Raving Dave Fans Unite!

An Unofficial Dave Davies Solo Tour FAQ
An RDF Production

Magic Bag, Ferndale, Michigan - May 2, 2003

Having seen Dave at the Magic Bag almost exactly a year before, and with it being only a hop, skip and jump from our hometown, Fritz and I were eagerly looking forward to this show. The day dawned damp and chilly, even for a spring day in Michigan. Not exactly ideal traveling weather, but it was still a day that held a lot of promise. We got to the Magic Bag just in time to see the band go in and start their sound check. Bob Fischer and Dave behind the Magic Bag after the sound checkAlready there were a few people hanging around the back to get autographs, photos and that sort of thing.

We started the queue a bit before 6pm and our newly-found friend from last year, James Norrigh (from Port Huron), was the second person in the line. James had been a long time Kinks fan but up until last year had not seen Dave as a solo artist. He was keyed up remembering the show from last year and in anticipation of the show we were about to see. Linda and Mark Dempsey soon joined us, and a few familiar faces whose names I am not sure I've gotten, but I know I've seen before!

The opening band, Ko and the Knockouts were pretty unique. The bass player was dressed in full Eastern Asian schoolgirl attire and looked like something straight out of an anime show. She also doubled as the lead singer and I'm sure she was good, but for some reason the vocals were mixed down so much that all I heard was the bit coming from the monitor.

TicketThe Magic Bag's stage front has huge speakers on the floor in front of it, partially, I suppose for security and partially for extra oomph, but during Ko and the Knockouts' set I wondered if leaning against them all night was going to rattle parts of me loose!

Dave and the band came on around 10:35pm ushered in by a new intro tape and blasted into "Whose Foolin' Who". The crowd who had been standing far back from the stage now surged forward and began to whoop and cheer loudly.

The second song was totally unexpected; Dave did a totally wonderful version of "Big Sky" one of my favorite songs off of The Village Green Preservation Society, which was soon followed by "Wicked Annabella". For "Wicked Annabella" Dave played a long, "spooky" intro that was pretty amazing. There were a lot of cool sound effects emanating from his Strat, and even the talkers in the crowd were quiet and paying attention.

During Dave's usual flirting with the audience while playing "You're Looking Fine" someone pointed to a really excited male fan when Dave asked for a pretty lady. Dave smiled like a naughty schoolboy and then sang to the man. Changing the lyrics of course to "First time I saw him..." The man was grinning so widely I thought he was going to swallow his ears.

Before starting "See My Friends" Dave dedicated the song to Mike Kraus and said that he knew Mike was watching from the spirit world and that Mike was going to be greatly missed. I looked over at Fritz and he was wiping his eyes. I know I had the same reaction to that wonderful tribute to one of Kinkdom's greatest people.

The band this time out, Jonathan Lea on rhythm guitar, Derrick Anderson on bass and Jim Laspesa on drums did not include a keyboard player nor in fact was a keyboard present on stage. I wondered if they were just going to skip over some of the more keyboard-intensive songs from Bug. It turned out I was mistaken. They used a recorded intro to "Bug" and then on "Debugged" Dave changed the arrangement to make it more jazz guitar influenced. It worked on all levels!

The trio of Bug songs, "Bug", "Debugged" and "Life after Life" ended the main part of the set.

The first encore consisted of one of my all time favorite Dave/Kinks songs "Living on a Thin Line". This is another song that in recent tours had a more keyboard-centered sound. The version Dave did this time out harkened back to the more guitar-rich version of the 80s but still had a fresh feel to it. Then the band played "All Day and All of the Night" and left the stage.

The house lights came up and people started to gather their things to leave, maybe it was because it was the first night of the tour or the band was having too much fun to leave, because just then the lights went down again and the band came out for a second encore! They played a very hard rocking "I'm Not Like Everybody Else" followed by "Father Christmas", and a tease of "The Hard Way" from School Boys in Disgrace. "You Really Got Me" ended the encore.

The show lasted for two hours and yet it seemed to just fly by. Linda, Mark, Fritz and I hung out a bit after the show but the air outside had turned very cold and we decided to get in the car and head home. After all, the next day held a drive to Cleveland and the next Dave show.

Until next time…

RAVING DAVE FANS UNITE!!

-Leslie Ohanian