Never mind the rollocks..'s the Rowing'Stoned

Half Moon, 2nd April, 2005

With two in a row, Sheryl tells us
not to mind the 'boatrace

  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 the act.
  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.
  "Angie" 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.
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