Review - Ray solo, 17 May, 1998, Variety Playhouse, Atlanta, GA

Date: May 20 1998 9:08 PM
From: Russell Plunkett

Ray came on about 9. Played 2 hours and 15 minutes. Opened up with Lola. Did a fine job on it, both guitar and vocal wise. As I have said before, he gets a great sound out of his Ovations, and he plays skillfully and confidently. His voice was in perfect form. He had the same excellent guitarist backing him up. He played some tasty licks on a Fender Twin Reverb or similar amp.

Other songs he played, not in order include Victoria (favorite), some newer songs, such as Londontown (or whatever), 20th Century Man, Dead End Street, Dedicated Follower, Tired of Waiting, Stop your Sobbing, and Waterloo Sunset. Songs I expected to hear, but were not heard included Days and Harry Rag. The stories got a little boring, because I had read the book, and had previously seen the show. But also I was tired from working hard all weekend.

The show featured numerous readings again, and tales about the "green amp" and the "front room". And of course, Julie Finkel.

On this show there was less emphasis on Mick Avory and his sexuality. He only mentioned it regarding the formation of the Kinks.

He wears the plainest clothes you could imagine. Black pants, a plaid brown shirt, and a yucky green sport coat that could have been bought at a garage sale. I think it goes to the 20th Century faceless image he so likes to dwell on.

This show was being taped by two videographers. One of them had a very high tech support for his videocam that he actually WORE. It had shoulder and back supports, and a large robotic type arm to support the camera. He operated it by controlling the shaft it was attached to while viewing a small 4 X 5" video screen located down low. While it was obviously very hi-tech, and made the camera appear to float, it was damned distracting since he was standing right next to Ray for much of the show. Especially distracting for a camera buff like me. But what the hell.

It was a good show, you would have liked it.


PS Opening act was Patty Larkin, an excellent acoustic player who had some quirky, but fun songs. She was kind enough to play for only about 35 minutes, but I could have listened to a lot more.