as the Romans,
and goes a roving,
It's gets a bit Gladiatorial
in St Albans, but she
left - Byron enters stage-up
again in St Albans,
- 10th September 2005
roving reporter was a little closer to home this Saturday,
checking out the band at The Horn pub in St Albans. Pleasantly
surprised that the band were playing a more local venue,
I dragged a friend along to see 'The' Stones band that I
had been raving about.
A very different venue for the Half Moon
where I usually seek musical solace, the venue was, nevertheless
quite packed by the time I arrived at about 10.45pm. Struggling
to get as close as possible to the front, more than one
person remarked at how many tall people were up there -
maybe audiences should be placed in order of height! Despite
the inviting sounds of Jefferson Airplane and the Doors
whilst we waited for the band to come on, there wasn't the
same feeling of camaraderie that is felt at the Half Moon
as incense burns and the atmosphere is pregnant with anticipation.
This was a more drunken, more aggressive crowd.
The same ecstatic cheer filled the venue,
however, as the band, resplendent in wigs and hippy regalia,
took to the stage. Mick himself looked like he had been
beamed forward from 1967, clad in white jeans and an orange
tye-dye hippie top. It was the usual "Brown Sugar"
that had the audience leaping around as Mick Jaguar fell
into those classic Jagger poses, keeping totally in character
with references to bursting a button on his trousers. "You
don't want my trousers to fall down now do ya?" he
quoted verbatim from "Get yer Ya Yas out". A song
that was usually only toyed with previously, "Miss
you" took the band beyond it's usual 1964 - 1974 time
span but it went down well and showed how versatile this
band can be. "Angie" was fitted in earlier than
usual but this was one of the weaker numbers musically as
Mick coaxed the audience into singing with him. Perhaps
this would have been better later in the set (just my humble
opinion, boys!) [Boys hah!, the last time Bill was referred
to as a boy, Lord Kitchener was pointing out the countries
The crowd was loud and raucous as Mick
interacted and played up to the taunts. The usual applause
and laughter greeted the flamboyant arrival of Byron Jones,
resplendent in angel wings and psychedelic regalia and clutching
a bottle of wine, rambling about tales of lap-dancing clubs.
If ever Mick were upstaged, this was the moment as the band
launched into "She's a rainbow" with Byron on
recorder. "Ruby Tuesday" was a song I had not
heard the band do before and it proved real crowd pleaser.
Unlike at the Half Moon, presumably because
of time restrictions, the band took a break of about 20
minutes - an opportunity for Mick to change into a 1972
jumpsuit and jacket. It was Charlie who appeared onstage
first of all, announcing on the mike that he was going to
get a bit of rhythm going, as the unmistakable beat of "Sympathy"
built up, followed by an unexpected highlight. The band
had a real 1967 feel as they launched into "2000 light
years from home", no mean feat as Mick Waylor played
what I was reliably informed was a Theramin - another example
of the versatility and authenticity that the band continually
display. The 2nd set for me was definitely the stronger,
with songs like "Little Red Rooster", "The
Last Time" and "Under my thumb". It was "Satisfaction"
that went down the best, sending the audience into a cavorting
frenzy. At the "Half Moon" it tends to be the
lesser know tracks that meet with the most applause. Maybe
the time slot of 9-11pm in Putney draws fans who specifically
want to see their band, while the later slot in St Albans
attracts a more raucous post-pub crowd.
For "Honky Tonk Women" it was
a select few women who took to the stage, unlike that masses
who fill it in Putney. Those who dared certainly gave Mick
a run for his money with their dancing! "Jumping Jack
Flash" was seriously dangerous as the audience was
almost Pogoing up and down but this was not the end as an
encore starting with "Around and Around" kept
Different venue, different crowd but an
ultimately pleasing gig with a really authentic feel and
never losing the capacity to surprise and impress. Catch
you somewhere else later boys!