“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 6 Music
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 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 a varied 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 stripped-back collection features 12 tracks which showcase Kay’s 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 Lift, which like its predecessors gained airplay on BBC Radio. Perhaps his most eclectic work to date, the upbeat, rootsy stomp of opening track Casablanca Face introduces a collection which veers from contemporary folk ballads to slide blues, from piano ballads to melodic guitar rock. The album’s release was followed by a UK tour during the middle part of 2015.
2017 saw a flurry of studio activity, the fruits of which arrived in December with the release of the Winterland EP (and accompanying video) and then in February 2018 with Kay’s 5th album, Volcanoes.
In addition to solo recording, Douglas has undertaken numerous other projects in recent years. Collaborations with others have seen him record a radio session with Adam Holmes for BBC Radio 2 and record backing vocals on Rebuild the Universe by Australian band, The Winter Migration.
Kay has been the driving force behind A Songwriters’ Circle, a show which features Douglas and other songwriters sharing the stage to perform their songs, discuss the writing process and collaborate on each others’ material.
Douglas has also recorded and performed across the UK with his traditional folk duo, The Sorries, a project which has not only seen the pair play countless sell out shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe but also deliver lectures and perform in schools, explaining something of the origins of Scotland’s traditional songs and how the folk tradition has been perpetuated throughout history.