Artist:  Ray Davies

Venue: Tyne Theatre & Opera House, Newcastle

Date:  25 March 2001 

Ray Davies brings his 'Story Teller' show to Newcastle! Who is Ray Davies? Well, he's probably one of the greatest songwriters, oh and he was the front man in The Kinks!

This show is more than just a concert, it's a tour through his life and career.  Walking on stage dressed in a suit, carrying a battered case and holding onto a black book. The book is Xray - his biography!

The night was excellent, all of the Kinks hits were there, played by Ray on acoustic guitar and accompanied by another guitarist.

Beginning in the front room of his house in London, Ray tells us stories of being brought up with 6 sisters, and listening to Blues records on the Radiogram. The arrival of his brother Dave, and the subsequent formation of the Kinks.

The songs come thick and fast. They're not just thrown in for the hell of it, they fit in with the stories. Talking about the death of one of his sisters, he sings 'See my friends', listening to the lyrics, you begin to realise how illustrative the words are.

Probably the most emotional song, follows a story about how as a boy he used to ridicule an old man known as 'freak'. This man was a hunchback, an outcast, Ray grew to identify with this man. He didn't fit in either, he knew how the old man felt.

Something strange happened during the second half of the show, Ray began a song, then apologised, saying something about his throat, then he threw his guitar down and walked off. Nobody knew what was going on, was he sick of the heckling from a few idiots in the audience, was he unwell? He returned a few minutes later with a can of lager and the show continued!

Telling us about how the Kinks got banned from America, after Dave Davies told an official where to shove a piece of paper (a contract!). How they had three extremely camp managers, who wanted the band to live up to their name and go on stage and perform in leather and whips.

Wrapping the night up, about 3 hours later, Ray told us how the formation of the Kinks was down to a few key things in his life: an old 6 watt amplifier know as "the fart box" due to the home made distortion modifications done it - and used on the recording of 'You Really Got me', and the small front room of his family home in London.

Frequently sad, often hilarious, always entertaining, a great night, from one of the legends of British music.

Setlist included: Autumn Almanac, See My Friends, All Day and all of the night, You Really got me, Dedicated Follower of Fashion, Well Respected man, Lola, Waterloo Sunset, Days, Sunny Afternoon, Where have all the good times gone, Stop your sobbing


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