PERFORMANCES greeted by howls rarely receive five star reviews, but when they are accompanied by wagging tails and barks of approval the show’s rating goes without saying.

This was certainly the case last night when Brighton Festival director Laurie Anderson’s innovative Music For Dogs played to over 100 keen-eared listeners, and twice that many humans.

The inventive violinist’s show at the Brighton Open Air Theatre in Dyke Road mixed notes within human hearing with electric melodies pitched just for its canine audience, and it went down… a treat.

The music, by the former artist-in-residence at NASA, was characteristically electric and otherworldly.

The results were a little ruff rough.

One owner said their springer spaniel Tiku seemed impressed.

He said: “Tiku is a music novice but he listened intently all the way through. He didn’t join in with the barking though.”

Willy Hendry said that his spaniels, Bert and Ernie, had had their range extended well beyond their usual repertoire of barking at ambulances.

The show is the result of an off-the cuff remark from Anderson to world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, to whom the festival director mused: “Wouldn’t it be great if you’re playing a concert and you look out and everyone’s a dog”

Having created just such a concert, she has played to appreciative houses in New York and Sydney after which which no critic needed to be muzzled.

The sounds of Anderson's electric violin were warped through fantastical effects, becoming tremulously exaggerated and echoing around the open air stage even to the point of drowning out the constant percussive accompaniment of border collie Busby, who just could not be stopped from singing along through the entire twenty-minute performance.

Towards the end of the show, Anderson even attempted to add harmonised audience participation to her soundscape, bringing in bass Dobermans on cue to join their tenor Collie and soprano Chihuahua counterparts.

One woman was as happy as her Chihuahuas, Indy and Dylan.

She said: “It’s great to have something to come out to in the evening with your dog. We never go out because of the dogs.”

Meanwhile Doberman Cheffie was featured recently in The Lady, so such high-brow events are an everyday occurrence for this imperious pooch.

Her owner said: “She much preferred it to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Cats’.”