Simon Bisson (sbisson) wrote,
Simon Bisson

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Wamalamabamalama. Rock and roll is king.

Freelance journalism isn't glamourous. You spend most of your time in a little room bashing your head against a keyboard while you try to turn some vague ideas and comment into something that someone might want to read when they're sat on the loo or in a train. But every now and then something happens to break you out of the rut.

Last Thursday I got a phone call from a PR person I've been talking to a lot recently. Her main client had a box at Twickenham, and had tickets for that Sunday's Rolling Stones concert. Would I like to go? Would I? They couldn't courier my tickets round quick enough!

So Sunday afternoon found me in sunny Twickenham, walking with the crowds from the station to the stadium. It's a short walk, down residential streets, lined with sandwich vans and death burger caravans (though the South African barbecue was actually particularly tempting, with its slabs of steak broiling away in front of me). Then it was into the stadium, following the throngs through the security checks and up the lifts to the terrace of corporate boxes.

A buffet dinner was served as the support began. Starsailor turned out to be excellent, perhaps a little on the proggy side of things, with a really good electric piano-based sound and a strong front man. I think the main comparison has to be early James, with a touch of late Simple Minds. It's a pity when bands that good play support, you're getting a perfomance that would headline the Forum or the Empire, and more than half the audience doesn't care. And they have to play in daylight, too...

The Stones came on to the roar of the thousands of people in the stadium, and on to one of the best stage sets I've seen. No sign of Jagger's illness that had canceled the Saturday gig - he bounded around the stage like a madman, full of energy and power. The set was divided into three parts, a slowly building first section that culminated in a couple of tracks sung by Keith Richards, then a good old fashioned R&B set down on a second stage in the middle of the arena, and finally the big set piece numbers with 50 foot flames from pyrotechnic cannons, fireworks and a shower of red paper petals.

It's almost impossible to describe the atmosphere and the sound and the images and the emotional intensity of a gig like that. Suffice it to say: even I danced...

I'll just upload a couple of phonecam pictures...

And these are the reviews of the gig from the BBC web site
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