"We've got loads of songs there in pieces": Ray Davies reveals he's recorded "about 20" new Kinks songs with brother Dave, and he plans to finish them

Ray Davies and Dave Davies onstage at an awards ceremony in 2018
Ray Davies and Dave Davies onstage at an awards ceremony in 2018 (Image credit: Dave J Hogan)

Ray Davies has revealed that he's sitting on a large stash of unfinished new songs by The Kinks, and that both brother Dave Davies and drummer Mick Avory have contributed to the recordings.

News of a possible collaboration first emerged in 2018, when Ray told Channel 4 that new recordings with Dave and Avory were on the cards. The following year, Dave confirmed that demos had been recorded, and Ray provided Rolling Stone with more detail, saying, “Dave and I are having a collaboration on a few songs, which will be a first. I’ll be like, ‘Here is the chorus, you write verse two.’ I’m trying to keep the energy flowing, and I really want Dave involved creatively."

Four years on and the recordings are again in the news, with Ray Davies bringing NME up-to-date. Asked about the status of the recordings, Davies reluctantly answers, revealing that the project "got shelved because of… other issues." 

He then offers some hope: "But there’s still material there. When I get time."

Davies goes on to confirm his young brother's involvement, and Avory's, before revealing that there are "about 20" unfinished tracks of "punchy arena rock" and "mid-tempo rock ballads." He then adds, "There are about two or three songs I want to finish and when they’re finished, I’ll put the whole thing together." 

Speculation about a possible return to action from The Kinks grew after Ray joined his brother onstage for the first time since 1996 at a show at London's Islington Assembly Hall in late 2015, when the pair performed the classic You Really Got Me together. The likelihood of a fully-fledged reunion, however, remains remote.

"You’ve gotta be careful because he’ll run off in one direction and I’ll [run] in mine," Ray tells NME. "He’s like that. He stays in control. I’m just a well-meaning big brother."

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.