The North East’s premier music venue, The Sage played host to singer/songwriter David Gray, who took to Hall 1′s intimate stage, popular for its acoustic excellence, which certainly didn’t disappoint. Playing a powerful set for two hours, Gray showcased his musical ability and a number of new tracks from his ninth studio album Foundling, some of which were sombre in comparison his older more uplifting material. Despite this, avid fans hung on every lyric and waited for the last strum of his guitar and twinkle of the piano before applauding.
The cosy stage accommodated Gray, a handful of musicians and an array of instruments ranging from a grand piano to strings and percussion. Gray joked about the chaos on stage during the constant guitar swaps. It was nice to hear him share the concept of the tour. “The idea behind the tour is to look back over the years, I asked fans to place song requests online and ended up with 156″, to which the audience laughed. One fan heckled ‘Marry me’ and Gray’s response was ‘Less of the small talk’, again laughter filled the hall. Support act, Irish singer Lisa O’Neill, joined Gray on stage for a number of tracks, providing beautiful backing vocals. The mellow mood lightened towards the end when Gray said: “Right this is the happy part” before playing a number of old favourites such as Babylon, This Years Love and Sail Away. Ending on a high Gray received a standing ovation.