Ray Davies at The Dome, Brighton

An unexpected pleasure last night when Curtis Tappenden phoned me to say he had a spare ticket for Ray Davies at The Dome (a ticket I'd tried to buy, but was sold out). Seats not great for views but the sound was crisp and clear. He came on (late) after an unannounced support act without ceremony and started to sing, soon joined by a full electric band. The first half was mainly new stuff, plus songs from the Muswell Hillbillies and his 'flop cult' album The Village Green Preservation Society: 'Picture book' and 'Johnny Thunder' and the odd hint of a 'retro' session to come. In the second half, he did most of The Kinks hits, some acoustic, some electric, ending with encores of 'Lola', 'Waterloo sunset' and - with barking dog guitar (but not a patch on Dave's) - 'You Really Got Me' which got the mainly oldster audience standing and dancing in the aisles. Not as much chat as when I saw him acoustic in Edinburgh a couple of years ago, but Ray is a national treasure and long may he rock. Curt was sketching throughout! Spotted Bob Mortimer outside afterwards with mini-skirted dolly bird in kinky boots, far too young to have remembered the originals...

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