May 25, 2022

Noughties Nostalgia - 20th Anniversary of David Gray's White Ladder Album

David Gray has commenced the 20th Anniversary tour commemorating the release of his breakthrough 'White Ladder' album. The album was originally self-released on his own label in 1998, but wasn’t the massive success it would become until a reissue in May of 2000.

The album was written and recorded by David Gray on a minimal budget in the bedroom of a tiny terraced house in Stoke Newington. He experimented with drum machines and electronic elements, creating a blend of folktronica that has become a familiar part of the musical landscape, aided by drummer Craig McClune and engineer Lestyn Polson.

White Ladder eventually spent 3 years in the UK top 100, went on to sell over 7 million copies worldwide, and remains in the top 30 best-selling British albums of all time.

To celebrate his 20th Anniversary show at the OVO Hydro on the 31st May, we’re bringing you some noughties nostalgia as we reminisce about some key moments of the year 2000, when White Ladder was released. Let’s take a look at how much the world has changed from the beginning of the iconic noughties decade. 

  • The Millennium Bug was a non-event. Remember when everyone thought the world would end with Y2K? The infamous ‘Millennium Bug’ was expected to cause global chaos in computer systems and networks. Billions were spent across the world to upgrade computers and application programs to be Y2K-compliant in anticipation of a computer-induced apocalypse. Reports of relief filled the media as the first day of January 2000 dawned and it became apparent that computerised systems were intact. 

  • First international space station crew - The first crew to live on the International Space Station (ISS) arrived in space during November 2000. The mission, called Expedition 1, was the first long-term stay totalling 136 days. Three astronauts made up the crew before being replaced by the crew of Expedition 2. Since the arrival of the first crew, the ISS has been continuously occupied by astronauts from around the world. 

  • The Tate Modern opened in London - Since Tate Modern first opened in 2000, it has become a London landmark, not just for the art it houses, but also for the architecture of the building itself. More than 40 million people have visited the gallery and it is one of the UK’s top three tourist attractions which generates an estimated £100 million in economic benefits to London annually.

  • Hip Hop became mainstream - A guy who went by the name Eminem had just burst onto the scene and was about to change rap and hip hop music forever. He influenced a generation with his MC battle skills, and rap lyrics using his personal life struggles, political problems, and humour. He became one of the most influential rappers of our time and opened up hip hop to a whole new group of fans. 

  • Camera phones first became commercially available in the year 2000. The camera phone has come a long way since the first mobile phone with a built-in camera from Samsung, the SCH-V200. Essentially, the camera and the phone components were separate devices - to access the photos on the phone, it had to be hooked up to a computer.  It was only capable of taking 20 photos at a 0.35 megapixel resolution.


  • Reality TV really took off - Big Brother launched in 2000 and from the first episode the nation was hooked. The show brought in massive audiences, attracted lots of newspaper coverage, and got the whole country talking about the drama from the previous night. A few months later, the short-lived reality show Popstars gave us the first in a long line of singing and music TV competitions.

  • 2000 was a great year for film - Billy Elliot joined a handful of British films that showed how art (in this case Ballet) can lift the embattled up and empower them. Mission: Impossible 2 was the highest grosser worldwide, Gladiator won the Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Actor for Russell Crowe, Dinosaur was the most expensive film of 2000, Tom Hanks featured in Cast Away, and the first instalments of some popular film series were released - X-Men, Final Destination, Scary Movie, and Meet the Parents.


  • Social Media was non-existent - MySpace was still a few years away, but teenagers around the world were starting to chat on MSN Messenger. Remember the agony of waiting for a family member to get off the landline so you could chat to people you had just spent all day with at school? Anyone else spend hours picking out the perfect profile music to reflect your mood? BRB…



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