Thoughts and music of double J x

David Gray: Live In Lvrpl

gray live2 cutDavid Gray: Philharmonic Hall: Liverpool: 1st Dec 2014

How many great songs do you hear on the radio these days! How many of the songs you heard today will you remember in 5 minutes, let alone 5 years or 10 and beyond! Tonight an artist steps onto the re-vamped Philharmonic stage who has a whole book of great songs, in fact a shed load of classics! Yet you don’t hear much of him on the radio these days, well you do on my show…

Tonights opening salvo of songs are brand new ones taken from a new album, but they already sound like ‘old friends’ David has that ‘busker’ feel down to a tee where every song is different, yet every song sounds the same… That’s not a critique, in fact far from it, it’s a talent that many of today’s pretenders to the singer songwriter throne would be pressed to remember…

Miss Penny Lane tell’s me that David reminds her of a solo Michael Stipe with hints of Bono, and that again say’s so much about how great an artist he really is. No REM/U2 No David Gray… No Gray… No Coldplay… That’s how the story goes and you can see and hear how David weaves through all his influences and also where others have taken their bit of him… Apart from ‘Say Hello, Wave Goodbye’ which is an amazing cover of the Soft Cell classic, although David does note that ‘I was never going to cover Sex Dwarf! I didn’t even know what one was! But it sounded cool’ Indeed…

gray live3Highlights of the opening set include ‘As The Crow Flies’ ‘Last Summer’ ‘Kathleen’ and the title track from his latest album ‘Mutineers’ all sound even better than on record due to the incredible sound in the Philharmonic Hall, why artists don’t record their sets here and put them out as live albums has always been and now even more of a mystery to me…

David tells us that ‘I’m going to play a song I wrote just for the money, which he’d said he would never do, as opposed to writing songs from within, he now realises that’s just ‘Bullshit’ and nothing else matters…He Play’s ‘This Years Love’ and promptly has to stop as he forgets the words. starts again and continues to lose his place and misplace even more lyrics, it’s an amusing and endearing moment as he just plays on as if it’s meant to be, and this is proof how comfortable he has become in his modern skin, the David of ten years ago perhaps would not have found this moment so funny…

David Gray – “The One I Love” official video http://youtu.be/bqJnIsWQKgA

I have seen David play several times over the years from the streets of Liverpool when he lived in the city to the ‘White Ladder’ of success, but now he has become a consummate artist, at home in his skin. He of course brings out the big guns of ‘Sail Away’ ‘Please Forgive Me’ a sublime ‘Silver Lining’ and a heart stopping solo acoustic version of ‘Babylon’ He played for over two hours and was gone, of course leaving you wanting a little more, but proving that the modern ‘Gray‘ is just as reflective and effective as any other version you may have seen in the past…

gray live4The set ends with a ten minute ‘Nemesis’ which combines the depth and power of David’s solo and band work into one epic finishing touch, placed with an impressive light show and the Philharmonic’s acoustics it’s a high note to close another great show from the man radio forgot but music fans did not…

Nemesis (live at Zermatt Unplugged) http://youtu.be/pcDwuulZoiY

We exit into rainfall on the streets of Liverpool with the strains of Lennon’s ‘Starting Over’ ringing in our ears, it’s apt and proper in the city of ‘night’ where so many hopes and dreams have been both shattered and realised… Yesterday All My Troubles Seemed So Far Away… Tomorrow Never Knows! Jj 2014

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