“He’s very good…” Eartha Kitt
“Thoughtful and passionate songwriting” Scotland on Sunday
“great voice the man’s got, very mellow…loving that…” Shaun Keaveny, BBC Radio 6
During the past decade Douglas Kay has honed his stagecraft in theatres, clubs & bars across four continents. His extensive travels have also informed his songwriting, helping to shape the stories and characters often found in his songs.
In addition to solo tours of Europe, North America, South Africa & Australasia, Douglas has played a number of notable gigs in the UK. Sometimes solo, sometimes with band, these have included shows alongside the likes of Billy Bragg, KT Tunstall, Doves and Amy MacDonald.
The 2003 release of his debut album Of All The Towns To Sleep In generated airplay on radio and TV stations worldwide, including BBC Radio One, Australia’s GWN & Xfm London. Its follow up, Douglas Kay Band‘s 2009 album Into Your Head, is an eclectic collection with moments of delicate beauty (as on the guitar and strings number Everything In The World Outside’s Alright) contrasted by the swelling crescendo of tracks such as Haunted. The song Better topped a poll of tracks by Scottish acts in the Edinburgh Evening News.
An acoustic album, Last Touch, was released in late 2012. This album was Kay’s most stripped-back to date, featuring 12 tracks which showcase his vocals, guitar & piano, and hint at some of his traditional folk influences. Lead track, All That We’ve Lost – a duet with Joanna McQuillan – received considerable airplay and critical acclaim. The tour Douglas played in support of that album included a guest slot for Grammy Award winner and former Men At Work frontman, Colin Hay.
Douglas returned to the studio in 2014 to work on his latest album, Lift, which was released on 21st November 2014. Perhaps his most balanced work to date, the upbeat, rootsy stomp of opening track Casablanca Face introduces a collection which veers from contemporary folk ballads (such as Thomas Gunn and its companion piece, Oliver Gray) to the slide blues of Once I’m Gone, and from the haunting piano swell of All Through The Night to the melodic harmonies of See It Come Down & the title track. Throughout, the songs are bound together by Kay’s fascinating and sometimes quirky lyrics, and by his warm, distinctive vocals.
The response to the album has been hugely positive so far, with airplay for various tracks on BBC Radio Scotland amongst others.
2014 also saw Douglas complete numerous other projects – a radio session with Adam Holmes for BBC Radio 2 and a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe with his traditional folk duo, The Sorries, among them.