Just how do you celebrate the 45th anniversary of one of the landmark albums of the 1970s released by arguably the greatest rock and roll band of all time? Well, getting together some of the countries most accomplished players and sticking two super-talented vocalists in front of them is a damn good place to start.
I arrived at the Currumbin Soundlounge for the Honeysliders, Tim Rogers and Ben Salter homage to the Rolling Stones 1971 masterpiece “Sticky Fingers” full of anticipation for a great night of music and was not disappointed, even by the amazing sunset on the balcony (surely one of the best places to see a live show anywhere!).
Dana Gehrman picked up where the sunset left off with a beautiful opening set of originals and Stones covers. Her bluesy, folk drawl and slick guitar playing was at its best when accompanied by a smoking harp player. The highlight of her set for me was a slow tempo folky version of the stones number “Sweet Virginia”, so sublime. She left me wanting more and I hoped she would be back on stage with the main act.
A lot of punters may have missed the Honeysliders taking to the stage but absolutely nobody missed those first glorious chords of classic opening track “Brown Sugar” with every decent vantage point in the whole the venue soon claimed. A “bang on” version of Bobby Keys iconic sax solo was a good omen with the band starting strong and not letting up.
As an unabashed Rolling Stones tragic, Tim Rogers’s enthusiasm for the songs was evident from the outset. Backed by arguably the best “pick up” band in Australia, Tim “jaggered” his way around the stage going from a picture of well-dressed perfection to a sweaty mess in the space of 2 songs. He gave it his all and really set the tone for the rest of the night, even declaring the venue had the best Coopers Pale Ale he had ever tasted! By the end of the night it was clear he had “tasted” a few.
A change of vocalists is always a real winner for me at this style of show and Ben Salter proved me right. His soul-full voice has an understated power to it and he absolutely nailed the classic “Wild Horses”, enthusiastically supported by almost everyone in the room.
Tim and Ben and Danny Widdicombe (sadly only once) chopped and changed the vocal duties for the rest of the album clearly enjoying each other’s company before Tim finished with an amazing version of final ballad “Moonlight Mile”.
After a quick intermission, a shirtless Tim Rogers returned to the stage with all the players for a last set of classic Stones songs. Thankfully, Dana Gehrman returned to add some spice to a swinging version of “Gimme Shelter”, a real highlight among a set of bonafide classics.
Great venue, great crowd, great songs from a great band, what more could a “Street Fighting Man” want? More of the same please Mr Soundlounge.