Arts & Entertainment

A sideways look at the world of music

Album: Ray Davies, See My Friends (Universal)

For Davies, it's a chance to squeeze back into the songs that made his name – as any man of 66 might wish to revisit an old pair of jeans.

Crouch End goes to the Albert Hall

When the BBC Proms kick off tonight, a starring role will be taken by an amateur choir from north London

Those lazy, hazy, crazy sounds of summer

Sun, sea, sand and sweaty festivals wouldn't be the same without the right soundtrack. Robert Webb selects the hottest holiday hits

Peter Quaife: Musician and artist who played bass guitar for the Kinks

On paper, Pete Quaife had an enviable job: he was touring the world playing bass in the Kinks, one of the biggest rock bands of the 1960s: it was always party time as alcohol and girls were readily available and he didn't have to worry about the group losing its popularity as its leader, Ray Davies, was a master songwriter. In reality, he was constantly caught in arguments and scuffles between the fractious Davies brothers, and quite often they would gang up and take it out on the rest of the group. With an unsettled management team, the Kinks was always on the verge of breaking up.

Observations: Ray Davies' ode to icons of London

"Some people seem to think my new single "Postcard From London" is a Christmas song. It wasn't meant to be one, although it does mention snow. I'm looking ahead to when I have grandchildren and they ask me: 'London – what is this place?' I feel the culture of the London I used to know is disappearing. That's something I explore in Olympicland, and I'm hoping to get that project finished for a run at the Theatre Royal in Stratford before the Olympics get underway. I just hope the community around Stratford can afford to live there when the Games are over. We don't want a repeat of the ethnic cleansing that went on in Beijing.

Ray Davies, Kenwood House, London

Ray of sunshine on wet home turf

Album: Gwyneth Herbert, All the Ghosts, (Naim Edge)

Another step away from the showbiz ledge, towards which an early signing to a jazz major once edged her.

Ray Davies' well-respected legacy

It took Ray Davies three years to recover after he was shot in 2004. The lost time has increased his determination to ensure his work endures, he tells James McNair

Ray Davies comes dancing

Next month, a new musical written by the former Kinks lead singer Ray Davies, and based on his life, will open at the Theatre Royal Stratford East.

Kinks' song inspiration for new Ray Davies musical

A musical based on a song by Ray Davies, frontman of the Kinks, and featuring 20 new tracks by the Sixties legend, will premiere later this year.

Label Profile: President Records

The history of President Records, one of the first independent labels in the UK, is inextricably linked to that of music publisher Edward Kassner. Born in Austria to Jewish parents in 1920, Edward dreamed of becoming a composer but his orchestral aspirations were cut short when Hitler annexed Austria.

“He was tipped off by his friends that they were rounding up Jewish boys,” says David Kassner, Edward’s eldest son and now MD of President. “He fled through Belgium and got caught trying to cross the border at Aachen twice. On the third occasion a German soldier caught him but let him go saying that he hadn’t signed up to shoot young boys.”

Monkeys' frontman looks good on Mojo Awards list

He may be just 22, but Alex Turner is being hailed as a singer-songwriter to compare with Ray Davies.

The Weasel: History ain’t what it used to be

"Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, but to be young the very heaven." From Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited to In A Silent Way by Miles Davis, I recall my teens as aurally amazing. Dozing in the back of my parents' car, I was thunderstruck when I first heard "Strawberry Fields". "Eight Miles High" by the Byrds was so intoxicating – it still is – that you couldn't believe it was legal. The same applied to "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane and, in a home-grown way, "Itchycoo Park" by the Small Faces. One day, someone brought into school Are You Experienced? by Jimi Hendrix. On the following day, someone else arrived with Piper at the Gates of Dawn by Pink Floyd. Or it might have been 5,000 Spirits by the Incredible String Band or We're Only in it for the Money by the Mothers of Invention or Sgt. Pepper ...

Ramsay turns pub landlord with plan to open chain of hostelries

His rough language should be an asset at closing time. Even so, the world of haute cuisine may be surprised to learn that Britain's most acclaimed chef is planning to become a publican.

The Week In Arts: These over-dedicated followers of fashion

It's tempting to devote this space to querying how the Devon teenager Joss Stone won the urban music award at the Brits last Wednesday. But deconstructing the state of urban music on the mean streets of Paignton might cause the brain to implode.
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