The 90-second short film directed by Tom Harper (Wild Rose) and scored by Oscar-winner Steven Price (Gravity) opens with silent, swooping views of the abandoned-looking venue as Jagger says, “Empty and silent most of the year, this room awaits from you what you alone as visitor can bring.” Over sentimental strings, Jagger’s words are intercut with raucous images of audiences losing their minds and dancing at shows past.
“I have some wonderful memories of performing there with the Stones in the 1960s when once or twice it did get a bit wild, with enthusiastic fans joining us on stage and almost bringing the show to an abrupt end – but we soldiered on and had a great time,” Jagger said in a recollection of the band’s 1966 final show at the venue. “Without doubt, the Royal Albert Hall is one of the greatest concert venues in the world,” he added.
As Sir Mick, 77, begins the Auden recitation, the short flashes back to footage dating to 1933, some of which has never been screened before, including film of Hendrix from 1969 and late Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell in 2016, as well as Albert Einstein’s speech in 1933 decrying the Nazis. With the music swelling at the end, the screen fills with the simple message: “We’ve missed you.” While it was unknown at press time when the RAH might re-open, under new guidelines released this week, limited capacity indoor shows may begin in the UK on May 17 with a possible wider opening after June 21.