Cet article signé « J. M. » est paru dans l’hebdomadaire américain Cash Box daté du 21 février 1976. C’est le compte-rendu du concert donné par les Kinks au Civic Auditorium de Santa Monica, en Californie, plus tôt dans le mois. Les Pretty Things en assuraient la première partie.
Le journaliste a adoré la performance des Kinks, « une force majeure du rock ‘n’ roll ». Par contre, il n’a pas grand-chose de bon à dire sur les Things, dont il juge la prestation balourde et inappropriée.
SANTA MONICA CIVIC, SANTA MONICA—The Kinks played to a packed house in Santa Monica last week and proved, definitively, that they are, and will continue to be, a major force in rock ‘n’ roll.
The show kicked off with a few old tunes—“Lola,” “Demon Alcohol,” and “You Really Got Me”—Ray Davies completely relaxed, confident, and in total control. The audience would have been completely satisfied with just these memorable songs, but the Kinks weren’t about to rely on the past. Along with a perfectly coordinated film, the band presented their new RCA album “Schoolboys In Disgrace.”
Armed with a vicious horn section and three wonderful female back-up singers, The Kinks told a rock ‘n’ roll story of disgraced and humiliated schoolmates, growing up to realize that while the best days are behind them, in the assembly halls of their alma mater, there is nothing left to do but look ahead and embrace the future.
The show was masterful. Careful attention was paid to theatrics choreography and gesture—and what emerged was a whole greater than the sum of its parts. The wisecracking Davies pranced and cavorted, conscious always of his effect. “The things I have to do for my art!” he shouted, and, another time, “I’m a thesbian.” Indeed he is. Dressed in the headmaster’s costume, or as a waif who spots his lost love in a crowd. Davies projected a persona larger than life. And when the last song rolled around. “No more looking back,” the audience was at a fever pitch, the indication of a brilliantly built musical set. The Kinks, if this show was an accurate sign, will be around for a long, long time.
Under these circumstances, no band would welcome the opening spot on the bill, and Pretty Things, who record for Swan Song, had a tough time. Their set was ponderous, misdirected, and lacked real presence. In a better situation, perhaps in a smaller hall, where the musical interplay might be better understood, Pretty Things would meet with more success.