The Times
December 29, 2006 Pop - First Night reviews
The Rollin Stoned
David Sinclair at the Boom Boom Club, Sutton
Copyright David Sinclair/ The Times Newspaers, reproduced by kind courtesy
Photos By Marilyn Kingwill (All image rights M Kingwill)

As the Rolling Stones wound down at the end of a year in which they reclaimed their title as the top-earning live act in the history of pop, the group’s most celebrated clones continued on their never-ending round of shows at somewhat more intimate venues.

The Rollin Stoned began eight years ago when “Byron Jones”, formerly of the Counterfeit Stones, jumped ship and started his own tribute band. Since then Jones and his dedicated gang of doppelgängers — Mick Jaguar, Keith Retched, Bill Wymandy, Charlie Waits and Mick Waylor — have built an entertaining show that is an affectionate and skilfully observed homage to their idols, albeit with an undercurrent of gentle parody never too far from the surface.

To begin with at the Boom Boom Club, Jones was nowhere to be seen, and the show was dominated by the sleek-torsoed Mick and a convincingly rumpled Keith as the band punched their way through a swift string of numbers stretching from Route 66, released in 1964, to Start Me Up, the band’s last Top Ten single, released as long ago as 1981.

The vintage stage costumes — an era-mangling combination of 1960s hippy and 1970s glam-rock chic — were matched by the period detail of the musical equipment; the overall sound, particularly of the older numbers, was probably more “authentic” than the Stones themselves would be inclined to muster at this stage. While Mick’s vocals inevitably fell a little short of the original and Keith’s, by the same token, were just a little too good, the band’s musicianship and attention to detail were faultless.

It wasn’t until Jones arrived, wearing a pair of angel’s wings, holding a tambourine “halo” over his head and swigging from a wine bottle, that the performance really started to gel. Looking uncannily like the late Brian Jones, with his blond bouffant and outsized shades, he apologised for his late arrival, explaining that he had been sidetracked into playing a game of Monopoly in Heaven with James Brown and Bob Marley.

The band then set off on She’s a Rainbow, which was followed by Not Fade Away, Paint It Black and Ruby Tuesday, each song featuring Jones in a different role (percussion, harmonica, Indian guitar, recorder), all of which he handled with considerable aplomb while flashing that famously stoned Cheshire cat grin. The group’s ability to recreate the magic of the Stones’ classics was demonstrated time and again on numbers including Sympathy for the Devil, Get off of My Cloud, It’s only Rock ’n’ Roll and a grand finale of Brown Sugar.

But the genius of the show resided in the treatment of some of the band’s lesser-known songs, including a faultless Carol and a slightly hesitant Beast of Burden. A wonderful version of Run Rudolph Run, an obscure Chuck Berry number sung by Keith, ended with a blast of fake snow across the front of the stage, adding a seasonal touch to a show of timeless charm.

See Photo review of Half Moon Christmas Show

the band for any other information or to let us have your comments