Ti-i-i-ime is on their side

The band's 50-year shows don't mean it's the last time. John Walsh salutes rock's elder statesmen

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The Independent Culture

The Rolling Stones at the O2: Mick wore a silver-black zigzag jacket and matching trilby we hadn't seen before, Ronnie had a golden lion on his guitar strap, Keith refrained from sparking up for two hours, and Charlie looked more than ever like Javier Bardem's gran padre.

In every important respect, though, it resembled every Stones show you've seen in the past 10 years. Which is great. So can we stop the ooh-ing and aah-ing about their ages, and the predictions that this gig will be their last?

Bluesmen age like mahogany. Chuck Berry's still going at 86, BB King is knocking 'em dead at 87, and Bruce Springsteen's hero Pete Seeger refuses to shut up at 93. The Stones' average age is 68. Expect at least 16 more years of valedictory appearances. This could not be the last time …