STRIPPED BARE David Gray
On an ambitious, multi-leg concert tour, the celebrated UK singer-songwriter gets intimate with his fans.
BY NICOLE ROBERGE
I meet up with David Gray backstage in his dressing room at The Wang Theatre in Boston, Massachusetts - the first stop on his "Lost and Found" tour. (The newest U.S. leg will resume in late June; go here for tour dates.) Different than his typical shows, where the set list embodies both rock and quieter songs, the focus of these shows is more intimate, with an emphasis on his most recent album, "Foundling," and stripped down and acoustic versions of songs off his other albums. It is, he says, different than anything he's ever done before.
When I walk into the dressing room, Gray is sitting on the couch, scribbling in a notebook. His tour manager leaves us alone and he immediately welcomes me to sit down, and then shows me what he has been writing. Sprawled across two pages are the titles of songs from all of his albums that he hopes to cram into a two hour set-list. As a special treat for this tour, he provided fans the opportunity to write in and request songs to be played, and he is trying to accommodate all of them. The response he got was surprising.
"It was quite moving," he says. "I got 156 different songs requested, which is an awful lot and we can't do all of them. Some of them were so obscure that I don't know what they were. They were barely written, some of them I don't think I've ever performed. I think it's fans trying to outdo each other. I'm going to try and do as many as I can. Some off my first album, ‘Shine,' and many I play quite regularly anyway. There were some crazy requests for covers. A Doors song. And there are memories attached to each song. This tour is very much about trying to do justice to the album I just released, ‘Foundling,' which I didn't think would be as tactile if we played it in the usual way. It seemed to just be quieter. The whole volume of the show tonight will be much quieter than the usual rock show. But in representing this new music, I'm also going to be taking a giant sweep of my music from the beginning so it's probably the most in-depth tour of all the records I've released and the music I've made, which is great. I've given myself two hours tonight. An hour and a half is a normal set, to go over that I wouldn't always do. But with this, I don't know how to fit it in otherwise."
Read the rest of the interview at http://blurt-online.com/features/view/877/