Italian fans of the progressive rock band Pink Floyd will no doubt be encouraged at the news of the return of the super group’s former guitarist, David Gilmour to Pompeii this summer. The much feted English musician, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist is set to perform in the historic Roman town, returning to the scene of Floyd’s film “Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii”.

No audience at original film

The original concert documentary film featuring Pink Floyd was released in 1972 under Adrian Maben’s direction. Despite the band playing a live set typical of that era, it was notable for having no audience, a situation that Gilmour will put right for the new dates.

Filming in and around the Amphitheatre in Pompeii was completed over a four-day period in October 1971, with additional footage added to the final product from subsequent filming in a Paris television studio later that same year.

Star attraction in rock Music world

The Cambridge-born Gilmour may be in his 70s now but remains a star attraction in the music world, after a musical career spanning in excess of a staggering 50 years. In recognition of his services to the industry, he was made a CBE in 2005 on the back of Pink Floyd’s stellar sales of over 250 million records worldwide.

It’s not hard to explain why the Italians are so excited to have secured his services then. As a leading guitarist he has few peers, a fact that was recognised by readers of the Rolling Stone magazine in 2011, when they voted him as number 14 in their list of all-time greatest exponents on the instrument.

Venue to be confirmed

The news of his summer Italian dates – he will also play dates in Verona - was announced recently by the nation’s culture minister, although the precise venue seems less certain at the outset. Dario Franceschini tweeted: “After 45 years David Gilmour will play again at Pompeii on 7 and 8 July.”

A local Italian spokesman intimated that the likelihood is for Gilmour to play at the town’s Roman Amphitheatre instead of at the Large Theatre where the Pink Floyd film had been made.

Sir Elton John is another leading name in the music business expected to light up Pompeii this year, with the ‘Rocket Man’ also booked in for July.