Review - Ray Davies, Perth Concert Hall, Perth, UK

From: Ron Lancashire
Date: May 11, 2007

Ray Davies and his Band

Perth Concert Hall, Scotland
4 May 2007

The Perth Concert Hall was the opening night of three dates in Scotland of the rescheduled tour and it was to the strains of "I'm Not Like Everybody Else" that the near capacity Perth audience were introduced to Ray for the first time in many a long year. Rolling quickly into "Where Have All The Good Times Gone" and the "Till The End of the Day" quickly removed any doubt that Ray and the band were in top form. "After The Fall" set out the need for all to recover after life's mishaps and hassles. An oldie but goldie "Well Respected Man" had the effect of bringing back memories of older days for many of the Perthshire ensemble going by the outbreak of sing a long. Ray took us back to the "Other Peoples Lives" album with a pleasant "Next Door Neighbours" and "The Tourist" which many I suspect was new to many folks. But as always, Ray helped more than a few balding heads relive the days of the sixties with "Dedicated Follower of Fashion" ! before playing an outstanding version of "Celluloid Heroes" with Karen substituting for the much missed Dave Davies backing vocals. Another cracking rendition of "20th Century Man" took us to the now standard prostrate gland intermission.

And so after being refuelled at the Perth Concert Hall bar, and a quick dash back to the balcony, Ray opened the second part of the set with a new song "No One's Gonna Listen" which he said was written whilst he was in hospital recovering from his gun shot wounds. "Come Dancing" set the wild heather on fire and had a few dancing in the aisles. Time for us to get our breaths back...phew and Ray introduced his new lead guitarist Milton McDonald who sat alongside for an acoustic version of "Village Green" with some fine accordion play from Gunner Frick. "Dead End Street" had the band back together in full mode. "Tired of Waiting" and "Set Me Free" started the sing a long again before we had our ears bent back with "All Day and All of the Night".

The first encore led Ray into "A Long Way From Home" which purports to be about Dave in his younger days as a cheeky and irritating whippersnapper. No matter.. a wonderful arrangement of that fine song from the "Lola versus The Powerman" album. And so back to New Orleans for the "The Lonesome Train (Getaway)" with its daunting melody, before the opening guitar chords struck up another anthem of "Lola". Was there to be a second encore? Yes indeed my little chickadee. "Days" remains one of the best songs that Ray Davies has ever written and there is no doubt the Perth quines and loons thought so to. But they longed for one more chance to hear the national Kinks anthem (albeit without Dave's barking dawg guitar). And so it came to pass that "You Really Got Me" finally broke in the new Concert Hall in Perth. After all, the role of honour wouldn't have been complete without that YRGM riff!

So after exchanging more than a few words with Ray after the concert, it was off down the motorway. But first ... to the airport to collect my bruvver Ray who was arriving from Toronto for the next gigs in Glasgow and Edinburgh. The things some people will do for an opportunity to write a review on Dave Emlen's web site!!

Ron Lancashire