Rolling Stones play first ever show in China

However authorities censor five songs

The Rolling Stones have played their first ever gig in China today (April 8).

The veteran band performed at Shanghai‘s 8,000-capacity Grand Stage music hall as part of their A Bigger Bang world tour.

Opening with ‘Start Me Up’, several of the band’s classics were missing from the set after the Chinese government censored the band asking them not to play ‘Brown Sugar’, ‘Honky Tonk Woman’, ‘Beast Of Burden’ and ‘Let’s Spend The Night Together’ because of their suggestive lyrical content.

‘Rough Justice’ from recent LP ‘A Bigger Bang’ was also reportedly blacklisted, though before the gig frontman Sir Mick Jagger insisted his band would cope, noting: “Fortunately, we have 400 more songs that we can play so it’s not really an issue.”

Jagger added: “I’m pleased that the Ministry of Culture is protecting the morals of the expat bankers and their girlfriends that are going to be coming,” refering to the fact that tickets for the gig had been traded on the Chinese black market for around £350 before the show, and the audience was made-up of mainly non-Chinese fans, AP reports.

The band did however embrace the local musical culture inviting Chinese rock pioneer Cui Jian to sing ‘Wild Horses’ with them, while Jagger told the crowd “It’s nice to be here, it’s the first time we’ve played in China,” before promising to return for more gigs.

The band had been due to play China three years ago, but cancelled two shows due to the regional SARS outbreak at the time.