By Hilary Porter

THE Legendary Rolling Stones are set to perform in Southampton tonight for the first time in over fifty years. Ahead of their show at St Mary's Stadium we recall some fun facts about their last visits to the area....

Southampton audiences saw the Stones for the first time at the Gaumont Theatre (now the Mayflower) 55 years ago when they played two 20-minute sets, at 7pm and 9.30pm, as part of a bill supporting Bo Diddley and The Everly Brothers. They would return to the same venue as headliners in the autumns of 1964, ’65 and ’66.

During their second visit they were interviewed by Fred Dinenage for Southern Television’s news magazine show Three Go Round. “They picked their noses, took their shoes and socks off, talked among themselves and ignored me,” the future presenter of How and World Of Sport recalled years later, but added that they apologised for their behaviour when the cameras stopped rolling.

“Brian Jones put his arm round my shoulder and said ‘I’m sorry about that, old son, but that’s the way we’ve been told to behave’. They were actually rather nice guys.”

An interview published in the Daily Echo when the group returned to Southampton in ’65 tells another story: “Our man walked into the Rolling Stones dressing room (intrepid fellow), and found that despite their surroundings of equipment, luggage, road managers and hangers-on, the atmosphere was casual.

“The group talked quietly and amiably. Keith Richard commented on the screaming fans: “They don’t really worry us. After all, they pay to see us, and if they want to scream I think they are entitled to’.”

Mention is also made of Bill Wyman sitting “ghost-like” listening to the conversation, while Charlie Watts “delved deep into a bag of chips”.

The band’s last visit to the area involved a ferry trip from Southampton for the 2007 Isle Of Wight Festival, a high profile stop on the Bigger Bang tour. It was their first festival appearance on UK soil for more than 30 years, since Knebworth in 1976.

A specially-designed stage extension was in operation for part of their headlining show on the last night, bringing the group closer to the audience.

Cameras went into overload when Amy Winehouse joined the group to duet with Mick Jagger on a cover of The Temptations’ Ain’t Too Proud To Beg. Earlier in the set they had been joined by Paulo Nutini for Robert Johnson’s Love In Vain.


Start Me Up

You Got Me Rockiing

Rough Justice

Love In Vain

Can’t You Hear Me Knocking?

Ain’t Too Proud To Beg?

Tumbling Dice

Wanna Hold You

Slipping A2way

Miss You

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

Honky Tonk Women

Sympathy For The Devil

Brown Sugar

Jumping Jack Flash