Ray Davies’ Meltdown, South Bank Centre, London, 14 June 2011


Videos courtesy of Brigitte & Steve Jeffs and WhyKinks.

Ray Davies curated the Southbank Centre’s Meltdown Festival, 2011. One of the excellent events he booked was The Kast Off Kinks and Guests

.     Photos by Brigitte & Steve Jeffs, Olga Ruocco and Haydn Wheeler

Set 1 :

Where Have All the Good Times Gone?


Skin & Bone


Muswell Hillbillies

Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues

With Eddi Reader: Wonderboy

                              Stop your Sobbing

Till The End of the Day

Sitting in my Hotel


Autumn Almanac

Supersonic Rocket Ship

Celluloid Heroes

Plastic Man


Lola (with Mick intro)

Set 2 :

Dead End Street

Sunny Afternoon

Well Respected Man

Village Green Preservation Society

With Robin Hitchcock:  Waterloo Sunset


                                   Tired of Waiting


Suzannah's Still Avlie

With Sam de la Haye:   Death of a Clown

                                   You Don't Know my Name


Set Me Free

Dedicated Follower of Fashion

With Bruce Foxton and Russell Hastings (From The Jam) : David Watts

Come Dancing

You Really Got Me

Better Things

Louie Louie

What a brilliant evening, KOKs favourites and some new ones too, with interesting guest appearances by Eddi Reader, Robyn Hitchcock  Sam De la Haye and Bruce Foxton and Russell Hayes of From the Jam.

The gig took place in the smaller auditorium of The Purcell Room at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, and was a very pleasant theatre. The band was augmented by the Norwegian brass section which played at the last Kinks Konvention. Adding brass increases the musical dimension and I assume the boys love it too, as the brass players were booked to work with them.

Nobby was playing, as Jim Rodford was off with the Zombies (that sounds like he's off with the fairies or some horrid disease... :-) ) . The band seemed happy to see several friendly faces from The Kinks fanclub in the front row, and it's great for the fanclub members to be sitting near one another and not isolated in a sea of people listening quietly. The ushers said we weren't allowed to get up and dance or take photos (and with the KOKs they have no problem with either), so we weren't too happy being confined to seats and not flashing away. However the photo problem was relaxed for the second half, and we were prompted by Dave and Nobby to get on our feet for the final songs. I've no idea what the Southbank Management were scared of; we weren't of the age to rip seats up and throw them around the auditorium!

The KOKs certainly gave value for money. The interval was late (the staff had been expecting it 20 minutes earlier) but we'd all voted for Mick to give us the rambly version of the Lola intro.  I've heard this several times over the years, but he still manages to insert some hilarious additions, and it's great to see the other members rolling about at Mick's droll description of how this great song was born. Anyway, being the long version, and obviously people who had never seen the KOKs before were listening avidly and howling with laughter, the intro was somewhat prolonged to say the least.

The band played with great verve and enthusiasm, and with great generosity when the guest singers were introduced.  Eddi Reader was over the moon to be singing Wonderboy and Stop Your Sobbing and it really showed. Robyn Hitchcock surprised us with his version of Waterloo Sunset (I'd seen him on Geoff Edgers' Do It Again, so I knew what a fan he was). He was also surprisingly tall and wore a very Ray early 1970s inspired shirt. He reminded me of a musical Peter Cook.  Anyway, his version of Fancy, really hit the spot and it was mind-blowing.   His guitar playing was quite hypnotic, and it was just him and Dave Clarke on this one. He finished his spot with Tired of Waiting.

We got a five song Dave Davies spot, and the KOKs did them more than justice and it was interesting to hear what great songs are they are. Gorgeous Sam De La Haye came out to sing Death of a Clown and Nobody Knows My Name. Then David Watts was lead by Bruce Foxton and Russell Hastings of From the Jam - which was a total and brilliant surprise.

Sam, Eddi and Robyn re-emerged to sing Louie Louie, and as we were all up on our feet by then, it was a great chance to have a big sing song. Thirty-five numbers is some set list, and as always, they put their hearts and souls into their performances.

 It was great to see them at the Meltdown. I'm sure they have picked up new fans too from those people who went out of curiosity and who heard hits and lesser known songs from Ray and Dave presented in such a warm and fun way that evening.

 Olga Ruocco


What a blast!! More than 2 hours of fantastic entertainment. Everyone who wasn't there has certainly missed a brilliant, fantastic evening.

A lot of headaches etc beforehand to organise this, but boy was it worth it!! The first part was mainly `Arthur', `Muswell Hillbillies' and `Everybody's in Showbiz' songs (Olga will have a full set list, she was scribbling away next to me) and after the break just hits and surprise after surprise..........

Firstly, we cannot praise Dave Clarke enough - what a guitarist, vocalist - how on earth does he remember all the words (even Ray needs some help and even then he gets some words or lines mixed up!), and there were quite a few new songs.......and guest singers :

Eddi Reader (Fairground Attraction) did `Wonderboy' - great voice!

Then Robyn Hitchcock - no, I won't mention `Waterloo Sunset' - Nobby's face during that was priceless.......and then he did a great `Fancy' with Dave on acoustic guitar!

Then Dave announced that they were going to do a 5 song tribute to Dave Davies, he started with `Strangers' and he sounded like Dave Davies..........., then `Suzannah's still alive', then he introduced Sam De La Haye who did two more, `Death of a clown' and `You don't know my name' and at the end they did `One night with you' which Dave used to do with the Kinks.

Then another highlight `David Watts' with Bruce Foxton and Russell Hastings from the Jam (they actually call themselves `From the Jam' as Paul Weller is obviously not with them anymore) and Russell did sound very much like Paul Weller!

In between all this were many great songs with Dave, Ian, Mick (DFOF) and John Dalton (a very hoarse `Louie Louie') on vocals and, by public demand, Mick's long version of how `Lola' came about (Kast Off Kinks followers know what that means.......) and not Dave's 2 second one!!

The Man himself didn't show up (apparently he popped in backstage).........too many other guest singers.........

Brigitte & Steve Jeffs

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