From The Hartford Courant


Davies Brings Kinks Classics To Foxwoods
April 28, 2002
By ROGER CATLIN, Courant Rock Critic

Although the band has never been declared split, The Kinks haven't toured or recorded a studio album in nearly a decade.

As frontman for the great British '60s band, Ray Davies has been going solo with a book and a tour, and it's been largely up to his brother Dave Davies to keep Kinks' songs ringing.

Dave Davies returned to Connecticut Friday at Foxwoods Casino's B.B. King Dance Club, and proclaimed to be "happy we're here, wherever we are."

As the lead guitarist who launched "You Really Got Me" (thus inspiring every power chord metal band that followed), Dave Davies' credentials are good. At 55, his distinctive, high-pitched vocals are versatile enough to cover his brother's singing parts, and he's enough of a fan of the old Kinks to include obscure '60s nuggets the diehard fans love.

And after decades in his brother's shadow, he is an engaging and energetic frontman.

Friday, he began with the no-nonsense riffing of "Till the End of the Day" and "I Need You," only to switch to the sublime declarations of "Susannah's Still Alive."

Working with a solid three-piece band that gave vibrancy to the songs, Davies provided the power chords and the occasional solos while never showboating.

He led fans to sing along but stood to emote on the ballads.

In perhaps a nod to the club's namesake, he added a blues intro to "You're Looking Fine." And he kept it from just being an oldies show by introducing material from a new album, "Bug," that will be released Tuesday.

Some of its songs, such as the charming autobiography of "Fortis Green," have been part of his set for years. But a couple of the other songs lifted from the concept album about freeing people from mind implants set by aliens were less successful. The low point Friday was the album's title song, which began with an unconvincing rap and included lyrics like "not very nice, DNA splice," to a tune that sounded cribbed from "All the Young Dudes."

Asked whether they wanted old songs or new, fans voted for old ones and were rewarded with delightful versions of "Dead End Streets," "Picture Book" and "Death of a Clown."

His own "Walking on a Thin Line," given a dramatic revival in a key episode of last season's "The Sopranos," got a full treatment.

And "I'm Not Like Everybody Else," the searing declaration for the outsider status proudly worn by The Kinks - and their fans - was saved for the encore.

The "You Really Got Me" that followed was for everyone.