Ray Davies bounced onto the Capital Centre stage last night wearing a gray wool jacket and an impish grin. His younger brother, Dave Davies, shuffled out wearing a black leather jacket and a threatening sneer. These two brothers have played in the same rock 'n' roll band for 16 years. Their very different personalities have made the Kinks one of the best bands in the world.
Ray Davies is the band's lead singer and songwriter. In another time and class he might have been a cabaret star with the stylish wit of a Noel Coward. Coming out of postwar working-class London, however, he adds an angry bite to his songs. Last night he wasn't in the best of voice, but was more theatrical than ever. He imporvised an acoustic blues about a transvestite Georgetown prostitute as a prelude to "Lola." He also previewed two songs from his next album which shared the same eccentric flair as the songs he sang from all the past stages of his career.
Dave Davies will always be the scruffy punk. He adopted heavy metal guitar as a way to drive home the gritty anger of his brother's songs. Yet he also retains his brother's sweet melodies. Last night Dave Davies got far more room than ever to show off his special guitar touch. He led a blistering instrumental version of "You Really Got Me," and played a lyrical introduction to "Catch Me Now I'm Falling."