About The Performance
After over two decades of touring and ten successful studio albums under his belt, there are not many more milestones that British singer-songwriter David Gray has yet to achieve. However, on a warm Wednesday night in New York City, the veteran superstar graced the hallowed Ed Sullivan Theater stage for close to the fifth time; but this time - to make history at his first ever 'Live on Letterman' concert webcast.
Gray's first appearance on the award-winning concert series comes following the release of his brand new studio album "Mutineers", which was recorded with producer Andy Barlow at The Church Studios in London - a studio previously owned by Gray that he recently sold to influential British producer Paul Epworth (Adele, Paul McCartney, Coldplay, Cee Lo Green).
The album is Gray's first in four years and is fittingly led by the single 'Back In The World'; one of David's highest played radio tracks since the release of 'Babylon' off his "White Ladder" LP in 1998. The record would go on to sell more than 7 million copies worldwide and subsequently secure Gray as a household name for years to come.
In the pre-show interview, Gray touched on the success of 'Babylon' and talked about his new album "Mutineers" in depth. Speaking on the process of writing and recording the album, Gray shared that producer Andy Barlow was able to bring him somewhere completely new creatively as well as sonically. He also noted that while relinquishing some creative control to Barlow was specifically hard throughout the recording process, the producer ultimately was great at “taking (Gray’s) abstract ideas and turning them into reality”.
After the interview, Gray was set to hit the stage. The Ed Sullivan Theater was packed to capacity and Gray took to the historic set behind a thunderous ovation. With the crowd still cheering, the Sale native broke into the first song of the evening, 'Birds Of The High Arctic'; which happens to be the longest song off "Mutineers" and arguably one of Gray's most epic pieces to date.
Gray then treated fans to another "Mutineers" track, this time performing 'Gulls' before bringing it back to the early days for performances of 'My Oh My' and 'Sail Away' - both off Grays critically acclaimed 1998 effort, "White Ladder". With the crowd at his fingertips, Gray performed two more new songs - first delivering the title track off his new album, 'Mutineers' followed by 'Last Summer' - both executed with extreme passion and precision.
Gray then performed the first song of the night off 2005's "Life In Slow Motion" entitled 'The One I Love' before once again bringing fans back to the "White Ladder" album for an unforgettable performance of his biggest hit to date - 'Babylon'. Fans sang along to every word and Gray left the stage as they begged for more - sealing the lid on yet another soul shaking 'Live on Letterman' concert for the history books!
By Gian Vassaliko
Over the course of his career, Gray has established himself as one of the UK’s leading artists both at home and overseas. His commercial success is backed up by countless accolades. His 2009 release, Draw The Line, was met with critical praise and garnered the artist a series of high profile television appearances, as well as two sold out tours of the US. Foundling, Gray's ninth studio album, picked up where Draw the Line left off and created a new chapter of lush, soulful songs that found the artist returning to his folk music roots.