Friday Night Concert Clip: Ray Davies, “Shangri La”

I ALMOST forgot to put up a concert clip tonight. This is a performance by Ray Davies, formerly integral along with his brother, Dave to the Kinks.  This song, written long ago for what would have been the first “Rock Opera,” a label claimed later by the Who’s “Tommy,” is from the album “Arthur.” While it achieved moderate success upon release, “Arthur” never reached the heights of some of their earlier and later LPs.  Consumers didn’t know how to react to it.  Time has proven it a buried treasure.

A Kinkaholic, I loved it and a band I was in a few years later even grudgingly consented to doing a cover version of  “Victoria,” one of the more uptempo tunes on “Arthur”.  Crowds loved it although most no one had ever heard it before. We even occasionally got requests for it.

“Arthur” tells a story.  Davies has a knack for creating convincing characters in his songs and frequently incorporates narrative elements in his lyrics.  “Shangri La” is a lovely tune, albeit somewhat off the beaten path.  If you like the Kinks and Davies, you’ll love this adaptation. I f you never cared for them, you might want to pass it up.  I think it’s a treat.

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3 Responses to Friday Night Concert Clip: Ray Davies, “Shangri La”

  1. David says:

    Hello Paul,

    Ray is actually going to be releasing a Kinks Choral Collection record on the 15th June inspired by the recent Crouch End Choir performances which you might be aware of. You can already watch and listen to previews of this new material on his MySpace page, and his official site has lots more information too, including some tour dates and promotional videos that might interest you.

    Hope you find these enjoyable!


  2. Paul Sonderman says:

    I’ll look forward to it. Davies and his crew always took risks, not always appreciated by critics and fans.

  3. David says:

    Oh, and I don’t know if this is relevant to you or your readers, but Ray will actually be performing a “secret gig” tonight (11th June) at 17:30 just next to Waterloo Bridge in front of the National Theatre along with Ian Gibbons and the Crouch End Festival Choir. He’ll be playing “just a few songs”, but the scene will be amazing, and for those that turn up the performance will not cost a single penny.


    If you’re going, make sure to leave early because of the tube strikes!


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