UN-KONVENTIONAL – Kinks fans of the world unite

In the Kink of an eye

On our kitchen calendar the last Sunday of November every year is always marked ‘KK’.  Given the connotation of those letters I’ll move quickly to explain.

In this case KK stands for Kinks Konvention – an annual gathering of 400 or so Kinks fans from across the world who assemble in a north London pub (where else?) to celebrate the career of a group whose recorded output is at the forefront of popular music. From 2pm on this given Sunday an array of musicians known collectively as the Kast Off Kinks – nine former band members consisting of three keyboard players, two drummers, two bassists and two backing vocalists – play a game of musical chairs, performing in groups of four or five for half an hour, each ensemble playing songs from an incredible back catalogue (perhaps that should be katalogue). This Kinks collective, supplemented by guitarist Dave Clarke, have all at one time been sacked, retired or no longer been able to stand the fierce sibling rivalry between the brothers grim of rock – Ray and Dave Davies.

On occasion, last year being one, Kink Kink himself brother Ray has been known to appear and lead which ever variation of the Kast Off Kinks are currently in situ into a song – and with no sign of ill will on the stage coupled with wondrous acclaim in the audience, it really is something the following day to say: ‘I saw Ray Davies in the pub yesterday afternoon.’

From ‘You Really Got Me’ through ‘Waterloo Sunset’ and ‘Days’ to ‘Lola,’ The Kinks made a run of singles unequalled by any other group and at least four of their albums belong in the ‘Masterpiece’ category. If I was allowed one item on a desert island it would be my wife – but would ask her to bring along as hers their monumental 1971 offering ‘Muswell Hillbillies.’ No other songwriter has captured the essence of daily life in such a simple but poetic way as Ray Davies. Pete Townshend has called him the ‘poet laureate of rock’ – that from a man who knows a thing or two about song writing.

Unfortunately I cannot be in N10 this weekend and will miss my first Kinks Konvention in eight years but will be able to imagine the cheers as each song played by the Kast Off Kinks is greeted like an old friend. Tomorrow afternoon why don’t we all have a Kinks Konvention of our own – root out that Kinks compilation and marvel at the sheer majesty of their material.

You want have anything better to listen to – it hasn’t been recorded.

 

7 Comments

  1. Nancy Mattice

    I went to the Konvention this year to fulfill a top bucket list item, all the way from upstate NY. It exceeded my already sky-high expectations! The Kinks Fans Kollective really knows how to keep a party moving! Being surrounded by so many other dedicated Kinks fans, dancing and singing together was practically a religious experience! But a lot more fun than singing church hymns- Haha. It was wonderful to meet people who I’ve talked to online for years,and people completely new to me. It’s kind of like family, knowing we have this shared experience going back 40 or 50 years, even if we were experiencing it thousands of miles apart. Getting to chat with Ray at the Clissold is something I did not expect, and honestly, I was emotionally overwhelmed. And seeing the smile on his face when the Kinks Fans Kollective played All of My Friends Were There was one of my favorite moments of the whole trip. The main event at the Dome was a blast! So wonderful to see all of those former Kinks on stage together, and the highlight, of course, was seeing Ray join them for YRGM. It’s a long time since Ray has been to America, so seeing him sing on stage, even briefly, just put the whole weekend over the top! So…I’ve discovered that there is no checking this off on my bucket list- instead I plan on returning year after year- I’ll have to raise a glass to my family on Thanksgiving from London, and they will just have to accept that!

    Reply
    1. neilsambrook@btinternet.com (Post author)

      Hello Nancy – hope you are well.

      Neil Sambrook here – the host and creator of SAMTIMONIOUS.com.

      So pleased you had such a great time at the Konvention, particularly after travelling such a long way to be there.

      They really are wonderful occasions and my wife Clare and I were desperately disappointed to miss our first in eight years, but unfortunately our absence could not be avoided.

      Hopefully we will make a return in 2018 when fingers crossed our path will cross with yours.

      Hope you and your family have a very merry Christmas and Happy New Year – and please keep looking at SAMTIMONIOUS.com as The Kinks frequently appear in my writings.

      Very best wishes
      Neil

      Reply
  2. Holly

    I came from U.S. Florida this year for my first Konvention. It was great! Met Ray a few times and chatted. Fun week!

    Reply
    1. neilsambrook@btinternet.com (Post author)

      Hi Holly – hope you are well.

      What a dedicated follower (if you’ll pardon the pun) – all the way from Florida to Finsbury Park. My wife Clare and I are Konvention veterans having been, until this year to the previous eight.

      Hopefully we can meet up at the KK 2018 and ‘Have a Cuppa Tea,’ or more likely ‘Alcohol.’

      Please keep in touch and look out for another Kinks themed piece on SAMTIMONIOUS.com in the next few days.

      Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

      Best wishes
      Neil

      Reply
    2. Nancy Mattice

      Hi Holly!

      Reply
  3. Ken Woodward

    Back now in Sydney. Did the North London crawl on the 26th. The Ally Pally, Clissold Arms , Denmark Terrace and then on to The Boston Arms. Met fellow” Kinks Tragics” from all over the world and Ray made an appearance . I can die a happy man. On that subject, the songs to play at my funeral:- Strangers, Days, The Way Love Used To Be and Better Things.

    Reply
    1. neilsambrook@btinternet.com (Post author)

      Hello Ken – hope you are well. What a dedicated follower (if you’ll pardon the expression) – all the way from Australia to Archway. My wife Clare and I are Konvention veterans having been, until this year to the previous eight. They are fantastic occasions and we really did miss not being there last week, a situation we intend to rectify next year.

      And less of this talk about funerals please – you have many more Konventions to attend. Hopefully at the KK 2018 we can ‘Have a Cuppa Tea,’ or ‘Alcohol.’

      Please keep in touch and stay tuned to SAMTIMONIOUS.COM

      Best wishes
      Neil

      Reply

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