When is a tribute band not a tribute band? When it’s The Kast Of Kinks.
Dave Clarke (guitar and vocals), Ian Gibbons (keyboard and vocals), John Dalton (bass and vocals) and Mick Avory (drums), played packed Lowdham Village Hall on Friday.
Although they can’t call themselves The Kinks, three of the line up are Kinks. Dalton and Avory from the early days in the 60s, indeed Avory was there from day one, whilst Gibbons featured in a later line up. Clarke has an equally impressive pedigree, at one time playing with the Noel Redding Band.
The Kast tour to keep the musical heritage of The Kinks alive, and Ray Davies’s songs are certainly in good hands. In fact, there have been times in the past where Davies has made guest appearances with the band.
Whilst the evening was fuelled by fantastic music, the members were extremely humble, sharing banter, anecdotes, and a few beers. Dalton encouraged the crowd to sing along with the more familiar lyrics such as Sunny Afternoon and the audience willingly obliged.
The bulk of the vocals were taken on by Clarke who didn’t attempt to imitate Davies’s style. His delivery ranged from Paul Welleres-que on the more soulful numbers to the aggressive attitude of The Fall’s Mark E Smith on the more punky ones.
The Kast’s repertoire included all of the The Kinks biggest hits and more, from the grungy, You Really Got Me, through melodic Days, to ‘first ever punk song’ (covered by The Jam), David Watts, ‘country song’, Muswell Hillbilly, the whimsy of Well Respected Man, and their ‘most modern hit’, Come Dancing, to which many of the audience responded and danced. If you can name a famous Kinks song it was probably played!
‘This number invariably appears in our shows at some point,’ asserted Clarke, ‘although as we tend to be flexible with the set list we did once forget it. The audience weren’t best pleased. We won’t overlook it tonight!’ The song referred to was Waterloo Sunset, a classic not to be missed on this occasion.
Dalton and Gibbons also had turns on lead vocals. Gibbons most notably on ‘Apeman’.
‘We were deciding who should sing this one, but with a name like Gibbons there was only one real choice,’ explained Clarke
Two highlights were a very Status Quo sounding rocker from 1965, It’s Too Late, and Avory’s humorous take on Dedicated Follower Of Fashion, bedecked in a multi-coloured sports jacket. It’s Too Late featured Quo-like guitar riffs from their mid 70s era but had been pioneered by The Kinks almost a decade earlier.
“We’re not going to insult you by going off and then coming back on,” informed Clarke. “We’ll do another two if that is ok with you ok?”
With stonking renditions of, All Day And All Of The Night , and Louie Louie, it certainly was ok.