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Last Updated: Saturday, 8 April 2006, 15:57 GMT 16:57 UK
Stones rock full house in China
Mick Jagger
Some Stones tracks cannot be played due to their suggestive lyrics
The Rolling Stones have played their first concert on mainland China to a packed audience at Shanghai's Grand Stage venue.

The veteran band began their landmark gig - part of their Bigger Bang world tour - with classic hit Start Me Up.

The 8,000-seat indoor stadium was filled with an audience made up of mainly non-Chinese fans.

The concert comes three years after they cancelled shows in Shanghai and Beijing due to the Sars outbreak.

There was little sign of the fan frenzy that has followed the band on other stops on the tour. The Rolling Stones do not have such a devoted following in China.

However, demand for tickets had driven up the price to 5,000 yuan (358) on the black market.

Chinese rock pioneer Cui Jian, who was to perform with the band, said before the concert the show was a "milestone" for him and all rock fans in China.

"It is a big moment, I will never forget this," said Cui, whose songs became anthems for student protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Ahead of the concert on Saturday, the Chinese government asked that the band not play the songs Brown Sugar, Honky Tonk Woman, Beast of Burden and Let's Spend the Night Together because of their suggestive lyrics.

Authorities reportedly later added another track to the list, Rough Justice from the Bigger Bang album.

Lead singer Sir Mick Jagger said the band were not worried by the censorship and had fully expected it.

"Fortunately, we have 400 more songs that we can play so it's not really an issue," said Sir Mick.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Sir Mick Jagger speaks about the concert



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