Friday, November 20, 2009

live: Ray Davies (and a 32 person choir)

"I'm not frightened by this world believe me"

Ray Davies played the first of 2 shows at NYC's Town Hall last night. This show was one of 3 US shows featuring a choir performing tracks from The Kinks Choral Collection.

The first set was mostly acoustic renditions of Kinks classics. The second set featured the Dessoff Chamber Choir, who not having performed any of this material before, did a splendid job. The crowd was mostly older, but what they lacked in youth they made up in devotion. While many argue Ray Davies live is nothing more than Ray singing Kinks karaoke, the choral arrangements offered his fans a new (and mostly effective) spin on Kinks classics. Likewise with the acoustic numbers. Ray's knack for storytelling was evident, and it's easy to see how his Storyteller disc inspired the VH1 series. Highlights included "A Long Way From Home" (dedicated to his brother Dave), a haunting "See My Friends" (which Ray explained was written on a beach in India when he was taking too much "lemonade"), "Picture Book", "Do You Remember Walter?" and "Days".

Ray Davies
Town Hall
New York City

SET 1:
(Ray and guitarist Bill Shandley, accoustic)
I Need You
I'm Not Like Everybody Else
In A Moment
Dedicated Follower of Fashion
Hymn For A New Age
A Long Way From Home*
Autumn Almanac
Sunny Afternoon

(w/ full band)
Vietnam Cowboys
After The Fall
Till The End of the Day
Where Have All The Good Times Gone

SET 2:
(w/ full band & 32 person Dessoff Chamber Choir)
Workingman's Cafe
See My Friends
You Really Got Me
Village Green
Picture Book
Big Sky
Do You Remember Walter?
Johnny Thunder
Village Green Preservation Society
Celluloid Heroes
Waterloo Sunset
All Day And All Of The Night

(w/ full band)
Low Budget

* w/ Karin Forsman on vocals, Bill Shandley on guitar, and on accordion

The Kinks Choral Collection - Shangri-La

EDIT: In the midst of a massive hangover, I mistyped "Sunny Afternoon" as "In the Summertime". Thanks davidp for noticing. Before starting the song, Ray explained how he locked himself in his room for weeks while his band toured without him. Bright sunlight would pour into his room but he couldn't muster the strength to go outside. Instead he wrote "Sunny Afternoon".


davidp said...

"In the Summertime"?!! Try
"Sunny Afternoon."

davidp said...

All is right with the world now.
Aside from being a bit anal, I
noticed because I was comparing
the Thurs set to what I saw Fri.
Ray saved "Where Have All the Good Times Gone" for the encore (along
with "Low Budget" and an excellent "Lola) and even threw in a very short (but fun) "Harry Rag"
during the accoustic set when someone yelled it from the crowd.