Sunny history was made yesterday when, for the first time, an entire cover band of Kinks assembled for a matinée performance! Thanks to the World Cup 66 Live event clashing with a scheduled show, rather than cancel or postpone the decision was taken that the show must go on – and why not? Our brilliant Team B has all bases covered, so the band lined up as follows:
- Ryan O’Donnell – Ray Davies
- Robbie White – Dave Davies
- Alex Tosh – Pete Quaife
- Nick Sayce – Mick Avory
This is something we Afternooners have been longing for. Thanks to a very tight budget, I couldn’t book my ticket until a week before the performance so I ended up a bit further back than I’m used to – but it was being there to witness & support that really mattered. Plus I did find an empty seat to move forwards into for the second act! It was nice, actually, to see the whole picture (including things that happen offstage) for once, and I kept crying with pride at the most ridiculous moments so it’s probably best I was a bit hidden… (I think this was the first time that I Gotta Move and You Really Got Me have made me emotional – even during cast change week I don’t think I got that bad.) It was a weird combination of shit-eating grin & floods of tears.
I’ve regularly seen two cover members of the band, and more than likely three out of four too, but having all four brought a completely different dynamic to the band. They obviously spend a lot of time in each other’s company, so the camaraderie is clear from the outset. And, as ever, the rest of the cast were thrilled at the prospect of a new thing; their excitement was palpable.
Ryan continues to develop his performance as Ray; despite the fact that he’s now rehearsing almost ceaselessly for the upcoming tour, he shows great enthusiasm for the role & the show, playing around with different nuances here & there. It’s an odd one to point out, but I do really love how he plays the typewriter scene alongside Jason (Kassner) – from “I can’t really do it with someone watching”, to Ray getting ever more fed up as he listens to Eddie’s story. He will be missed when he leaves for the tour, but it’s good to know it’ll be in safe hand.
It’s always a pleasure to see Robbie – and he never seems happier than when he gets the chance to be Dave the Rave! From the off there was that massive grin plastered across his face, which seems to transmit out to the audience until you find yourself doing the same thing. His energy is ridiculously high octane, especially during the group numbers – I loved being able to see him running around during You Really Got Me, and his onstage parents watching proudly from the sidelines!
Alex hasn’t had a lot of opportunities to play Pete (there was a time when we didn’t think he’d ever get the chance), but on the rare instances that I’ve seen it I couldn’t be more impressed. He is properly hilarious (that phone call – and “Just keep going!”), a wonderful bass player, and a real heartbreaker. From my second half seat I could see him perfectly during A Rock & Roll Fantasy, but almost wished I couldn’t – his face was streaming with tears throughout, which of course didn’t help me in the slightest… He’s leaving shortly to join the cast of Buddy on a UK tour, so if this was my last time seeing him onstage at the Pinter it really was a great one to go out on.
It’s no secret that Nick’s been my favourite understudy from the word go – and his Mick is (of course) my favourite of his covers. He gets the deadpan humour absolutely spot on, his drumming is brilliant, and he makes an incredibly angry Mick! One of my highlights of the show was definitely the Cardiff scene, with Mick on the verge of boiling over by All Day And All Of The Night in response to Dave’s taunts. His drum solo is also worth mentioning, as it has definitely evolved since the first time I saw him back in December 2014; not to go too nerdy on you, but I particularly love the hi-hat & cymbal section towards the end. He even managed to keep going in spite of a runaway drumstick – who can ask for more?
So, to sum up, it was completely worth the wait! It didn’t take much coaxing for the audience to get up on their feet at the end, and there was a cracking atmosphere. Let’s do it all again!