “A Boat Lies Waiting”, the varied instrumental wilderness “Beauty”, and “And Then…”, an echo of “5 A.M.” which picks up pieces of its melody to symmetrically close the album.

Yet title track “Rattle That Lock” and other tracks such as “Faces of Stone” and “Dancing Right In Front of Me” present a jarringly different, squarely structured format that feels blunt when contrasted with the delicate instrumental progressions beginning, ending, and recurring throughout this album – however rallying and relevant the rattle that lock / loose those chains refrain is, much like The Wall (Pink Floyd, 1979) was (and continues to be).

While this variation in sound is impressive, to me it feels discordant rather than diverse.

Rattle That Lock makes for stirring and captivating music when tracks are hand-picked to my liking, and I am interested to see if other Gilmour fans feel the same.


It’s definitely a parenting thing.

19 Jun

The first music I ever danced to was Steely Dan.

The first music I ever recognized was Dollar Brand.

The first music I ever played (besides those AMAZING four-hour Free Jazz improvs I used to rattle off on our old Casio keyboard when I was 2) was JS Bach.

The first lyrics I ever really connected with were Pink Floyd’s.

The first lead guitarist I really fell in love with was David Gilmour

and the first person who I ever thought must’ve been the g-damn king of everything was undoubtedly Jimi Hendrix.


When he was 11, my dad busted his hardened-slacker reputation one year making sure he came top of his class, because if he did his dear old pops would buy him a guitar. He obliged: it cost him R12, and you could only really play it with a broken bottle-neck. It became known as “René’s gut-bucket” among the Avenant boys, and they would congregate from time to time to see who of them could prove their unshakeable manhood by holding three of its strings down long enough to strum a chord.

20 years later, though, he was composing music for the Jazzart dance company, and a further 20 down the line, despite his sinister B-Comm and Computer Science history, he’s finally a freelance professional musician. Whenever I bring a new friend home I kind of re-realise that my dad has a ponytail and the walls are lined with guitars, and I always end up pondering that where fathers are concerned, I really could’ve ended up with worse.

I was my dad who, conducting a series of experiments to determine what it takes to get a few-month-old dancing – and what this even looks like – discovered that I bopped up and down on my bum when he played Steely Dan. It was my dad who let me stay up a bit later because I’d jumped out of bed, having recognized the song my parents were playing, and it was my dad who showed me how to play Bach’s minuet in G and laughed when I converted it to Bach’s minuet in G minor. It was my dad who (masking numerous panic attacks) steered me away from Britney Spears and taught me about what had been going on in the world when Pink Floyd released The Wall. It was my dad again who, when the likes of Simple Plan began to find their way into our “music” folder, sat me down for a rather serious talk about Jimi Hendrix and his contributions to the rock genre. My dad taught me about contemporary music history and introduced me to the blues: its deep-running roots.

My dad introduced me to Robert Johnson, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Johnny Winter, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan and The Beatles – all of whose music means so much to me that it feels weird saying just their names out loud when people ask me what kind of music I like.

Most importantly, though, my dad brought me up having been a victim of the “Ooh, we’re writing poo-imms, are we?” generation: he warned me that human civilization is a machine if not approached correctly, and never to let anybody turn me into a cog. He taught me to be suspicious of authority, and consistently drilled into my mind that I could do whatever I wanted with my life, as long as I was doing what I wanted.

Above all, he taught me to say “fuck you” (and loudly) to society when it needs to hear it, and it’s for this that I’m damn glad René Avenant is my father.


Poppa-bear is currently on lead guitar and vocals in The Hellfire Blues Club, and they’re pretty badass.