Set in the iconic London Eye, “32 Londoners” is a truly unique event about 32 great London-born personalities. On top of a special venue and amazingly enthusiastic speakers, Hendrick’s Gin had designed 32 different cocktails meant to represent each and every one of London boroughs.

After a rainy start, the Ray Davies group boarded one of the London Eye capsules. The wheel starts to slowly turn again and we are all in for a 45 minutes conference about Ray Davies. Hosted by Julien Temple, a fan and a specialist in “The Kinks” matters, the talk started with a tune from the famous British band. Guests were also offered to taste a cocktail representing the Islington Borough.

Because Julien Temple has such an intimate connection with Ray Davies, having been a fan and having worked on several films about the band, the talk levels up to a more personal conversation. We found out about the rivalry between The Kinks and The Beatles. During the second half of the 60’s, Ray Davies and his band were banned from the US because of their punk attitude. That played against them as they were immediately or so replaced by The Who.

The Kinks were promised a bright and successful future in the music industry but, because of their rebellious behaviour and their love/hate relationship with fame, they got pushed aside but the amazingly well oiled marketing machine of The Beatles.
Ray Davies was a “troubled-fucked-up-genius” according to Julien Temple. He struggled his whole life with his demons: alcohol and his poor childhood surrounded by 6 sisters.

Sadly, 45 minutes were not enough to hear all about Ray Davies’ life…Mind filled with stories, eyes filled with beautiful views of London by night and some alcohol in our bellies, we left the capsules and resumed to our lives. What an evening out of this world it was!