Ray Davies Interview (Manchester Evening News, 23.2.2001)

Olga Ruocco transcribed the article: thank you!


Ray Davies is a very busy man these days. Not only is he out on tour with his "musical words and spoken songs show" Storyteller, but he also has three new albums on the way. There'a long-awaited collection of songs The Kinks recorded for the BBC throughout the sixties and seventies entitled Songs We Did For Auntie, there's an instrumental album from a show he created last year, and there's his first ever solo album.

"Since I haven't played with The Kinks, I've tried to learn how to relax a bit", he quips, before talking about his further plans for more books, a possible stage musical or two, and a return to the world of film-making which he has previously essasyed with some notable success in Return to Waterloo, although he sayd he "really learned how to work with film" on a Granada project based on his Soap Opera concept.

"The main difference I think people will notice with this version of my Storyteller tour" he says, "is that it's mnore succinct, a little bit tighter".

"The first show lasted about three and a half hours, but we're down to around half that time now! Originally the idea for my show came while I was doing in-store readings to promote my book X-Ray. Someone suggested that as my songs were so closely linked to my life that it would be a idea to put some examples of these songs in during the readings.

"As I get older I've been able to spend less time writing the songs, there's so many other things to do. So I've been learning to let things go, which is why I find the idea of film-making, the ultimate collaborative art, appealing. I've got a couple of concepts in mind which are probably quite different from what people would expect of me. It's been quite enlightening listening to the BBC tapes. They had some later ones from an incarnation of the band without my brother Dave which just are not The Kinks, so they won't be on there"