On Monday morning it was as wet and grey as the day before. I passed my day with shopping in the pre Christmas City and returned up to the hill through those streets, which the "Muswell Hillbillies" helped to the name. This time I was wet too - just when I got out of the underground a downpour hit me.
After Ray's first appearances with his brother around 1960 - at this time Ray played guitar for around three years - he founded together with some school friends and Dave a band called Ray Davies quartet. In 1962 for a few months another school friend joined the band as a singer: Rod Stewart. In the following years the band changed its name several times till in 1964 the name "The Kinks" came up. The same year their first album was published, which reached place for in the charts. Ray Davies was the singer and songwriter but played guitar, keyboard and piano as well. His younger brother was the guitarist of the group and he was outstanding.
The band was already over its first peak and in some kind of experimental phase when in 1971 the album "Muswell Hillbillies" came on the market. It is a little bit inspired by country music and the critics rated it high but financially it was no success at all. The success only returned when the band started to produced mainstream songs again. The band appeared in stage shows as well of which Ray was the producer and director. Beside Ray played in some films and started a solo career as did his brother Dave. In 1994 the band for the last time was together on tour. In 1996 it made its last appearance during the Norwegian Wood Festival. Since then Ray is on tour alone, wrote a musical about "The Kinks" which will be on the stage soon and in 2012 he had a really big appearance when he played on of the Kinks hit - Waterloo Sunset - during the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games in London. Ray by the way has bipolar disorder - which of course connecting him to darts though James Wade not yet appeared on the stage of the Alexandra Palace.
The "Muswell Hillbillies" were the ninth studio album of the band and the songs are about working class life, about poverty and all the changes in the old Victorian suburbs. They deal with the frustration and the tension of modern life. Davis himself called the album always a "working class" album. The title of the album was inspired by an American comedy called "Beverly Hillbillies" and some of the songs are portraits of family members and acquaintances. For Davies the album is till today the Kinks Manifesto.
The rain was a little bit less when I again returned to Alexandra Palace. On Monday the venue was not as well filled as the days before but there were even more photographers - the match of the Huybrechts brothers was the big attraction of the day.
But it was another player who won over the crowd - South African Devon Petersen. Especially his dancing though certainly not to every bodies taste lifted the spirits which already ha reached a first peak when Ricky Evans won against Ronnie Baxter. The last match of the evening admittedly once again showed an international qualifier who seemed to have problems with the big stage, the jetlag and to meet his own requirements - Darin Young really is a much better player!
Outside the rain untiring kept falling but at least there will now snow chaos the next few days...