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The Monkees, Royal Albert Hall, review

May 20, 2011 by  
Filed under news feed

All the hits still zing in the original boyband’s set but something is missing, says Marc Lee. Rating: * * *

Senior moments: Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones of The Monkees at Royal Albert Hall

Senior moments: Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones of The Monkees at Royal Albert Hall  Photo: C Brandon/Redferns

By Marc Lee 5:19PM BST 20 May 2011

A diminutive figure, instantly recognisable even after all these years, bounces on stage and announces brightly: “Hello, I’m Davy’s dad. Davy will be on in a minute.” Of course, it is Davy – Davy Jones, frontman of America’s answer to the Beatles, the original boyband, the Monkees. And the mood is set for the evening.

Nobody is pretending these “boys” aren’t knocking on the door of 70, and nobody cares: this is going to be all about nostalgia, a misty-eyed celebration of the golden age of pop now four and a half decades distant.

There is no hiding the vintage of Jones and bandmates Mickey Dolenz and Peter Tork either (the fourth Monkee, Mike Nesmith, heir to a stationery fortune, is absent, as he has been from all the reunion tours). Especially since, throughout the show, a screen suspended above the stage is filled with clips from the zany TV series that shot them to fame in their youth.

To underline his decrepitude, Dolenz feigns a couple of “senior moments”, with a cry of “Thank you, Detroit” at the start and a farewell to “Chicago” as they finally leave the stage.

He’s remembered all the lyrics, though, and the hits are all here. I’m a Believer, Pleasant Valley Sunday, (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone, Daydream Believer, Last Train to Clarksville – they’ve all stood the test of time. They all still zing.

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