No doubt there will be much discussion around the country today about The Rolling Stones' appearance at Glastonbury Festival yesterday, so here's my view.
They delivered what was expected of them. A collection of their mostly well known songs with a lot of prancing about (resulting in some poor singing), with some shoddy playing and posing thrown in for good measure. Mick Jagger tries to please everyone with his cockernee geezer accent and desperation to show how he can still move about at his ripe old age of nearly 70, and Keef is more concerned with looking cool and iconic, rather than bashing out some memorable tunes. It was good to see Mick Taylor up with them, sharing some of the plaudits and glory, and Keith Richards looking as though he is going to end up emulating Taylor in the lifestyle choices nowadays, rather than the other way round (healthy eating wise).
Some songs sounded decent, some (2,000 Light Years From home), were atrocious.
Nowadays, half of the attraction of seeing The Stones is the fact that they are an institution. Wizened old legends, creakily stepping down from their personal Mount Olympus' to entertain the common folk, who may never get the chance to see them again. Supposedly their rehearsals for the tour came in at a million of your English pounds and pence, but they still play like a sloppy, pissed up bar band playing the songs for the first time.
On the other hand, this could also be commended, as they don't try to be ultra professional, and are more bothered about the audience going away happy after an entertaining spectacle rather than pleasing the TV viewers at home, and that is certainly how it came across yesterday. They were much better than they could have been, it's normally a great day out, and rather like some football matches, the build up and anticipation (plus the all day drinking with mates or partners) is most of the fun. The match/concert at the end is something that will hopefully prove to be worthwhile and pleasurable, but a good day out can still be had if it is not.
If you really want to recapture the early bluesy Stones, go and see some young bands who still have it all to prove, not some old gits looking after their retirement funds.
I've got high hopes for The Strypes. At the moment, they can't get near what the Stones were like in their heyday, but they have a long, long time ahead of them to have a decent pop at it. If they end up half as good, that would still be an achievement worth aspiring to.
The Stones - remember them this way. Gimme Shelter on Pop Goes The Sixties
The young pretenders - The Strypes with Blue Collar Jane on The Late Late Show.