1. Clothes. I’m a middle aged man who pays less attention to clothes than just about anyone: but I have never seen so many unappealing looking old people at any gig. The audience was 100% white, as far as I can tell, maybe 80% male, with lots of old people in jeans (white ones in some cases), bomber jackets, corduroys. Then the first act came on, Sonny Burgess and his band, all tubby old men (actually one was youngish) in bright blue jackets. It would have looked like a holiday camp were it not for a few unironic trucker hats. Billy Lee Riley’s band was very young (the pianist looked about 15) and in black suits, Billy Lee looking rather wannabe Vegas in a white jacket. The Kings Of Rhythm looked great in terrific maroon suits over black t-shirts, the old trumpeter and sexy young bald tenor saxophonist looking like two of the world’s coolest men. Then there was Ike: a 73 year old, looking much the same as always, in a white jumpsuit with romance-comic women and splashes of pink on it.

2. Old-time music. I’m very resistant to nostalgia. I’m not generally interested in people rehashing long-past glories (and attempts to move with the times are almost always appalling) but I couldn’t resist Ike in concert. The support acts did a good job of reproducing their ’50s sounds, Burgess with mainline mid-’50s rock ‘n’ roll, Riley with rockabilly, Cowboy Jack Clement singing with Burgess’s band trying to do a more country style, not very happily. The newest sounds in Ike’s set were some pseudo-synthy organ on Nutbush City Limits, and otherwise it was all old styles – but varied styles, even some shitkicking country picking, and with Ike finding fresh sounds and flourishes.

3. Backing musicians. These were all very good indeed. Charles Watson stole the first half of the night with a stellar fiddling performance on ‘Orange Blossom Special’ by Sonny Burgess and his band. The twat on sax balanced him – just because you’re only in your ’50s doesn’t make you young and cool and fun. Riley’s band were tight and organised, and allowed little scope to shine. Ike’s band is one of the best I’ve ever seen, often dazzling. If I had to highlight one it would be veteran pianist Ernest Lane, but the bassist, organist and both sax players were great too.

4. No Tina. Ike seeks new Tina. Similar looking, similar dancing, but a third the age, sexier, blonde, much more powerful singer. You wouldn’t think an ad like that had much chance, but he has found someone who fits that. Audrey Madison looks like a cross between Tina and Rosie Perez, and seems breathtaking at first, until the roaring and bellowing became rather wearing. I was in the front row, and did enjoy her singing “Do I love you my oh my” straight at me at one point.

5. Ike. The fact that I was thrilled to be just a few feet from him as he came onstage may indicate my objectivity may be lacking. He started with some fine, varied and exciting piano work, but I was glad when he picked up a guitar. He’s one of my all-time favourite guitarists, and this was the best guitar performance I’ve ever seen, and maybe the most fun too. I had a sense that every note was controlled and deliberate, just right in its context, but also often thrilling and surprising. There were too many songs and not enough instrumentals (no ‘Ho Ho’, my favourite of his), but it was magnificent nonetheless. There was rather too much of Audrey for me – the band became more contained when playing songs behind a big voice, less inspired.

I’d just seen a gig where the combined age of the four performers was 291. I had a great time, but when Sean Paul came on my walkman on the walk to the station, that felt like a much-needed refresher.