Rolling Stones set for maiden China tour

The band will reportedly play a concert on April 8 at Shanghai's Grand Stage, three years after SARS forced them to cancel their tour.

india Updated: Mar 01, 2006 19:01 IST

Rock legends the Rolling Stones will play in China for the first time with a concert in Shanghai in April, the band's promoter said Tuesday, three years after SARS forced them to cancel their tour.

"The Rolling Stones have been confirmed to play a concert on April 8 at Shanghai's Grand Stage," Ellen Du, a sales manager at Emma Entertainment, the band's local tour organiser, told AFP.

Tickets for the show at the 8,000-seat stadium will cost 300 to 3,000 yuan (37 to 370 dollars), said Du.

The band, which is currently on its A Bigger Bang world tour, had been scheduled to play in Shanghai and Beijing in October 2003.

However the events were cancelled shortly after the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which originated in China and went on to kill more than 800 people worldwide.

Approval for the Rolling Stones' 2003 shows was seen at the time as a breakthrough after the group had regularly applied to the Chinese authorities since the 1970s to play there.

China's Communist rulers once viewed rock music as "spiritual pollution" but those views in fast-modernizing China are fast disappearing.

Still, China's Ministry of Culture slapped a ban on the band performing four of their best known songs -- Brown Sugar, Honky Tonk Woman, Beast of Burden and Let's Spend the Night Together for the 2003 tour.

No specific reason was given but the same four songs, known for their raunchy lyrics, were cut from the band's Forty Licks compilation album available in Chinese shops.

The new letter of approval posted on the culture ministry's website on Tuesday confirmed organisers were "permitted" to invite the Rolling Stones, along with its 103-member entourage back to China.

But it was not clear if any tunes would again be blacklisted.

Du from Emma Entertainment said she did not know if any songs had been banned.

The Rolling Stones' official website has yet to list Shanghai, China's wealthiest city, as a destination on its A Bigger Bang tour.

However it would appear to fall in neatly between gigs in Nagoya, Japan, on April 4 and Sydney, Australia, on April 11.

First Published: Feb 28, 2006 17:29 IST