TICKETS TORN IN HALF:August 1,1995:THE KINKS @ WESTBURY

The Kinks Return–All Day and All of The Night 

Thousands Rock at Music Fair 

By Anthony Bosco

An eclectic group of more than 2,000 came out Monday night to see the Kinks perform the first of two shows at the Westbury Music fair. The band added another performance following a quick sellout of their opening night in the metropolitan area.

The band, led by brother Ray and Dave Davies in full force, reunited with former keyboardist Ian Gibbons for a quick tour of the eastern United States that stopped at Long Island this week. It was the first time in two years that the band from England has visited the New York City area.

“The Kinks have just arrived,” said band leader and songwriter Ray, 51, after playing several solo acoustic numbers to kick off the show. “A Well Respected Man,” “Dedicated Follower of Fashion,” and “Stop Your Sobbing” were among the acoustic tunes Davies played before the other four band members joined him on stage. The house lights dimmed and the Kinks ripped through a raucous version of “Do It Again” from the band’s 1984 album Word of Mouth.

Several hard rocking Kinks singles followed, including “Low Budget,” “A Gallon of Gas” and “Sleepwalker.” But this was not a night of hard rock. At their most poignant, the Kinks easily slipped in and out of some of their most touching tunes.

Reading an impromptu set list from paper plates that littered the stage, Davies led the Kinks in moving versions of “Dead End Street,” “Rock-N-Roll Fantasy” and “Waterloo Sunset.”

With fans ranging in age from pre-teen to post-middle age, Davies and his cohorts reached all with their trademark hits, including “Come Dancing,” “You Really Got Me,” “All Day and All of the Night” and “Lola.”

Dressed in a Union Jack suit, Davies said, “Who knows, this might be the last time?” before leading the band in the English anthem “Victoria.” The set was short, lasting no more than an hour and 45 minutes, but the Kinks, as always, didn’t let their core group of fans down, nearly spanning a career of more than 30 years in just one night.

The Kinks, formed in 1964 by the brothers Davies, were part of the first British invasion of the Beatles, Rolling Stones and the Dave Clark Five. A series of commercial failures and disappointing record sales has not forced the band into retirement but into another phase of its musical history.

A new acoustic CD called To the Bone has already been released in Europe and is slated for release here in the states in December or January. Davies has also recently released his first book, an autobiographical yarn called X-Ray, available in Europe and slated to be released on this side of the Atlantic in the fall.

The Kinks are scheduled to be back in New York City next month for a one-night show in Manhattan.