Arts and Entertainment
 

It’s the nightmare haunting every talent scout since Decca rejected the Beatles in 1962 because “guitar groups are on the way out” – letting a global mega-hit slip through your fingers.

Ray Davies Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

Ray Davies made his audience wait one and a half hours before finally allowing us to hear the opening riff from "You Really Got Me", played as it was meant to be, on an electric guitar. Not that anybody minded: we knew it would come in the end. Several times he teased us with those great chopping chords banged out on an acoustic guitar at the beginning of a completely different song, or in the middle of a story about the Kinks' original eight-watt amplifier. But Ray and his "band" (one musician, called Pete) remained strictly unplugged for the first 90 minutes of his show. Arriving on stage, carrying, for unknown reasons, a battered suitcase, Ray Davies launched straight into "Victoria", a song not about the great British railway station but about the great British queen. Who should never be confused, of course, with "straight" Kinks drummer Mick Avory. Poor Mick, Ray informed us with a lewd grin, unwittingly won the affections of Brian Epstein in those heady days of 1964.

Film: Also showing...Spellbound

The Crucible Nicholas Hytner (12) Mars Attacks! Tim Burton (12) Bound Larry and Andy Wachowski (18)

LEST WE FORGET BRIAN AUGER

He was - briefly - fab in the Sixties with the moaning, groaning "This Wheel's on Fire". It later rolled back behind the faux Vogue credits of Absolutely Fabulous. The 1968 hit for Brian Auger's Trinity piles on the irony - recalling images of cheesecloth, incense, afro wigs and all the other Sixties' paraphernalia cluttering up Patsy and Edina's lives. Very retro, very knowing, very funny.

Martin Guerre comes back fighting

The ill-fated musical Martin Guerre is to close. But four days later it is to reopen with a radically altered first act.

Young persons' light music combo have spat

Oasis, the biggest selling and most argumentative band in the brief history of Britpop may be no more. If so, it was a short, highly lucrative and pleasingly melodic (if derivative) flirtation with global fame.

He's bloody heavy, he's my brother

The latest contretemps regarding the Gallagher brothers serves to emphasise what pop musicians have long regarded as a golden rule: don't take your brother on the stage. It's a hard rule to stick to, since most pop groups originally develop from some form of fraternal endeavour, but eventually there are bound to be tears before bedtime.

Arts: Grapevine tastes the fruits of success

Sound investment: Festival is a celebration for independent record label that boasts established stars and bright new hopes

HOW WE MET: RAY DAVIES AND NED SHERRIN

Ray Davies, 52, was born in London. He founded the Kinks, with his brother Dave, in 1963. He has also written music for musicals and films, including Absolute Beginners and The Virgin Soldiers. He lives with his wife in Surrey; he has three daughters from previous relationships. The director, producer and broadcaster Ned Sherrin, 66, was born in Somerset. His successes include That Was the Week That Was, The Virgin Soldiers and Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell. He now chairs Radio 4's Loose Ends. He lives in London

Pop: New box-sets: the gospel truth

Two shopping days to go. Your only hope is a box-set. Let Andy Gill be your guide

Edinburgh Diary

It was a character in Tom Stoppard's play Jumpers who challenged the assertion that Edinburgh is the Athens of the North, claiming that it was in fact the Reykjavik of the South. It's a description I warm to, if that isn't a contradiction in terms, as Edinburgh is the one place where my fingers once went numb in August.

REVIEW OF JUDY ARGO CONCERT

Jazz JUDY ARGO Pizza on the Park, London

A symphony is like the world: it must embrace everything

In the first of an occasional series examining how the masterpieces of the past can be reinterpreted today, Edward Seckerson considers Mahler's symphonies, all 10 of which can be heard at this year's Proms

Young conservatives

Blur, laddish spearhead of the Brit-pop revival, are proud of their debt to music's past. But Ben Thompson would rather they looked to the future

This comes to you from the bottom of my gut

This year, the first presenter of the 67th Academy Awards (BBC1) reminded us, is the centenary of motion pictures; 100 years have passed, you thought, and they still can't get the words and the pictures to match up. Then again, maybe this guy was supposed to be there as a tuxedoed piece of leader tape, a five-minute dry run to allow technicians all over the world to adjust the machinery. His voice caught up with his lips just in time for him to introduce the traditional opening number - a baffling piece of cinematic illusion so clever that it was dumb. In the words of Tracey Ullman, it "tanked". That's the nice thing about Tracey, Hollywood hasn't changed her a bit.

Oh, to be Zak, Toby or Eric

I WISH I had been nearly famous. Not completely famous. That's too much of a hassle, autograph hunters, broken marriages and all. But nearly famous would have been nice.
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