The Kinks Newcastle City Hall 1975 The Soap Opera

The Kinks Newcastle City Hall 1975 The Soap Opera
kinkstix75soap In 1975 The Kinks toured their concept album “The Soap Opera”. This was one in a series of concept albums which started with Village Green Preservation Society in the late 60s and continued through the mid 70s. The line-up of the Kinks at the time was Ray and Dave Davies on vocals and guitars; John Dalton on bass; John Gosling on keyboards; and Mick Avory on drums. They were also augmented by a brass section, and backing vocalists. This was very much a Ray project, and met with mixed critical reviews. The Soap Opera explores the relationships between stardom and “ordinary life” It (from Wiki) “tells the story of a musician named Starmaker who changes places with an “ordinary man” named Norman in order to better understand life. Starmaker goes to live with Norman’s wife Andrea and then goes to work the next day, getting caught in the rush hour. kinksprogsoap He works 9 to 5, then goes down to the bar for a few drinks before making his way home. He then is greeted by Andrea whom he tells is “making it all worthwhile”. By this point Starmaker has lost his grip on reality, and he doesn’t know who he is anymore. In the end he settles down with Andrea, accepting that he is now just “a face in the crowd”. The album finishes by saying that although rock stars may fade, their music lives on.” It has been suggested that the story of Starmaker and Norman is the story of Ray himself, trying to understand what it means to be “a star”. The tour presented the album in its entirety. I don’t recall whether they played any other Kinks tracks at all. The setlists that I have managed to find suggest not. I went with a group of mates and I do remember that we all enjoyed it and found it quite fun, but also pretty heavy going, quite silly in parts and somewhat confusing. Setlist: Everybody’s a Star (Starmaker); Ordinary People; Rush Hour Blues; Nine to Five; When Work Is Over; Have a Drink; Underneath the Neon Sign; You Make It All Worthwhile; Ducks on the Wall; (A) Face in the Crowd; You Can’t Stop the Music. I’m not sure who the support act was; I saw an advert for another date of the tour which suggested that it may have been Care Society, who were Tom Robinson’s early band, and were on Ray’s Konk label.

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