Live Music + Gig Reviews

Ray Davies @ St David’s Hall, Cardiff

14 October 2002

While they may not inspire quite the same international aweas peers such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones,there’s no doubting that The Kinks were still one of the mostimportant bands to come out of Britain during the sixties. Theturbulent partnership of singer-songwriter Ray Davies and leadguitarist brother Dave continued acrimoniously across decades,spawning a string of hits.

While all generations are seemingly well represented, it’sunsurprising that the average age of tonight’s audience is leaning uptowards the fifties, but as Dedicated Follower of Fashion kicks init’s clear that they all still remember the words. Always theperformer, Ray plays to get his audience involved, treating them morelike his family than his fans, he sings to them and they sing back.

Sunny Afternoon and All Day and All of the Night are greeted withsimilar rapture, and while a chance to play some of The Kinksgreatest hits, it is also an opportunity for Ray to play some of hisnew material. With a new album out next year, Ray treats his loyalfollowers to some of the new songs as well as reviving some lesserknown and forgotten about Kinks tracks.

Into the second half, and with the solo material out ofthe way, it’s back to the party. Reminiscing between songs about hischildhood, Dave and his time in The Kinks, Ray rocks through anotherbunch of greatest hits, You Really Got Me, Tired of Waiting ForYou and Waterloo Sunset all make an appearance, whilst the manhimself clowns around on stage, clearly still enjoying every minuteof it. Saving the best till last, a great rendition of Lola seesfans of every age out of their seats and up to the front, as evernervous looking security guards looked on, scared of a fifty-somethings stage invasion.

A songwriter of great talent and a consummate performerand entertainer, Ray Davies is one of this country’s living legendsand tonight proves that at 58, he’s still more than got it inhim.

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