The Counterfeit Stones

I went to see the Counterfeit Stones last night at the Robin in Bilston. The Robin itself is a great music venue.It holds 800, all standing, two bars, and a mecca for the musical cogniscenti. I’m not a huge fan of tribute bands, but these have a reputation as being one of the best around, and a Saturday night gig with what would certainly be a large and enthusiastic crowd semed like a good idea – and so it proved.

Although I wasn’t a teenager till the 70’s the Stones and the Beatles were omnipresent culturally and on the radio. I favoured the Stones over the Beatles, and still do, although the merits of the Kinks and the Beach Boys are more keenly appreciated by me now than they were then.

I have seen the Rolling Stones live, but it wasn’t a satisfactory experience, at Don Valley Sheffield, in the late 90’s. I was at one end of the Athletics Stadium, they were at the other. I have never been a fan of Stadium Rock, and haven’t been to a Stadium Gig since.It all struck me like a bombastic pantomime with tinny sounding music and the antithesis of rock n roll , best heard in small clubs – which brings us back to the Robin.

The first half of the show was 50 minutes of mid sixties hits, and was a reminder of how good the Stones were in this period. Short sharp inventive songs. It was pure nostalgic heaven, with “(Hey, You) Get off of my Cloud” an unexpected highlight. The second half was devoted largely to 70’s material, with “Start me Up” ( a dreadfully over rated song)from 1981 being the “latest offering”, itself now 30 years old! Including the likes of the horrible “Miss You”, this half did not fare as well as the first half. This was exacerbated by a 20 minute interval to allow the band to change costumes which took the energy out of a tremendous opening. Neil Young can stretch out “Cowgirl in the sand” to 50 minutes!

Yet that is by comparison only. The songs were all faithfully recreated and affectionately played with some hugely enjoyable humour from lead singer “Nick Dagger” to help things along the way. “Street Fighting Man” and “The Last Time” were an absolute joy. Would I go to see them again? Of course I would.

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