A SINGER-SONGWRITER has spoken of his love for Cartmel ahead of his much anticipated performance in the village.

David Gray is predicting something a bit different for his long-awaited concert at Cartmel Racecourse in June.

The singer-songwriter brings his White Ladder 20th anniversary tour to south Cumbria on June 24, nearly a year to the day since he was originally meant to perform before it was postponed.

It is one of the few open-air shows on his 52-date world tour and he says that gives it an extra dimension.

“The setting sounds beautiful,” he said.

“Cartmel is beautiful. I went there a couple of times as a child; I've not been since then. Being brought up in Manchester we used to go up to the Lakes.

“So, yes, it's a stunning part of the world, a lovely little place. I've never been to the racecourse; I imagine it's going to be carnage… in a good way.

“All these shows have a frisson about them. Just getting the chance to play feels like a big deal after all this.

“Outdoor settings are always a little bit different. You're never quite sure what is going to happen.”

The gig gives fans between Manchester and Scotland the chance to see him play the White Ladder album in full for the first time with technology now allowing all the music to be performed live.

Originally released in 1998, it took off after its re-release two years later and has since sold seven million copies worldwide with hits for the singles This Year's Love, Sail Away and Babylon.

But Gray says he was far from certain of its success when he recorded it.

“When we made White Ladder all I had to show for my first three albums was a few fans around the world and basically a strong cult following in Ireland.

“We went out to celebrate in south London and I said Jesus Christ, I wonder what people are going to make of this record? We thought we were in danger of losing the few fans we had because it was so different to anything I'd done before.

“We probably did lose the odd fan who prefers the angsty acoustic stuff but we then gained a whole swathe of new fans. We had no idea. We were expecting trouble but it never came.”

Gray and his peers acquired the tag ‘folktronica’, something he has no time for .

“I think labels are just stupid but people seem to need them,” he said.

“The success of White Ladder didn't just wake people up to the fact that sound and that emotive style of songwriting could become current again but it also lit the business up to the idea that actually you can sell a lot of these.

“And then people like Ed Sheeran have come along and taken it to a whole other level. In terms of the commercial success, it's quite mind boggling. But unquestionably there is a lineage there.”

David Gray will perform at Cartmel Racecourse on June 24. Tickets at tickets.cartmel-racecourse.co.uk/