Black And Blue In Nice (Dog N Cat DAC-094)
Parc des Sports De L’Ouest, Nice, France – June 13th, 1976
Disc 1 (59:58): Honky Tonk Women, If You Can’t Rock Me / Get Off Of My Cloud, Hand Of Fate, Hey Negrita, Ain’t Too Proud To Beg, Fool To Cry, Hot Stuff, Star Star, Angie, You Gotta Move, You Can’t Always Get What You Want
Disc 2 (46:41): band introductions, Happy, Tumbling Dice, Nothing From Nothing, Outa Space, Midnight Rambler, It’s Only Rock And Roll, Brown Sugar, Jumping Jack Flash, Street Fighting Man
Although the Stones loved playing and living in France, they skipped the country entirely on their 1973 European tour. When they returned three years later they played six shows in France, more than any other country. Four were in Paris, one in Lyon and they played in Nice for the first time. Three different tape sources exist for this show. Two are of poor quality but complete. The best sounding is close to the stage and captures the show well although there is some distortion and loss of detail in the louder parts but is missing the opening number “Honky Tonk Women.”
Two previous releases were incomplete. Tumbling Nice (Risk Disc 012) is missing the opening song and Live In Nice (Vinyl Gang VGP 091) is on one disc and is missing “Honky Tonk Women,” “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” “Happy,” “Tumbling Dice,” and the Billy Preston set “Nothing From Nothing” and “Outa Space.” The Dog N Cat is an edit of two sources with the good sounding but incomplete tape used as a base and the inferior tapes used for “Honky Tonk Woman” and other minor edits. This is the most complete version of Nice on silver.
It is interesting that Nice in the south of France, which holds such an important place in Rolling Stones history, had to wait unil this tour to be placed on their itinerary. Villefranche-sur-Mer, close by to Nice, is the location of Nellcôte, the mansion Richards rented and where much of Exile On Main Street was recorded. Their stay in Nice was eventful. On June 2nd, 1971 Charlie Watts’ Shirley is arrested at Nice Airport for assaulting an airport official and also about this time Richards was involved in a car collision and a fight by his home which landed him in court on assault charges. In 1972 the Nice police department held an investigation on drug possession but they were absolved after Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor appear before a judge.
After the two opening songs Jagger tells the audience they will play “neux chansons pour vouz. Le premier est ‘Hand Of Fate.'” Wood’s guitar sounds particularly nasty in this recording, sounding like a buzzsaw in the solo. The audience are happy to hear “Hey Negrita” cheering the very introduction of the piece.
“Oh baby you’re so sweet” Mick whispers before “Fool To Cry.” He delivers the lyrics in a strange radio evangelist tone, the same one he would use two years later in “Far Away Eyes” on Some Girls. “Hot Stuff” is repetitious but Wood plays a great guitar over the crazy piano melodies in the faux reggae funk piece. After “Star Star” they play “Angie” for the final time on the tour. “You Gotta Move” is segued directly with a massive, eleven minute epic version of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” Nice might be the longest version of the tour and it certainly sounds as if Wood is investing much of himself in it. The ending of the show is noteworthy with a the long “Street Fighting Man” ending the show. Dog N Cat had a couple of poor releases (Live In England, Get Your Leeds Lungs Out), but this is a very good one of an unfairly neglected show.