Ray Davies and Band – Birmingham Symphony Hall – October 8th 2005
One of England’s most influential, creative singer-songwriters played to a sell-out audience at Birmingham Symphony Hall when Ray Davies and his three-piece band played a wide selection of songs from Davies’s back catalogue.
The Sixty-something songwriter first came to prominence and renown, when, along with his Brother, Dave he put together the Kinks in the 1960s. In the four decades since this time, he has grown as a songwriter, having a definite and unquestionable influence over bands that followed. While Oasis drew on the Beatles, the Kinks, who were contemporaries in the 1960’s beat boom proved to have a lasting influence over musicians such as Paul Weller, Blur, and Pulp.
Davies started his energetic, nearly three-hour show with a range of new songs, which still had the same energy, and targets as his back catalogue. New songs such as ‘After the Fall’, ‘The Tourist’ and his song about a stand up comic all provided workouts for his young band, providing, complex and shifting patterns that perfectly complimented the barbed and witty comments of their writer.
Early Kinks hits such as ‘Dedicated follower of Fashion’, and ‘Sunny Afternoon’ were turned into an acoustic sing-along, which the mature audience seemed to enjoy. This treatment worked particularly well on a stripped-down version of ‘Days’ which the band joined in for the last verses, adding a majestic strength to the sentiments within the song.
The set ended with ‘All of the Day and All of the Night’ and ‘Lola’ bringing the full hall to full attention, and to its feet.
He encored with classic, high energy versions of ‘Waterloo Sunset’ and ‘You really got me’ which had the audience singing along with every word of these songs that have stood the test of time surprisingly well.