You really got to get down The Hawth
O NE of the most influential bands of all time is coming to town next month, minus a couple of key names.
The Kinks have been credited with inspiring a host of huge acts in music including the Ramones, The Clash, Van Halen and Oasis.
Classic songs like You Really Got Me and Waterloo Sunset are now being discovered by a new generation of music lovers.
And although tensions between the two founding members, Ray and Dave Davies, led to the band splitting up in 1996, other members have kept going.
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The Kast Off Kinks is made up of former Kinks members including Mick Avory, Ian Gibbons and Jim Rodford.
Keyboard player Gibbons, who originally joined The Kinks in 1979, explained how the spin-off band came about.
"It was originally started nearly 20 years ago by the bass player to do charity gigs and fan club meetings. It was quite a loose arrangement, with different members of The Kinks coming in at different times.
"Then four or five years ago we decided, because it was so popular, to go out and do some shows. Now we do 40 to 50 a year."
Although many of the songs are almost 50 years old, there is still a lot of affection for the music.
Gibbons added: "The amazing thing is it's not just people in their 50s and 60s coming to the shows. It is right across the board. A lot of younger kids are taking the time to listen to 60s and 70s music because their current heroes – bands like Muse – have said they were influenced by The Kinks.
"I don't think the band will ever go away because there are so many good songs and they're so catchy."
Gibbons grew up listening to The Kinks and when he got the chance to join the band in 1979, it was a no-brainer.
He said: "I was 12 in 1964. I used to see them on Top Of The Pops alongside The Rolling Stones and The Who. I was a big fan of all of that and I was in my own bands in the late 1960s and 70s before I joined The Kinks.
Gibbons' own love affair with music started at an early age. He started playing the accordion when he was nine and played at music festivals and school shows.
He flirted with the idea of becoming a guitarist before buying his first keyboard.
He said: "At that time everyone was buying guitars, so that's exactly what I did. I bought a guitar with my newspaper round money.
"But when I left school I realised everyone was a guitarist but nobody played keyboard."
Gibbons was tight-lipped about the band's antics while on tour back in the day, saying most of the stories were not suitable for print.
However, he did say: "We were touring in America once and I got a gun pointed at me in a hotel when we were skinny dipping in the Jacuzzi and the security guard obviously took issue with us being naked.
"A .38 (revolver) might not feel very big when you're holding it, but when it's being pointed at your genitals it looks like a cannon."
With a full reunion of The Kinks remaining unlikely, The Kast Off Kinks is as close as you will get to the real deal.
Gibbons said: "A full reunion has been talked about over the years but has never come to fruition.
"Ray and Dave are as notorious as the Gallaghers (for falling out). I can't say if it will ever happen but I will still be performing for as long as possible.
"It's a way to keep young – if not physically, then mentally."
The Kast Off Kinks will be playing at The Hawth on December 6. Tickets are £15 and available by calling 01293 553636.