Ok, so yeah, I saw the Kinks.
It was FANTASTIC! The venue was the Half-Moon in Putney, a lovely, unassuming pub just down the road from Putney bridge. I say unassuming. It’s only unassuming if you’re under 60. Back in it’s hay-day it was a hotspot for rock (and occasionally punk) bands. And when I say hotspot, I MEAN hotspot. A list of people who’ve played? Hmm, I dunno, how about The Who, The Stones (Ya’know, the ones that roll as well as rock) and everyone’s favorite album droppers, U2. So, this is where the big boys played, before they died/had a bigger fanbase or, in Bono’s case, reached a point where every show has to be played in a stadium so he can fit his ego in.
The Kast Off Kinks are an amalgamation of Kinks members throughout the ages. Think of it as seeing the Sugarbabes now. Or, actually, any point in the last 10 years. But with people who can actually play instruments. They still have their original drummer -Mick Avory, and an assortment of ‘kinks through the ages’ members – Jim Rodford on Bass, Ian Gibbons on Keys, and John Clarke on Lead vocals and Guitar.
So after mingling with the rest of the audience, I gauged that this was not a young people gig. I did get interrogated by a number of people, all accusing me of being an official photographer or a friend of the band. Each as unlikely as the other. The crowd where all lovely, all had their hearing-aids on full, and waving their walking sticks in the air. Yeah, that kind of crowd.
When the (Kast Off) Kinks came on it was clear that though they are perhaps past their best years they still have an adoring fanbase. Their voices aren’t up to usual standard, but, let’s be honest, they’re not the kind of band you listen to for their superior vocals. As Clarke took to the stage he pointed at the audience, asking if we were ready. His hand was shaking. However, this didn’t stop him from playing incredibly well throughout their 2 hour set.
They all took turns at singing the lead for various songs, with Avory coming out behind the drum kit to sing the vocals for ‘Dedicated follower of Fashion‘, wearing a fantastically sequin-y jacket. Gibbons, rather fittingly, sung ‘Apeman‘ as well as ‘Muswell Hillbilly’ and Rodford sung on ‘See my Friends‘.
A very big fan – Bruce MacQueen – had come down from Washington DC (that’s right, DC guys) for his 60th(?) Birthday. (I’m pretty sure it was his 60th). The band had heard about this, and their respective partners had got together and baked him a cake. It was huge, and everyone got a piece. A very good way to make sure a gig is enjoyed more. For Bruce’s birthday, he’d asked them to play ‘Misfits‘, which they’d never played before, but they happily obliged. There’s some fairly decent youtube footage of it, the video was shot by Macqueen himself.
After they finished the band were pretty happy to talk to fans while they packed up their equipment. Which I thought was lovely. Anyway, as always, too much talking. Here are some pretty pictures. (Most of these are black and white because the light/colour was slightly off, however, I think they’ve come out pretty well) Let me know what you think.