Review: Jack Foley
YOU can't always get what you want... even if you're Sir Mick
Jagger it seems.
The veteran rock 'n' roller had been intending to play his first
UK show of the current world tour to a sell-out Twickenham crowd
on Saturday, to mark the band's home-coming gig, but flu forced
him to cancel, meaning that Sunday's crowd were among those to
And, yes, Satisfaction was guaranteed as The Rolling Stones delivered
a show to remember; one which underlined their status as the world's
greatest rock 'n' roll band.
Despite sharing a combined age of over 200, Jagger and co went
about their business with all the vigour of a bunch of excited
teens, bouncing around the stage while delivering hit after mouthwatering
hit from their expansive back catalogue.
Any fears that this may have been a muted Mick Jagger, given
the situation surrounding his voice, were quickly erased during
the opening chorus of Brown Sugar; while all thoughts of
Saturday's disappointment were banished when he informed the crowd
that he was happy to have them here.
For the Stones, Twickenham's show was always going to be a special
affair, given their roots in the area, which Jagger alluded to
early on, when informing them that it didn't seem so long ago
that the band were putting on concerts at rugby clubs down the
road... at Richmond Athletics Ground to be exact.
In the 40 years since, the Stones have emerged as living legends
- a tireless group of performers who continue to push artistic
boundaries and deliver the goods whenever they play.
One might even dare to suggest that they are the Peter Pans of
the music industry, although a quick look at Keith Richards and
it's easy to see why Johnny Depp was recently quoted as saying
that he based his latest movie incarnation, in Pirates of the
Caribbean, on the wily guitarist.
But whether you love them or loathe them, you cannot fail to
admire their longevity, achieving the type of status that most
bands can only dream of when first starting out.
And their music continues to sound as fresh, today, as it did
when they first played it, making it easy for the crowd to sing-along
in tandem with every 'woo-hoo', or 'I can't get no...' that Jagger
serves up enticingly before them.
Much of the band's allure lies in the accessibility of their
music (particularly their earlier work), which continues to appeal
to listeners of every generation.
Hence, Twickenham's crowd was packed with people of all ages,
most of them sporting some sort of Stones' memorabilia that provided
an indication of what lengths people will go to see them.
I can think of no other band whose merchandise commands such
respect, or worldwide travel, given that there were T-shirts from
Australia, New York and Sweden among those being paraded by loyal
We spoke to one fan, from Northampton, who had seen the band
a whopping 84 times...
It is little wonder that tickets can be sold for such crazy prices,
with face value for the Twickenham tickets starting at £35
and finishing somewhere near £160 - and double or even triple
that if you were unlucky enough to talk to the touts.
Yet it is tribute to The Stones themselves that they do deliver
value for money, with Sunday's performance clocking in at two
hours and providing a rich visual feast, as well as the crowd-pleaser
we have come to expect.
The highlights, of which there were many, included rousing versions
of Sympathy for the Devil, complete with a flame show from
the top of the stage; Paint It Black, with its distinctive
guitar riffs; a rare live version of I Just Want To Make Love
To You, conducted upon a more intimate mini-stage extended
into the middle of the crowd; and Gimme Shelter, when the
soulful vocals of long-time backing singer, Lisa Fischer, rang
out into the dark night sky to mesmerising effect (marking the
one time that Jagger failed to take centre stage).
And for a band which helped to put the sex and drugs into rock
'n' roll, the cheekiness was still apparent, with the lips and
tongue logo being used, visually, on several occasions; but never
more strikingly than when the big screen conjured up a saucy image
of a topless cartoon woman riding the tongue like a cowgirl (before
being swallowed whole and spat out afterwards), during Honky
Other tracks of note included You Can't Always Get What You
Want, Wild Horses, Start Me Up, Streetfighting Man, and the
newer track, Don't Stop, while the first act was brought
to an inevitable close with a barnstorming version of Satisfaction
- which never fails to get the crowd going.
And while the encore was brief, it was no less spectacular, courtesy
of a suitably uptempo Jumpin' Jack Flash and a firework
finale that ensured The Stones departed the stage with a bang.
It may only be rock 'n' roll to some people, but Twickenham couldn't
fail to be impressed.