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The Rolling Stones at Slane Castle
The Stones brought their time-honoured brand of of rock'n'roll mayhem to Slane, delighting the faithful.
Tom Mathews, 27 Aug 2007
‘Midnight Rambler’ really kickstarts things, however, as Mick plays what that girl next to me unerringly identifies as a harmonica, strutting and pouting like a man half his age. Keef, louche as ever, shambles about looking twice his. Looking pretty fucked, actually. Time has ravaged him horrendously. His is not a face for 40-foot enlargement on screen. ‘Dead Flowers’ suffers from Mick’s acoustic guitar and so-so vocals, but Charlie saves the day.
Then it’s Keef’s finest moment, a heart-stopping vocal on ‘You Got Silver’. This is what he loves. And Woodie, fag in mouth, plays faultless blues. A stompin’ ‘Hold You’ follows, after which the jaded old weasel smiles. When he smiles, his tongue comes out.
When a section of stage snakes out over the crowd, Jagger seems to think that this James Bond hoopla entitles him to phone in his vocals. ‘Only Rock And Roll’, ‘Honky Tonk Women’ and especially ‘Satisfaction’ (into which he somehow manages to cram six syllables) veer into self-caricature. On the main stage, the giant blow-up mouth bobs in the wind, all too reminiscent of Spinal Tap’s half-inflated Dark Lord. A sea of arms grab ant-size mobile camera momentos. Forbidden flashbulbs pop in the seated blocks, and gals sway on beast of burden boyfriend’s shoulders.
Back on terra firma, Mick climbs the architecture for a scorching ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ against a shifting snakeskin/Rorscharch red and black projection. Sax and keyboards are superb. Wooo Wooo indeed. A splendidly bleak ‘Paint It Black’ redeeems the theatrics.
‘Brown Sugar’ comes with background projection of a 100-foot high Sugar Momma chumming up to various phallic structures - the great pyramid, Big Ben, The Leaning Tower of Pisa, M. Eiffel’s iron cobweb etc (though not, inexplicably given the ‘Hello Ireland’ stuff, The Spike). The band bows. The crowd calls out for more. More it is. Then, in a Jumpin’ Jack Flash, it’s all over. Off go the fireworks. And us.