Review - Ray solo, 10 April, 1998, Pavillion, Glasgow

Date: April 23 1998 3:41 PM
From: Ron Lancashire

Ray Davies
'Storyteller'- Tour
The Pavilion Theatre
10 April 1998

Photos: Ray 1 Ray 2

This concert was the penultimate gig of the British leg ( and only Scottish date this time round) in what is fast becoming a world wide tour scheduled to last until December 1998. On a cold Friday nite in Glasgow, the faithful assembled to hear out the latest version of RD's 'Storyteller'in what is one of Glasgow's oldest music hall venues. A few early nips of whisky before the onslaught may be one way of keeping the chill of a Scottish nite and for sure there were many who had done so. But another way is to sit back and listen to the maestro and Pete turn an inch perfect performance of old and new songs which make up the flexible story of RD and the early years of the greatest band.

So warmed up by fail means or foul, the Scottish team cheered Ray and Pete on to the stage. And so to the other warm up. 'Lola', 'Dead End Street' for openers and then the first spine chill with the full version of 'Strange Effect', written for 1960s crooner Dave Berry, unleashed on the unawary. Certainly the first time that I have heard this live! After the strains of 'Apeman' we then got down to the main agenda. All seated comfortably, then here we go for broke. Spying what appears to be Ray's National Steel guitar in the background, leads to wishful thinking of the new song 'Storyteller' which is the opening track on the new CD. Prayers answered and Pete skillfully slides the duo through a copybook version of this super new RD song. Lovely! Now neatly set up, the faithful are taken back to the times of 'Victoria' and the onset of '20th Century Man' before touring across 'London Town' (not the version per the last track on the CD!).

Thus rememberences of Dave, and the many sisters and boyfriends flow out of the Muswell Hill front room beginning with 'That Old Black Magic', Tired of Waiting for You', 'See My friends', 'Set Me Free', and 'Autumn Almanac'. To see ourselves as others see us might be one of the messages from an updated version of 'X-Ray', but what ever, we are all reeled in by Ray as we empathise with the crooked hunch back and Ray's hope for priority seating at football matches.

'Stop Your Sobbing' provides a light break from the serious world of those less fortunate before 'Minnie the Moocha' breaks free with Ray balancing his pint of stout in memory of his Dad. Still there is always room for some 'Art School Babes' in this show before drifting back to 1964 and 'Its All Right'. Happy days! an experienced campainer retorts behind me. Of course, all the important things happened 'Back in the Front Room' and so another fuse is placed in the green amp, standby light on, power up and what do you think? 'I'm Not Like Anybody Else' catches most unawares but then Ray always keeps special hair on the back of the neck trigger for the Scottish clan.

Poor Robert and Grenville. Each a 'Well Respected Man' but never managed anything in their lives before the Kinks. But then maybe Larry Page was the real 'Dedicated Follower of Fashion' me ol cocker! Couldn't have been Mick Avory in his boy scouts uniform. And so we journey a bit further on the road and into the arms of 'Julie Finkle' and 'Back in the Front Room' (slight return) before entering the recording studios for the first three singles deal. Maybe one day the lucky few will be able to revisit Long Tall Sally and You Still Want Me. Never mind cant have them all in a two and a half our show.

Well me ol' cocker, this third single 'You Reall Got Me' has got be a hit. The rest is, as we all know, history. Except....have you been ever heard Dave say 'Fuck Off'before. It's clear on my CD ye ken! The end of another time travel approaches but not quite so quickly dear Ray. If you thought that you were about to escape the clutches of the MacKinks/MacDavies clan after providing us with a techically brillant and tight performance think on. Whatever it was to be would be all right with us.....OK 'Waterloo Sunset' will fit the bill, although for a split second it could have been Days.

Thus a heavier finale of 'YRGM' paves the way back to our front rooms where another nip of whisky awaited to help continue the internal glow.

Haste Ye Back Ray and Pete.

P.S. I noted that the stage would be big enough for a live 'unplugged Kinks set'..SSSShhh. I think that this will be kept for Poughkeepsie or maybe the Edinburgh Festival! Hic..more Scotch please.

Ron Lancashire