TO NEW HEIGHTS

David Gray’s solo al­bum White Lad­der made him fa­mous, but he’s soon to tour Australia with a new band that in­cludes seven singers

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - LIVE & LOUD - PAUL MCBRIDE

His up­com­ing Aus­tralian visit has been a long time com­ing, so David Gray plans to grab the op­por­tu­nity with both hands.

The 46 year-old English­man is set to ap­pear at Blues­fest at By­ron Bay, as well as com­plete a run of solo shows.

But even af­ter 25 years in the busi­ness, the indie-rock vet­eran doesn’t take any­thing for granted.

“I love all the shows,” he says.

“They’re all spe­cial. I’m more at home in an in­ti­mate set­ting, be­cause so many of my songs tend that way, but I also have ex­pan­sive songs, so I can deal with the out­door sit­u­a­tions. I’ve been do­ing it a long time, and I can sense that it’s fi­nite th­ese days.”

Gray last passed our way in 2009, so he’s keen to in­tro­duce Aus­tralian au­di­ences to his new band.

“It’s great that we’re com­ing back to do a re­ally mean­ing­ful tour this time, with what is a re­ally won­der­ful in­car­na­tion of the band,” he says.

“It fea­tures seven peo­ple singing, and in or­der to give voice to this new mu­sic, that is what I deemed nec­es­sary. It’s quite some­thing when it all cranks up and every­body starts singing away.”

His 1998 break­through White Lad­der has sold seven mil­lion copies and, while much of that al­bum still fea­tures in his show, Gray has a new ap­proach to wow­ing crowds.

“When my voice is in the cen­tre and the mass har­monies are hap­pen­ing in four parts, I sing my solo but ev­ery­one else’s is dou­bled in some way,” he says.

“It gives it this big sound; like a bank of vo­cals. It’s spe­cial to be singing to­gether and is a holy thing, I think.

“It’s as close to the bone as it gets in terms of the spir­i­tu­al­ity of mu­sic.”

With his 10th stu­dio al­bum Mu­ti­neers re­leased last year, Gray has a strong body of work to choose from and a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence in fes­ti­vals and in­ti­mate shows.

A man who has been as suc­cess­ful as Gray could be for­given for tak­ing an ex­tended hol­i­day, but that’s not on the cards for the singer-song­writer.

“We have (sin­gle) Snow in Ve­gas com­ing out in Amer­ica, so if that hits it would mean more of­fers from pro­mot­ers,” he says.

“I’m in­tend­ing to do some solo shows around Europe, and there’ll be some fes­ti­vals.’’

David Gray plays By­ron Bay Blues­fest, Tya­garah Tea Tree Farm, April 4.

UK singer-song­writer David Gray is play­ing By­ron Bay’s Blues­fest.

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