I can now say that I’ve been to see the The Police (a well-known and quite popular band from ‘my’ day) play a concert – and I never thought I would be able to say this. Who’d have thought a former Geordie teacher named after a bee’s bum, a well-chinned drummer and a clean cut ’60s guitarist could create such a wonderful array of tunes as a 3-piece. They played all the good ones – the rocky reggae/ska tunes from their early days and the ones from their later albums which sound a bit like Sting does by himself. Not being a failed muso who’s moved from trying to play music into critiquing the performance of others, I don’t feel qualified enough to dish out stars. However, if I were I would be giving them at least 4, if not 5. As you can imagine, the media reports on the gig today will feature a plethora of law and order related puns… Police Make Arresting Performance and such like.
As a group we got there quite late walking in the gates and making sure our group were still together we queued at the booze tent, just managing to get our regulation brace of drinks before the 8.30pm cut off. We then headed into the mass gathering of citizenry to enjoy our two drinks as Fergie (the singing version, not the ginger Duchess of York weight watchers version) performed some of her own, and some of the Black Eyed Peas hits. My hump, my hump, my lovely lady lumps was a particular, and most poignant, highlight. I heard that song might be about body parts, although Fergie didn’t clarify this at any point. At this point we had found our seat on the right hand side at the bottom of the bank. The only things restricting our view of the stage and the big screen were some glavanised metal barriers, two security guards, and just as the Police kicked into their set, 4 ‘on-duty’ police officers. We did ask them to move, but they remained steadfast in their positions saying something about the name of their organisation being sullied by those “musical hippy types up there.”
They started cranking out the good stuff straight away: Message in a Bottle, Synchronicity II and Walking on the Moon – Sweeeeeet. Sting did crank into his set by jumping into the air and slapping his base hard – a feat his knees wouldn’t allow him to reattempt until the encore. I took the opportunity for a pit stop during Voices Inside My Head and When The World Is Running Down. We were quite close to the ablutions where great acoustics meant not a moment of music was missed. I danced and sang and thanked whichever person had got Sting and Copeland and Summers to finally hug and say, “We are all equals in this partnership, none of us is better than any of the others, we are all the same – except that we play different instruments and Sting writes most of the songs” so they could get on with the business of entertaining. It is a job they do exceedingly well, despite the fact they are all becoming more and more distinguished as every day passes.
The middle part of their set went like this: Don’t Stand So Close To Me, Driven To Tears, Hole In My Life, Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, Wrapped Around Your Finger, De Do Do Do De Da Da Da, and Invisible Sun. There was much dancing and singing within our small group as we bathed liberally in the soothing waters of this great band.
They finished off the main bulk of their concert with their first two singles Can’t Stand Losing You and Roxanne off the album Outlandos d’Amour. They would end up playing 5 songs of this most brilliant of debut albums – if you don’t own any Police albums, this is the one to get your hands on.
Of course they charged off after this, but it wasn’t long before they were back for their encore: King Of Pain, So Lonely (my favourite song of theirs) and finishing with Every Breath You Take. Mr. Sting and Mr. Copeland headed off again after this but good old Mr. Summers stayed out for a bit of solo stage time, waving and urging his fellow bandmates back out. When they didn’t he lunged into the opening guitar riff of Next To You. The others had to run to join him otherwise they may have looked a bit silly. On reflection, I think it may possibly have been part of the act…
It’s great that bands like the Police, and the Pixies (and I suppose the Eagles if you go for that sort of thing) are getting back together to rake in the cash. It gives the likes of me a chance to see bands I never thought I would. I am thankful to the music industry for creating the Retirement World Tour for maturing rock gods. I am waiting to see if Pink Floyd manage it… It would be worth trillions.
I strongly recommend the Police as a band you should go and see. The only full list of tour dates I could find (in over 7 minutes of looking) was on Wikipedia. My friend calls this the Fictionary – I’m assuming it is because of the content created by punters and not trained historians.
The Police are also playing the Isle of Wight festival in June. That should be a doozie.