Chances are you know a song by The Kinks. If you’re anything like me, then you don’t know you know it, but you do.
These days they’re one of those bands whose songs are more famous than they are; Sunny Afternoon, You Really Got Me, Lola, and so many more. So the current showing at the Regent Theatre, Hanley is the perfect choice to bop your way through some of their back catalogue!
“Sunny Afternoon” tells the story of The Kinks rise to fame and the struggles, both internal and external, that got them there. A winding tale of personality clashes, bureaucracy hurdles, and class wars of the 60’s. The Kinks were the cornerstone that paved the way for rock music to come to the fore, their music, hard but catchy, went on to touch heights of emotion that some would say are unparalleled.
I knew nothing of their story before heading to the show, nor did my sister who accompanied me, but by the third song in we were invested in the story of this likeable, working class band fighting the system, and sometimes each other, to make it to the top. The realisation that the songs were written about events that were happening to, and around, them, made them poignant & at times highly emotional. A highlight for me was the solo of “Sitting in My Hotel” by Ryan O’Donnell playing the legendary Ray Davies, pulling at the heartstrings & performed superbly. Another emotional highlight was “A Long Way From Home” performed by brother Ray & Dave (Mark Newnham), whilst the acapella “Thank You For The Days” was an absolute masterpiece. Throughout, the comic timing of Mark Newnham kept the audience in plenty of laughs inbetween the touching moments and angry outbursts on stage.
All in all the show hugely surpassed all my expectations for it, with the only slight criticism being the drums occasionally drowning out the brilliant and meaningful lyrics of the songs. In one fell swoop, the show has taken me from casual Kinks foot tapper to being top of my Spotify playlist.
You can see Sunny Afternoon at The Regent Theatre until 3rd December! Tickets for the performance can be purchased at the Box Office, by calling 08448 717 649 or by visiting www.atgtickets.com/stoke,