Review - Ray Solo, 2, 3 & 5 November, 1995, Scotland

From: Ron Lancashire (by way of Ray Lancashire)
Date: Sun, 19 Nov 1995 11:26:14 -0400
Subject: Ray Davies Solo Tour

Ray Davies Solo UK Tour

2 November 1995 - Rothes Hall, Glenrothes, Scotland
3 November 1995 - Glasgow Pavilion, Scotland
5 November 1995 - Gaiety Theatre, Ayr, Scotland

The Rothes Hall in the Kinkdom of Fife, was the first of three dates that RD played in Scotland on this extensive UK solo tour. For those of us who had stayed up late at the Edinburgh Festival to enjoy the 10 nights of X-Ray we had a fair idea of what to expect on this outing. However there were differences in the lead up to the gig in that T shirts were available and the paperback version of 'X Ray' was on display. 'Shangri la'. Whilst not a sell out in this new auditorium, (scene of the opening night of the Kinks tour October 1995 which indeed was packed to the gunnels), the faithful were quickly brought to heel with RD taking us through Dedicated Follower of Fashion, Autumn Almanac and Sunny Afternoon as a prelude to our introduction to the trials and tribulations of 'an ageing rock and roll star'. In what proved to be an acoustically responsive arena, RD and his support guitarist Pete Mathison provided a sharp sounding 'Victoria' and '20 Century Man' to place us in the correct time frame from which RD had us recalling along with him 'My London Town' and all the recollections of a young Muswell Hill laddie.

The concept of a meaningful Ray and Dave Davies sibling interplay stretches the imagination of the finest Kinks follower given the experience of many a Kinks expedition over the years. However, images of Ray and Dave peeking through a keyhole to watch their sisters interact with respective boyfriends whilst playing on their contemporary record player 'That old black Magic', along with developing ideas of a first gig involving the so called 'fart box' continues to be fascinating to say the least. At the Glasgow Pavilion Theatre, the warmed crowd, (due to the bar closing early) continued to support Ray along the way. As soon as one and all realise that the front room is to be used for the evolution of 'Set Me Free, See My Friends and of course all the regular favourites, 'You Really Got Me' and 'All Day and All of the Night', then it all makes sense to both the informed and uniformed supporter. If ever you would like Dave Davies to appear magically on the stage, then it is now!

'X-Ray' slipped in to the act when you least expect it, reflects on a time of prejudice unbeknown to the adolescent, but reflects a time when it was possible to be physically challenged as a result of poverty and social inequality. Then again there are 'the songs that were recorded by other people'- 'Stop Your Sobbing'. Where is she now?

'Art School Babes' and 'Really Animal' fill the arena with remembrances of times gone by of the ability to stay up all night and make up your own version of events with various young ladies on the alleged path to maturity. Just when you think that you will never hear any reference to 'the Beatles', Ray teases out the story of the early Kinks on the same package tour. RD's critique of a long lost band and it's heroes is arguably satisfying to the purists of the Kinks. As is usual with RD and his way is the link message to us all. 'Americana' propounds a view of the 'Excited States' which fails to live up to the image of apple pie and freedom for all. If you are the Kinks, then it befalls you to be banned by the musicians union ( USA style). Still, it is the land of Elvis Presley and equal opportunity. Perhaps if you like a fag, then you might be 'A Well Respected Man' in certain parts of the land of the free!

For most of the Scottish faithful and of course other Ray Davies fans who were present at all of the gigs in this Kinkdom, there could be no better advance to the finale of what is an extensive solo gig than Ray sitting and a playing haunting versions of 'I go to Sleep' and 'Two Sisters'. If that were not enough then you might remember what 'Powerman' and 'Moneygoround' did to you the first time that you heard it. The Sunday night shift at the Ayr Gaiety Theatre (sold out) proved to be no exception to the cause. All understood the long and drawn out affairs that the Kinks had endured in times of Court battles to gain mastery over 'the men who new men' in the late sixties and early seventies.

Getting ready to leave after 2 hours? How could you even think it! RD takes us through the avenues of 'Dead End Street' before pulling in 'The Ballad of Julie Finkel' one of RD's great new songs. And now for a real fag 'Lola' to help translation on both sides of the Atlantic! For all those at the Glasgow gig, we also got 'Apeman' as a reward for working so hard, but if not at Glenrothes, then you would have missed 'Dandy' 'Too Much on My Mind' and a verse of 'Moments'. Well you did have your chances! The concept of arriving home to an empty house and a missing partner inspires 'To The Bone', a session of listening to those old vinyl 12 inch albums when all seems lost.

Ray's performance of 'Village Green' drives the message home to those hairs on the back of your neck and nearly to distraction when threatening a repeat of 'Shangri-La', played on the last night of RD's Edinburgh Festival performances in August 1995.

Recalling Pete Quaife's departure from the original band means that 'Days', now of course, played in E major, forms the words in all of our mouths. Who was it I heard singing Dave's high part? And so to 'Waterloo Sunset' an every day story of McTerry and McJulie crossing the Rivers Forth and Clyde, as all of us did who listened to the Scottish nights from X- Ray. And yes 'You Really Got Me' finished off the ceilidh after two and a half hours.

A little bird tell me that Ray and his clan may be back in Scotland very soon for a special occasion!!!!!!

Ron Lancashire
E-mail Dave Emlen