The relief of David Gray after he showcased his new-style album at The Dome, Brighton, was palpable.
Gray has moved on musically since he played a storming set in Brighton soon after his 25-year career got well and truly launched.
This new ground showed as he ran through songs from his electronically-powered latest album, typically enigmatically called Brass in a Gold Cage.
Gray wasted no time in stating: “We’ll start off with the new music”, switching between keyboard and guitar for the opening song ‘Mallory’ and doing so frequently during the gig. The crowd applauded the repeated riffs of ‘Hall of Mirrors’, the bass driven ‘Watching the Waves’ and the hypnotic and excellent ‘If 8 Were Nine’ from the new collection. The most immediately accessible new song was ‘It’s Late’, written about the inability of Gray’s daughter to get up in the morning. All the new material certainly deserves further listening on the CD or download.
After two years putting together the album Gray told the crowd: “Thank you for lending your ears to listen to the new music. It means a lot to me. It feels good to get this stuff out.”
From the crowd’s point of view it obviously felt good to also hear some great old favourites as Gray told them obligingly: “We are going to dig deep.”
Strong numbers like ‘Sail Away’, ‘Be Mine’, ‘My Oh My’ and ‘The Other Side’ reminded us that he had three number one albums stuffed with top quality songs behind him from earlier days.
The immaculately performed and rousing ‘Babylon’ was a predicable hit with the fans, who ended a superb concert singing and dancing along to the soulful extended encore ‘Please Forgive Me’. In a double take ‘Please Forgive Me’ was also the song played beautifully by a busker outside the concert hall as the crowd left. The margin between fame and anonymity that drives singers seemed fragile.