Dolby’s reference points, though, have always been much wider than those early singles suggested, a fact reinforced on his new album, A Map Of The Floating City, which veers from the bleepy electronica of Spice Train to the country hoedown of The Toad Lickers, for which Lewis later joined him on stage.
Dolby had little trouble keeping his audience on side throughout a wildly eclectic set. He’s a funny and engaging raconteur, particularly during the tale of the former Vogue model he had a “crazy, chaotic affair” with at the age of 23, who inspired his song Screen Kiss but left him for – oh, the humiliation – the singer from Curiosity Killed The Cat. These days, it turns out, she works on a hot dog stand in the San Fernando Valley.
The lack of schadenfreude in this affectionately told tale said a lot about Dolby. This was a very laid-back sort of comeback (he hardly needs the money), but Dolby is clearly delighted to have returned to music, taking a boyish joy in demonstrating his new toys, such as the sampler on which he keeps handclaps, harmonica solos and a cowgirl he found in Suffolk shouting “make hay not war”. But songs like the poignant, understated I Love You Goodbye were also a quiet reminder of his formidable songwriting talent.