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Last Updated: Monday, 21 August 2006, 09:09 GMT 10:09 UK
Press reviews: Rolling Stones
Sir Mick Jagger
The Twickenham show was the first of five dates in the UK
The Rolling Stones' A Bigger Bang tour came to the UK on Sunday, with the first of two concerts in Twickenham, south-west London.

The tour has been beset by problems - Sir Mick Jagger caught laryngitis, the band were censored in China, and dates had to be cancelled when guitarist Keith Richards fell out of a tree.

Music critics in the UK press, however, largely found the band on top form.


They play to their strengths: the hits delivered with as much son-et-lumiere as technology will allow.

Jumping Jack Flash is filled with more thuggish menace than you might expect. Midnight Rambler displays every sign of going on until the end of time, not unlike Keith Richards himself.

The closest they get to throwing the audience a curve ball is performing a glorious version of Sway, from 1970's Sticky Fingers. "I can't remember what album this is from," Jagger admits.

It's easy to scoff at the Rolling Stones... but it's easier still to be beguiled by them onstage.

The Rolling Stones could happily be playing live into the next decade.


As usual with the Stones, there was no expense spared, and no taste wasted, on the set, which featured what appeared to be two huge extensions to the Guggenheim Museum flanking a huge video screen behind the stage.

The massive scale did tend to dwarf the band, who seemed skinnier than ever in front of their giant projected selves, little Lowry matchstick-men throwing shapes across the vast curved apron of the stage.

Ultimately, all the sophisticated staging doesn't carry as much essential Stones appeal as the lippy attitude with which Mick delivered the contemptuous Oh No, Not You Again.

It's quite heartening, really, how British sexagenerians can be as snotty as naughty schoolboys.


Ron Wood and Keith Richards
Jumping Jack Flash and Satisfaction were the critics' favourites
The men and women filing into Twickenham stadium in south-west London were more likely eligible for a free bus pass than a young person's railcard.

Perhaps impoverished youngsters have been put off by the prices - some seats cost as much as 195.

Tickets are still available for the second Twickenham show, as well as those in Cardiff and Glasgow.

The lacklustre take-up for Stones tickets contrasts with their Steel Wheels world tour of 1989 when they broke the world record of the time by taking 250 million in sales.


A downpour before the show failed to dampen the crowd's spirit as the band took to the stage amid fireworks and images of space debris.

Jagger, an impossibly spindly and spiky figure in tight black trousers and spangletastic shirt, barked out the lyric of Jumping Jack Flash, while the Lazarus-like Richards hunched over his guitar and chopped out the riff with a woozy enthusiasm.

The set included a handful of new numbers, including a swashbuckling Rough Justice, and one or two rarities such as Sway, during which Jagger, in particular, struggled to replicate the recorded performance.

A chunk of stage hydraulically detached itself and carried the group about 200 yards into the crowd as they played Miss You, a tremendous touch of theatre.

"If you start me up, I will never stop," Jagger sang, and rarely has a truer word been voiced in song.

Rolling Stones rock British fans
20 Aug 06 |  Entertainment
Satisfaction is 'top Stones song'
17 Aug 06 |  Entertainment
Stones cancel second Spanish gig
15 Aug 06 |  Entertainment
Stones announce further US dates
26 Jul 06 |  Entertainment
Ron Wood in rehab 'but will tour'
17 Jun 06 |  Entertainment
Rocker Richards returns to stage
12 Jul 06 |  Entertainment

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