Sleepless nights lead to some of the greatest pieces of pop music history
A S the singer, guitarist, chief songwriter and producer with The Kinks, Ray Davies was responsible for some of the greatest pieces of pop in the history of English music, including the singles You Really Got Me, Sunny Afternoon and Waterloo Sunset in the 1960s, Lola and Apeman in the 1970s, then Come Dancing in the 1980s.
With the 1968's The Village Green Preservation Society, he also pioneered the concept album.
And it all began because he had trouble sleeping.
"I started writing songs because I was an insomniac as a child and there was no all-night television," he says.
"I didn't like radio, except Radio Luxembourg, so I wrote songs. It wasn't until I started playing with the band that I decided to use some of these songs."
After a couple of covers failed to chart, The Kink's third single would be his own composition, You Really Got Me, which became the first of a string of hits for the band.
"It surprised me that people could identify with the same things that I was thinking in my head," says Davies, 68, who was 20 at the time.
"When you're an adolescent and starting to communicate with the world you don't think that anybody else understands."
The hits continued and The Kinks became one of the biggest bands of the decade but in 1973 Davies decided he'd had enough after a show at the White City Stadium in London.
"I wanted to get into more theatrical things and do albums rather than just a string of singles. It wasn't a cry for help so much as a demand to have a say in what I did, rather than follow the record company ethos."
While he has recorded a series of solo albums over the past few years, there's no escaping his past, as shown by his performance of The Kinks' classic Waterloo Sunset at the Olympic Games closing ceremony.
He approves of the new box set, The Kinks At The BBC.
"I am very keen on it," he says.
"There are so many rarities in there and some great images. We were very unpretentious, unlike so many bands of that era."
The current tour, which comes to the Royal Concert Hall next weekend, will be an overview of his whole career, which started nearly 50 years ago. Although there is no set list.
"I won't decide what to play until I walk on stage," says Davies, although he admits "I like doing Kinks songs."
He'll be backed by a four-piece band, which includes The Kinks' keyboard player Ian Gibbons.
"I go on the road to communicate with people and find out how they are thinking," he says.
"That's why I started out touring and that's why I will continue to do it."
Any possible reunion of The Kinks suffered a setback some years ago when Ray's younger brother Dave, the guitarist with the band, had a stroke.
"Dave is doing very well," he says.
"He is very communicative and very articulate. He's got a good brain and that's the most important thing. But I never rule out working with The Kinks again."
And after the tour, Davies will have plenty to be getting on with.
"I am writing another show. It's a musical that may become an opera. I'm also working on a new musical piece for television and a new album. I also have to finish a book which I was commissioned to write two years ago, so it's going to be quite a busy time for me."
But for now it's all about the tour and Davies is definitely looking forward to it... for one simple reason.
"I love seeing people get happy and responding to the music."