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Cambridge News: David Gray at the Cambridge Corn Exchange By Chris Elliott
Monday, March 24, 2008
By Chris Elliott
March 24, 2008
FORGET chocolate - music fans got a much nicer Easter treat in Cambridge courtesy of David Gray.
A Corn Exchange on Sunday packed to the rafters saw the singer turn in a stunning performance, the final gig of a 17-date tour of the UK.
He was given a rapturous response as he and his band, showing no signs of touring fatigue, romped through nearly 20 of his finest compositions.
One male member of the audience, delighted by the opening song Shine (played acoustically and with passion) called out: "David, I want to have your babies" and it was soon a sentiment shared by everyone in the hall.
Now pushing 40, Gray was on the verge of prematurely aborting his musical career a decade ago. After three good but largely unsuccessful albums, he was dispirited and decided to give it one more go, but had to find the money himself to fund his fourth record.
The record, of course, was 1998's White Ladder, which catapulted him to worldwide fame. Six million copies have been sold to date, and the single Babylon - beautifully delivered to his Cambridge audience - is still many people's favourite tune of the late 90s.
As well as that song, the Corn Exchange show featured fabulous renditions of its White Ladder stable-mates This Year's Love and Sail Away, as well as Be Mine and The Other Side from the New Day At Midnight album, and a clutch of tracks from chart-topping Life In Slow Motion, including the title track, Hospital Food, The One I Love, and From Here You Can Almost See The Sea.
The set concluded with two magnificent, memorable encores - Please Forgive Me, and a mind-blowingly good rendition of Nightblindness.
The ten tracks on White Ladder are familiar to most people, but it is not generally known that the album contains an eleventh, secret song (it is accessible by starting to play the record's opener, Please Forgive Me, and then holding down the rewind button).
The track is an example of what is known as an Easter egg - a hidden feature or novelty added to a piece of computer software by its creator, for his own amusement or entertainment.
At the Corn Exchange, Gray had plenty of other wonderful Easter gifts to pass on, and he is due on stage again soon at the Royal Albert Hall (April 13) for an acoustic concert with other big names such as Joan Amratrading and Newton Faulkner - in aid of a cause close to the heart of News readers, the Teenage Cancer Trust.