DAVID GRAY + L.A. SALAMI – THE DOME, BRIGHTON 19.03.19
This evening’s event at the Brighton Dome Concert Hall was understandably a sellout as the famed 50 year old Cheshire tune-smith David Gray was back in town as part of his 16 date UK and Ireland ‘Gold In A Brass Age’ tour.
His new album ‘Gold In A Brass Age’, is his eleventh offering and was released 11 days prior to this evening’s performance. It landed in the UK Official Album Charts at No.21 and the release is his first album of new material in four years.
‘Gold In A Brass Age’ is defined by an intuitive approach from Gray, exploring new electronic textures and sound palettes, along with new production techniques in the process. This was evident in his concert performance this evening as there was an impressive array on the keyboard panels. This harmonised with the usual Gray sound of standout vocals, guitar and drums and thus brought his music a modern edge, that I wasn’t actually expecting.
The new album’s artwork has a modern vibe to accompany this as Gray called upon the services of Peckham-based tattoo artist London Boy, who has skilfully created an Emperor Moth with the City of London captured between its wingspan. This and similar illustrations were displayed on the backdrop behind Gray and his four chums during tonight’s gig. Visually there was nothing fancy or over the top to distract from the musicianship, just the use of accompanying lighting to enhance one’s feelings.
This evening he played nineteen songs during his enjoyable set, which arguably could be broken down into five sections. The first seven songs were lifted from his new creation including the current single ‘The Sapling’ and thus only leaving four ‘Gold In A Brass Age’ tunes unplayed.
The second section was comprised of four tunes, ‘Sail Away’ and ‘My Oh My’ both found on his famous 1998 ‘White Ladder’ album and ‘Be Mine’ and ‘Freedom’ both taken from his 2002 ‘A New Day At Midnight’ album.
The third part was a trio of solo performances as Gray let the lads have a rest, whilst he captivated his audience with ‘The Other Side’ from ‘A New Day At Midnight’ 2002 album, ‘Breathe’ taken from ‘Draw The Line’ 2009 album and ‘The One I Love’ located on the 2005 ‘Life In Slow Motion’ album. He explained to us that ‘Breathe’ was penned one day when he had got home from the London recording studio where he had been all day and was relaxing watching the football on television, when he was ‘disturbed’ by his doorbell ringing. He answered it and was greeted by some Iranians asking if he could “spare a little time” whilst they discussed the plight of their fellow countrymen. As he said, they gave such a compelling argument that he invited them in. After a while he wrote them a cheque, but they politely told him the cost of a life and so he wrote another one. To me and no doubt many of tonight’s audience, the point of the story was to convey that whilst we are all wrapped up in our safe European homes, there is a battleground going on elsewhere on this planet where people are truly suffering. A section of lyrics read “To feel the weight that’s mine, The lower down you go, Get out your heart get sniped”.
The fourth part of this evening’s performance was to include a trio of ‘corkers’ ‘Back In The World’, ‘White Ladder’ and the most enjoyable tune of the night, his UK Top 5 epic ‘Babylon’, which certainly brought a majority of the seated crowd to their feet. It suddenly dawned on me that this song sounds akin to the best Glen Campbell compositions. Ending on a high note, the quintet went off and a rapturous crowd bellowed for more, which they were duly served.
Thus the final section was the encore of just two numbers, although three were planned but the show was running late and thus the proposed ‘Last Summer’ from the 2014 ‘Mutineers’ album had to give way in favour of ‘Birds Of The High Arctic’ (found on the same album) and the most uplifting composition of the night ‘Please Forgive Me’ (from the ‘White Ladder’ album).
The whole evening every note was crystal clear and the acoustics of this fine building are something of great envy I would imagine. Clearly Gray has paved the way for the likes of Ed Sheeran to follow and as a result, none of this evenings songs sounded dated whatsoever. David Gray has posted on social media “Another fantastic show last night – thank you Brighton Dome”.
David Gray’s setlist:
‘Mallory’ (taken from ‘Gold In A Brass Age’ 2019 album)
‘The Sapling’ (taken from ‘Gold In A Brass Age’ 2019 album)
‘Gold In A Brass Age’ (taken from ‘Gold In A Brass Age’ 2019 album)
‘Hall Of Mirrors’ (taken from ‘Gold In A Brass Age’ 2019 album)
‘Watching The Waves’ (taken from ‘Gold In A Brass Age’ 2019 album)
‘It’s Late’ (taken from ‘Gold In A Brass Age’ 2019 album)
‘If 8 Were 9’ (taken from ‘Gold In A Brass Age’ 2019 album)
‘Sail Away’ (taken from ‘White Ladder’ 1998 album)
‘My Oh My’ (taken from ‘White Ladder’ 1998 album)
‘Be Mine’ (taken from ‘A New Day At Midnight’ 2002 album)
‘Freedom’ (taken from ‘A New Day At Midnight’ 2002 album)
‘The Other Side’ (solo) (taken from ‘A New Day At Midnight’ 2002 album)
‘Breathe’ (solo) (taken from ‘Draw The Line’ 2009 album)
‘The One I Love’ (solo) (taken from ‘Life In Slow Motion’ 2005 album)
‘Back In The World’ (taken from ‘Mutineers’ 2014 album)
‘White Ladder’ (taken from ‘White Ladder’ 1998 album)
‘Babylon’ (taken from ‘White Ladder’ 1998 album)
‘Birds Of The High Arctic’ (taken from ‘Mutineers’ 2014 album)
‘Please Forgive Me’ (taken from ‘White Ladder’ 1998 album)
Support tonight came from L.A. Salami aka Lookman Adekunle Salami, who was a chilled gentleman and on entering the stage began to tune his guitar for a minute or so and informing us that he is recovering from a heavy cold. Not the ideal start I grant you.
However, once he started to sing and play his guitar and mouth organ, the crowd who were present took note. At the start of his set I would guess that only around 35 to 40 percent of the mainly middle-aged crowd were in their seats, no doubt the bar and merch stall were doing good business.
Lookman was wearing an impressive long coat, the likes of which we have all no doubt seen on Jimi Hendrix, Lenny Kravitz and Adam Ant. I’m not sure if it’s in the Burberry range or not, but it wouldn’t surprise me as he has previously worked with the fashion house. Yep, Lookman’s a cool dude! His compositions are about his social perspectives and are often culled from his personal experiences. His work is akin to lengthy poetry and arguably fall into the post modern blues or folk rock categories.
He explained a little about each number, which included ‘Day To Day (6 Days A Week)’,
‘My Thoughts, They Too Will Tire’ and ‘The Talisman On The Age Of Glass’. It sounds as though he has lived an interesting life, especially when informing us about how ‘The Talisman On The Age Of Glass’ came about!
Find out more about L.A. Salami here www.lasalami.com
Visit and ‘LIKE’ our ‘What’s On – from Brighton and Hove News’ Facebook page HERE.
LIKE WHAT WE DO? HELP US TO DO MORE OF IT BY DONATING HERE.