The Kinks - Unruly Crowd


The British vocal group, the Kinks, played Tuesday night at Philharmonic Hall before an enthusiastic and somewhat aggressive audience.

The Kinks are an above-average band given to polite and pleasant songs about love or, a frequent theme, the bankruptcy of middle class British life. Occasionally they produce a song of note, such as "Sunny Afternoon" or "Lola", but their Philharmonic Hall appearance allowed no great showcase for this material.

The instruments were loud and a bit muddy, the vocals were unintelligible. Ray Davie's voice could hardly be appreciated, but Dave Davies often produced guitar lines of some imagination. In all, it was a pleasant affair musically, but the audience made it a bit sordid.

Several dozen people clumped toward the front of the audience and insisted on standing throughout the show, smoking marijuana and turning to shout obscenities at anyone who asked them to be seated. By the end of the show, several dozen people had crept onstage, a few of them playing with the vocal amplification speakers. At the concert's end, several hundred crowded onstage and forced the group off. The sound of crunched microphones could be heard. One man walked up the main aisle spitting into the seats.

The Kinks shared the bill with Trapeze, another British band.

Mike Jahn
The New York Times, April 1, 1971