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Sixties star Dorian Gray performs at Maidstone's Pizza Express

By Alan Smith

Patrons at the Music Room in Maidstone's Pizza Express were given a trip down Memory Lane last night when the lead singer of swing combo 5 In The Bar was revealed as none other than 60s singing sensation Dorian Gray.

The singer, who started his music career with The Casuals, released several records as a solo artist in the 1960s and appeared on Top of The Pops with Cilla Black and Tom Jones and on the Simon Dee Show.

He was also on the same billing as the young David Bowie when that singer's band The Manish Boys played at The Royal Star Hotel in Maidstone in 1964 - only a couple of hundred yards away from last night's venue.

Despite never quite repeating the success of those heady days, Dorian Gray has continued to perform with groups such as the Brian Jenner Band and Unit 5.

Dorian Gray (Tony Ellingham) from 1968
Dorian Gray (Tony Ellingham) from 1968

His style has now morphed away from pop and towards the ballads of Frank Sinatra, Jack Jones and Michael Buble.

But that didn't stop him reprising his most famous song - Got You On My Mind - to his appreciative audience last night.

Dorian Gray's real name is Tony Ellingham. Originally from Gravesend, he now lives in Lordswood. His stage name - after the Oscar Wilde character who never grew old - was selected by his record producer who wanted something "more sexy" to reflect the singer's ever-youthful good looks.

It seems to have been a name well chosen, since the singer who is now aged 77, and who revealed to the audience that last night's show was only his second since he suffered a heart attack in May last year, was still forced to do several encores by the appreciative crowd at Pizza Express.

For more ideas on days out and things to do, head to our What’s On section.

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