Ray Davies is currently on tour around the UK. The gigs began at Canterbury's Marlowe Theatre on September 30 2012 and run until October 18 2012, when Davies, who will be joined by Ian Gibbons for the tour, headlines Bath Forum.
Watch here his performance at The Royal Albert Hall singing Waterloo Sunset with Paul Weller
Ray Davies was the front man and wrote all the songs for The Kinks. He has had an extremely successful musical career, starting back in 1957 at aged 14 when he performed live with his younger brother Dave in their father’s pub. Davies wrote his first song at aged 16, ‘You Really Got Me’, which would later be released by The Kinks in 1964 landing them their first No. 1 in the UK, and No. 7 in the US.
He attended art college in 1962, during which time he joined his younger brother David’s band The Ravens, which was soon after renamed as The Kinks. The Kinks secured a recording contact in early 1964. Following on from the success of their first No. 1 ‘You Really Got Me’, in 1964, in 1965 the band had a two more Top Ten hits in the U.S with ‘All Day and All of the Night,’ and ‘Tired of Waiting for You, setting the way for a string of successful hits throughout The Kinks’ long career which finally came to an end when the band split in 1995.
In 1966, The Kinks released ‘A Well Respected Man’ and ‘Dedicated Follower of Fashion’ which were of notable social satire, and which indicated Davies’ developing sociological awareness, finding disillusionment with what was happening to the British Working Class and the psychological effects of the British Class System. His subsequent songs were full of witty snipes at the wealthy playboys and the upper class and other topical wry social commentary. This is perhaps the beginning of Davies' recognition as a respected social commentator whose songs and writings show clear yearnings to point out injustices.
Ray Davies has had an eventful life. He was shot in 2004 whilst running after a mugger, and because of this wrote ‘Morphine Song’ while recovering in hospital in New Orleans. The Kray Twins were fans, even attempting to manage The Kinks at a point. He accepted a CBE in 2004 for ‘Services to Music’.
He published his semi-fictional autobiography ‘X-Ray’ in 1994, which was his first attempt to write prose other than through music. The book tells the fictional story of a young narrator interviewing an elderly and demented Ray Davies and shed light on the strained relationship The Kinks had with Pye Records. In 1997 he also released a book of short stories called ‘Waterloo Sunset Stories’.
Davies has also had successful career acting, directing and producing shows for television and theatre. In 1985 he wrote and directed ‘Return to Waterloo’ wjhich depicts the tale of a traveller who boards the Guildford-Waterloo train and proceeds to daydream about his life and of having interactions with his fellow passengers.
Ray Davies released ‘See My Friends’ in 2010 which is a duets album covering a number of Kinks’ hits with the likes of Bon Jovi, Bruce Springstein and Paloma Faith. In August, to coincide with the tour, a new collection of Kinks tracks was released. ‘The Kinks At The BBC’ came out on August 13th 2012, with the CD + DVD book package designed in the style of the Radio Times while liner notes have been prepared by Peter Doggett and Doug Hinman. You can buy this here www.thekinks.info/the-kinks-at-the-bbc