Monday 29 October 2007

Ray Davies... a well respected man

Ray Davies, photo © BBC
I went to see Ray Davies in concert last night as part of the BBC's wonderful Electric Proms. Yes, he's 63, a veteran rocker, but that didn't stop him bringing the (Round)house down. An amazing mix of Kinks and solo work kept the broad cross-section of fans and newcomers alike happy and, much like seeing (two thirds of) The Jam live a few months back, this was a rare and welcome opportunity to hear classic old tracks, in this case by The Kinks, that I never thought I'd witness performed live. Watching Ray perform "Waterloo Sunset", complete with angelic choral backing, is something that will live long in the memory... who knows how many more such shows there will be?

If you missed the edited highlights that were broadcast on BBC2 last night, you can watch the gig, unexpurgated, online at

Just one minor gripe, and it has nothing to do with Ray or the Roundhouse but some of the crowd - if you're going to go to a gig, why on earth would you spend the whole time talking loudly and boorishly to your drunken mates. Don't you want to hear what is being said on stage? Have you even thought that others standing near you might want to hear, at least? Ray is pretty softly spoken between songs, and the three buffoons standing in front of me babbling on with their droning voices became very tiresome, very quickly... proof, if proof were needed, that you can't have everything in life...

Friday 26 October 2007

Monday 15 October 2007

Interstate 5... and relevant lyrics

Some songs are just catchy, others meaningful, others throwaway trash. But now and again, a song comes along that strikes a chord, if you'll pardon the pun, with the listener because of the relevance, the salience of the lyrics. One such, for me at least, is Interstate 5 by The Wedding Present, which I present here as a poem.
I should just get out of here,
And start driving south on Interstate 5.
But I need to stay near,
In case you suddenly remember that I'm alive.
But I have this nagging fear
That sex was all you needed.
I've tried to persevere.
I guess I've not succeeded.
And is it sexist to say
That I thought just boys were meant to behave in this way?
And though you seemed quite sincere
Will you even recognise my face this time next year?
Well I'll remember how your eyes
Sparkled in the moonlight.
You can surely sympathise,
I just wanted more than one night?
And yes, there was one particular glance
That made me afraid,
You were just seeing me as a chance
Of getting laid.
Apologies to all fans and aficionados if I've got the lyrics wrong, they're from memory and drawn from many listens in the car, as I drive south, though not on Interstate 5.

As an aside, The Wedding Present are currently touring, performing an anniversary rendition of their classic 1987 album George Best in its entirety. I urge you to attend if you can, it should be a good night.