Monday, August 21, 2006

The Rolling Stones at Twickenham: It was only rock 'n roll, but we liked it

"You were not born in a crossfire hurricane," I said to Simon, despite his protests to the contrary. "You were born in West-Mid hospital."

And so began the Sparky family outing to see The Rolling Stones play the first gig of their UK A Bigger Bang tour at Twickenham Stadium.

Sparky Ma has wanted to see the Stones for years - since the sixties, in fact. Yes, she might have met ALL FOUR BEATLES (!) when they were FILMING 'HELP!' DOWN HER ROAD (!), but at heart she is a Stones lady. And so I clicked my fingers and made it happen - eeeeey... (Actually, I ordered four tickets off ticketmaster, but the result is the same).

Anyway, we got to the stadium, got to our seats, and laughed at all the people in the really expensive seats on the pitch when it started raining; aaaah, the joys of being undercover in the north stand.

Feeder were supporting, and I do like Feeder. Feeder! FEEDER! FEEEEEEEEEDER!! As they started playing their first track, Simon lent over and asked me why they were singing about Heathrow airport. WTF!? Heathrow airport!?!? "Yes," he said. "He's singing 'terminal four."

"You dumb joey," I replied. "He's singing 'Tumble and Fall!'"

So Feeder were great, culminating in a rousing singalong of 'Just a Day,' complete with all the prerequiste "DO-DO-DO-DOOOOs."

And then - 40-odd minutes later, in an explosion of lights and, er, explosions, the Stones hit the stage.

And, by God, they've still got it! Mick still moves around the stage like a five-year old on ketamine, Keef still looks like he hasn't got a clue what's going on (but f**k it, he's got a guitar so he's damn well going to play it!), and Charlie still looks like he'd rather be at home watching Corrie. Oh, and Ronnie just looks like he's a complete nutter - and good for him!

Mick apologised for the fact that we all should've been at Wembley (I had no problem with Twickers - far more convenient for me, in fact!), then said that he'd heard that the new Wembley stadium was going to be ready for the farewell tour of the Arctic Monkeys. We all laughed... then realised that never a truer word was spoken in jest.

The stage was amazing, and changed colour quite a lot:

The stage went yellow.

The stage went blue.

The stage went red.

The stage went bang!

The stage even drove into the centre of the pitch while a big inflatable tongue poked out at us!

Of course, they also had some amazing visuals on the big screen - like a half naked chick dry-humping the Eiffel Tower (there's something I never expected to see!).

And as the show hit the last few minutes they rattled through the hits. We "WOO-WOO-ed" to Sympathy for the Devil, "Yeah, yeah, yeah - WOOO'd" through Brown Sugar, and 40,000 people shook their booties to Satisfaction.

Then there was a few more explosions (they do like their explosions), some flame throwers, some huge rolls of fabric that shot out the top of the stage onto the audience, a few MORE explosions, some fireworks, and that was it. (I'd hate to have to clean THAT lot up...)

As all 40,000 of us tried to squeeze out of the gates we passed a guy with a megaphone directing people. "Turn left for Hounslow buses, right for Richmond." Then he smiled, held it to his lips again and shouted "WOO-WOO!" to which we all turned and "WOO-WOO'd" right back at him.

And that was it. I was "WOO-WOO-ing" and strutting all the way back to the car (I do a mean Jagger impression).

If you get the chance - go seem them. They might have a collective age of about 4 million, but they've got more life and energy in 'em than any band a third of their age that I've seen this year. I hope I'm as limber as Mick when I'm 63.

Rock on - till next time!


Will said...

Cool. I saw them a few years back in Bangalore and they were great. Ronnie was unbelievably out of it, so much so that he kept forgetting to play his guitar. Quality.

Tim said...

Ha ha! Gotta love Ronnie - I saw him jump onstage and play a couple of songs with Sheryl Crow a few years back. He played a few chords, looked into the wings and shouted "I don't know how the f**kin' song goes!" Then proceeded to gurn at the crowd for the rest of the performance.

I mean, seriously, who doesn't know how Everyday is a winding road goes!?

Miss T said...

THIRD!!!!!!!!!! Wait, that's just another word for loser...

I'm happy that somewhere in the world there is a gigantic fourty licks sign to remind people everywhere to keep their tongues in their heads.

Tim said...

Hey, third you might be, but you still beat Dora!

That little licking kid is going to be *SO* screwed up when he discovers the Stones in a few years time...!

No licking... no, wait... evil sign - no licki- but music so goooood... DAMN YOU JAGGER!!

Dora and Tina said...

WTF? Why is shit suddenly being slung at me??? Oh wait, 'cos I came 5th.

Giant forty licks mouth. We really could have done with that last year. "Go stand by the giant mouth to remind yourself to keep that tongue in your head!".


Tim said...

I'm sure Mick'll sell it to you when the tours after. You'll just need a big pump to inflate it when you're instructing children not to lick!!