I opened last night's evening paper to a big surprise... Ray Davies, singer-songwriter extraordinaire and founder of seminal 60s rockers, The Kinks, is to play a special fund-raising concert in Cork (well, Kinsale, a few miles from Cork) tomorrow (Friday) night. A surprise, a thrill, a rare treat!
As quickly as I could dial, I put through a call to the advertised number, and booked my ticket. Limited to just 400 hundred, the show should be all that I expect and probably more. Fantastic!
Ray, for those not too familiar with the man, ranks high on any list of the world's finest songwriters, famous for penning such genuine classics as 'You Really Got Me', 'Lola', 'Sunny Afternoon', 'Dedicated Follower Of Fashion', 'Days', and the beautiful 'Waterloo Sunset', amongst many other. He is also responsible for one of the greatest albums ever made, The Village Green Preservation Society, a trippy slice of ye-olde British nostalgia and a truly artistic triumph. I've never really understood why the Kinks aren't ranked on more of an even keel with the likes of The Beatles and the Rolling Stones. It is true, I suppose, that their music was not quite as polished as their more famous contemporaries but, listening to it now, it seems just as incendiary and as insightful.
One thing I do know: In concert, Mr. Davies doesn't disappoint. It has been a few years since he last played in Cork, when he brought his acoustic Storyteller show to the Everyman Palace back in 2000. I had second-row seats that night, and the show, a brilliant two-and-a-half hour combination of songs and excerpted recitations from his then-recently published 'pseudo-autobiographical' masterpiece, X-Ray, was as good as any I have ever seen. Here's hoping for something approaching the same tomorrow night!