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Daily Telegraph Article on Rehearsals
Posted by: thecitadel ()
Date: May 9, 2018 20:17

[www.telegraph.co.uk]

The Rolling Stones rock Clapham: what happened when the world's biggest band turned up on my doorstep

James Hall
9 MAY 2018 • 5:40PM
Not much ever happens in Clapham Old Town. Apart from the influx of weekend drinkers, our corner of south-west London is pleasantly dull. We’ve got the Common, the bus stand and the community-run Omnibus Theatre. I like the village-like boringness. There’s even a small tucked-away pub that many of us locals drink in.

The area’s closest brush with rock’n’roll came in 1979 when Squeeze namechecked it in Up The Junction. That, and the rumour 10 years ago that Iggy Pop was planning a gig in a pub called the Prince of Wales. As ever in Clapham, Pop never arrived.

But like a power chord in a library, this tranquillity was shattered last week when The Rolling Stones secretly requisitioned our little theatre for a week of tour rehearsals. It’s not often that the biggest band in the world rocks up to the street next to yours. It’s less often that such news fails to leak out. On a 14-date stadium tour that kicks off next week, the Stones will play to close to a million people across Europe, from Edinburgh to Warsaw.

But for five bizarre evenings, myself, two super-fans and a handful of other residents were able to listen outside this small converted-library-cum-theatre – the audience numbered 19 at the last play I attended – as Mick, Keith and co ran through tracks from Jumping Jack Flash to Angie, a pane of glass between us. The significance of what we were hearing was not lost on the men outside the Clapham Omnibus.

Something was clearly up on the night of Sunday April 29. I noticed two lorries of musicians’ flight cases being unloaded outside the theatre, which sits opposite Holy Trinity church at the Common’s edge. It was odd: I’d coincidentally visited Omnibus days before and read that it was shutting for refurbishment from Monday 30th for a week. So why was gear being humped in?

Interest piqued, I wandered past the next afternoon. A couple of thickset ex-army types were hanging around outside. Then, as if from nowhere, a blacked out chauffer-driven Mercedes purred up the street. It drove through a set of private gates at the theatre’s rear, dropped someone or something off, then reversed out. A second car appeared minutes later and did the same. Then another.

Nothing happened, so I wandered off. Half an hour later I returned to the street to pick up my own car. I heard music coming from inside the theatre. It was a band. They were playing Wild Horses. And the singer was doing a very good impression of Mick Jagger.

Two blokes were standing over the road, listening. They didn’t look part of the set-up but were loitering with purpose, slightly guarded, as if they knew something. I approached. One of their phones went off. The ringtone was Miss You, the Stones’ disco hit from 1978. I frowned. Call me Sherlock. My jaw dropped.

“It’s not…actually…is it?”

A strange omertà governs super-fans. They said nothing. But it was enough. I listened more. There was a Jagger-esque “yay-eh”. A Keef-like guitar lick. It was the Stones, stripped of backing singers and horns. The core band. Seconds from my front door. Bands often hire entire venues in which to rehearse in the run-up to a tour. My best guess was that Omnibus was conveniently-located, available and so unobtrusive that nobody would expect anything.

My moment of rock’n’roll revelation was followed by one of pure comedy. My car battery was flat. Luckily, as no one else was around, the chauffeurs who’d arrived an hour or so before offered to help. Dressed in three-piece suits, the men who were clearly Mick, Keith, Charlie and Ronnie’s drivers pushed my crappy Golf down the road in an attempt to, ahem, start me up. The super-fans joined in. But even in this moment of automotive brotherhood, as I pumped both the pedal with my foot and the chauffeurs for information, they revealed nothing.


On Monday afternoon, the band posted an Instagram picture of their nameless rehearsal space, all speaker stacks and microphones. I recognised it instantly: the theatre’s floor was still painted with a zig-zag pattern from the play I’d seen there.

I called Bernard Doherty, the Stones’ PR man. “Band rehearses for tour” was hardly a huge story. But this was the Stones. I told Bernard that I lived in Clapham, where we have a lovely community theatre called Omnibus. Silence. And it’s funny, I went on, a very good band is playing inside. A very good band indeed. More silence, followed by the incredulous guffaw of someone whose secret has been rumbled. “Noooo! Why do you live in Clapham? No one lives in Clapham!” he said with a laugh. Sorry mate, I do.

We chatted for a while. Fingers itching, I nevertheless agreed not to say anything in the press or on social media for the week. They’d have a security “nightmare” if I did, with hundreds of people turning up. So I spent the week popping down in my coffee breaks and after work, listening.

I made friends with the super-fans, who turned out to be delightful. They asked not to be named here, but one travelled from Europe specifically to stand outside the theatre. He does this every time the Stones rehearse (he’s got good intel), and admitted that he could have bought a nice house with the money he’s spent on concert tickets over the decades. The other man, a Brit, is something of a big shot in the business world, who’s seen more than 75 Stones concerts since 1976.


Both men are married. Three weeks before a tour starts, The European’s (wonderfully tolerant) wife tells him to “just go”. On the second day we listened to Angie, Street Fighting Man and Shine a Light. The pair of Stonesmasons had finely-tuned ears and encyclopaedic knowledge. They saw songs in loose jams. Big Shot blagged a guitar pick from a bouncer.

Dog walkers and buses drifted by, oblivious. So incongruous was the situation that those who recognised a riff would pause momentarily before carrying on with a shake of the head. In a genius piece of misdirection, the band’s camp told people who asked that the band inside was renowned covers band The Counterfeit Stones.

In a moment of cod psychology somewhere between Sympathy for the Devil and Under My Thumb on day three, I asked The European and Big Shot whether constant proximity to the Stones’ music somehow made them feel complete. They said they liked listening for setlist clues and, yes, the familiarity. A costly addiction? No question. But those chaps on the other side of the glass have indulged far more expensive and damaging peccadilloes. Ask Keith’s doctor.


By the week’s end, a handful of locals knew, but a sort of collective secrecy had descended. Someone who lives nearby tweeted about it, but the tweet mysteriously disappeared. A tabloid photographer turned up but couldn’t get a shot, his tip-off useless.

The band left in the evenings amid G7-style security. “Nice dogs,” Charlie remarked to my pooch-owning pub friend Jeremy, who happened to walk past the moment the drummer left. Curiously, Ronnie also appeared to comment on my mate Pedro’s black labrador when he briefly emerged. Keith appeared for a nanosecond. Too cool for canine chat, he was whisked away, a flash of green drainpipe jean and rakish headband all I really saw.

And that was it. Clapham feels boring again after its week of drama. Who knows, perhaps the Stones left some rock’n’roll stardust behind on these quiet streets. Maybe Iggy Pop will now return one day for that long-rumoured gig. At least I’ve now got time to get my car fixed up. The vehicle wasn’t doing so well – but it’s alright now. The jump lead jacks flashed. It’s the gas, gas, gas.

Re: Daily Telegraph Article on Rehearsals
Posted by: StonesSoCal ()
Date: May 9, 2018 20:21

Great article! enjoyed it. Thanks for posting!

Re: Daily Telegraph Article on Rehearsals
Posted by: tumbled ()
Date: May 9, 2018 20:23

Wow. amazing story.
they wanted claps. they went to clapham.

I think they really would like to play small venues. its sad they have to do stadiums really.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-05-09 20:25 by tumbled.

Re: Daily Telegraph Article on Rehearsals
Posted by: Hairball ()
Date: May 9, 2018 20:46

Thanks for article, that was fun to read. thumbs up

Quote
slewan
okay, bv: now that the secret has been published – please tell us more about these rehearsals. Especially what song they've rehearsed

That would be nice. Used to be these things were discussed openly and freely, but if it needs to be kept secret for some odd reason, maybe a spoiler alert thread for those who want to know more.

All we have at this point is:

"Mick, Keith and co ran through tracks from Jumping Jack Flash to Angie"
"Sympathy for the Devil and Under My Thumb on day three"
"They were playing Wild Horses"
"There was a Jagger-esque “yay-eh”. A Keef-like guitar lick. It was the Stones, stripped of backing singers and horns. The core band".



"I made friends with the super-fans, who turned out to be delightful. They asked not to be named here, but one travelled from Europe specifically to stand outside the theatre.
He does this every time the Stones rehearse (he’s got good intel), and admitted that he could have bought a nice house with the money he’s spent on concert tickets over the decades".

--------------------------------
"Rip this joint, gonna save your soul..."

Re: Daily Telegraph Article on Rehearsals
Date: May 9, 2018 20:56

Very very very cool story. Love it!

Re: Daily Telegraph Article on Rehearsals
Posted by: slewan ()
Date: May 9, 2018 20:58

so we can assume that the rehearsals have been finished for now. As far as I remember rehearsals at Croke Park had been scheduled for Monday and Tuesday. So - what'll happend during the next few days?

Re: Daily Telegraph Article on Rehearsals
Posted by: Irix ()
Date: May 9, 2018 21:05

Quote
slewan

So - what'll happend during the next few days?

Probably the same as in Hamburg 2017 ....

They arrived in Hamburg on Tue, 5-Sept-2017 and did Rehearsals on Thu, 7-Sept-2017 while their 1st Concert took place on Sat, 9-Sept-2017.

Re: Daily Telegraph Article on Rehearsals
Posted by: MisterDDDD ()
Date: May 9, 2018 21:19

Great article.

Dude showed real ingenuity in getting ahold of the stones people...
"I nevertheless agreed not to say anything in the press or on social media for the week". Next sentence should have been, provided I get a real quick meet and greet with the band, or show pass or similar cool smiley.

Bv has posted a bit about the rehearsals, since deleted I believe.
Some 70 songs rehearsed I believe he said, including at least one "new" from B&L and many surprises. (hoping for Commit a Crime and/or Little Rain)

Soon to find out... either way.

Re: Daily Telegraph Article on Rehearsals
Posted by: maumau ()
Date: May 9, 2018 21:31

the keyword here is
omertà

Re: Daily Telegraph Article on Rehearsals
Posted by: 35love ()
Date: May 10, 2018 00:38

Fantastic!
thumbs up
cool smiley

Re: Daily Telegraph Article on Rehearsals
Posted by: Rockman ()
Date: May 10, 2018 00:51

"I made friends with the super-fans, who turned out to be delightful. They asked not to be named here, but one travelled from Europe specifically to stand outside the theatre.
He does this every time the Stones rehearse (he’s got good intel), and admitted that he could have bought a nice house with the money he’s spent on concert tickets over the decades".


The Pope?

ROCKMAN

Re: Daily Telegraph Article on Rehearsals
Posted by: CaptainCorella ()
Date: May 10, 2018 01:30

Lovely article. Thanks for posting.

More than half a century ago I went to secondary school very close to there, so it resonated.

(A few years behind me at the same school was the person without whom the World Wide Web would not exist. Makes you think!)

--
Captain Corella
50+ Years a Fan

Re: Daily Telegraph Article on Rehearsals
Posted by: stonehearted ()
Date: May 10, 2018 02:46

"But like a power chord in a library, this tranquillity was shattered last week when The Rolling Stones secretly requisitioned our little theatre for a week of tour rehearsals."

Nice to see that there is still a journalist who can be a witty and creative writer.

Generation Zzzzzz... could learn a lot from this author.

Re: Daily Telegraph Article on Rehearsals
Posted by: HomerSimpson ()
Date: May 10, 2018 03:07

“A strange omertà governs super-fans”. Why? They are listening from a public street! Why not share the information with others? It’s not like someone is breaking a non-disclosure agreement.

Re: Daily Telegraph Article on Rehearsals
Posted by: StonedAsia ()
Date: May 10, 2018 03:17

smileys with beer

Re: Daily Telegraph Article on Rehearsals
Posted by: MisterDDDD ()
Date: May 10, 2018 03:27

Quote
HomerSimpson
“A strange omertà governs super-fans”. Why? They are listening from a public street! Why not share the information with others? It’s not like someone is breaking a non-disclosure agreement.

Seems logical that they wouldn't be on that particular public street without inside knowledge. Also seems logical that if there were suddenly dozens of fans clamoring outside, the inside knowledge (for that and other important info) may not be so freely given, if at all in the future.

Re: Daily Telegraph Article on Rehearsals
Posted by: Gazza ()
Date: May 10, 2018 03:31

Quote
tumbled
Wow. amazing story.
they wanted claps. they went to clapham..

Thank God they didnt rehearse in Scunthorpe.

Re: Daily Telegraph Article on Rehearsals
Posted by: tumbled ()
Date: May 10, 2018 03:59

they are some sneaky bastards ... must be a nice little theatre there. shame people are so tight lipped.

Re: Daily Telegraph Article on Rehearsals
Posted by: HomerSimpson ()
Date: May 10, 2018 04:51

Even if perhaps someone turned up at rehearsal with inside info, that’s great. But they are still rehearsing where they can be heard in public. So who’s to say who reported this thing. The guy how got inside info, or some local who just was in the right place at the right time?

I’m of the opinion they almost want something to leak. If they really wanted privacy I simply cannot believe The Rolling Stones are incapable of getting a rehearsal location in absolute secrecy where no one would hear or know anything. Just my opinion. The rehearsal was able to be heard from a public street therefore it’s public information and doesn’t require secrecy. If I had the list of everything rehearsed from standing outside the building it would be all over my social media, and this site.

Re: Daily Telegraph Article on Rehearsals
Posted by: runrudolph ()
Date: May 10, 2018 10:05

Lovely artcle, great stuff.
Wish i could have been in Clapham.
Jeroen

Re: Daily Telegraph Article on Rehearsals
Posted by: paulywaul ()
Date: May 10, 2018 10:34

Quote
Rockman
"I made friends with the super-fans, who turned out to be delightful. They asked not to be named here, but one travelled from Europe specifically to stand outside the theatre.
He does this every time the Stones rehearse (he’s got good intel), and admitted that he could have bought a nice house with the money he’s spent on concert tickets over the decades".[/[/b]i]

The Pope?

Just the one house ......... ? grinning smiley

[ I want to shout, but I can't hardly speak ]

Re: Daily Telegraph Article on Rehearsals
Posted by: bitusa2012 ()
Date: May 10, 2018 10:38

Quote
paulywaul
Quote
Rockman
"I made friends with the super-fans, who turned out to be delightful. They asked not to be named here, but one travelled from Europe specifically to stand outside the theatre.
He does this every time the Stones rehearse (he’s got good intel), and admitted that he could have bought a nice house with the money he’s spent on concert tickets over the decades".[/[/b]i]

The Pope?

Just the one house ......... ? grinning smiley

Yes, just the one house. Those Catholics ARE skint now, having to GoFundMe for George Pell child sex offence defense and all!

Rod



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-05-10 10:38 by bitusa2012.

Re: Daily Telegraph Article on Rehearsals
Posted by: hopkins ()
Date: May 10, 2018 12:35

Thanks; wonderful story. I'd had similar experiences in 1980 with Bob D.
These postings show so much dedication and consideration.
Thanks for sharing a super-great, & uniquely close Stones experience.
One week to go.

Re: Daily Telegraph Article on Rehearsals
Posted by: Silver Dagger ()
Date: May 10, 2018 12:48

Quote
Gazza
Quote
tumbled
Wow. amazing story.
they wanted claps. they went to clapham..

Thank God they didnt rehearse in Scunthorpe.

Or Cockfosters, in norf Larnden!

Re: Daily Telegraph Article on Rehearsals
Posted by: hopkins ()
Date: May 10, 2018 14:58

Quote
Silver Dagger
Quote
Gazza
Quote
tumbled
Wow. amazing story.
they wanted claps. they went to clapham..

Thank God they didnt rehearse in Scunthorpe.


Or Cockfosters, in norf Larnden!

Dicks Mount in Suffolk would have been more appropriate for at least two of them.
I'm just glad it wasn't Brown Willy in Cornwall but Twatt in Orkney would have probably been an interesting choice.
Boggy Bottom in Hertfordshire best left unconquered imo.

Re: Daily Telegraph Article on Rehearsals
Posted by: rara ()
Date: May 10, 2018 15:12

Guys you’re all missing the point here. We still don’t know who’s phone it was that went off, which means that bv might have MISS YOU as a ringtone. I don’t know about you guys but I’m definitely not okay with that.

hot smiley

Re: Daily Telegraph Article on Rehearsals
Posted by: detroitken ()
Date: May 10, 2018 16:10

Thanx for posting citadel.....I can NOT believe that bv has mu as his ringtone....
say it aint so Bjornulf........

Re: Daily Telegraph Article on Rehearsals
Posted by: gotdablouse ()
Date: May 10, 2018 16:47

Haha...great article, reminds me of when I drove by the rehearsal spot in Bondy and everything was very "hush, hush..." when I asked a few innocent questions. Guess you never know who you're dealing with, made a few good friends over the next days and weeks though !

Re: Daily Telegraph Article on Rehearsals
Date: May 10, 2018 17:04

The Miss You ringtone mystery!

I bet it was the part I've been waiting in the hall Been waiting on your callWhen the phone rings

Re: Daily Telegraph Article on Rehearsals
Posted by: roller99 ()
Date: May 10, 2018 17:08

Quote
HomerSimpson
“A strange omertà governs super-fans”. Why? They are listening from a public street! Why not share the information with others? It’s not like someone is breaking a non-disclosure agreement.

It's quite simple; they will only share the information with those that they know they can trust. Information is never shared in a public forum where it can be spread all over the internet. The band wouldn't like it, the insiders wouldn't like news vans and mobs of people showing up.

You're missing the point of "the insiders". The whole purpose is to share this information in the same manner that a journalist would do, after the fact. Can you imagine a journalist who's meeting Paul McCartney in some quiet cafe, broadcasting that information before or while it's happening? No, they would never do that. They get the story and the information, and then they share it with the rest of the world.

And, in many cases, as you say "it's not like someone is breaking a non-disclosure agreement", no. It's not in writing. Keep this in mind: Some of us here get what you call "inside" information from specific sources. If it suddenly appears all over the internet, those sources are not going to be happy, and they will probably never give you information again. They give us this info because they know we will protect it.

Anyone can become "inside", it's a free planet. But you have to work at it.

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