David Gray’s Heroes
David Gray is an English singer-songwriter. His most recent album is Draw the Line. Although he released his first studio album in 1993, he did not receive worldwide attention until the release of White Ladder six years later. It was the first of three UK chart-toppers in six years for Gray, the latter two of which also made the Top 20 in the U.S.
Question: Who are your heroes?
David Gray: Yeah, I won’t bother with all the footballers. Well, Bob Dylan’s got to be there sort of head and shoulders above anyone else. The way that hearing him has influenced me. And then there’s a whole battalion of people. Everyone from Nina Simone to Nick Drake, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell. It’s just there’s a whole [group]. And then other people at the Specials and The Cure. God, I was obsessed with The Cure for ages. I loved them. I saw them live a couple of time in the mid-80’s. They were great.
Question: Was there a specific concert that inspired you to play?
David Gray: Yeah. There was a couple actually. One was the Waterboys, This is the Sea, at Cardiff University, 1985. They just went straight through the curfew and played for like three hours. That was such a brilliant record and he was at the peak of his powers. Mike Scott at that point. And he had already written songs like Fisherman’s Blues, and things that appeared later. And he played them at the show and I remember instantly liking that. I’ve never heard it before. And he played a couple of things; he played a couple of covers. And he just went on and on and on. But the way the all changed instruments, I loved that show. And the same year, I went to Glastonbury for the first time and the Cure headlined Saturday Night, that was the Head on the Door album, which was a brilliant record. They just did a brilliant set. And Glastonbury as it used to me, not quite as clean and neat and tidy as it is now. But the Pyramid stage, they had a laser, there used to be a laser and you thought, “Wow, the laser.” Only the headline act could use it. So the Cure got to use the laser and I was there and I out me brains with my little friend from school. And this thunderstorm came in, so the moon was coming up and the sun was going down and then just this huge storm came in. And there was thunder and lightning and all the dry ice was being dragged across the stage. It just looked fantastic. And they just played through all this stuff. Yeah, that was amazing. I was blown away by Glastonbury, the whole thing of it. I’m so obsessed by music, I must have seen about 40 bands. But The Cure, that was the best bit.
Recorded on: September 21, 2009
David Gray’s musical heroes include Bob Dylan and the Cure; a Cure concert at Glastonbury inspired him to play.
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