Multi-platinum, multi-Brit and Grammy-nominated British singer-songwriter David Gray has announced an arena tour including a date at Leeds First Direct Arena.
White Ladder: the 20th Anniversary Tour celebrates the trailblazing album’s 20-year anniversary.
The seven-million record selling and one of the greatest and most heart-warming word-of-mouth successes in music, White Ladder will be performed by Gray with all the original band members and with all the original equipment to recreate the record in its entirety, plus a set of the greatest hits.
An expanded 20th anniversary edition of White Ladder will be released on 2xCD, 4xLP, and digital formats. This will include a special remastered edition of the iconic album plus White Ladder era previously unreleased rarities, B-sides and demos. Physical versions will be accompanied by an extensive booklet with writings by Gray about the whole White Ladder experience - from the people involved, to the stories behind the songs and memorable shows.
The newly-remastered original album will also be released on 2LP white-colored vinyl, CD and digital, available here: https://davidgray.lnk.to/wl20th This is the first time White Ladder has ever been pressed on vinyl. www.DavidGray.com will feature exclusive merchandise and music bundles.
"It’s the 20th anniversary of White Ladder, a unique record with its own remarkable history. Jammed full with big, open hearted songs and flooded with a raw emotional energy," said Gray.
It’s an album that came from nowhere to steal the hearts of millions all over the world, completely transforming my life in the process.
"Twenty years on and it feels like White Ladder is just as alive for people now as it was back then - so to celebrate this milestone, I will be releasing a special anniversary version of the album and assembling all the original band members with all the original equipment, in order to take White Ladder out on the road and recreate the record in its entirety”.
White Ladder was born of difficult circumstances. Gray had been struggling on the margins for a decade, a lonely figure with an acoustic guitar swimming against the tide of Britpop, grunge, hip hop and electro.
With three albums to his name, he found himself advertised at a gig third on the bill to beer and a barbecue.
“Futility was so thick on the ground it was utterly soul destroying.” He came close to quitting. But instead, he asked himself some difficult questions: “Can you make a better record? Can you write a better song? The decision was to open up and give it everything I’ve got.”
Written and recorded on minimal budget by Gray in the bedroom of a tiny terraced house in Stoke Newington, David experimented with drum machines and electronic elements, creating a blend of folktronica that has since become a familiar part of the musical landscape, aided by drummer Craig McClune and engineer Iestyn Polson.
Self-released at first on his own kitchen sink label, White Ladder slowly found an audience. It took a year to creep into the lower reaches of the British charts, then worked its way all the way up to number one.
White Ladder eventually spent three years in the UK top 100, spawning classic hit singles Babylon,‘Please Forgive Me and Sail Away. It remains in the top 30 best-selling British albums of all time and the best-selling album ever in Ireland (a nation who know a good song when they hear it).
"What happened with White Ladder involved more than music. It was a sort of heart and soul moment of total surrender for everybody involved, for me and the audience. That was it. It doesn't get any better than that,” said Gray.
David Gray is at Leeds First Direct Arena on March 27.