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Rivalry remembered as dedicated followers get set for Ray

Sibling rivalries have been part and parcel of rock'n'roll for many years now. Most recently, Oasis sundered in spectacular fashion, the Reid brothers in Jesus and Mary Chain were fairly consistent for being at each other's throats and even Mark and David Knopfler had a good few set-tos in the early days of Dire Straits. However, when it comes to fighting'n'feuding, the Davies boys in The Kinks take some beating.

Quite apart from being one of the greatest British bands of the sixties, the creative tension between chief songwriter Ray Davies and his younger sibling, guitarist Dave, gave their story a soap opera dimension which many other outfits lacked.

With Ray penning a string of classics, including You Really Got Me, All Day and All of the Night, See My Friends, Dedicated Follower of Fashion and the immortal Waterloo Sunset, Dave, somewhat understandably, felt sidelined. Despite a solo hit with Death of a Clown, he and Ray went through several spats which pretty much sundered the band and he gets to tell his side of the story with a documentary on BBC4 this evening as part of a Kinks night.

One would have to feel a great deal of sympathy for Dave Davies, given that his brother Ray is a notoriously difficult individual.

I once interviewed him several years ago around the time of his 'autobiographical novel' X-ray and he was about as touchy as you'd expect a hungover, overly intense Arsenal fan to be. Still, for all his faults he does have a magnificent back-catalogue. One of the best in rock'n'roll, in fact, so we'll forgive him for the rest of it.

>George Byrne

Ray Davies plays the O2 on Sunday.


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