Singer-songwriter Douglas Kay has spent the past decade and a half touring the globe and playing on bills alongside the likes of Billy Bragg, KT Tunstall, Colin Hay and Amy MacDonald.
The wealth of experience gained during that time has seen Kay develop into a hugely engaging live performer and formidable songwriter whose captivating, folk-tinged songs have gained critical acclaim and airplay worldwide.
VOLCANOES - 2018
Having spent 2015-16 playing live with solo and side projects, Kay returned to recording in 2017 to work on his fifth LP. The resulting album, Volcanoes, features 11 tracks which showcase a songwriter/performer who is increasingly as much at ease in the studio as he is on stage, one who clearly enjoys being able to deliver his songs with the additional harmonic textures which can’t be easily replicated during solo live shows.
Douglas’ songwriting and vocals are, however, centre stage. From the a cappella opening bars of the country-infused opener She’s Left Me Now, through the folk-pop of mandolin led Battle Lines, to the funereal closer Requiem – in which Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem of the same name is to a new piece of music - it’s Kay’s distinctive voice, memorable melodies and captivating lyrics which combine to deliver such a rewarding listening experience.
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 went on to top 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, an undertaking which has not only seen the pair play countless sell out shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe but has also seen them deliver lectures and perform in schools, where they explain something of the origins of Scotland's traditional songs and how the folk tradition has been perpetuated throughout history.
Douglas Kay’s tracks