Sunday, 1 November 2015

Ray Davies hints to ITV that The Kinks may reform for one-off gig

He is not necessarily at his most comfortable in a TV interview situation, but our venue got the famously reluctant Ray Davies talking. 

Hornsey Town Hall in North London is where he performed on stage as a schoolkid, and where he formed the band that became The Kinks. 

Ray Davies has always lived close to this area - bar some time spent in the US - and he works around here in his studio and is committed to helping this old building come back to life again, after years left empty. 

He has been asked so many times in the past two decades if The Kinks can reform. 

He has had notoriously fractious relationship with his younger brother and former bandmate Dave Davies which has seemingly made this a non-starter. But not now it seems. 

He might he said do a one off gig in the town hall to help save the venue, which has now been taken on by a group of like-minded locals. 

It is such a tantalising prospect - the man lauded as one of the greatest, if not the greatest British songwriter back on stage with the remaining band members. 

It must be hard for Davies, who wrote some of the most instantly recognisable and lovely music to be asked about the great What Ifs in his career. 

What if The Kinks hadn't been banned from playing in America for years, which put paid to their aspirations to join the British Invasion, a phenomenon that has since been defined by those iconic images of The Beatles arriving to screams at New York's JFK Airport. 

How can you ask the man who wrote Waterloo Sunset, Sunny Afternoon and You Really Got Me, why his band wasn't as big as The Beatles? 

Why The Kinks have been called The Most Underrated Rock N Roll Band of all time? 

But he is gracious and honest in his answers - bad behaviour, bad management, The Kinks made mistakes that The canny Beatles didn't. 

But he now says the fact they weren't in the US meant he was at home in Britain writing about everyday life and ordinary folk, the musical documenting of England that became his trademark. 

Alongside his brilliance, Davies' battles with mental health have been well documented. 

But although The Kinks split in the 90s, he continues to enjoy musical success. 

In April he won a coveted Olivier Award for the soundtrack for Sunny Afternoon, a stage retelling of the early days of The Kinks. 

Now, he is releasing the original recordings of all the songs in a new album, and it is clear when we talk how proud he is of the success of the production. 

He is a funny and gentle soul, fragile too. 

And the feedback I have received on telling people I was to meet him is testament to the special place he holds in British music. 

Tell him thanks for Waterloo Sunset was said to me more than once.  

Consider it done!

By ITV News correspondent Nina Nannar

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