Ray Davies, Southbank Centre, review: The Kinks singer still has infectious energy

Davies turned 70 this year, not that anyone would know

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The Independent Culture

Just after the sun set at Waterloo, Ray Davies walked on stage trying desperately hard not to grin.

Playing to a predominantly linen-wearing older crowd on a Tuesday evening, he had his work cut out for him in order to create any form of atmosphere but within two songs he had his audience clapping in an almost rowdy fashion. He languidly moved across the stage as he performed his greatest hits.

Sunny Afternoon was word painting, while Dedicated Follower of Fashion was sung in two halves - part Ray Davies, part with the raspy country vocals of Johnny Cash. He also delivered his new material, including the heartfelt Long Way From Home, managing to keep his audience engaged.

Davies turned 70 this year, not that anyone would know. His energy is infectious; there were scissor kicks, air punches and spectacular dad dancing.

He never gave up on his audience, addressing them as he might a friend at the pub, retelling stories of how songs such as You Really Got Me came to be.

When the opening riff of All Day And All Of The Night was played, his audience began slowly moving down the stairs and towards the stage, gingerly at first until there was a full on dancing stampede.

Davies gave two encores, performing Lola, You Really Got Me and Waterloo Sunset, before his audience spilled out onto the Southbank feeling smug indeed to be walking along that “dirty old river”.

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