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Review: The Counterfeit Stones

PUBLISHED: 11:26 02 May 2010 | UPDATED: 15:41 29 October 2010

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Rob Garratt

You've got to wonder about someone who has been pretending to be someone else for the last 16 years - which is exactly what Nick Dagger and co claim to have been doing.

The Counterfeit Stones

Norwich Playhouse

You've got to wonder about someone who has been pretending to be someone else for the last 16 years - which is exactly what Nick Dagger and Co claim to have been doing.

Tribute bands are tricky territory; not only has artistic credibility gone out of the window at the outset, but you have to contest with purist fans who expect not a note, or quiff, out of place.

Luckily the Counterfeit Stones more than tackle their subject matter, the self-proclaimed Greatest Rock n' Roll Band in the World, with a heady mix of tight tunes and tongue-in-cheek humour.

Prancing about the stage theatrically, they weren't being the Stones; they were praising and mocking them simultaneously. Dagger and Rickard overplayed every nuance for comic effect, the stage banter was littered with sly references to Mars bars and their bassist's penchant for teenage girls, and extra hilarity came from short film parodies of the band.

The outlandish costumes, silly wigs and expensive guitars changed as the band moved through different periods, as did the line-up; Bryon Jones became Mick Taylor-Made, and then Ronnie B Goode.

The music, though, was why people were there, and with such a rich, distinct and timeless songbook to draw from it disappoint. The early sixties singles sounded authentically retro, the late sixties rock-outs appropriately raw, and the camp seventies possessed that trademark Stones swagger.

By a closing wham-bam of Miss You, Honky Tonk Women and Start Me Up a good portion of the audience was shaking in the aisles. The encore of Brown Sugar and (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction may as well have been just for kicks.

Rob Garratt

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