With the massive success of Bjorn Again and the Bootleg Beatles giving credence to the heady world of the 'tribute band', the growth in the phenomenon has been rapid over the last five years, with just about every rock and pop icon from the last century represented, some great, some good - some downright bloody awful.
One of the reasons for the success of the good ones is their total 'non-indulgence' - for the most part they give you the hits, not an hour of their hero's latest album interspersed with a few crowd-pleasers and an encore featuring three 'biggies'.
Most big rock groups never seem to get their head around the fact that when their fans tip
|| up to a stadium, they want a party, and who
plays the Stones' latest album at a party?. That's right - no one.
The first thing you notice whilst propping up the bar is that the audience is not composed of curious 50-somethings, indeed the average age is nearer 25 and more females than males (which was nice).
When the band hit the stage, any cynicism you might have
felt on the way to the gig is dispelled by not only their appearance,
which is carefully and lovingly reproduced, even down to the instruments
and amps, but also by their adept attention to musical detail,
so faithful I found myself grinning for most of the two-hour,
pre-Ronnie Wood-days, set.
by Mick Jaguar, a 'camp-as-Christmas' Byron Jones, a more than
suitably grubby-looking Keith Retched and a perfectly laid-back
rhythm section composed of Charlie Waits and Bill Wymandy, the
band rip their way through every Stones' classic from 'Not Fade
Away' to 'Tumblin' Dice', augmented by Nicky Popkins on keys,
Mick Waylor on guitar and the entire audience on backing vocals.
Consequently, nothing is left to the imagination, not even the
Sitar on 'Paint it Black' or the recorder on 'Ruby Tuesday'.
They look just like 'em and sound just like 'em - what more
could you want? (geddit?)