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Old hits in the modern world

To see the best performances at the conference, you needed a ticket for the gala dinner. One is hesitant to single people out for praise, but that's showbiz I'm afraid, so I will.

The name which sticks in my mind if that of Dani Wilde, a product of the Brighton Institute of Modern Music - a collaborative venture by three Sussex colleges.

I'm not sure what "modern" music is any more. The hit parade is something of a mystery in the Ferret household, what with the TV aerial pointing in the wrong direction and our digital radio unable to pick up a signal in Suffolk - where the new broadcasting technology is yet to arrive.

Luckily, Dani's song was not as "modern" as I had feared. When a 19-year-old sits down with a guitar and announces she is about to sing a song in memory of the great John Lee Hooker, you know there is still hope for civilisation.

Some of us, I admit, didn't think a teenager would do a convincing job of "I'm in the mood for love". How very wrong we were.

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