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David Gray - Symphony Hall, Birmingham 29.03.2019

Let me get straight to the point. What a show!

Mr Gray has been on my 'must-see' list for a long while now and seeing him now at this stage of his career meant there was such a wealth of a back catalogue to lose myself within.

The gig lasted around 2 hours and 15 minutes and showcased a lot of David's classic tracks as well as an emphasis on his new material from his 'Gold In A Brass Age' album which dropped earlier in the month.

Opening with new song 'Mallory', he showed that like a fine wine, Mr Gray just gets better and better and his ability to write great lyrics has not faded over time. As with any new album being promoted to an audience of devoted fans, you always know the newer tracks act more as 'growers' and the people essentially want to hear the songs they have loved over the last few decades. Nevertheless, all of the songs from his new album went down a storm. From the opener, we moved on to other new songs 'The Sapling'. 'Gold In A Brass Age' and 'Furthering' which conveniently follows the order of tracks on the new offering. First time heard the latter on the new album I wasn't totally sold by it but the more I hear it, the more I appreciate it. A few new tracks, 'A Tight Ship', 'Hall Of Mirrors' and 'If 8 were 9' followed and then we got into the more 'crowd-pleasing' tune phase of the show.

'White Ladder' classics 'Sail Away' and 'My Oh My' followed next, both to a very welcoming and settled in crowd, happy to finally exercise their vocal chords. The next several tracks were taken from the 'New Day At Midnight' and 'Life In Slow Motion' albums, tracks including 'Be Mine', 'Hospital Food' and 'The One I Love' brilliantly sung by a wonderful artiste, going from guitar to keyboard and back again.

'Birds Of The High Arctic' from 2014 album 'Mutineers' followed after the turfing out of a raucous member of the audience. Even David advised the person to 'sort themselves out'; during his first attempt of starting the ballad. In unison, the rest of the audience serenaded the unruly couple out of the venue to chants of' 'Out out out!' Rightly so as well. The show commenced.

Feeling nostalgic, we were then treated to two tracks from the 'Lost Songs' album, 'As I'm Leaving' and 'Tidal Wave' to foot tapping pleasure from the 2 thousand strong crowd. Six minute favourite of mine from the 'White Ladder' album 'Silver Lining' was then performed as the set slowly began to wind down. 'Babylon', probably the most commercially famous track from Gray was then played to the crowd to end the show (pre-encore of course).

Stomping feet brought David back to the stage for two last tracks 'This Years Love' and 'Please Forgive Me' wrapping the show up completely.

If you are a fan of David, I recommend him to anyone. His vocals are still as passionate as ever, his lyrics still hold relevance and tell captivating stories. I am always going to be biased with shows I go to but it was a brilliant night and an experience I won't soon forget.

Thank you David. You truly are 'Gold' in any age.

Review - Dave Slater

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