The Kinks – Live In Germany (Pignon-036)

Live In Germany (Pignon-036)

The Kinks were always enthusiastic in embracing video promotion.  Their early videos ranged from simple personality shots (“Starstruck”) to elaborate narratives (“Dead End Street”).  In the seventies, in addition to television appearances, they experimented with music dramas such as Soap Opera and, by the early eighties, in producing interesting videos for MTV.  

In the early eighties they telecast several concerts in Europe.  Live In Germany on Pignon presents three video documents taped in Germany, over a twelve year span.  The earliest piece of footage, taped at the Beat Club in Bremen in 1972, is from the studio.  The other two feature two dynamic live performances which were telecast live over the continent. 

Germany were one of the countries to fully embrace the band, and both live appearances on this disc are played to enthusiastic audiences. 

(approx. 195 minutes)  Grugahalle, Essen, Germany – April 4th, 1982:  Opening, Around The Dial, The Hard Way, Where Have All The Good Times Gone, (Catch Me Now) I’m Falling, Come On Now, Destroyer, YoYo, Lola, Dead End Street, Add It Up, Low Budget, Art Lover, Back To Front, A Gallon Of Gas, All Day And All Of The Night, Give The People What The Want, Pressure, You Really Got Me, Stop Your Sobbing / David Watts

In April 1982 the band were promoting Give The People What They Want.  Their initial plan was to tour Europe in November 1981, but the plans were cancelled.  To atone, they scheduled this telecast.  The performance was at Essen’s Grugahalle for West German TV’s Rockpalast on April 3rd, part of the show’s tenth anniversary celebrations on Saturday the third and and Sunday the fourth.  The date is variously listed as the third or the fourth, but Rockpalast’s “early Sunday” reference below suggests the evening of the third.

The concert was broadcast on West German WDR/Channel 3 TV (Rockpalast), Swedish TV’s Maraton Rock, Danish TV’s Rockpalast, and on delayed transmission on April 15th on French Antenne 2 (Rockpalast).  The video quality is excellent, except for a light static line above the picture on the screen throughout.

Unfortunately, three songs are missing (“Celluloid Heroes”, “Till the End of the Day” and “Bernadette” after “A Gallon Of Gas”).  there was a break in transmission on West German TV they’re missing from most versions.  Some versions do have the missing tracks from a high generation VHS, but Pignon chose not to utilize that source.  

The performance is high-energy and fun.  Ray is sporting a rare beard and dressed in the height of new-wave fashion with a loud blazer.  Much of the material is from the new album.  Throughout the early part of the show Ray keeps teasing the audience with “Lola” and the “Banana Boat Song.”

“Do It Again” – Festhalle, Frankfurt, Germany – November 23rd, 1984:  Around The Dial, Definite Maybe / State Of Confusion, Where Have All The Good Times Gone, The Hard Way, Don’t Forget To Dance, Come Dancing, Low Budget, Do It Again, Word Of Mouth, Lola, David Watts, Dead End Street, Living On A Thin Line, Good Day, All Day And All Of The Night, Till The End Of The Day, Celluloid Heroes, You Really Got Me, I Gotta Move

Coming right around the release of Word Of Mouth, The Kinks began promotion for the LP with this televised concert from the Festhalle in Frankfurt, Germany.  This is the live debut of their new drummer Bob Henrit who replaced long time Kink Mick Avory. 

The video quality is outstanding and contains the entire show.  It has the same production values as the 1982 concert.  There are many cameras focusing upon the Davies brothers, but many others offering nice panoramic shots of the stage. 

Beat Club, Radio Bremen, German TV – May 3rd, 1972:  Lola, Holiday, Alcohol, You Really Got Me, All Day And All Of The Night

In support of Muswell Hillbillies, released the previous November, this was taped on April 12th. The two new songs, “Holiday” and “Alcohol,” were initially telecast.  It was repeated in 1981 with the addition of “Lola,” “You Really Got Me” and “All Day And All Of The Night.”  Pignon use an excellent dub off of a recent broadcast of the 1981 transmission.

The Beat Club performance is a strict studio affair and are joined with The Mike Cotton horn section.  The band were going through a transition from sixties rockers to early seventies vaudeville performers.  With no audience to impress, Ray Davies hams it up for the camera with exaggerated hand motions and goofy faces to comment on the music. 

Live In Germany is a very good collection of video documents, running more than three hours long.  Pignon could have edited in the three missing songs from the 1982 telecast, but that’s a small criticism and doesn’t detract from the overall enjoyment of the material.

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