David Gray

Four Stars

Brighton Dome, Brighton, Tuesday, March 19

FOR those familiar with sporting cliches, this was a show of two halves.

David Gray was open when he said he would start his performance with new songs from his latest album Gold In A Brass Age, the name of his 2019 world tour.

The first seven songs were exclusively from his 11th studio album, meaning only four songs from the record weren’t played.

Singer-songwriter Gray had turned composer for his latest work, cleverly looping guitar riffs and even echoed vocals through a ukulele to build the songs.

And while they do build, they don’t reach a crescendo like his best-known tracks do, and rather meander without ever reaching the river mouth.

Sail Away was a welcome throwback and from then on in, the mood shifted from pensive to jubilant.

While the 50-year-old’s octopus-like stage presence as a frontman when not accompanied by an instrument might have looked uncomfortable, the sound was anything but.

Killer harmonies from Rob Malone ripped through his bass, and Gray’s voice is still as strong as ever.

Eerie silences between songs at the start of the set – which might have been filled with an explanation of the meaning of the new songs –were replaced by chatter and chants in the second half as the audience ditched their seats and started dancing in the aisles.

Babylon, The One I Love and an acoustic section featuring The Other Side were particular highlights, but he saved his best until last, finishing with a very special live version of Please Forgive Me.

Gareth Davies