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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 August, 2003, 10:48 GMT 11:48 UK
Stones play intimate London date
Mick Jagger
The Stones' UK tour began on Sunday
The Rolling Stones played their most intimate show in years on Wednesday night, with a date at London's Astoria Theatre to just 2,000 people.

The band, who are currently on the UK leg of their 40 Licks tour, played the show yards way from the site of their London debut in the 1960s.

Tickets for the show - a rare chance to see the stadium rockers in a club - were changing hands outside the West End venue for four figure sums, it was reported.

Celebrity fans included pop star Jamiroquai, singer Holly Valance, comedian Steve Coogan and artist Tracey Emin, who saw the band play hits like Jumpin' Jack Flash and It's Only Rock 'n' Roll.

Obscure songs

Jagger, who had to postpone the opening UK show at Twickenham rugby stadium on Saturday because of flu, greeted the crowd: "We're very pleased to be here I can tell you."

After opening with Jumpin' Jack Flash, the band opted to play a set studded with more obscure songs and album tracks.

Tracey Emin
Modern artist Tracey Emin was among the celebrity fans

"We're going to do a few different songs for you tonight," Jagger told the crowd, before playing lesser-known songs such as Live With Me, Hand of Faith and No Expectation.

"The problem with the numbers we don't usually do is that we don't know them as well as the others," he said.

The show was very near the former site of the Marquee club in Oxford Street, where the band played their first London show in 1962.

Postponed shows

The Astoria date was their most intimate performance since a 1999 show at the Shepherd's Bush Empire, in west London.

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

Jane Goldman and Jonathan Ross
BBC presenter Jonathan Ross arrived with wife Jane Goldman

The band 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 concert 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.

Earlier in the tour they cancelled a concert in Spain after Jagger came down with laryngitis.

Were you at Wednesday's gig? This debate is now closed. Please see below for a selection of your comments.

Listening to the Stones whilst standing next to Holly Valance - it doesn't get much better than that.
Steve, UK

Glad you enjoyed the gig, Pablo, but I don't know what you were smoking to think Mick Taylor was standing next to you for the whole gig. He's dead!!!!
Samantha Dixon, England

We were 3ft from stage, crushed, sweating, ecstatic, hoarse and in rock'n'roll heaven. Keith was in magnificent form, unleashing an electric storm of riffs and driving the band through a sequence of songs from their 40-year career; Going to a Go-Go indeed!! Terrific show from every perspective.
Garfield Southall, UK

How could it get any better? These guys just rocked from the beginning to the end. This surely was one of the best Stones shows I've ever witnessed. And the audience was great. Just an absolutely fabulous night.
Hans Daniels, Netherlands

Excellent show! My wife and I were front row, Ronnie's side. The verve of the crowd was only topped by that of the Stones. Jagger nailed Worried About You, Wood was inspirational on the steel guitar on No Expectations, and Richards' guitar on Satisfaction up close was revealing of how talented he is (though I enjoyed Richards dancing a little jig during Ain't Too Proud to Beg as he crossed the stage). Of course, Watts' drumming was clear and as close to perfection on timing as it comes. What a night, what an experience seeing the Stones at a small night club in Soho in London!
John, USA

Superb! Mick strutted his stuff in true style projecting energy and enthusiasm that was breathtaking in such an intimate environment. I never thought I'd be in touching distance of rock legends like Keith & Mick whilst they performed. Big thanks to Dave A for the ticket and a once in a lifetime opportunity!!
Jason Amos, UK, Solihull

I've seen the Stones quite a few times including Hyde Park in 1969.Wednesday at the Astoria was for me a fantastic experience, the sheer energy and passion that was coming from the stage and indeed the fans all around made this a night I will treasure forever, absolutely brilliant!
Duncan, St Albans

I've seen the Stones four times before over the past 27 years, each time in massive arenas and I have to say this club gig was the best. The atmosphere was totally electric throughout; it was hard to believe they were so close and up close you really can appreciate how well they work together and how much they enjoy what they're doing.

I'd like to think they'll be around in 7 or 8 years time (the average gap between my Stones gigs) but somehow I doubt it. So as probably my last Stones gig I'm glad they've gone out on a high.
Julian Crooks, England

It was fabulous beyond words. We were about 10ft from the stage but no matter where you were it was going to be a great view and great vibe! They've got so much energy and sound amazing, I feel really lucky to have gotten in!!!!!
Kath, London

I thought the gig was good. However I feel the Stones reached their creative high between 1967 and 1969. It was here where they surpassed the Beatles.

The Beatles have never produced anything like Gimme Shelter.
Robin Stevens, UK, Bournemouth

Great show. They played a lot of songs not normally heard on their bigger dates such as That's How Strong My Love Is, Ain't Too Proud To Beg, Heartbreaker, Hand of fate, Live with Me, Everybody Needs Somebody, Going to a Go-Go and Before They Make Me Run. They also turned the "normal" order of the songs around somewhat.

They opened with Jumpin' Jack Flash which was the encore at the Twickenham show on the 24th; Satisfaction was the encore at the Astoria whilst at Twickenham it was towards the beginning. Brown Sugar came towards the end as well but was the opening song at Twickenham. But the extra bonus for me was the fact that ex-Stones guitarist Mick Taylor was standing right next to me for half the show.
Pablo, UK

The anticipation, the enerygy, the bullet force, adventure and excitement of this unique precious jewel of a gig at the Astoria with the Stones, completely satisfied the rhythm of every moment I've spent listening to their music in my life. They've always been there and it feels like they always will. It's about the relationships they've built with us all over such a long time, it's more than a show, it's an intimate moment. The Rolling Stones make the committment and deliver the goods with integrity, freshness and life. I can't say fairer than that!
Mark Canning, UK

Great concert, great enthusiastic people on the ground floor, great almost indifferent people on the balcony. Maybe less people on stage would completely bring back that rude sound so characteristic for their first 10 years. But I feel very happy and thankful to have got the chance (offered by means of the pre-sales opportunity from the official fan club) to come over from Belgium and see this unique show together with my son.
Luc, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium

Woo! what a gas! the night was unbelievable & us 2 young 20 year olds were bowled over by 4 60 year olds. Sounds unbelievable but the Stones are still rolling & doing it in their usual flamboyant way. Long live those cats we call The Rolling Stones.
James & Mark, England

How Come They Did It So Good? It was hot,it was sweaty.It was raw and exiting.Jumpin Jack Flash put on a passionate performance and even though its only Rock`n`Roll,you just had to like it! We swayed and moved we clapped and sang along.Then it was over and we filed out into the cool night air.The Rolling Stones still hold their crown,it was a classic show!
Topper, u.k. st.albans

Fantastic.....really fantastic. What else can one say about seeing the greatest rock'n'roll band in the world in a tiny sweaty venue like that. And my voice hurts too now, must have been the singing! I thought the audience were a bit inert, well, on the balcony anyway. Perhaps it was the awe of the presence of greatness?
Howard Ellard, UK




SEE ALSO:
Stones begin UK tour
25 Aug 03  |  Entertainment
In pictures: Stones begin UK tour
24 Aug 03  |  Photo Gallery
Rock fan shells out for Stones
24 Aug 03  |  North Yorkshire
Bug halts Stones' China shows
28 Mar 03  |  Entertainment
In pictures: Rolling Stones Sars concert
31 Jul 03  |  Photo Gallery


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