Advertisement

Ray Davies: Kinks star returns home on the eve of his knighthood

For a man who has influenced generations of musicians and is regularly credited with being one of the greatest songwriters in British pop history, Ray Davies is remarkably soft spoken and not entirely comfortable in front of our camera.

He has long let the music do the talking and has greeted his knighthood with a mixture of gratitude and humility.

The North London pub where Ray Davies' musical career began has become a shrine to the Kinks. Credit: ITV News

The Clissold Arms in North London where we meet is where he and his brother Dave and fellow Kinks members began rehearsing six decades ago.

It's opposite the house where they were raised and is now a shrine to the band that split up in 1996.

Davies seems genuinely touched to see the walls covered with Kinks memorabilia.

The Clissold Arms has dedicated its walls to its most celebrated former performers. Credit: ITV News

He talks about the possibility of the band's reunion and tells me he is writing a Kinks album in which he will invite his ex-band members to take part.

Does that include your brother Dave I ask? The siblings have a famously fractious relationship.

It depends on the deal offered, he replies, with a smile on his lips.

The Davies brothers, seen in 1996 - the year they finally called time on the Kinks. Credit: PA

It will be hard to see how Davies will find time to write his Kinks album in the near future.

He has a new record, Americana, our next month - his first in a decade and a tribute to his love/hate relationship with America.

The US is the country that banned the Kinks in 1965 at the height of their fame. It's also the country in which Davies was shot by a mugger in 2004.

The Kinks, seen at the height of their fame in 1965, had to wait four more years to try to crack America. Credit: PA

But it's the land he dreamed of as a child, romanticising life as a cowboy, and the country that the Kinks would return to after the end of the four year ban, to break eventually, playing huge stadia.

He has another Americana album coming out later, the second half of his US story which will take in the shooting 13 years ago.

He's also writing another book, and has plans for a musical. He remains incredibly prolific.

The difference now of course is that he is Sir Ray Davies.

His fans would say about time.