Ray Davies is the latest addition for this years' BBC Electric Proms.
The five day event takes place in eight venues across Camden from October 24 - 28 - and as previously reported wil join Beatle Paul McCartney and rockers Editors in taking part.
The former Kinks songwriter will perform at the Roundhouse on Sunday October 28 - showcasing material from his second solo album 'Working Man's Cafe' which is due for release the following day.
He will also be performing classic hits from The Kinks' canon including the brilliant 'The Kinks are the Village Preservation Society'.
Ray Davies will also be joined by some very special guests including the Crouch End Chorus.
Tickets for all of the shows wil be available from tomorrow (September 12) at noon.
The line-up announced so far is:
Wednesday, 24th October - The Roundhouse: Mark Ronson and the BBC Concert Orchestra and guests The Coral Editors Blanche Charlie Louvin Sigur Rós
John Peel Night at the Electric Ballroom: Siouxsie Sioux Agaskodo Teliverek
Thursday, 25th October - The Roundhouse: Paul McCartney SOIL & “PIMP” SESSIONS with Jamie Cullum Hadouken The Enemy The Chemical Brothers Justice Tribute to Lal Waterson
Friday, 26th October - The Roundhouse Kaiser Chiefs via David Arnold Reverend and The Makers Cold War Kids The Metros Daler Mehndi and The Wolfmen Bishi Basquiat Strings with Seb Rochford, Ellery Eskelin and Simon H Fell
Saturday, 27th October - Jazz Cafe Kano presents London Town Ghetto
Sunday, 28th October - The Roundhouse: Ray Davies with The Crouch End Chorus and special guests Duke Special Ben Westbeech Estelle
There will also be a BBC Electric Proms film programme showing films such as Daft Punk's Electroma, The Flaming Lips' UFOs At The Zoo and the brand new uncovered film of Bob Dylan Live At The Newport Festival.
In his 40-year career, Neil Young has always chosen the road less travelled. At 61, the journey continues. Burhan Wazir meets one of rock's true iconoclasts Burhan Wazir Thursday October 4, 2007 Guardian
One evening, during the summer of 1977, Neil Young recalls inviting Carole King to his summer house on Zuma beach, near Malibu, California. The Canadian-born musician had asked King, already renowned as both a songwriter and arranger, to listen to his recently completed Chrome Dreams album. King listened as Young played her 12 new songs. When the album was finished, she abruptly said: "No, no, Neil! This is not a record. It's just a bunch of your songs. It's a demo. This is not a record."
"I was about to release it. And then I didn't release it," Young says, 30 years after he abandoned the project. "I've left a lot of things unfinished. I would rather write a new song than go back and fix an old one."
Casting a backwards look over his career, now etched out over 40 studio albums that display a curiosity for blues jams, heavy metal, soul music and country rock, would be deemed aberrant behaviour by Young. In today's musical landscape, only Bob Dylan can be regarded as a fellow journeyman. Individually, Young's recordings all point to a fear of musical stagnation. Collectively, they display a wide independent streak. After his only hit single, 1972's Heart of Gold, the singer-songwriter made a path for deliberate obscurity. "Heart of Gold put me in the middle of the road," he said at the time. "Travelling there soon became a bore, so I headed for the ditch. A rougher ride, but I saw more interesting people there."
Before Heart of Gold, Young had already experienced considerable fame - firstly with the continually bickering Buffalo Springfield, later with America's first supergroup, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. He has followed up chart-topping albums with over-sized disasters. After the runaway success of Harvest, a landmark country rock album, he spent five years recording a deliberately uncommercial trilogy of albums in order to confound his fans. He has been sued by his own record company, Geffen, for failing to turn in music representative of his career. On more than one occasion, his mercurial anger has seen him fire his session groups for failing him. In 1976, he abruptly walked off the Stephen Stills-Neil Young tour, sending his CSN&Y bandmate only a brief note by way of explanation.
When I meet him in New York, I find Young, now 61, still looking to hide from the heavy hand of musical history as if it might corrode his music. Freshly showered after a morning workout, and dressed in a faded T-shirt and jogging bottoms, he looks buoyant with energy. The history of a 40-year career in rock music lines his weather-beaten face - those deep wrinkles, the prominent sideburns, the intense stare. Most of his peers - Johnny Cash, Gram Parsons and Jerry Garcia - are long departed. He declines most interview requests. Instead, like Dylan, he prefers to concentrate on the only two truisms that have maintained his career to date: touring and recording.
His upcoming album Chrome Dreams II takes its inspiration from the 1977 set of songs first played to King. It features three old songs and seven new compositions. For Young, it also marks a return to glories such as After the Goldrush and Harvest, records that boasted both acoustic and electric songs. "Chrome Dreams represents a kind of record that I like to make where there's a lot of different kinds of music," he says. "I used to make those records all the time in the 70s. Every record that I made had acoustic and electric songs on it. And then things changed in the 80s and in the 90s. The records became focused more on one kind of music. And the radio stations have everything separated, so I made records like that for a while. Chrome Dreams II draws on the past."
The centrepiece of the album is a song called Ordinary People, originally recorded in 1989. Young uses guitars, drums and horns to narrate a tale, over 18 minutes in length, of struggling farmers and factory workers hit hard by government taxes, drugs and crime. Never released, rarely performed, the song has gone down in rock folklore, much like the Beach Boys and their aborted Smile album.
"I think its time has come," he says now. "People may have been distracted 20 years ago with the fact that I was doing a song with horns. Some people were upset with me. So I didn't want to have to fight that battle and release the song. It was such a powerful record that it overtook everything that I put it with."
I have interviewed Young once before - in Los Angeles in 2002, when he was promoting an album called Are You Passionate?. He was also touring with a reformed Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The album, primarily a collection of ballads dedicated to his wife Pegi, contained a song called Let's Roll, inspired by passenger Todd Beamer's final words on the hijacked United 93 flight. The three-chord progression sounded cumbersome and jingoistic. "It will be misinterpreted," Young told me. "I wrote it because the story struck me as an act of heroism so pure - so incredibly pure. But it will be misinterpreted."
Since then, Young's albums have increasingly hardened into a sonic fury that recalls both the political rage of his 70s output, as well as the sonic boom of the 90s records that so endeared him to the grunge generation. Greendale, from 2004, was a furious tirade against the 24/7 news media. Last year's Living With War, which was recorded in only six days, used all nine songs to attack the war record of the current American administration.
Unlike our 2002 meeting, when he was struggling to articulate his thoughts on 9/11, Young is now only too eager to address current events. Even so, his thoughts are, much like his music, often impulsive. Young has never been accused of behaving like a textbook liberal. In the late 60s, he wrote Ohio, an outraged response to the deaths of four students at the hands of the National Guard at Kent State University. It stands as one of the greatest protest songs to emerge from the era. By the 80s, in stark contrast, Young briefly emerged as a supporter of then president Ronald Reagan. Today, he is equally contrary.
"This will be seen as the dark ages of vision where it was right in front of us," he says. "Why are all these people upset? What did we do? There has to be a reason. You have to go back through history, and see what we've done to these little countries how we've manhandled them into doing different things in the name of doing good. We didn't realise that our way of life is not the only way of life."
He sits and thinks for a while. Back in the 60s, Young marched in protest against the war in Vietnam. He tells me that the liberal idealism of the era was a success. Then, abruptly, his thoughts turn to Bill Clinton. "In this country we had a bad group of events starting with Bill Clinton and leading up to [George W] Bush. Clinton was a catalyst for a lot of this stuff because he played out on a moral stage a very bad scenario. He lied directly to the American people about something that has to do with core family values. He's not a bad person; he made a mistake. But in lying he made a much worse mistake. And although it was very human and people forgive him for doing that, he gave the other side, the conservative side, the aggressive side, a huge opening. If it hadn't been for what he did, Al Gore would have been president. We would have had a president who understands the environment. We would have had a smart man in there."
An avid collector of vintage cars his entire adult life, the environment is a relatively new concern. In March 1966, aged 20, Young drove 2,000 miles from his hometown of Toronto to Los Angeles. He was searching for musical glory. His vehicle of choice, a Pontiac hearse, was home for several months. He made appointments to meet people at his car. And in the subsequent decades, Young has purchased a number of vintage cars - including a 1951 Chrysler, a 1956 Cadillac and a 1950 Buick Roadmaster hearse. Film-maker Jim Jarmusch, who spent a weekend with him in 1995, trying to coax him to score the soundtrack to his film Dead Man, recalls spending two days driving around northern California in a variety of vehicles owned by Young. "Neil loves his cars," he told me.
Last week, Young's fascination with transportation took on a brand new guise. From his ranch outside San Francisco, he drove an ageing two-tonne Lincoln to a laboratory in Wichita, Kansas. Picking up and interviewing hitchhikers en route, Young's vehicle, on reaching its destination, will have its engine replaced with a more efficient electrical substitute. He'll then make the return journey to his ranch.
"It's for a documentary I'm making called Linc-Volt," he says. "It's the story of the resurrection and re-powering of the car that represented the American dream. So the car has to go to Wichita, to have its engine replaced with a giant electrical engine. It works off the grid - you plug it in at night. So it has very low emissions and a lot more power. It's a lot faster - it does 0-60 in six seconds. It's part of the spirit of the country. America is never going to be frugal. It's too big; the roads are long, the people are big, they like big cars. So there's a challenge to figure out how to retain all those things and be clean."
I grin at him, and he laughs. At his age, does he feel up to a year-long documentary shoot? There's also the upcoming release of his colossal Archives series: five box sets of unreleased material, each containing eight CDs and DVDs. Yet despite the workload, the pursuit of good health has dogged his entire adult life. He endured polio at the age of five. In the early 70s, two of his bandmates, Danny Whitten and Bruce Berry, overdosed on heroin. In the 80s, his wife was given a 50-50 chance of surviving cancer. Young himself has epilepsy, and in 2005 underwent brain surgery to remove an aneurism.
"It's a long battle," he says. "I'm 61 years old and there are a lot of things starting to crop up. Different parts of my body don't work the way they used to. And there's pain and stuff. The older you get, the closer to the end of your life you get. It seems like there are a lot of things to do now"
· Chrome Dreams II is released on October 24 by Warner Bros.
Ray Davies revealed today (October 12) that he is to give away his new solo album 'Working Man's Cafe' with the Sunday Times later this month.
In addition to the album's release as a giveaway on October 21, the singer is also making an additional track 'Vietnam Cowboys' available as a free download from this Sunday (October 14) as a taster.
Davies says of the move to distribute his new album for free that it was an offer he 'couldn't resist. He says: “Personally, it’s about reaching as many people as possible. I'm incredibly proud of this LP and am truly excited that 1.5 million copies will be distributed to people who’ll hear it organically – the way it was intended. It’s an exciting opportunity I couldn’t resist.”
Davies' announcement follows in global superstar Prince's footsteps. In July, Prince released his new studio album via the Daily Mail, a first of it's kind. More recently bands like Radiohead and The Charlatans have made their albums available to fans for free as downloads and opened up debate amongst and between the music industry and music fans.
The former Kinks' new solo record will also be available to buy traditionally from October 29 - with two bonus tracks; 'Hymn For A New Age and 'Real World'.
Ray Davies will be premiering material from 'Working Man's Cafe' as well as songs from The Kinks canon at his headline show for the finale of BBC's Electric Proms season on October 28.
Hi Folks, We've had a few days of serious technical difficulties at the Ray Davies forum. The most recent problem was that posts were not showing up. The problem was that on any new page with 10 or more posts, it would only show the first 9. Thanks to a tip by a user at the Forumer support forum (no thanks to forumer), I reset the maximum number of posts per page to 9 and all topics are visible. The forum default was 20 posts per page and I will reset it when Forumer fixes the problem. In the meantime we are back in business. :-) .
Waterloo sunrise: Are the Kinks about to reform? More than four decades after his group's first No 1 hit, Ray Davies wants to reform the Kinks. But he needs to repair his relationship with his brother first. By Rob Sharp Published: 17 November 2007
The sunsets over the South Bank are decidedly more tarnished with skyscrapers than when Ray Davies, one of the founding members of the 1960s pop group the Kinks, wrote of a dusky date at a decaying Waterloo Station 40 years ago. It is almost as if the romantic London that his words celebrated had passed away.
But decades after his band rode in a "supersonic rocket ship" to redefine British music with its distinctive visualisations of a country in decline, the Kinks' influence on British music remains astonishingly resilient. And now Davies, 63 – who released his latest solo album, Working Man's Café, last month – has announced that the band is thinking of reforming.
The story of the planned comeback is as turbulent as his relationship with his brother and fellow band member, Dave, 60, with whom he formed the Kinks in 1963. But their music continues to amaze fans and laymen – not to mention the Terrys and Julies of a romantic bent worldwide.
David, a singer-songwriter, said this week that if the band were to reform he wanted to do it "properly" and he would not do it if it was just a "karaoke" get-together done for "old time's sake" . He added: "I really would like to get together if we had new music, otherwise it's just a nostalgia evening, 'Karaoke Kinks'."
To most contemporary music critics, this is an unlikely danger. Even at a time in popular music when artists wearing their English influences on their sleeves are less obvious, Ray Davies's influence is still pervasive. Damon Albarn may have moved from mockney to monkeys, but new artists such as Lily Allen and Kate Nash, along with the 21-year-old south London singer-songwriterJamie T, all show evidence of Davies's influence. Their work follows from that one of their main role models, in that they are observant, knowing and, above all, English.
According to Phil Alexander, the editor-in-chief of Mojo: "The anglicised lyricism we see around us the whole time has a direct link with Ray Davies. He tried to phrase a sense of Englishness almost to the extent that it excluded his work from the American market. But what we're seeing now – whether it is conscious or subconscious – is the third generation of Davies's work – that we didn't get from the Stones or The Who. In fact Pete [Townshend] would acknowledge Davies's importance to some of The Who's work."
The former Kinks' frontman concluded the BBC's five-day Electric Proms season in Camden this month, again to rapturous praise. Then, the Razorlight frontman, Johnny Borrell, joined him on a duet of "Sunny Afternoon," one of the many more modern acts – including Albarn – who have queued up to share a stage with Davies. Around the same time, his album was given away free with a Sunday newspaper, a practice now in vogue with artists such as Prince and Radiohead. He even told this month's Mojo that he would like to be London's Mayor. "London's in a terrible state at the moment, but it should be celebrated," he said.
The move to reform the band has seemingly emerged from nowhere. As Alexander points out, as recently as the release of his latest solo album in February 2006, Davies was writing off the chance of his group ever getting back together.
This week, however, he gave new hope to Kinks fans as it was reported that he said: "I really hate being a solo artist. But there's no other way to get my songs sung. The chemistry is still important. I wrote for those characters [the members of the band] and they all had an influence on what I did. I know I wrote a lot of the stuff, but they were my muse. They were what I was writing for and I couldn't have done it without knowing they'd be there."
Davies, who penned such memorably British albums as 1969's Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) says he is getting on with his bandmates better than ever. He said: "I still talk to [the drummer] Mick Avory. Whenever I've got a big issue, I always talk to Mick. We grew up together and he's a wise old bird. And [the one-time bassist Peter] Quaife too, I call Quaife up sometimes."
But there is one missing person required to fix this jigsaw puzzle, and that is Ray's brother, Dave. Davies said he hadn't spoken to his younger brother, who suffered a stroke in 2004, since February, and described the meeting as " not a happy confrontation". He said their rift was down to "family problems" that have continued since their beginnings in the suburbs of north London. But those two words quoted do not tell the full story: that of one of rock's major Cain and Abel warring partnerships to rival even the notorious Gallaghers of Oasis.
To understand the roots of this sibling rivalry, one must return to Muswell Hill, to where the Davies brothers grew up.
It was that period which Ray puts at the heart of his sometimes violent relationship with his brother. In a 2002 interview, he said: "I've thought about this a lot. My eldest sister was 20-odd years older and she brought me up, so Dave and I lived in separate houses. Brothers and sisters who live in the same house learn to live with each other's space. We didn't do that early on. Also, when Dave was 17 and I was 19, we couldn't go out on the street for screaming fans – we weren't taught how to be pop stars."
A precocious talent, Davies was 14 when he first took to the stage at the Clissold Arms in Muswell Hill, and 16 when he wrote "You Really Got Me" – the Kinks' first No 1. But as their fame increased, and saw them become one of the country's biggest bands, one element stayed constant – their violent feuds, which have ascended into the pantheon of legendary rock barneys. One story involves Dave tormenting Mick Avory on stage. It is said that soon afterwards, Dave kicked over Avory's drum kit, prompting a fierce retaliation from Avory, who smashed a drum into Dave's head. Ray allegedly continued to perform while his unconscious brother was taken to hospital.
Dave recounted in a 2004 television interview how he hit Ray with "a lucky punch" during an onstage spat. Ray collided with a piano as he fell; Dave thought he had killed him. Add to that the time when in a restaurant, Dave stole one of Ray's chips and Ray stabbed his brother in the chest with a fork. Ray also left Dave out of his autobiography. And Ray also recollects that he was so irritated by the volume of Dave's guitar that: " We had a guitar technician who worked out a device on the side of my amp so I could control his maximum volume. We had Dave well in control."
The belligerence has also often extended into creative differences. Ray is said rarely to acknowledge the contribution Dave made to the band's sound. " He knows it, but he wouldn't tell you," Dave was reported as saying. " The problems started when he was three and I was born. I stole his thunder. He's been trying to make up for it ever since, he can't help himself. He's spoilt. He's worse now he has money. I don't know one wealthy person that's survived money," said Dave. In return, Ray was said to be angry at the attention his better looking brother received from the press.
Despite this public fallout, however, the latest reports suggest that the rift may be beginning to heal – albeit slowly. This may in part be due to Dave's stroke in 2004, and Ray's wish to perform in a unit once again.
"He wants to forge his own way," Ray said recently of Dave. " In a strange way he's at his least communicative with me, but we understand each other more because we're brothers." In another interview, he continued: "Being in a band like the Kinks, even though you don't always have success and you go through hard times, you have a cause: the four of us against the world."
Rumours abound of a "clever idea" that would make a great reunion project – "as long as they'll do as I ask", Ray insists. So the creative juices are still flowing strong, even if Ray's wish is to be in resolute control, as ever. His dedicated followers wouldn't have it otherwise.
Other musical sibling rivalries
Liam and Noel Gallagher
The Gallagher brothers, leading lights of the band Oasis, are the heavyweight championsof inter-sibling squabbling.
Most tension sprang from Noel's songwriting talent. He worked, while brash, punchy front man, Liam, hit photographers and got spectacularly drunk. Noel once said sarcastically: "Liam is a songwriting genius. His songs make me cry because they are better than mine."
The pair filled the tabloids with tales of their fisticuffs. During their 1994 tour of America, Liam would change the words to songs Noel had written so they offended both the American audience and Noel. After one show, Noel threw a chair at a wall and left the tour, heading for San Francisco, then Las Vegas. In 1995, the brothers had a fight in which a cricket bat was wielded after Liam invited people back to the studio from the pub while Noel was trying to work.
"To work with members of your family is pretty difficult," complained Noel once. "Especially when one of those members is Liam Gallagher."
The Appleton Sisters
Originally from Canada, Nicole and Natalie Appleton found fame as part of the 1990s girl band All Saints. When All Saints split acrimoniously, Nicole and Natalie formed the duo Appleton in 2002 and reached No 2 in the charts with their song "Fantasy". In 2004, Nicole said on Frank Skinner's ITV talk show that Natalie had "a list of issues" and that she had mild obsessive-compulsive tendencies. "It's over the top. She does my head in. She makes me feel dirty. You can tell when she's been to the toilet because she will use a piece of tissue to open the door and get in and turn on the taps. Then she leaves it on the side."
During an interview for All Saints' short-lived comeback, the sisters admitted they found being a twosome "really lonely" and " stressful" and have never said they would go solo again. Alas, they were dropped by their record label Polydor in 2003, so that may not be an option.
Justin, the lead singer, and Dan Hawkins, the guitarist, were the brothers behind The Darkness, which started when Dan saw Justin miming to " Bohemian Rhapsody" at a New Year's Eve party. In 2006, Justin was admitted to The Priory for alcohol and drug addiction and shortly after announced he was going to leave the band, to the surprise of his brother. The band had nearly split up in 2005, after sacking bassist Frankie Poullain, due to the pressure on them to write another bestselling album. " We were all over the place," said Dan Hawkins. "We virtually split up because of the pressure."
The brothers have barely spoken since the split. "It's sad," Justin said this year. "It's a bit like when you finish with a girlfriend and you don't stay in touch."
The Everly Brothers
Tensions between Don and Phil Everly came to a head in 1973 when they split up acrimoniously. During a performance at Knotts Berry Farm, Phil broke his guitar and stormed off, leaving Don to finish the concert by himself. Don Everly told the crowd: "The Everly Brothers died 10 years ago." The brothers were most successful between 1957 and 1961, with hits such as " Bye, Bye Love" and "Cathy's Clown". But their career was interrupted when they had to enlist in the US Marines in 1963, just before the Beatles took America by storm. When they returned, their inability to recreate their former success led to arguments. The brothers reformed 10 years after they split, in 1983, with an album and a reunion concert at the Royal Albert Hall.
Bands reunited: Now original Kinks line-up set to reform for reunion tour By DONNA McCONNELL 27th December 2007 Comments (10)
The Kinks are planning to follow in the footsteps of rockers Led Zeppelin with a highly anticipated reunion next year.
Lead singer and guitarist Ray Davies said the band's original members, which included Davies' brother Dave on guitar, Mick Avory on drums and Pete Quaife on bass plan to play together for the first time in nearly four decades in 2008.
Davies, 63, said a full reunion is on the cards next year for the first time in almost 40 years.
But Pete left in 1969 and they then continued with changing line-ups until 1996.
Dave had a stroke in 2004 and Pete has kidney problems - but Ray said both are keen to get back together.
He said: "I spoke to Quaife about a month ago and he dearly wants to make another record with me.
"I think Dave's getting better and Mick's still playing. It would be great to get back together just to see what musical ideas we had and what would happen."
The band, whose hits include You Really Got Me and Waterloo Sunset, were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005 by Pete Townsend, who urged them to reunite.
Ray, now a solo artist, said recently he missed being part of a band.
He said: "You miss the interactive stuff. You get it to a degree with other musicians but probably not with the same passion."
Next year's reunion is likely to coincide with the release of a Kinks CD box set called Retrospective.
I've never seen Pete Quaife in person.
Hopefully the Stones will take a cue and get Bill Wyman back into the fold.