The following review of our gig on
 27 December  2002
 was written by Eric Tingley and
appeared in the Surrey Herald
on 8 January 2003


    It is often said, with more than a grain of truth, that the proliferation of tribute bands on the live music circuit these days holds back the development of young musicians desperate to secure gigs.
  That venues, eager to attract big audiences, will err on the side of caution rather than take a risk on groups trying to develop a new sound.
  On the other hand, it cannot be denied that the best of such bands offer an invaluable insight into the past. A chance for those who may have been too young - or merely unable to secure tickets at the time - to experience the joy of hearing some truly great songs live.
  And bands like the Rollin' Stoned, who appeared at Sutton United's Boom Boom club a couple of days after Christmas certainly fall into this category.
  Storming onto the stage at the Gander Green Lane venue, the bewigged band had taken the trouble to look the part - Bill Wyman looked so authentic  one worried dad pushed his attractive
teenage daughter out of the
  bassist's line of sight - but it was their playing that really impressed.
  The real Stones' genius comes from having just about the tightest rhythm section in the business. Bass and drums keep everything on track - allowing Keith Richards to sear those unforgettable riffs deep into the brain and Mick Jagger, well, to ponce about in a camp manner (and he does sing a bit and play harp as well).
  And the Stoned emulated their heroes to a tee - much to the collective joy of the packed crowd.
  Mostly, they were the greybeards you'd expect at such an event - but there were younger faces too, much younger faces.
  And not merely recalcitrant teenagers dragged to the gig by ranting dads telling them to 'come and hear some real music, not that rap/techno/house stuff you usually play'.
  I've seen a few Stones imitators in my time - as well as the real thing on at least 10 occasions - and, in my view, the Stoned are the nearest thing to the real article.
    Classic numbers such as Street Fightin' Man, Midnight Rambler and Honky Tonk Women, as you would expect, sparked the sort of manic dancing you'd witness if you're ever lucky to see Mick and the boys at a small gig - such as their 1999 Shepherds Bush Empire gig, but for me, the highlight of this set was the difficult-to-master psychedelic material, such as Gimme Shelter, the opening strains of which wafted out over the appreciative and knowledgeable crowd like a call to arms.
  It was a great night. The Stoned were all well versed in their role - to keep alive the tradition of great live music. It's a valuable service too - probably the only chance many music fans will get to hear songs on which the foundations of rock are based played in their natural environment. If the Stones are the Best Rock 'n' Roll band in the World, the Stoned are the Best Rock 'n' Roll Tribute Band in the World!.
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