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. For those signed-up to David Gray’s MAILER, a pre-sale code will be made available from 10am on Wednesday, December 6. General sale HERE from 10amon Friday, December 8th.
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 Ladderdoes. 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!”
The dates are:
30th - London, Omeara
1st - Dublin, Whelan’s
2nd - Dublin, Whelan’s
3rd - Dublin, Whelan’s
4th - Dublin, Whelan’s