Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article
Monday 08 October 2012

United Kinkdom: An Indepth Insight Into Ray Davies Ahead Of His Brighton Dome Date

It's nigh-on impossible to capture the many professional personalities of Ray Davies. Singer, writer, musician, actor, pantomime dame etc, then add on those of his private life; which include the tempestuous relation with his fellow Kink and brother, Dave, multiple marriages and control freak persona .. and it's clear as day that it would take someone of equal talent and tenacity to attempt the task.


Step forward author Chris Wade. In his new book, United Kinkdom: The Music Of The Kinks, he has taken the best part of the last three years to piece together this definitive take on the life, times and music of The Kinks.

And it’s the musical side of one of the most important and influential British groups of all time that is the bedrock on which Wade is able to achieve the seemingly impossible.

The kinkpin(!) of the sound, direction and philosophy of ‘the Muswell Hillbillies’ was Ray Davies.

As the elder brother, chief songwriter and dyed-in-the-wool perfectionist, it was to be a series of roles and responsibilities that finally took their toll on both his physical and mental health.



As reported in United Kinkdom, Davies once said: ‘Pantomime, that’s where it’s at!’ But the public, it seemed, disagreed.

And as the band threw off their early jaunty and very British reportage style of writing, so did the fine record buying public of this septic isle disagree even more fervently.   

Also in United Kinkdom it is left to brother Dave to give the most succinct reason on how the Kinks went from Carnaby Street dandys to West Coast heavy-riffing hard rockers.  

“People wonder how The Kinks suddenly changed so much after records like You Really Got Me.

“But me and Ray always had a host of influences. I wasn’t just influenced by Leadbelly – I pulled so many – Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Perry Como…”



Another interview quoted in the book has Dave adding: “We’d had all the hits and the singles every couple of months and Ray was driving himself into breakdown after breakdown trying to come up with ideas for songs and all of a sudden I felt we were doing something original, developing our art.

“And it did absolutely nothing. I was a little bit confused. It’s really strange because when we went to America, the Americans got it straight away.”


On these shores the Kinks had gone from heroes to zeroes in a relatively short space of time.

They limped to a stop (never officially splitting) and Ray went on, in 2006, to produce probably the best album of his career, Other People's Lives.

United Kinkdom goes on to say: ‘The Kinks played for one last time under that name at Dave’s 50th birthday party, ironically an event which Ray arranged.

'Apparently, Dave was moved by the gesture and rushed over to his brother, giving him a kiss on the cheek. Ray froze stiff, not knowing how to react.

'What he did eventually do was typical of Ray’s unpredictable behaviour. He stamped on the cake!’


But Ray has never put the Kinks to bed. His sets continue to be littered with new interpretations of the old songs. 

He’s a ‘national treasure’ who remains very much on the outside of the celebrity world. 

And, as he gets set to tour this autumn, United Kinkdom: The Music Of The Kinks is the perfect compliment to actually witnessing the legend live. 

Ray Davies is still very much a Kink, and United Kinkdom is very much the definitive word on the band.

Catch Ray Davies at Brighton Dome on Tuesday 16th October – visit brightondome.org for more details. To purchase a copy of 'United Kinkdom: The Music Of The Kinks' visit wisdomtwinsbooks.weebly.com 



by: Mike Cobley


   

Brighton was doused in colour twice at the weekend (Saturday September 20th) as more than 10,000 runners of all ages, shapes and sizes took part in The Color Run.
New City Kings, who are set to play The latest Music Bar in Brighton, next month, are donating a percentage of their UK gig fees to the Give A Gig campaign that is being run by the National Youth Music Foundation. 
Following Virginia McKenna's recent appearance at Whalefest, in Brighton, she releases, Tonight The Moon is Red, a very personal collection of poems that recall places, animals, concerns and people that have moved and inspired her over the past 30 years.
An amazing collaboration between The Band Project, Rizzle Kicks drummer - Lewis Whittington and the Brighton Guitar Academy will offer a unique free music workshop for local youngsters at Brighton Electric, later this month.
Following a well received  headline show at this summer's Songlines Festival, Grammy-winner Dobet Gnahoré returns with fourth album Na Drê and a specially-commissioned show featuring her band and African dancers.
Young people all over Brighton are being given the chance to take part in a memorable and educational cinematic experience as part of the Into Film Festival - the world's biggest youth film festival - when it comes to cinemas across the region.
Local resident  and comedian Jim Moir (better known as Vic Reeves), wife Nancy and daughters Lizzy and Nellie, had a wild experience in South Africa recently, when they flew out to the Shamwari Game Reserve with international wildlife charity, The Born Free Foundation.
After twenty years in Everything But The Girl, and ten years as a respected DJ and record label boss of Buzzin' Fly, Ben Watt announced last year he was parking everything to complete two long-planned creative solo projects. 

Bradley Wiggins will defend his title and compete in this year's Tour of Britain cycle race, which arrives in Brighton on 13th September.
The International Ocean Film Festival at Brighton Dome originates from the team behind the Banff Mountain Film Festival and  promises a sublime cinematic journey above and below the waves.
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