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Last Updated: Monday, 25 August, 2003, 00:06 GMT 01:06 UK
Stones begin UK tour
Mick Jagger
Jagger bounded around the stage
Mick Jagger has shrugged off a bout of flu to join his fellow Rolling Stones on stage for the first British concert of their world tour.

The band played in front of 50,000 fans in the rugby ground of their home town, Twickenham, south-west London.

Their first scheduled UK gig had been due to take place in the same venue but was called off on Friday on medical advice.

But Jagger, guitarist Keith Richards, 59, rhythm guitarist Ronnie Wood, 56, and drummer Charlie Watts, 62, showed few signs of exhaustion or sickness on Sunday.

After opening their set with Brown Sugar, Jagger said: "Welcome welcome, this is the first night of our British tour.

We started off playing at the Richmond Rugby Club up the road so it's not very far really from there to here
Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger

"It wasn't going to be the first night, and you weren't going to be the first-night audience but anyway that's the way it worked out - and I'm glad you're all here."

He later added: "No one has ever played in the Twickenham Rugby Club before so we're very privileged.

"We started off playing at the Richmond Rugby Club up the road so it's not very far really from there to here."

Saturday's concert has been rescheduled for 20 September, subject to obtaining a licence, when all tickets for 23 August will be valid.

In a statement on Saturday Jagger said: "The doctors tell me that I must have two more days rest - and after that, I will be completely recovered and ready for a full-on stadium show on Sunday."

The concerts are part of a world tour that began in Boston last September to promote 40 Licks, a 40th anniversary collection of Stones hits.

Problems

The band has since played in the United States, Australia and the Far East before going to Europe in June.

Problems already faced by the group have included postponing a gig in Amsterdam earlier this week because Jagger had a sore throat.

Previous concerts were cancelled due to the Sars epidemic in Asia, safety fears in Belgrade and problems with their flights.

It is the third time Sir Mick, who turned 60 last month, has had to pull out of a gig on the current tour.

Earlier in the tour he cancelled a concert in Spain after coming down with laryngitis.

Further dates scheduled for later this month in London at the Astoria and at Wembley, and also in Glasgow, Manchester and Dublin are not affected.




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