Ray Davies: Getting the Kinks Out in Silver Spring

Ray Davies so unlikes saying the word Kinks in his solo shows, he kids on stage that he fines himself $5 each time he utters it, giving the money the charity. That only amounted to $20 Tuesday at the Fillmore in Silver Spring.

But had he counted all the Kinks songs he played, it would have been quite a payday for the selected charity.

Every one of the songs in the well-received show was from a Kinks album – none from his own solo albums.

It’s every Kinks’ fan dream that Davies has rediscovered the greatest songs of the band’s past catalog some time ago, but it’s been something of a curse, too, in that he seems unable to stray from them even a little bit. (Not even for “Thanksgiving Day”?).

Indeed, his last two albums have been nothing but variations on old classics, one with a choir, another with invited stars. Because the latter, “See My Friends,” is his most recent release, he was able to sing some of its songs and say they were from the “new” record.

So his duet with Frank Black gave an excuse for a full performance of “This is Where I Belong”; the title song got its due, and the one that duet partner Lucinda Williams suggested, “A Long Way from Home.”

There were other surprises unrelated to the duets album, including a shimmering “Too Much On My Mind” and the super-obscure “Full Moon” from “Sleepwalker.”

Relaxed and full of charm on stage, he remarked that he had never played this place he kept calling “Silver Springs.” “And I thought I had played everywhere,” he said at the recently opened venue named after the old San Francisco hall.

A lot of the show worked well because Davies had refined performances he had brought in earlier, similar tours. So “Waterloo Sunset” was hushed and beauteous; “Victoria” began as a blues; and an encore with “Misfits” reaching a high note.

He messed with his setlist such that “Lola” was back but “Apeman” and “Stop Your Sobbing” were gone.

The first portion that was solo with his featured guitarist Bill Shanley began with a quieted down “I Need You” and included singalongs to “Sunny Afternoon,” “Dedicated Follower of Fashion” and “Waterloo Sunset.”

The transition to a full band behind him came in a medley of a verse of “Victoria” into the declarations of “20th Century Man.” They came in especially handy for the requisite “All Day and All of the Night” and “You Really Got Me.” It got odd when Davies left the band out there to do “David Watts” on their own as he took a short break.

The backing band once more was The 88, on the penultimate date for the tour that will be apparently taken over by the choir next. After hearing and playing on so many classic and tuneful songs, though, you’d think their own stuff would have had a bit of Davies’ rub off on it. Alas, it had not. Maybe they didn’t want to risk paying a fine themselves.

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