She is gone, now there’s no one else to love

Well, after six barren gig-less months, last weekend I went to my fourth live appointment in three weeks, beetling down to Cardiff with Tom and Rob to see the great Ray Davies.

It was … OK.  St David’s is certainly a fantastic auditorium, with good sound and a nice feel to it, but it’s hard to foster a real atmosphere when the place is only half full. We were a group of only about thirty people in the upper tier and there were certainly places down in the lower as well. A shame really.

Ray Davies was also only … OK. He started off the set with just one other guitarist, which worked quite well mostly, and about half way through he brought on his band which was (again)…OK. Didn’t really add anything, to be honest and I would happily have carried on listening to him and his chum strumming away on stools.

The audience was mostly made up of middle-aged balding types – we looked positively youthful and hirsute in comparison – and they were loving it, but to be honest it all got a bit karaoke for me. Davies seemed intent on getting everyone to sing along and “have a good time”. One of my pet hates at gigs is seeing the mic thrust crowd-ward, and there was plenty of that…

To be honest, that’s all just me grumbling, rather than real criticism. What made the gig fairly average was that few of the songs seemed to have any real life and were trotted out pretty much as you’d remembered them. There were good versions of “Lola”, “Waterloo Sunset”, “Days” and a rather acid sounding “I’m not like anybody else”, which I liked, but the best track of the evening was “See My Friends” mainly because he’d fiddled around with it and given it a bit of verve:


All i n all, pretty much what it said on the tin, but couldn’t help being a shade disappointed for that reason…