The first thing that struck
me as I entered the Half Moon, were two words missing from
the posters - "sold out!" Could it be that the
band are losing their touch? This question was quickly answered
by one of the bar staff who informed me that the same band
had performed a gig for the Putney boat race the previous
week, thus giving most people the choice of seeing them
on one Saturday or the next. At first emptier that normal,
the venue soon filled up as blues played and tension mounted.
The band appeared from nowhere and climbed onstage playing
that instantly recognizable riff to "Start me up!"
Then there he was, Mick Jaguar, snarling and strutting his
way through the party crowd. Welcoming the crowd
to Putney, he continued into "Brown Sugar",
the now obligatory audience participation almost part of
It is always a joy to hear
the band perform numbers from the classic "Exile on
Main Street" album and tonight was no exception with
"All down the line". Mick commented
on his resemblance to Elvis with his jump suit but it was
with the jump suit that the resemblance ended as the band
drew on the very essence of the Stones with the Chuck berry's
"Carol" merging into "Route 66".
Back to that classic late '60's/early '70's period so evocative
from the band's stage costumes and set for "Bitch"
and "Dead Flowers", Mick commenting that Keith
hadn't had enough Jack Daniels as Keith Retched tuned up
then delivered the opening riff.
as always was another audience participation song as Mick
turned the microphone on the chanting Putney crowd.
After several calls for Byron, the man himself stumbled
onstage, resplendent in robes, bearing sparklers, rambling
and asking the way to Monterey. Byron truly lives the '60's
dream. As we became lost in an acid-drenched summer of love,
the band launched into "She's a rainbow",
"colours everywhere".. Staying in that mid-late
'60's vibe the audience moved as one to "Not
Fade Away" and "Paint it, Black".
Nicky Popkins shook those maracas
in perfect time for "Out of time", followed
by "It's only rock'n'roll", the
classic "You can't always get what you want"
and "Sympathy" with the crowd supplying
the "Whoo woo!'s". Charlie always gets a
mention and a cheer and tonight was no exception , while
Bill and Mick (Waylor) somehow blended into the background yet
still provided vital musical contributions. Mick's concerns
for the time were met with retorts of "nine o'clock!"
as no one wanted this party to end.
It felt like 1969 as the high
pitched wails launched "Gimme Shelter"
and Byron took position on the right side of the
stage instead of his usual left. "Street Fighting
Man" preceded Tyrone's permanent request for "Midnight
Rambler", this regular modestly declining
to join the boys onstage!
While Mick went off to "powder
his nose", Keith took centre stage for "Happy",
as spaced out and disjointed as the real "Human
Riff" but note perfect! "Beast of Burden"
was a variation from the usual set list and a little out
of place for the time period. However, we were
soon back in the '60's for "Satisfaction"
and "Get off my cloud".
There was no shortage of us ladies
clambering onstage to dance to "Honky
Tonk Women" and this time Tyrone was not shy in
taking to the stage. Barely able to move, the band partied
their way through this number, ending as usual with
"Jumpin' Jack Flash" and a bow. That
was the Rollin' Stoned on a Saturday night. That was
the '60's and early '70's. That was the reason we
keep coming back for more.