Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

Arts and Entertainment

Ray Davies With The 88 @ Canyon Club 3/25/10

Ray Davies 88 (Small).jpg
Photo courtesy of the 88's Facebook page.
Today on Giving Tuesday, LAist needs your support.
Today, your donation to LAist will be matched dollar for dollar. Your tax-deductible that gift powers our reporters and keeps us independent will be felt twice as strong today, so don't delay!

Even though Kinks headmaster Ray Davies had traded a loud electric band for an intimate, acoustic duo format, and found himself in this moment performing for a crowd of dinner patrons still finishing their chicken pot pies, the singer made it clear that this night was not going to be a classical recital demanding their silent attention, but rather a singalong ‘round the bar. “If you know the words to any of these, please join in!,”, Davies invited, as if any encouragement was needed. Moments later, he and partner Bill Shanley were stomping through “Victoria”, and Davies got what he asked for as the room roared back one of rock’s greatest one-word choruses. Acoustic or not, an evening of Kinks songs was always bound to be more rousing than your average dinner theater.

Davies seemed in a jolly mood as his US tour with local lads The 88 came to a close, at this funky little spot miles west of the San Fernando Valley. Seeing the Kinks in their arena days was like seeing the Replacements in their club days, always something of a gamble. The band would veer from tepid and professional, to wildly inspired, to a drunken shambles, then back to brilliant, often in the course of the same show. The center of the tornado was always Ray himself, and the mood of the shows tended to reflect what stage of drunk he was in at the moment - fun and boisterous, tired and grumpy or spoiling for a fight. The best time I ever saw them, they were consistently great for a little over an hour, then collapsed completely and sent us home with no encore.