Almost sixty years to the day since their last appearance there, the Rolling Stones are rumoured to be set to appear on stage in a Baltic fishing port this summer.
In July 1963 the then-unknown rhythm ‘n’ blues combo from Britain played two sets at the Remoulade Jazz Festival, overlooking the Baltic island’s port and the ferry from the mainland.
Now they are set to make a something of a sentimental journey back to the scene of their very first Scandinavian gig, playing in the same location as on that summer night when the sixties had just started to swing.
‘There are a lot of us in this district who had a great time at the festival and we built a stage out of wooden fish boxes back then for the bands to play on,’ recalls Jan-Holger Sildquist, chairman of the local fishermen’s association.
‘It was a fantastic occasion, even though Mick, Keith and the others were completely unknown at the time. Let’s face it,’ he said. ‘That was about the last time anything exciting happened in Remoulade.’
It was Remoulade Fishermen’s Association secretary Inga Töffbråd who had the idea of contacting the Rolling Stones management to invite them to make a second appearance on the idyllic island after a sixty-year interval, as a benefit concert with proceeds going to the local retired fishermen’s home.
‘To start with I was just surprised to even get a reply, and then they came back to us a few weeks later to say that Mick and Keith would love to play in Remoulade again, for old time’s sake, as they had such fabulous memories of playing under the midnight sun back then,’ she said.
‘Although my mum would have been happier with Tom Jones, as she’s always wanted to throw her knickers at him. But he was too busy.’
This time health and safety regulations mean that the Stones aren’t likely to be appearing on a stage of fish boxes, but will instead be playing in the local football stadium, just a few hundred metres from where the original Remoulade Jazz Festival was held every summer up to the 1980s.
It’s an understatement to say that the people of Remoulade are excited, and there are some long memories on the island.
‘I’m told they have been quite successful since they played here before,’ Jan-Holger Sildquist said. ‘And I believe they’ve learned some new songs since then.’