Christmas came early for Kinks fans as, for the first time in nearly 20 years, the Kinks‘ Ray and Dave Davies performed together onstage. The unannounced and unexpected reunion took place Friday at Dave Davies’ concert at London’s Islington Assembly Hall, where the brothers played a rousing rendition of the Kinks’ classic “You Really Got Me” together.
“We had a great night – it was a fun show – had a blast with Ray,” Dave Davies tweeted after the gig. The Kinks hadn’t performed together in any capacity since the conclusion of their 1996 summer tour, and it had been 20 years since the Davies brothers were on a London stage together. For Kinks fans, the surprise “You Really Got Me” ignited renewed hope that the Davies brothers would put aside their years of bickering and animosity and finally solidify a reunion.
In September, Dave Davies spoke to Rolling Stone about whether the Kinks would reunite after disbanding in 1996. “I’d say there’s an outside shot,” Davies said. “But where there’s life, there’s hope. I know Ray has a lot coming up, and I do as well, so we’ll see how things span out in the next few months. A lot of it depends on how Ray and I feel by the end of the year, physically, emotionally and psychologically. I wish I could give you a more definitive answer, but I don’t want to jump the gun.”
“If we do a Kinks show, we’re the Kinks,” Ray Davies told Rolling Stone in November 2014. “Ray stands on the right of the stage and Dave stands on the left. Look, my brother is very intelligent. He’s a good writer.”
Two years ago, when asked about a Kinks’ 50th anniversary tour, Dave Davies similarly responded, “I’d say the odds of that happening are 50/50. The ball is very much in Ray’s court.” While the 50th anniversary trek didn’t materialize, the Kinks do have a good reason to reunite in 2016: You Really Got Me, a Julien Temple-directed biopic about the Kinks, is set to begin shooting in March.
Dave Davies told Rolling Stone in September that meetings for You Really Got Me had opened up a dialogue between the brothers. “I saw him just a week ago,” Davies said at the time of Ray. “The last thing he said to me was, ‘I’ll call you soon and we’ll have a cup of tea.’ But he hasn’t called yet. I’m sure he’s really busy.” Dave Davies added that he keeps in e-mail contact with drummer Mick Avory, but they haven’t spoken face-to-face in years.