Have the Rolling Stones just launched a new album via a cryptic advertisement in an east London newspaper?

 The Rolling Stones onstage
The Rolling Stones onstage

The Rolling Stones appear to have launched the publicity campaign for their long-awaited 24th studio album via a cryptic advertisement placed in the Hackney Gazette, a newspaper in east London. The advert purports to be for a company called Hackney Diamonds, a glass repair business, and features a sales blurb that references three song titles by the band.

"Our friendly team promises you satisfaction," reads the copy. "When you say gimme shelter we’ll fix your shattered windows" [emphasis ours]. The ad goes on to list a phone number and a website, hackneydiamonds.com.

The advert was "spotted" by music journalist Simon Harper, a Rolling Stones expert whose knowledge of the band evidently piqued his curiosity about the advert. Either that, or he's on the inside, with a prior working knowledge of the Stones' cryptic wheeze.

"Anyone see this?", tweeted Harper, perhaps too innocently. "An ad ran in Hackney Gazette for a company called Hackney Diamonds teasing Rolling Stones song titles. Their est. date is 1962, same year Stones formed. Website seems to be run by Universal Music, the Stones’ label. A clue their long-awaited new LP is on its way?"

The site does indeed appear to be run by the Stones' label – both the site's Ts&Cs and its Privacy documents are hosted on Universal's own servers – while the website URL was registered in April by Universal Music Operations Ltd.

Other clues that this advert may herald the arrival of a new album from Mick Jagger & Co. include the fact that the "i" in "Diamonds" is dotted with the band’s infamous logo, while fans have been quick to point out that the font used for the Hackney Diamonds logo is the same as that used for the album title on the sleeve artwork for 1978's Some Girls. 

Calls to the number listed on the website's registration form are greeted by a recorded message that says, "Welcome to Hackney Diamonds, specialists in glass repair. Don't get angry. Get it fixed. Opening early September, Mare Street, E8. Register for a call at hackneydiamonds.com. Come on in!"

A new Rolling Stones album would be the band's first full-length studio release since 2016's Blue & Lonesome covers album, and their first album of original material since A Bigger Bang in 2005.

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