Tuesday, 4 December 2012
I've been trying to ignore the recent Rolling Stones celebrations. They haven't been any use as a recording band since about 1973. The documentary Crossfire Hurricane showed the band admit that themselves- two hours about the 60s, half an hour in the south of France, five minutes of Miss You and Ronnie Wood, the end. The press for the gigs at the O2 has been largely positive and I suppose if you were there (tickets starting at £95 and going up to around a grand, for all you Street Fighting Men and Ladies out there) it could have been pretty good, if you like arena gigs. Charlie keeps the beat going and Keef pulls out all the riffs and Bill and Mick Taylor turn up (but on the other hand so does Eric Clapton, and on one night Florence Welch sang on Gimme Shelter- gimme shelter indeed), but on this brief clip at The Guardian they sound a bit ropey to these ears and the problem is Mick. He looks absurd- I know he's 69 but that hat is awful and the jacket worse. Looks like he got them in the sale in Top Man. Worse still his vocals sound terrible. Someone said he sounds 'strident'. Depends on your definition of strident I suppose.
Keeping a band going for fifty years is an achievement- hats off for that. Their early records marrying delta blues with Deptford are great, their run of 7" singles from 1964-68 is superb and there are four albums in the 1969-1972 span that are crackers. Hats off again. They can't keep going forever can they- ten years, maybe less, and they'll be gone and we'll probably miss them. But we'll be missing what they were really, not what they are (unless you went to the O2 gigs, in which case you'll say they were brilliant. And maybe they were).