David Gray-Live (2000)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-David Gray-Up To A Point
|Year Of Production||2000|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (67:46)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 5.0 (448Kb/s)
English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Born in Manchester, raised in Wales and lately adopted by the Irish, this DVD features David Gray singing his heart out, with trademark head-bobbing, to the rapturous crowd at Dublin's Point venue. No zany synthesiser or wild guitar breaks on this album - this band features ballads with simple accompaniment that rely on the poetry of the lyrics and intensity of the delivery for their effect. This set of 18 songs is taken from his previous 4 albums, the first of which (A Century Ends) released in 1993. Although achieving considerable popularity through bootleg recordings from his first 3 albums, lack of record label interest in a 4th album led to David hocking his house, recording the songs in a London flat and releasing it on his own label, IHT. The formula worked and White Ladder went straight into the Irish Top 30 and 5 songs were featured in the Kathy Burke film The Year's Love. This Year's Love and Babylon were released as singles and a full Irish tour in December '99 culminated at the Point Depot in Dublin and sold out for every gig.
The content of the songs covers the usual inspirations of life and love with a terse potency almost reminiscent of the haiku. David Gray's singing style could be described as a mix of Dylan (Bob not Thomas!) without the anger and Chris de Burgh. Casual listening at low volume definitely does not do this artist justice as there is a certain sameness of style to those accustomed to the wild exotica of latter-day music - sit down, turn on the lyric subtitles, settle back and relax - repeat listenings definitely recommended.
Dressed like a soccer hooligan in denim jacket and jeans, shirt hanging out and crew cut, David nevertheless comes across as a sincere musician without a "trace of the sinister" and still seemingly bemused and, as yet, unspoilt by the cycle of "Talk Sh*t, Do Gigs, Get P*ssed". The songs have a raw simplicity, unspoilt by the corruption of rap and disco and are delivered with a basic acoustic guitar strumming style. The 4 piece band provides a competent yet unobtrusive rhythm accompaniment with decorative keyboards supplying the twiddly bits to break up the songs.
2. Sail Away
3. White Ladder
4. Late Night Radio
5. Faster Sooner Now
6. Lead Me Upstairs
8. The Light
9. We're Not Right
|10. Flame Turns Blue|
11. This Years Love
12. Coming Down
14. A Century Ends
15. My Oh My
17. Silver Lining
18. Please Forgive Me
Seemingly shot for TV, the recording is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16 x 9 enhanced for both the main concert feature and the documentary.
Most of the transfer is sharp, with consequent mild aliasing throughout the feature, apart from the intentional low resolution grain-cam shots. Shadow detail was limited but as the action effectively centred on David Gray's guitar and vocals this did not detract from the feature.
The colours were subdued for the most part, apart from the spotlight centred on the singer. This augmented focus on David Gray and made a welcome change from the frequent blue-red bichromality of many stage lighting shows. There was some chroma noise at 5:59.
No MPEG artefacts apart from mild aliasing were seen and as the concert was filmed in video, no film artefacts were present.
Subtitles were in English and available just for the song lyrics or the whole feature. They were accurate and there were no synching problems.
The disc was single sided and dual layered with the RSDL time occurring at the end of Track 15 at 67:46 with minimal disruption to the concert flow.
There were two audio tracks on offer; a 2 channel PCM stereo track and a Dolby Digital 5.0 surround track. Both were superbly recorded. The PCM 2 channel track provided a rich tapestry of sound with impressive resolution of the quite assorted percussion effects. It also provided a wide and deep soundstage with excellent 3 dimensional imaging - at one point I assumed I was listening to the surround version only to realise with a surprise that I was still in 2 channel mode. The 5.0 surround puts you decisively into the audience. At one point during Babylon, I was almost deafened in the right ear by enthusiastic clapping from the rear, right surround.
The dialogue was clear but the very nature of Northern English accents modified by Welsh and Irish means that some of the lyrics were a tad hard to decipher, making the lyric subtitles particularly useful.
There were no discernible problems with audio sync.
Most of the music presented was composed by David Gray with the exception of a cover of the Everly Brothers "Let It Be Me" in the documentary.
The surround channels were very effectively used during the concert not only to provide the usual rear audience effects but also to provide an immersive rear right piano accompaniment to the front focus of the singer.
|Surround Channel Use|
A few screen shots and review quotes together with credits make this only of limited interest to the average fan.
Available only in English for the song lyrics or inclusive of the very limited twixt song banter.
Documentary - David Gray - Up To A Point
A 52:24 minute feature documenting the seven day Irish tour at the end of 1999 which included Derry, Belfast, Cork, Galway, and Limerick venues and culminated in the finale at Dublin's Point Depot. Snippets from each venue and location are featured and the doco comes with an impressive range of subtitles and is conveniently subdivided into separate chapters for each location. Interviews with journos, fans and a poet seek to explain the merits of David's songs and why he is so popular in Ireland.
The video was pretty good with only minor aliasing to detract from it.
The audio in both PCM 2 channel and Dolby Digital 5.0 surround was superb though sub-woofer coding was absent.
I would recommend this DVD to David Gray fans and to those who appreciate basic acoustical ballads with meaningful, impassioned lyrics.
|DVD||Toshiba SD-900E, using RGB output|
|Display||Pioneer SD-T50W1 (127cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||B&W 602 front/rear. B&W LRC6 Centre / Solid (AKA B&W) 500 SW|