The Blushing Brides: Keeping The Stones Rolling 40 Years Later
The Rolling Stones 1973 European tour, launched after the release of Goat’s Head Soup, is long regarded as one of the highlights of the band’s career. With Mick Taylor raising the bar with his guitar virtuosity, and The Glimmer Twins performing at the height of their ability, the Stones delivered live sets with a consistency rarely matched for the remainder of the decade. Although no live album was officially released from that tour, it did spawn many underground bootlegs cherished by vinyl collectors of Stones’ music the world over. One such recording, affectionately called Bedspring Symphony , continues to be regarded as a “lost classic” of bigger importance than some of the band’s officially released live album. It also serves as the musical blueprint for performance by one of the best Stones cover bands Canada has ever produced – The Blushing Brides.
You have to be rather committed to a band’s music to survive nearly 40 years as a rock and roll tribute; but when you’re paying homage to a band that’s in its sixth decade of touring, it kind of sets the bar for how long you can continue.
“Thanks to the bar set by The Rolling Stones, the concept of being too old to rock and roll doesn’t really exist,” said guitarist Richard Colgan, the man who portrays Keith Richards on stage each night as the newest member of The Blushing Brides. “As long as they keep moving the gateposts, we’re going to be okay.”
There’s no questioning The Rolling Stones’ place in rock and roll history. Where questions arise, however, is why fans continue to fork out big money – as much as $400 face value for the Canada Day weekend show slated for Burl’s Creek – to see these saggy septuagenarians deliver their set of reverred rock and roll classics.
“I guess, simply put, it’s the music itself,” said Colgan, who joined The Blushing Brides after the demise of his former Stones’ tribute, Hot Roxx. “It’s music that stands the test of time. When they were being referred to as the world’s greatest rock and roll band, they truly were a rock and roll band. Were they virtuosos? Except for Mick Taylor I’d say no. But Mick was a great lead singer, they had great rhythm, and they wrote great songs.”
Now into their fourth decade paying tribute to their musical heroes, The Blushing Brides continue to use the vibe on Bedspring Symphony as the template for their show. While their nightly set list is built with songs from all eras – including new songs cherry-picked from albums like Voodoo Lounge and Bridges to Babylon – the tempo of that classic recording is what the Brides aim to recreate through their performance.
“I think the key word is probably performance,” said Colgan, who joins founding member Maurice Raymond (Mick), James Green (Ronnie), Matt Greenberg (Bill Wyman) and Sascha Tukatsch (Charlie) in the band. “Where many tribute bands take the approach of kind of a note for note classic albums live, The Blushing Brides don’t do that. We live and die by the concert bootlegs that the Stones made in their early 70s heyday. When we do “All Down The Line” or “Midnight Rambler,” it’s the tempo, and the energy and the guitar solos from the Bedspring Symphony album. It’s the interaction between Mick Taylor and Keith Richards that gives it that energy. That’s the go-to place that gives it its authenticity and energy.”
For Colgan, who spent hundreds of hours studying the nuances of Richards’ performance and his unique guitar tuning in order to deliver an authentic Keith, the song he most looks forward to playing is the extended version of “Midnight Rambler,” the band’s ode to Albert DeSalvo – a.k.a. The Boston Strangler.
“When you come to see the show, “Midnight Rambler” is always one of the highlights. We take the tempo up to a frenetic pace, then drop it down to nothing but a whisper on the high hat, then take it up again. It’s great to hear live. That’s the Bedspring Symphony influence.”
The Blushing Brides will be appearing live at Seneca Queen Theatre, Niagara Falls - April 6, 2019 and will definitely be a show to catch! Tickets are $26.50+ and are available online at www.senecaqueen.ca or at the Box Office: 2624 Queen St. Niagara Falls, ON Ph: (905) 353-9461