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Oh-So-Good, Oh-So-Fine: WMNF’s Tribute to The Kinks

Naveen Sultan about 6 months ago

Tags: WMNF’s Tribute to The Kinks, Skippers’s Smokehouse, wmnf

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photo by Amy Beeman

Oh-So-Good, Oh-So-Fine: WMNF’s Tribute to The Kinks

By Amy Beeman

It was a hot, sultry night with just a whisper of wind last Saturday at Skippers’s Smokehouse, where WMNF paid tribute to The Kinks and Ray Davies on The Kinks co- founder’s 70th birthday. WMNF Program Director Randy Wynne said he got the idea after he happened to Google Ray Davies Birthday. “They’re a great band who aren’t as recognized as they should be,” he said. It seemed fitting to revisit the band’s music, which is often overlooked.

Wynne said some bands came to him wanting to be involved, and others were invited. The 13 bands varied on their versions of the two to four songs they each played. Some stayed true to the original recordings, others arranged the songs to reflect their own style.

Soul Purpose put a Sublime-esque twist on “Destroyer,” alternating reggae and some almost metal sounding moments, finishing their set with a good-old-fashioned banging of the guitar on the stage.

Doll Parts were the first to get everyone on the dance floor with their edgy punk versions of some of the more well-known Kinks tunes, like “You Really Got Me.” Back-up singer and maraca-shaker, Susan Riggs, said she wasn’t sure how people were going to take their amped up version of “Lola”, but smiles were abundant on the faces of those watching the St. Pete all-girl six-piece.

The Rich Whiteley Band showed their chops on “Celluloid Heroes,” which got big accolades from the crowd. The singer told the audience about how he discovered The Kinks as a kid and “went down the rabbit hole,” learning all about their music. “It’s a big honor to play here tonight,” he said.

Four Star Riot had some fun with “All Day and All of the Night,” when they went into the version many of us Generation-Xers remember by 2 Live Crew, starting with, “One and one, they’re having some fun....” all the way through what they did on the floor after “four and four.”

Ricky Wilcox and the Moonsnakes played excellent straight forward versions of their allotted four songs, keeping folks dancing. This band’s handling of The Kinks’ music was likely the closest some of us will ever get to hearing The Kinks play live. Really great.

The crowd had dwindled slightly by the time Coco and Homo took the stage. The singing duo who fronted the band, Coco in a hot pink wig, Homo in a half-unbuttoned shirt and long gold or silver chains, sometimes seemed like a couple of kids singing in their bedrooms into hairbrushes, sometimes seemed like they’d be killing it at the gay bar with their banter and schtick. The crowd seemed fascinated, but it was odd that most stood still on the dance floor rather than dancing, because this band was high energy and fun.

All in all the event drew a full-house and the music was well played. It was a proper tribute to the band that WMNF’s new 60s-show DJ, Michael “Slossy” Slosberg said were “always the underdog singing about the underdog.” Slosberg, a big fan of The Kinks, said their music is unique because it “represented post-war Britain and failed aspirations.” He said they often sang about “the dilemma of life and its inevitable disappointments.”

But they sure knew how to turn that downtrodden subject matter into some super catchy tunes. A well-respected man and a well-respected band, indeed.

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