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Last Updated: Friday, 4 April, 2003, 20:36 GMT 21:36 UK
Stones thrill in soggy Bangalore
By Chitrabhanu R Kadalayil

The Rolling Stones in Bangalore, India
Jagger was wearing an outrageously golden gown
They may not have sold out their Indian shows, but The Rolling Stones still played to a crowd of 20,000 in Bangalore, southern India, on Friday.

The world's oldest rock group were a sensation as a big crowd rocked to their tunes despite lashing rain lashing this southern Indian city.

The city's Palace Grounds, which has hosted gigs by other artists including Roger Waters and Deep Purple in the past, was all of a soggy affair.

But Mick Jagger's 40-year-old band, performing in India for the first time, refused to let the rain get in the way and played straight into the hearts of the thousands who had come to see them.

The atmosphere was electric as people of all ages thronged into the concert area with expectation and excitement.

Outrageous gown

The band came onto the stage and began straight away with Brown Sugar, followed by other popular numbers like It's Only Rock 'n' Roll and Start Me Up.

"India's a good place to chill," Jagger said, adorned in an outrageously golden gown, while guitarist Ronnie Wood wore a traditional Indian "kurta".

The band also performed other creations including Angie, You Can't Always Get What You Want and Not Fade Away.

Even the rain failed to dampen the spirits of the fans who sang along with Jagger.

The band took the rain sportingly, with Wood skating over the wet stage and lead guitarist Keith Richards remarking: "It had to rain, right?"

The Rolling Stones in Bangalore, India
The group play in Mumbai on Monday
Jagger's outrageous clothes and pyrotechnics were also "in your face", with his huge mouth and animated walk on the ramp capturing the imagination of thousands who were seeing him for the first time.

"He is so charismatic and charming at the age of 62. How I wish he came 30 years ago," Shruti Kak said.

Richards' bluesy voice, when he sang Slipping Away, and Wood's pelvic thrusts with his guitars, also charged the crowd up.

An astonishing number of foreigners attended the concert. An estimated 4,000 British, German, Spanish and Israeli expatriates who had come to seek the spiritual joys of the subcontinent also came to enjoy the Rolling Stones.

"I've seen these blokes perform in Wembley. But today has been quite extraordinary," one of them said. An Israeli even had a poster saying "Yo Stones, come to Israel".

The band are travelling with a 150-strong entourage with more than 200 tonnes of equipment, which arrived from Singapore on Tuesday.

As part of their 40 Licks Tour of the Far East, the Stones will next perform in the western Indian city of Mumbai on Monday.

Both Indian shows were brought forward by a week as a result of the mystery virus, known as Sars, that has so far killed more than 80 people worldwide, mainly in Asia.

At this gig, the band also played their cult classic (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction and signed off with Jumpin' Jack Flash.

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12 Oct 02  |  Entertainment

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