I'm off to see The Kast Off Kinks play at The Westcoast Bar tonight. Needless to say, regardless of the fact that Ray and Dave Davies won't be putting in an appearance, I'm still tremendously excited about it. The lineup consists of former Kinks members Mick Avory (drummer), Jim Rodford (bass), Ian Gibbons (keyboards) and Dave Clarke (lead guitar), so they undoubtedly look set deliver a wholly authentic performance of quintessentially British rock & roll.
Each Kast Off member has earned their chops playing in The Kinks ever-fluctuating lineup during the course of their 31-year tenure, so I'm guessing that it'll be the next best thing to seeing the original lineup (of which drummer Mick Avory will be the only founding member present). However, Ray Davies has been known to drop by to perform with the band on special occasions, so since it's so close to Hallowe'en, I'm secretly hoping he pops by to spook us, though I'm doubtful that'll happen.
I have a big soft spot for '60s British Invasion bands (and the subsequent wave of U.S. garage rock bands inspired by them), and if I had to name my favourite band, The Kinks would be the ones I'd single out. For me, Ray Davies is possibly the best songwriter of his era, vastly underrated in some quarters, capable of occasional flashes of social commentary, cynicism and satire. It's no secret that even Paul McCartney attempted to crib elements of Ray Davies's social observation skills with “Penny Lane” and The Who's Pete Townshend even jokingly called for Ray Davies to be nominated to be Britain's Poet Laureate.
Oh, and lest we forget, they rock. Their initial hard rock hits “You Really Got Me” and “All Day and All of the Night” practically invented the heavy metal riff, so The Kinks do possess a rare mix of hard-rocking energy and intelligent lyricism that makes them without peer. Were it not for the Britpop boom in the 1990s, I doubt somebody my age would've discovered bands like The Kinks, so I'm hoping that this gig is gonna be a chance to get a genuine flavour of what the experience of seeing The Kinks play live is truly like. In fact, if I could be in a tribute band, it would be a Kinks tribute band, without a doubt. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to sip my ice cool beer and have a good ol' knees-up.