ROLLIN'STONED AT
THE HALF MOON

  A Fans Eye View
Review by Sheryl

Rollin'Stoned fan Sheryl set's the band apart
from her jaded and cynical view of tribute bands.
She writes here of a brief transport to a past era
when the euphoria was "drug induced" and
"society girls" needed to be led astray..........
..... So no change there then.

  
Picture
Nicky Popkins somewhere over a Rainbow

  A Rollin' Stoned "Cold Cold Winter" Warmer at the Half Moon  
 

     "Good evening Putney!" are usually the first words out of Mick's mouth after a rousing rendition of "Start me up" at the famous Half Moon. With the smell of joss sticks, the tie-dye and tongue drapes and the pounding of R'n'B, there is already a heady atmosphere before the group appear. Non-believers may mock at the thought of would-be Stones dressed in band "costumes" and strutting their stuff to a mainly middle-aged audience. Having seen more than my share of bewigged and besuited Beatle tribute bands, my first impression would be to ridicule but something sets the Stoned apart. This band can really play. After a couple of numbers you are back in the late '60's, sharing songs of society girls gone wrong, drug-induced euphoria and bitter break-ups. "I won't forget to put roses on your grave" snarls Mick as Keith staggers around mimicking "the human riff".

      On a cold February night we warmed to "Brown Sugar", the vengeful "Bitch" and early classics like "Route 66", and "Not fade away". As Jagger himself goes onstage and "becomes" Mick Jagger, so it is with the Stoned, with the band members getting completely in character - Bill motionless and cool behind his shades, Keith stumbling around, whisky bottle in hand, Charlie beaming from the back, Nicky quite serious on keyboards and Mick (Waylor) shyly concentrating on his blues at the back. Mick Jaguar has clearly watched more videos than the most ardent fan as he has the moves down to a tee, from the wicked scowls in "Sympathy for the devil" to the scissor kicks and camp stances of the glam years.

      The arrival of "Byron", always "sorry I'm late" with his angel wings and plethora of artificial stimulants is always met with anticipation. The first time I heard him speak I got got cold shivers as he sounds so much like Brian it's uncanny, not to mention the physical resemblance. He had lost none of his charm on 12th Feb as he joined the rest of the band for "She's a rainbow", proving once again that Rollin'Stoned are not just a hits tribute band.

      One Half Moon regular, Tyrone, requested his fave, "Midnight Rambler" at which Jaguar obliged, transporting the audience back to a hot summer in 1969 with the satanic vibes of Altamont and sexually charged menace of the counterculture's uncertain future. Swirling a sweaty scarf above his head he interacted with Keith, teasing Byron into the bargain.

      It really is a case of having the atmosphere of a small club which (unless you are very lucky) you are unlikely to ever experience with the genuine article. Mick constantly interacts with the crowd, eyeing up the women, getting the audience to sing "Angie" and the beginning of "Gimme Shelter", asking for requests. At this particular gig, someone asked for "Memo from Turner", showing that the audience are clearly hardcore fans. Totally in character, he quickly retorted that Keith would get upset about the bathroom scenes with Anita. This is fans playing to fans!

      One of the standout tracks from 12th had to be "Out of time", with Brian and Nicky providing backing vocals. Before long us women got the chance to dance onstage with the band for a chaotic "Honky Tonk Women" just as the band had women dance to this track on their stadium tours. Ever professional, the band failed to miss a note as us ladies cavorted around them, turning the whole gig into a massive party.

      Two hours is a long time to play without a break but it certainly passes quickly. Before we know it the band are climbing offstage, saying farewell and it is time to leg it for the last train home. It would be a dream to be able to see the Stones on a regular basis but their sellout tours seem to get fewer and farther apart. In the meantime while "you can't always get what, you want but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need!" Here's to the next Stoned experience!
 
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