Almanac Music: ‘Waterloo Sunset’ – The Kinks


The Kinks are one of my favourite bands.


With Ray Davis leading the group, he wrote for the Kinks some of the most iconic pop songs of all time, songs which still stand the test of time and are as refreshing as when they were first recorded.


I’ve loved their music for over fifty years and like many fans I first got into their music with ‘You Really Got Me’, and ‘All Day and All of the Night’.


It was over the summer of 1964/65 while camping at Portarlington that I really became a big Kinks fan, and that was through Bernard Deutscher whose family camped near mine. Bernard, a year or so older than me, was a mod and a huge Kinks fan. With his long hair, pointy toed Beatle boots and wearing all the latest gear he was the epitome of  ‘dedicated follower of fashion’ and a big influence on his fellow campers around his age that summer. No matter how hot it was he continued to wear his mod gear. Bernard had a small portable record player and stacks of 45s which played at all times but it was mainly the Kinks on the turntable. His enthusiasm for the band soon rubbed off on me and I became a fan.


As I remember Bernard hitched-hiked from Portarlington to Melbourne to watch the Kinks perform that summer. A true fan!


I saw the Kinks in 1971 perform at Festival Hall in Melbourne. I don’t remember a great deal about the show except for Ray Davies wearing a top hat at some stage during the show. He also did a lot ‘hamming’ it up, teasing the crowd and upsetting many for not playing all the hits they expected to hear. They eventually did. I know I enjoyed it.




My favourite Kinks song is ‘Waterloo Sunset’, it is a classic song and in my top half dozen of all time favourites.


Whether the Kinks ever get back together or not is in the hands of the gods. Ray and his brother Dave have fought continually throughout their time in the Kinks, and with Dave suffering a stroke awhile ago the odds for a reunion appeared unlikely. However Dave is recovering and differences between the brothers are waning so the potential may be there. Who knows, they may be the headline heritage act for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 2022.


More from Col can be read here.



Two books will be published in the lead-up to Christmas 2021. The Tigers (Covid) Almanac 2020  as will the 2021 edition to celebrate the Dees’ magnificent premiership season (title is up for discussion at the moment!). These books will have all the usual features – a game by game account of the Tigers and Demons season – and will also include some of the best Almanac writing from these two Covid winters. Enquiries  HERE


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About Colin Ritchie

Retired teacher who enjoys following the Bombers, listening to music especially Bob Dylan, reading, and swimming.


  1. What a ripper way to discover a band! The Kinks are everything you say Colin. They easily match those other two bands of that era. I saw them in the early 80s in Perth, around the time of Come Dancing (another superb song) and they were red hot.


  2. Keiran Croker says

    Colin Hay does a reasonable cover of Waterloo Sunset on his new album of covers called I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself. It’s worth a listen, along with a range of other takes on great songs.

  3. Col, I’ve always been a big fan of The Kinks too, right back to my early teens in the mid-60s – ‘You really got me’, ‘All day and all of the night’ and so on. ‘Waterloo Sunset’ was probably the pick for me and still manages, somehow, to bring out an emotional response. ‘Lazing on a sunny afternoon’ takes me back to boarding school days. The classic ‘Lola’ opened up a new landscape in song topics. ‘Days’ has an unheralded beauty all its own. Ray Davies deserves a higher profile in the pantheon of singer-songwriters. Joyful melancholia mixed with a good side of taking the piss?

    In the mid-90s, as a teacher ‘supervising’ a school social, the DJ played ‘You really got me’ – the kids loved it, probably unaware that the song was already 30+ years old. A fellow mature age teacher and I exchanged a smile of recognition of days gone by from our youth.

    In London in 2016, I made sure we got tickets to the stage production ‘Sunny Afternoon’ – a great night out!

    I’ll play my ‘Greatest Hits’ cd while I’m at the desk on Thursday.

  4. Yes, a good call, Col. Waterloo Sunset is a classic, but to me has always seemed tinged with a lingering sadness. The Kinks always struck me as a very English band.

  5. Warren Tapner says

    The first “band” I ever played with was The Lee Riders, and the first song we attempted was “You’ve Really Got Me.”
    God, we were awful.

  6. Many years ago as a backpacker in London I Briefly followed Fulham in the English football League, when we were away to Gillingham I crossed London from Hounslow on the tube to catch the train from Waterloo for the fixture. I forget the name of the Pub on the concourse of Waterloo station but they boasted 16 of beer varieties on tap. I distinctly remember the haunting and wistful chorus of waterloo sunset going over and over in my mind and as I gazed, I was in Paradise. I live in Portarlington these days, I’ll walk tomorrow and think of you and Bernard

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