When David Gray signed to Hut Records at the tender age of 22, he must have thought success was imminent.

But his hopes were dashed when his first two albums met with a poor response and he was dropped from the label.

Not one to give up easily, Gray signed to EMI but the same thing happened when his third album, Sell, Sell, Sell, did anything but.

Dropped by two major labels, many would have lost hope. But not Gray. He financed the next album himself, recording it in his London apartment.

Against all odds, that record, White Ladder, went on to sell more than two million copies, going seven times platinum in the UK alone.

Now Gray is on tour to promote the follow-up album A New Day At Midnight.

Judging by last night's performance, the new album is set to be just as successful.

He seems to have adopted a slightly heavier touch than on White Ladder but the classic ingredients - beautiful melodies, bitter-sweet lyrics, Clune's mad drumming - are all firmly in place.

The concert opened with a new track, The Other Side, performed solo by Gray on piano and vocals.

A lesser artist might have hesitated to leave a song so exposed but Gray's writing is easily good enough to withstand such scrutiny.

Having proved, after a couple of minutes, his songwriting was as strong as ever, the curtain lifted and the rest of the band joined in.

They went on to play several other songs from the new album, as well as hit singles This Year's Love, Babylon and Please Forgive Me and a cover version of the Van Morrison classic And It Stoned Me, (apparently one of Gray's favourite songs).

There are those who dismiss Gray as making middle-of-the-road soft rock but such a judgement is unfair.

Whether Gray is cool or uncool is, ultimately, a matter of taste. What is beyond doubt is that he is one of the most talented song-writers of his generation.