Tribute to a Tribute: You CAN Sometimes Get What You Want…

Sir Harry Bolter writes about his weekend experience taking in a Rolling Stones tribute band in London….

rollinstonedYou are not about to read a typo or a grammatical error nor a critique of the double negative “I ‘aint got no satisfaction”.

The Rollin’ Stoned rock.

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Billed modestly (by themselves) as “The Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Tribute in the World” this homage to Mick et al must provide one of the best value evenings in town. The ticket cost equates to a mere three bottles of beer – albeit London prices. Great value or what?

Scoff ye not. How easy it is to pour scorn on tribute bands but I would defy any rock fan (Stones aficionado or not) to come away from a Rollin’ Stoned gig without a huge smile on the face and a desire to get home as speedily as possible to dig the vinyl out and pump out the classics.

The “Rollin’” (reads better than “The Stoned”) are lead by Mick Jaguar and supported by Keith Retched, Bill Wymandy (get it?), the late (on stage) Byron Jones and other assorted excellent musicians. With a large tongue in mouth, don’t think these guys with wry humour are just there for a laugh; no sir, these dudes are serious musicians with a passion for what they do and who they represent.

Playing at one of their favourite venues, The Half Moon in South London, in front of an adoring crowd drenched by the whiff of strategically placed burning josticks, The “Rollin’” take the stage to “Start Me Up” (natch) and show impressive stamina playing a two hour set belting out the favourites and, to the delight of the cognoscenti, a handful of album tracks to boot.

Close your eyes and pretend. The standards get the (mainly creaking middle-aged) mob rockin’ and howlin’ along. The gurning Mr. Jaguar flirts outrageously and the stage is soon festooned with Honky Tonk Women of all shapes and sizes boogieing away behind the main man.

The rock heads wandered off into the night nodding appreciatively while one of our number (a self confessed Stones sceptic) muttered somewhat reluctantly “I didn’t get them before… but now I LOVE them..” There you have it. It’s a gas, gas, gas and the closest many will now get to see the ‘real thing’ (at about 5% of the cost) while new fans are still there to be had to enjoy these legends.

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