Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Awed to Distraction

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Awed to Distraction

Article excerpt

Byline: JOHN AIZLEWOOD

POP David Gray Shepherds Bush Empire John Aizlewood SUCH is the dark, studious intimacy of David Gray's complex music that concerts were always going to be a difficult proposition. The vast open spaces of Earls Court did him no favours in 2002, but lessons have been learned.

Declining to use the full extent of the Empire's stage, Gray arranged his fiveperson band in a tight semicircle around him. The result was a living-room ambience, broken only by gurning drummer Craig "Clune" McClune, whose garish shirt hung unbuttoned to reveal hirsute man-breasts.

The intimate feel suited someone who spurned cheap tricks and backdrop gimmicks. Often sneered at for being wobbly of head, in truth, when he lost himself in the fervent swirl of The Other Side and Nos Da Cariad, his whole body twitched as if he was speaking in tongues during a particularly beatific seance.

Yet, as much as his music is not given to live performance, Gray is too taciturn to be a natural performer. …

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