Kinks Guitarist Dave Davies Offers Up Unique Solo Performance

NAPA, CALIFORNIA – If you want to see an honest show, then go and see Dave Davies perform and if you want to see joy on someone's face, then go see Dave Davies perform. Yes, the expressions on his face are a “world tour” in themselves. As he furiously jams away on the fantastic songs he's written, Dave studies the music stand he trotted out and meticulously plays his guitar parts; then he looks up, sees he's performing for an audience full of new and old friends alike and you see the biggest grin you could imagine spreading across his face.

Review and photo by Camden Barbour

For those who may not know, Dave Davies and his brother, Ray, were The Kinks... a great band with an ever-greater sibling rivalry between the two brothers. Although the band hasn't performed together since the 1990's, near the end of his set, Dave teased the audience that Ray promised to join him somewhere on the tour and for a heartbeat... I thought we would be the lucky ones to see it. Dave did take the time, however, to call for his brother... who was obviously nowhere to be found.

The Kinks are responsible for many songs that will never go away. Punk rock and hair metal bands all around the earth replicate songs that Dave wrote the guitar riffs for. So, when you bring this type of reputation to the stage and in a venue like the Uptown Theatre, the entire room feels aglow with the excitement of seeing this legendary artist.

Dave is the epitome of what a rock-and-roll show is all about, as his band walks on stage under a swell of music and sounds from a source off stage. The anticipation in the audience builds and soon enough, Dave appears. Everyone rises to their feet as he greets us, before he and his band bring out familiar Kinks bench marks, as well as songs from his solo career. In fact, the band opened with the title track from Dave's most recent album titled Ripping Up Time.”

Over the next two hours, Dave shows us why The Kinks are an often copied blueprint for a guttural, honest rock sound with a generous dose of humor and psychedelia. “See My Friends” offers a guitar jangle certainly reminiscent of the 1960's, but also turns into a swirling circle of sound that carries you across the river as the repetitive voice invites you to “see my friends.”

The Kinks are a guitar-driven band and Dave doesn't hesitate to bring out a rocker such as “All Day And All Of The Night,” along with slower-tempo numbers like “Tired Of Waiting For You.” Throughout the show, Dave beamed at us and invited us to be his friends. Electricity not only filled the amps and speakers, but drove the joy from Dave out of the audience... you simply wont find a more radiant or honest show.