Cleopatra / Purple Pyramid 2013
The Kink’s guest-infested festival of life and times – with Ganesha stomp and evergreen riffage.
Perhaps, not as celebrated as his older brother Ray, one shouldn’t underestimate the immense talents of Dave Davies. For what it’s worth, it was his guitar that shaped the killer hooks of “You Really Got Me” and “All Day And All Of The Night” and his skills as a composer that formed such gems “Death Of A Clown” and “Susannah’s Still Alive”, all a major part of THE KINKS’ canon.
But while, lately, Ray has stuck with the legacy’s legend, Dave, always acutely aware of where he’s come from and where he’s heading to, takes a different tack here, casting glance both sides of the present in “Remember The Future”, an uplifting, infectious hymn with THE JAYHAWKS in tow, and the retrograde-bashing “Livin’ In The Past”, where Ty Segall pours blues into the master’s heavy soup.
Davies defiantly reclaims his place in the rock pantheon with opener “Little Green Amp” which, referring to the speaker that Dave infamously slashed to get distortion, revives those sharp riffs to set the primeval scene, hints at “Sunny Afternoon” to shape the melancholy mood and features ANTI-FLAG to shift the balance punkways, as he also does in the booming “In The Mainframe” in the company of THE BLOODY HOLLIES. Gotta get out of here? Nah, he stood at the beginning of all this, after all, and has all the rights to remain at that spot, or in the spotlight, as the veteran maintains angrily in “Cote Du Rhone (I Will Be Me)” helped by Chris Spedding. Yet the Kink prefers to move on, and it’s there that the flow of “Walker Through The Worlds”, a vibrant reflection of Davies’ delicate dealing with Hinduism, and the spiritual sitar of “The Healing Boy” carry him.
“Hush, hush”, implores Dave there over folky strum, as if his calm didn’t anticipate a storm, and the lazy thunder indeed shoots through the twangy crunch of “Erotic Neurotic” and the viscous, lava-like “Energy Fields” that DEAD MEADOW stoke with a stoner restraint. It gets tender and soulful in “The Actress” with its purring organ and Oli Brown’s guitar, but “You Can Break My Heart” pitches a dirge into the thick of it before adrenaline kicks in and the drift get kinky on the anti-religious ground. Sure, there’s always time to play as “Midnight in L.A.”, the most English song of offer and a dreamy walk down the memory lane, states with a broad, if slightly tired, smile. Yes, it’s unmistakably Dave Davies – as he was, is and will be.