Wed. Feb 21st, 2024

Renowned For Sound

For the latest music reviews and interviews

News: David Gray Celebrates 30th Anniversary of Debut Album with Series of Shows in London and Dublin

3 min read
We all know that David Gray’s White Ladder proved to be the catalyst for huge critical and commercial success. As a multi-Platinum selling and Ivor Novello-winning album, the iconic release made David Gray a household name – a position he has since sustained more than 20 years later. But six years earlier, the then 24-year-old Gray was an undiscovered songwriter, having just released his debut album A Century Ends. Now, David Gray celebrates the 30th anniversary of the album’s release by announcing a series of intimate A Century Ends shows in London and Dublin.
Aside from making a fleeting chart impact in Ireland, A Century Ends went largely unnoticed upon its initial release. But with 30 years of wisdom, it’s now easy to recognise its significance within David’s discography. Opening track ‘Shine’ has become a regular part of his live shows in the years that followed, while other songs such as ‘Debauchery’, ‘Wisdom’ and ‘Birds Without Wings’ also possess the passionate vocal delivery, acute songcraft and surfeit of emotions that later connected with mainstream audiences as his career went global with White Ladder.
The A Century Ends shows will commence at Omeara in London on January 30 and will then head to Dublin for a four-night run at Whelan’s – the final show of these dates coming precisely 30 years to the day since David first played the storied venue.  David’s Whelan’s debut marked a significant turning point in his career, after he had spent much of the previous months touring England with little success. The gig had been DIY promoted by Donal Scannell, and RTÉ presenter Donal Dineen, known for his celebrated TV show No Disco. David arrived in a similar DIY fashion – with no tour manager, no sound engineer, and no backdrop – just his bandmates Neil MacColl (guitar) and Craig McClune (drums, playing with just one hand, having recently broken his arm) to find the place packed from wall-to-wall.
 With the poet Pat Ingoldsby introducing David on stage, it was the night when the enduring shared love between David and Ireland first began. White Ladder remains the biggest selling album in the nation’s history (now a staggering 20x Platinum), while David’s many unforgettable shows in Ireland have included Marlay Park, Dublin Castle, Musgrave Park, and last year’s three-night stand at the 3Arena.
These new dates will see David reunited with Neill MacColl and Craig McClune, and the trio will perform songs exclusively from A Century Ends and its follow-up, 1994’s Flesh. David says, “I’ve wanted to focus on A Century Ends for some time, and this feels like the right moment to do so. I think it’s a defining record in the same way that White Ladder was. It was my first record, and it tells the story of who I am just as vividly as White Ladder does. I also remember how those early gigs were so special. It’s going to be so intense – I might even revisit my 1994 look and bleach my hair blonde!”