The statement midway though a 90 minute set largely made up of Kinks classics was stark recognition from one of music's greatest innovators. Davies has been credited for contributing much in the way of diverse music over the decades, yet clearly he is quite bemused by all the accolades introducing The Kinks 1966 hit Sunny Afternoon as "a sing-along song I wrote for my family that turned out to be a big hit."
Davies’ took to the stage after a strong opening session from acoustic folk duo Lucas and King who performed some fabulous original material and a memorable cover of Mystery Train. The pair were the perfect compliment to Davies own down to earth approach which warmed him to the audience from the offset, as did his acknowledgement of all things Kinks. There were renditions of I'm Not Like Everybody Else, Dedicated Follower Of Fashion, Waterloo Sunset and a rare performance of Tired Of Waiting For You.
Davies also previewed songs and from his forthcoming Americana album (a world premiere as he hasn’t even recorded them yet). All songs were incredibly in keeping with the traditional Kinks style and given a n almost concept feel as he read passages from his Americana book.
Ray’s accompanying 5 piece band of talented musicians did much to help recreate the energetic urgency of the songs and had the audience on their feet and dancing midway through the set. Davies himself was first to encourage participation, particularly on sing-along versions of Days and Lola. Clearly performers and audience all had the time of their lives and would have kept rocking All Day and All Of The Night had they had their way.
Long live Rock and Roll and the music of Ray Davies!
- This review by Andy Howells was originally published in The South Wales Argus Entertainment Supplement The Guide on September 12, 2014