David Gray ends tour in mesmerising style to packed Marquee

David Gray ends tour in mesmerising style to packed Marquee
David Gray at Live at the Marquee. Picture: Miki Barlok

Tell the Repo Man and the stars above that David Gray is the one we love.

A hugely successful artist, with fans all over the world, there's no doubt that Ireland must hold a very special place in David Gray's heart. His shows here have always been a thing of legend, always hugely anticipated, capacity affairs. As was this one at the Marquee; packed, really packed.

"Hello Cork, this is the last night of the 'Gold in a Brass Age' tour," he says. "We'll start with some of the new songs."

Initially, while the new songs are excellent, he's playing over a lot of chatter. Later, of course, this all changes. He's some character for grinding out a result.

He doesn't demand respect, he earns it. Hard. From 'The One I Love' on, the night gradually rises and rises.

This night is proof that all is well the Bard of Sale, Cheshire. Arguably its biggest icon since the smiling cat in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland., he may not be in the same league of good cheer as Lewis Carroll's famed feline, but this crowd clearly got what they came for: a night of power, integrity and intense entertainment.

"This is the first outing on this tour for this next one. It's from 1995. I barely remember it. I hope you do.'

Late Night Radio. They did remember, and with some volume. He's a grim, commanding presence, but he certainly puts a broad grin on our faces.

An incredible encore, an a capella Raglan Road followed by This Year's Love.

Gray's star stills shines bright. A mesmerising performance.

His voice has aged well, as has the rest of him to be fair. At 51, trim and energetic, he's every bit as intense as he was in his thirties, when he bonded deeply with Irish audiences, and delivering a committed performance that draws a fully charged reaction.

When he's really into it, his head bobbles. Well, tonight he's like a lifesize bobble head of himself.

You'd be forgiven for presuming that Gray is on a greatest hits tour. Far from it. There's no doubt about it, the mood goes up a notch when he plays hits from 1998 classic album White Ladder. To be fair, he was never going to top an album which gave us This Year's Love, Say Hello Wave Goodybe, Please Forgive Me, Sail Away and, of course, Babylon.

If you don't already own White Ladder, then it's more likely a fault of your age than your taste or choice. Let's face it, if you're 50+ and depending on your musical preference, you probably own Fleetwood Mac's Rumours or Michael Jackon's Thriller; if you're 40+ and Irish, then your copy of White Ladder is nestled next to your Blur and/or Oasis purchases.

The reality for Gray, however, is that he has kept writing quality songs in the 21 years since. In fact, it's only a few months since he released 'Gold In A Brass Age', his latest studio album and his fourth in the last ten years; more if you include his excellent live albums.

And tonight some of those many great new songs went down a storm. Highlights included Mallory, The Sapling, Gold in a Brass Age. Old classic Shine is another highlight. The crowd was in magnificent voice for The One I Love and, in fact, for pretty much all the hits. In truth, they're all hits. Breathtaking.

More on this topic

Getting into the swing of things: Johnny 'Fang' Murphy on his musical journeyGetting into the swing of things: Johnny 'Fang' Murphy on his musical journey

This much I know: Singer Jake CarterThis much I know: Singer Jake Carter

Traffic chaos which blighted 'All Together Now' festival could have been avoided - GardaiTraffic chaos which blighted 'All Together Now' festival could have been avoided - Gardai

One Direction reunion at least two years away, says Liam PayneOne Direction reunion at least two years away, says Liam Payne

More in this Section

Both sides now: Ray Liotta on his 40 year careerBoth sides now: Ray Liotta on his 40 year career

GameTech: The new video game 'I am Jesus Christ'GameTech: The new video game 'I am Jesus Christ'

Getting into the swing of things: Johnny 'Fang' Murphy on his musical journeyGetting into the swing of things: Johnny 'Fang' Murphy on his musical journey

The Skin Nerd: When clean does not always mean betterThe Skin Nerd: When clean does not always mean better


Latest Showbiz

The former flames – who are believed to have dated five years ago – were good sports on The Late Late Show in the US.Harry Styles eats cod sperm in TV game to avoid awkward Kendall Jenner question

EastEnders actress Emma Barton, CBBC star Karim Zeroual and ex-Emmerdale actor Kelvin Fletcher are vying for the Glitterball trophy.Anton Du Beke says ‘I don’t like to brag’ as he prepares for Strictly final

The Libertines frontman also said he knows a friend who ‘wouldn’t spit’ on Boris Johnson.Don’t let it be the Tories, Pete Doherty tells cheering crowd ahead of election

He broke records with his chart-topping hits.Ed Sheeran named number one artist of the decade

More From The Irish Examiner