Kinks - romance lives!
There was a beautiful sunset over Waterloo Station, London on Friday night. The thick, hot air gave the sun an unnatural face of orange that smiled a million golden ripples onto the Thames. Waterloo sunset was indeed very fine.
And just over the River from Waterloo, stood the Royal Festival Hall, containing the Kinks and their friends, laughing and clapping and singing along.
Ray Davies proved that he is indeed the Prince of High Camp but in a romantic, rather than decadent way. There are these that query the existence of the word decandence. Why? It does mean something. It's no use being coola about it. Bowies is decandent - and Davies isn't.
Davies' songs of today are as valid as Bowie's, and yet, he remains human and believable and romantic. It's no use quaffing that romance is dead, it ain't. Romance, like love, is stronger than hate, stronger than outrage, and stronger than decadence. That's why Davies, and his like, will outgrow, and outlive yer Bowies and yer Coopers - and will offer a remedy.
He walks on stage, legs all floppy in white Oxford bags, a black and red boating blazer on his back, and a smile from ear to ear. And he starts to dance a dance that was written for Fred Astaire and Carmen Miranda (gulp) and he's all tragic, his eyebrows wearing a pattern of pain and misery.
His brother Dave has adopted platform boots, and silky shirts, but apart from his neo-pop-star image, the rest of the Kinks fail to change. Dear Mick Avory, contented, and blatting away, while John Gosling proves that he has taken a leading role in the band now.
It's the repartee between Gosling's "Phantom of the Opera" organ, and trad piano, and Davies' love for mood that now makes the show. The two seem to have found a relationship that hoists the Kinks from being "moderate and funny" on stage to being "just plain delightful."
"Alcohol" for example, was given treatment for a 10,000 cast Hollywood epic. Gosling slips into the Russian undertones of the music on haunting organ, Davies mimes to the chords, bottle of whisky in hand - his face a painting of pain. Oh was there EVER an actor?
As tragedy is told, Davies swims in liquid dreams, swigging it down, and then shattering his glass by back-heeling it into the air.
"Here's a song that was a total flop as far as selling went", says Davies, and strums opening chords for "Celluloid Heroes."
He's met with applause before he starts. "Thank you fans," he says, and delivers this most beautiful song and before he knows that the whole audience is singing along with him.
With "Lola" it's a music hall touch "all the men sing this and all the women this" sort of thing.
Towards the end on a host of hot rock and rollers - all stemming from a hectic "You Really Got Me", Davies sits down and rattles away on the piano - and he's ace.
He never stopped moving, acting, entertaining for the whole period. And every song was a gem - and a memory jerker.
If you want an alternative from rock bottom - so to speak - go see the legendary and most valid Kinks.
Roy Hollingsworth Publication and date unknown.
The Kinks - Preservation Act 1
As a member of the Kinks, Raymond Douglas Davies has proven t be one of rock's most prolific and important composers. With their current release, Preservation Act 1 (RCA), Ray again takes an introspective look at this environment to bring forth one of 1973's best vinyl efforts.
Preservation Act 1 deals with reality, people, and real-life situations. The setting this time is a small English town, and Raymond Davies, through his many literary characters, creates a real atmosphere.
"Upon first impression, Preservation Act 1 reminds me of their 1968 classic, Village Green Preservation Society. However, this time the songs are a bit more politically suggestive.
There are many exceptional songs on the LP. "Where Are They Now," has the same feeling that "Celluloid Heroes" evoked from the groups' previous album, only this time the walk down memory lane is British in origin, and those mentioned were not legendary, and whose glory were temporary.
"Cricket," opens side two, and leave it to Ray to pen an ode to the Anglo sport and incorporate religious overtones to it. Materialism has always been the opium of the masses, and "Money and Corruption/I Am Your Man" bear this out. Visions of Watergate; "Money and Corruption are ruining the land/crooked politicians betray the working man."
Also included are some of the latest Kinks singles, "One of the Survivors," "Sweet Lady Genevieve," and "Sitting in the Midday Sun."
Preservation Act I incorporates many elements from existing Kinks albums. Needless to say this album is very relevant and should be a part of any serious music lovers collection.
The production is not cluttered like "Exile On Main Street", or "Alladin Sane." The arrangements are stellar and Ray's vocals are his best since Arthur. The group, particularly John Gosling and Dave Davies, is superb.
An LP which takes on more richness with each succeeding spin. After all, when was the last time a piece of vinyl was both an entertaining and educational experience?
Harvey Kubernick Publication and date unknown.
Kinkomaniacs Greet Group with Banners, Sing-Along
The biggest display of Kinkomania this city has yet seen greeted the British rock band's third annual appearance here Saturday night. It's expressions were strange and variousDale Anderson Publication and date unknown.
Hanging from the balcony of the Century Theater was a homemade "Demon Alcohol" banner in honor of the villian of that beery Kink's melodrama.
Ray Davies, the group's fluttering lead singer and creative mastermind, vamped about in a floppy checkered hat flung up to him from the floor.
And the crowd SANG! Buffalo crowds never sing along. But this one sang not only the chorus of "Lola," but also the chorus of "Sunny Afternoon". Not that's Kinkomania.
The rise of the Kinks Kult is matched by the growing ease with which Ray Davies handles the contradictions that give his songs and his stage presence their dramatic tensions and delights.
Davies, resplendent in tropical shirt, white pants and a dark blazer with orange piping, opened with a dowdy but exuberant "Victoria" and magnificently squeezed all the trashy but heartfelt tragedy out of "Celluloid Heroes," and the groups' two sleezy ladies singing backup.
A medly of their 1965 hits - "All Day and All of the Night" and "You Really Got Me" - brought back the sold-out hall to a peak from which it refused to descend, even for the worldly newer songs like dark, political, doubletalking "Here Comes Flash."
Davies' voice gave out early but his coy clowning grew bold on the crowd's adoration.