David Gray performed a selection of tracks from his eighth album Draw The Line aswell as classics from his back catalogue at an intimate Q The Music Club Live at the Hard Rock cafe on January 14, 2010.
David Gray pops up from the audience and the packed crowd are drawn to attention as he launches straight into Fugitive, the opening track from his latest long player Draw The Line. Live, the track is given a slightly more earnest and rocked out feel, nodded to vigorously by Gray with his endearing and so familiar he should trademark it on-stage head movements.
Those wondering whether we'd also see any older material were quickly put out their quandary with a performance of Sail Away from 1999's breakthrough album White Ladder (was it really that long ago?). Not that he's been resting on his laurels since, as The Other Side from it's follow up resonated. The stark piano ballad written around the death of his father, it's recurring chords hanging in the air after as the final notes decayed.
Switching from contemplation to frustration, the title track from his new eighth album was stomped out in a more folk-rock fashion, Gray intoning like a man burdened "In the name of liberty/In the name of brotherhood/Had to draw the line". It's a song that raises many questions about what the protagonist is struggling against but provides no answer, a possible comment on The Iraq War perhaps? He does have a Dylan-tinged seam in his early work and there are enough appropriate references, a self-directed dose of reality? the documenting of some hitherto unknown personal struggles? it's intriguing any which way, the only certainty being the summation to whoever it's directed at that enough really means enough.
Babylon reminded many of the fans in the audience of the song that got them into the man's music in the first place. A gem even the singer-songwriter genre's detractors would have to concede confidently navigates the tightrope of a straightforward love song narrative, heartfelt, emotive and a deft blend of acoustic folk and sympathetic warm programmed beats. Please Forgive Me followed it with the equally radio-friendly The One I Love. The shimmering lead guitar on Nemesis provided a more rocky (in the relative/acoustic sense) end to proceedings with the band's getting off on an extended instrumental break. No encore this time, but sometimes it's good to keep people wanting more.
- Sail away
- Dead Below
- The Other Side
- Draw The Line
- Please Forgive Me
- The One I Love