So there we were all jammed in for a night of unapologetic nostalgia. The audience hung from the rafters, the over 50's out numbered the rest by a factor of 6 to 1, and the tables and chairs were out in force. All in all the evening resembled more of a theatre crowd than a stand up gig.
And then, enter the Kast Off Kinks! Well, first things first, a 16 year old band Diozara making their debut ground out a warm reception from a surprisingly enthusiastic crowd. But we should have taken note of this fact early on, as over the next 90 minutes plus, the audience clambered on top of tables and chairs to roar their heroes on.
Put simply this was a monumental event. Sure the Kinks old boys John "Nobby" Dalton on bass/vocals, John "The Baptist" Gosling on keys/vocals and Mick Avory on drums, plus fine vocalist /guitarist Dave Clarke (of Tim Rose fame) delivered the chestnuts on cue, but who could have expected calls for some of the more obscure Kinks catalogue? Who for that matter could have expected the incredible volume levels generated by a crowd who apparently had waited years for an evening like this?
And so it was that we all returned to the 60's as if nothing had changed; And while every voice in the house sang every word to "Lola", "Well Respected Man", "Waterloo Sunset" and "Victoria", an equal number of people seemed just as happy to hear the likes of "Supersonic Rocket Ship", "Plastic Man", "Shangri-La" and the poignant "Celluloid Heroes".
What gave the evening a truly special connection was John Dalton's cameo recollections of how some of the songs came about. Thus "Lola" was introduced as "a little tune we mucked about with at Morgan Studios", and on hearing the opening couple of chords, the place exploded.
Such was the atmosphere in the venue, that by the time Gosling had thrown in a couple of early rock & rollers, and Dave and band trouped out for a second encore of "Great Balls of Fire" (!), everyone was almost oblivious to the fact that the band had forgotten "Till The End of The Day";
A great gig then, that must have left John Dalton wondering about the efficacy of opening the show with the question, "Anything you particularly want to hear"? For over the next hour and a half he was about to find out!