Counterfeit Stones' tribute concert offers humour and authenticity in Horsham

The Rolling Stones clocked up their 50th anniversary a few years back.
Counterfeit StonesCounterfeit Stones
Counterfeit Stones

Now the Counterfeit Stones are following suit with their own landmark, celebrating 25 years together with their 25 X 5 tour, which brings them to Horsham’s Capitol on Thursday, April 7.

Steve Elson, the band’s Mick Jagger – or Nick Dagger as he prefers, reckons the Counterfeit Stones have definitely benefited from all the increased interest in the Stones.

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“I think because they have been playing massive stadiums on their tour, it has been good for us,” Steve says. “If they had been playing smaller venues, easier venues to get to, it might have been different. I know a couple of Elton John tributes who find it difficult because there is more opportunity to see someone like Elton John. They are pushing tickets for £25 when you can actually see the real Elton for £40.

“We are pushing our tickets for £25, but you would need to get a mortgage actually to get a Rolling Stones ticket.”

But the Counterfeit Stones have trodden a little bit of the same ground as the originals.

The Stones, as part of their anniversary, packed out Hyde Park 44 years on from their celebrated Stones in the Park free gig in 1969. Following in their footsteps, the Counterfeit Stones played Hyde Park for the BBC Proms, in support of Barry Manilow.

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“I used to have a story about Barry Manilow and the size of his nose. I didn’t know whether I could do that there! We were there to warm the audience up for Barry Manilow, and when I said that to the crowd, the crowd just roared and went mad, like they were at some messianic Christian meeting. I thought I had better not do the joke!”

Steve is delighted the Counterfeit Stones have now reached their own landmark – a reflection of their mix of humour and authenticity.

“There are a couple of other Stones tributes that haven’t really got the theatre scene together in the way we have done. I haven’t seen them so I can’t really say how good or bad they are, but I know they don’t really have a theatre production. I think the reason we have survived is that we recognise that it is not enough to just play rock ‘n’ roll. If you do that, you are just playing the pubs. If you want to do the theatres, you have got to have the humour as well.”

First and foremost is the accuracy.

“Our age group has moved on with the Stones, and our audiences want to have All Over Now in exactly the right key, with exactly the right solo. Everybody plays in different bands at different levels and for different reasons, and if this was a hobby band, I might be doing my own thing. But I know we have got a paying audience, and they want it to be as close as possible to the Stones as we can be.”

Tickets cost £22 on 01403 750220.

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