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What has 2021 got in store for us?

With the start of the new year, and the dreadful 2020 now thankfully just a memory, thoughts are now turning to what the future may bring, particularly on a Pink Floyd related front. Whilst things generally are still very much up in the air, January is always a good time for – either serious or completely outlandish – speculation and pondering on things which might happen across the coming year. Covid-19 put paid to concert plans last year of course. We were looking forward to shows that had been announced by Nick Mason’s Saucerful Of Secrets, and Roger Waters with his This Is Not A Drill tour, which was to be “in the round” rather than the normal end stage presentation. Both tours were naturally postponed. Some places have tentatively resumed shows but most haven’t yet. Will it take significant inroads into vaccinations, and infection rates/hospitalisations significantly reduced, before concerts will properly resume? Standing gigs would seem particularly unlikely for a while. One thing that seemed clear last year was that once initial lockdown issues had been dealt with (for example, pressing plants and warehouses closed) and new working methods worked out, there was a buoyant release market for artists across the musical spectrum. Whilst a lot of the material was retrospective, with deluxe editions and suchlike, there was also a lot of new material released as well, some of which had been inventively recorded during lockdown. The normal, annual Record Store Day turned into three, pretty full events, with an additional raft of releases on Black Friday, and with National Album Day also taken into account, it was a busy time on the music front. So, it’s time for you to look into your crystal balls – what do you think or hope 2021 will bring us, in particular on the Floyd-related front? It would be interesting if you have other thoughts too. Record Store Day has been announced for June 12th, and there’s normally some tasty things released that day. Will there be a Floyd-related release this year? When do you think gigs will resume? Drop us a line (at matt@brain-damage.co.uk) and let us know what your views are!

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Martin announces David Gilmour custom signature guitars

During next week’s NAMM Believe in Music Week, guitar manufacturers C F Martin & Co are introducing a brace of David Gilmour Custom Signature Edition D-35 guitars. Following the 2019 Christie’s Auction, Martin’s partners at Westside Distribution in the UK approached Gilmour, who agreed to collaborate with Martin on a six string and a twelve string D-35. “I was so excited when Westside contacted us about the opportunity to build a signature model for David,” said Fred Greene, Vice President of Product Development at Martin Guitar. “He is one of my all-time favorite guitar players, and having the chance to collaborate with him on an instrument was truly a bucket list moment for me. The collaboration is also a perfect fit for Martin Guitar, a company that shares David’s hope for a more sustainable world that we can leave in good conscience for generations to come.” “Looking back on the design process,” Greene said, “My first thought was that David might want a replica of his 1969 D-35, and, while that would be cool, it would not leave a lot of room for creativity. I was so excited to hear that he was more interested in creating something unique and special to this moment in time. I knew we could provide him with options and features that would allow this new instrument to exist on its own merits, while still drawing upon his original D-35 for inspiration. Much like David’s music, this guitar is a unique and inspirational piece of art that hopefully will inspire others to create their own art.” The Martin Custom Shop created three prototypes that would later be presented to David for feedback. Typically made with rosewood, this is the first time Martin built a three-piece back “35” with sinker mahogany. The 6- and 12-string models are both finished in vintage gloss, a historic process normally available only on the Martin Authentic Series models. Both models have head stamps, as found on early Martin guitars, however, this is the first time in its history that Martin has created special head stamps for an artist signature edition. Both guitars come in a slate blue case, a nod back to the blue case that David’s original D-35 would have left the factory in all those years ago. Finally, and as if all this isn’t already special enough, every guitar bears a custom internal paper label, each one individually signed by David himself. Martin will produce a total of 250 guitars, split between the 6-string and 12-string models. They will be available for purchase at select Martin retailers, with the partnership supporting the David Gilmour Charitable Foundation. For more information, visit www.martinguitar.com/gilmour (http://www.martinguitar.com/gilmour). Photo by Polly Samson