This is an archive of the band profile for William Gray.
William Gray was a member of The Smokestacks.
The Smokestacks' official releases sadly only ever amounted to two singles but despite limited recorded output, the band played live a number of times on BBC Radio, were featured on numerous compilations and toured all over the country before playing their final show in December 2008.
Feeling like the search for the right producer and label had seen his former group lose valuable time and momentum, May 2009 saw the speedy release of 'None of the Above,' a "mini album" written, recorded, produced and released by Gray himself.
Reaction to the album was extremely positive with reviewers drawing comparisons with such respected songwriters as Elliott Smith, Bon Iver, Badly Drawn Boy and Damon Albarn. The album was also one of Vibrations Magazine's albums of the year:
"It's clear that this is the eclectic and idiosyncratic ramblings of an effortlessly talented songwriter."
Rob Paul Chapman - Vibrations Magazine
"Laced with oddities and unusual qualities None Of The Above is a treasure with melancholic and artistic lyrics that allow space for enthused imagery of the weird and wonderful."
Ben Barltrop - No Title Magazine
Second album 'Vertical Wealth' was also chosen as one of Vibrations Magazine's albums of the year and generally won praise from critics as well as BBC airplay and spins on US College Radio:
"Sparkling with wit and personality, 'Vertical Wealth' is a continuation of the form which Gray showed on his first album."
Jonathan Leonard - Leonard's Lair
'Outdated 1980's Gameshow' is one of the most inventive songs here, while 'Sparks Don't Fly' reminds me of the late, great Elliott Smith albeit with greater vocal expression."
Tony Porter - Shakenstir
New album 'Casual Observer' is to be released soon....