Behind the scenes at the Rolling Stones Hackney Diamonds launch, as the band plan a documentary

The Rolling Stones and Jimmy Fallon  (Getty Images)
The Rolling Stones and Jimmy Fallon (Getty Images)

Hackney Empire gave shelter to The Rolling Stones yesterday afternoon, as rockers Mick, Keith and Ronnie took to the east London stage to announce their new album. We hear the band were going to play live, but didn’t at the last minute. Instead, they sang an impromptu a cappella version of Off the Hook, from their 1965 second album, led by compere Jimmy Fallon.

Fans can expect lots more from the group soon, as they are making a new documentary. The event was tightly managed by James Corden’s Fulwell 73 production company, who made a One Direction film, and there were cameras everywhere. Crew took over a nearby pub and Pizza Express.

The band started by confirming what we first revealed about the name of their Hackney Diamonds record. Mick explained: “It’s like when you get your windscreen broken on Saturday in Hackney, and all the bits go on the street.”

The famously louche Stones were on funny form, joking about churches burning down when they visit. Fallon recalled when Keith set off smoke alarms with a cigarette in his studio, and was told: “You shouldn’t smoke in here”. Keith replied: “I know, it’s bad for my health”.

Mother’s a little helper as video star Sydney tries to outdo band

Jimmy Fallon, Lisa Sweeney, and Sydney Sweeney (Youtube The Rolling Stones)
Jimmy Fallon, Lisa Sweeney, and Sydney Sweeney (Youtube The Rolling Stones)

Few can upstage The Rolling Stones, but Sydney Sweeney, gave it a good go yesterday. The Euphoria and The White Lotus actor stars in the video for the rockers’ lead single Angry, and flew in to east London for the press conference, supported by her mum Lisa.

Stones cupcakes (Robbie Griffiths)
Stones cupcakes (Robbie Griffiths)

The Londoner met them in nearby pub the Old Ship Inn afterwards. Lisa asked where we’d got some Stones cupcakes and told us off for taking three. In the Angry video, Sydney is driven around LA in a skimpy leather outfit, while billboards featuring the Stones when they were younger sing the new song, having been animated using new technology. With the help of AI, could the band go on making music forever?

Stones use their influence

The three surviving Rolling Stones have a combined age of 235, but they were determined to inject some youth into their Hackney Diamonds album launch. The band invited a load of young influencers and the like to join them at the Hackney Empire, as ever, sticking with the times and staying young.

Bringing down the average age were retro- loving social media stars such as Abby Roberts, who has 16.6m followers on TikTok, dressmaker and actor Maddie Close, and influencers Lola Clark and Damien Broderick. Also there were Sex Pistols actor Louis Partridge and Nicola Roberts of Girls Aloud.