Robert Fripp and Toyah Willcox cover The Rolling Stones on ‘Sunday Lunch’ series

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On the latest episode of their much beloved YouTube series, Sunday Lunch, Robert Fripp and Toyah Willcox have turned their attention to The Rolling Stones classic ‘Sympathy For The Devil’.

The iconic track was a turning point for The Rolling Stones upon its release in 1968, as they decided to run with the tabloid image of them as hell raisers. Rather than attempt to be holier than thou, ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ saw the band play up to the notoriety that seemed to follow them at every step of the way, and celebrate the infamy.

During an interview with Rolling Stone in 1971, The Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards said of the track’s legacy: “Before, we were just innocent kids out for a good time, they’re saying, ‘They’re evil, they’re evil’. Oh, I’m evil, really? So that makes you start thinking about evil … What is evil?”

He continued: “Half of it, I don’t know how many people think of Mick as the devil or as just a good rock performer or what? There are black magicians who think we are acting as unknown agents of Lucifer and others who think we are Lucifer. Everybody’s Lucifer.”

At the beginning of the new cover, Fripp adressess the viewers and jokingly says, “Well, I’ve been back for a week after ten weeks away and I’m wondering, do I need to trade my wife in for an older woman?” Willcox then enters the shot and delivers a unique spin on Mick Jagger’s lyrics while Fripp watches on with a frightened look on his face.

The couple began their Sunday Lunch series in 2020 as a distraction from the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions. Although it started out as a way to innocently kill time, it has since become a worldwide phenomenon, drawing in viewers by the millions, a tour and numerous festival appearances.

Last year, Fripp and Willcox took Sunday Lunch on tour across the UK, including a momentous stop at Glastonbury Festival. With such success in just a couple of years, Willcox barely had the chance to reflect on the experience.

Speaking to eonmusic last year, Willcox remembered the immediate popularity of their series. “Sunday Lunch came about because we posted one clip, 28 seconds, something like April 19th 2020, and we had 100,000 replies within five minutes from people who were just desperate, absolutely desperate,” she recalled.

She attributes much of the initial popularity to the boredom imposed by the lockdown restrictions. “They were on their own. They were in lockdown,” she added. They didn’t know when they’d be able to leave their apartments, and we, Robert and I, realised that this was, at that particular time, a very lonely and frightened world.

This summer, the couple are set to bring the fun at numerous festivals across the United Kingdom, including the Isle of Wight and Belladrum.

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