Sunny Afternoon

There is perhaps something about being late middle-aged that makes listening to familar music in a public place or watching a magical play a risky business. This being London there is an abundance of such pleasures, and the risk is becoming such that I really should remember to pack Ray Bans for the inevitable hollow, red eyes which seem to result from these forays.  Provoking even greater lachrymosity than usual this week was a terrific musical with music and lyrics by Ray Davies, telling the story of the early days of The Kinks. As soon as his younger brother Dave (brilliantly played by George Maguire) picked up his guitar and crashed out the raw opening of “You Really Got Me“, stabbing his little portable amplifier’s single speaker with a flick knife ( I think) to get the right quality of harshness into the main riff,  my eyes prickled with absurd pleasure and I was away. My wife covered her ears. It was 1964 again, and I was 12 or 13, and it was North London. They got me alright.

I didn’t know Fortis Green where the brothers lived in their little terraced house, but it wasn’t that far away from my Kensal Rise, which had a similar feel. I only wished I had seen them live at least once.