Saturday, August 6, 2011

Out in the country

Throughout June, July and August 1963 the Rolling Stones performed virtually every night on the local London residency circuit of the Ricky Tick Club, Eel Pie Island and Ken Colyer's Studio 51, but increasingly odd gigs were being booked further afield, like in Birmingham, Middlesbrough and Wales. It was as if the band entered a whole new, completely different world, as Bill Wyman and Ian Stewart recall.

Bill: We started to play ballrooms outside of London. We'd play this stuff to people's faces and we'd see their mouths gape. They'd never heard the original record, you see, especially with the kids we'd play for in small places like Peterborough or Luton or Guildford or some place outside of Birmingham. But it wasn't only that they didn't know many of the songs, they didn't know how to dance to the music because the rhythms were quite different. They couldn't sing along or even clap. It was a shock.

Stu: In the beginning, those ballroom gigs were awful. We used to go to these terribly thick places like Wisbech and Cambridge, and all the yokels they'd heard of these Rolling Stones, but they hadn't the foggiest idea what to expect in the way of music. To start off with, some of them just gawked. But after a year or so some of these ballroom dates began to get really fucking wild.

Adapted from the following source:

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