Thursday, 4 May 2017

Spend the night with 'The Kinks'

The swinging sixties arrived at the Grand Opera House in Belfast this week as The Kinks musical 'Sunny Afternoon' came to town. 
A couple of weeks ago I had a chat with Ryan O'Donnell, who plays frontman Ray Davies and I must confess before I prepared for the interview I didn't think I knew any Kinks songs. It turns out I know LOADS of them. And so do you, even if you don't realise it. 


The show is a typical jukebox musical with the hits of the band carrying along the story of their rise to fame - from humble beginnings in Muswell Hill, getting banned from the States to their triumphant return to Madison Square Garden.  
At times you feel like you are in the middle of a Kinks gig as the electric guitar blasts out and the audience certainly seemed to be rocking along with the hits. 
The show is much funnier than I expected, with plenty of laughs coming, especially from younger, troubled brother David Davies. 
Without a doubt Ryan O'Donnell and Mark Newnham stole the show as brothers Ray and Dave Davies, as you follow the rollercoaster of their complicated relationship. 
I was sitting beside a lovely couple who had seenThe  Kinks live some forty years ago and they were blown away by the show, singing the praises of Ryan who took on the tough job of living up to the legendary Ray. 
The show culminates with the band rocking out Madison Square Garden and the audience couldn't help jumping to their feet to join in the party. 
If you are a fan of The Kinks, a fan of their music, or for that matter even if you aren't a fan but you just want a good night out, then this is the show for you. 
It's funny, moving, emotional, and the music is, of course, outstanding. 
Sunny Afternoon runs at the Grand Opera House in Belfast until Saturday May 6 so do yourself a favour and get tickets now. You won't regret it. 

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