Review - Ray Davies, Finlandia Hall, Helsinki, Finland

From: Thorbjörn Pluten
Date: April 19, 2006

As I was telling my wife and daughter's in the afternoon,Ray will be late from Iceland,you don't fly from Iceland to Finland in "no- time"!!...with all sound -checks etc..etc..

When we entered the Finlandia Hall at 6,30 p.m. on Saturday evening,there were notes "Ray will open at ca 20.15,instead of 19 sharp.Due to late flights"!!! How right I was.Again!!!??

At last; 20.25p.m. Ray opened with INLEE.(I didn't wrote down the set- list. After the show I met a guy who I think? had "snapped" the set-list from the stage???,one thing I could see,was,that YRGT was written to the last song,but he didn't play it,Lola was the last with only one Encore!!!(set-list added at the end of the review) but notice the show ended exactly at 23p.m.(with a 15 min break,after TTEOTD)so Ray was maybe tired,or was "thinking" of us fans???Ha...

(Well,we drove with my wife to our cottage after the show in "thick mist" and got there at 1.30 a.m. so it was a late "evening".)

Maybe(because of late arriving to Helsinki)the sound check was done "quickly"?,yes , we could here "them" playing as we were waiting in the lobby.As I said,he opened with the usual; INLEE, but it sounded too loud,and Ray showed a few times with his hand to put the sound "down",you could say that the 2 first songs was so loud, it was disturbing,you could hardly hear the words he sang in the songs!!Even Ray got "confused" during WHATGTG, he lost some words...etc..etc...(we had our seats on row 7, and Olga, Jayne's seat "stayed" empty the whole show,we sat directly behind it,thanks anyway!!)

Now I heard at our office from one person(a guy who played(and still play) bass in one of the first "beat"groups in Finland est. round 1962/3,named The Strangers, and he still plays for fun,when they have here in Scandinavia a program called "Back to the 60's" with different 60's groups,yes even together with The Tremeloes, Herman Hermits,Animals, etc..etc...)

He told me that after the 2 first songs he had to change place from row 7(the same as I had)more behind to a free place at row something 20?because the sound was too loud!!!!!!!!!!! But after the intermission,he didn't come at all,he couldn't stand "the pain"!!!!wonder how many of him that there were that evening?

It went better when he started with Village green and Picture book....and after the break,The sound was perfect and Ray was "perfect".

In Helsinki he did not play Alcohol this time,as he did in 2004,but we heard instead This is where I belong.

Then,the "keyboard" Gunnar,we heard at times what he played, wonder why Ray took him,well I understand on OPL you have a lot of Keyboard,but then again, it would be nice to hear some of what he's playing!!!!some of the accordion, on "A long way"....we could hear, even that was little, and while I'm now writing "'bout the Swedes",the same "mistake" with Karin,you could hardly hear her singing,how much Ray even tried to say;dosen't she looks a little like Dave before singing "A long way from home"!!!!it didn't help,ha,haa (Again; maybe the sound-mixing?or?)

All in all,this was in a way a completely different show,as we had in Autumn 2004,even though most of the songs were the same,yes even the "stories",some of them,barking dog before ADAAOTN etc..etc...but in the other hand ,he had a few really nice "talks" even with the audience,he answered some of the people when they shouted,as one guy shouted for Victoria,oh yeah Victoria he said,in Australia and asked Mark what is the capital for Victoria,Mark answered;Melbourne,and Ray;I'm only testing (laughs) had a few of these "new"things, more open with the audience,really nice of him.

(Ray got very good response and critic from the Finnish press,what is always nice to read)

Why I wrote "a different show"? simple because we heard 9 songs from OPL!!!!! And what saved my day,and hopefully a thousands more! was ,that now he even performed ""All She Wrote"" from my opinion,the best song on OPL.Really a "rocker".

The songs were(from OPL);not in this order Things are gonna change After the fall Next door Neighbour All she wrote Creatures of little faith The tourist (one of the best songs,it was so nicely "rollin'") The getaway Stand up comic (always good) Over my head(with Karin)

Heard a few days before the show that there were tickets left,but again as in 2004,it was nearly sold out(970 of 1100)in the end with "this show" he'll get many new fans round Europe,and he deserves it.

At the end of the show Ray run around the stage,waving, thanking and suprisely, shaked hands with fans, a lot, wrote autographs ,Ive never seen Ray staying so long on the stage at the end of a show,yeah at one point he walked even down where audience were sitting.And finally;now we know hes leg is okay; he made "The Jump" twice!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you Ray(this was my 8th time watching Ray)

A BIG thanks to my dear wife and my lovely daughters,it's so nice to see them singing along Ray's songs!

I will end this review with the same words Ray used in Helsinki;

God bless you

Thorbjörn Set list;

I'm Not Like Everybody Else
Where Have All The Good Times Gone
After The Fall
All She Wrote
20th Century Man
Oklahoma USA
Village Green
Picture Book
Sunny Afternoon
Dead End Street
Next Door Neighbour
Creatures Of Little Faith
Over My Head
The Tourist
Till The End Of The Day
This Is Where I Belong
Dedicated Follower of Fashion
Stand Up Comic
Things Are Gonna Change (The Morning After)
A Long Way From Home
The Getaway (Lonesome Train)
Tired Of Waiting
Set Me Free
All Day And All Of The Night