Police Reunion
Sep
08
2007
London, GBTwickenham Stadium
With Fiction Plane, Maximo Park
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They said it could never happen...

But not only did Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland share a London stage together for the first time in 23 years, they encouraged an awful lot of man love as well.

The Police were always a great punk rock trio who effortlessly flirted with reggae, jazz and blues, but age and decades apart appears to have made them even tighter.

Eco-warrior-cum-tantric-sex-guru Sting was almost a likable figure again as he playfully encouraged the crowd to join his cod reggae chants of ''day-o''.

'Message In A Bottle', 'Invisible Sun', even 'De Do Do Do De Da Da Da' - the track Alan Partridge once described as ''the gibberish classic'' - sounded fresher than Cliff Richard's underpants. But best of all is chief show-off Copeland.

Rising high above the stage on a hydraulic lift he's the only sticksman able to drink from a bottle of water, twiddle a drum stick and peform a drum roll at the same time. The drummer's drummer indeed.

(c) Daily Star by James Cabooter



The past masters...

Tinkering with the past is a business laden with peril, not least if you're The Police, playing your first dates within the M25 since 1983, so long ago there was no M25 to play within.

Last night's show was part of a tour that began in Canada in May and finishes in February in Australia. The band who disintegrated in acrimony in 1986 at the very moment they became the most popular act on the planet, have kept the rules of their reengagement simple: keep a low profile, sell out stadia, play the hits, take the money.

Yet, The Police never were quite so simple, despite Sting asking ''are there any Police fans here?'', as if he thought 55,000 people had turned up to hear selections from drummer Stewart Copeland's solo canon. Hence, I suspect, the tinkering.

Dismissed as a vehicle for Sting's songwriting, especially since the other two Policeman couldn't get themselves arrested afterwards, the trio were a band in the traditional-sense and so musical that no other musician appeared on their albums. Last night, from the moment Copeland began proceedings with an almighty thwack of a gong which heralded guitarist Andy Summers unleashing the spine-tingling solo that introduces 'Message In A Bottle', the hits were rejigged and the subtly altered vocal timings fazed Sting more than once.

Naturally, they lost their way when they strayed into album tracks, but after they exited with 'Next To You', the opening track of their debut album and played every hit bar 'Spirits In The Material World', nobody could claim the catalogue was unransacked. Better still, the tinkering enhanced everything.

'De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da's' verses used to tumble, now they glide; 'Wrapped Around Your Finger' (surely popular music's first and last rhyming of ''master'' and ''alabaster'') showcased Copeland's remarkable percussive skills, while the already peculiar 'Walking On The Moon' was revamped with an extra layer of weirdness courtesy of Summers's avant-garde guitaring.

This fiercely intelligent sense-tickling should be the way of all reformations: the old material, but with new life.

(c) Evening Standard by By John Aizlewood



The Police gig raises the roof...

The Police rocked Twickenham stadium last night in a sell-out gig nearly 30 years after the band first formed.

Rock legend Sting was joined by band mates Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers in the 90 minute set that opened to a roar of appreciation with 'Message In A Bottle'.

Almost 55,000 fans packed out the stadium for the second gig on the band's first UK tour since splitting in 1984.

The 80s supergroup proved they still have what it takes as they steamed through a catalogue of hits including 'Roxanne', 'So Lonely' and 'Every Breath You Take'.

Playing a beat-up bass and sporting his trademark blonde crop, Sting called the gig ''the Andy Summers show'' and joked about how long ago the band first began recording.

Copeland roved through an extensive percussion playhouse thrilling the crowd by yelling ''This is our town - London. I'm American, but this is where we come from right here!''

While Summers' extensive solo fretwork brought down the house.

The visuals were simple - just the three performers took to the stage - pictures of children from war-torn areas provided poignant accompaniment to 'Invisible Sun'.

Fan Laura Gale, 29, of Hampton Hill, said: ''They were amazing. I wasn't prepared for the songs to sound quite so fresh.

''I grew up with their music being played at home. I'm glad they decided to reform for this tour - I never thought I'd ever get to see them live.''

The Police were supported by indie rockers, Maximo Park, who played to a half-full stadium as England v Israel kept punters in the pubs until late.

Lead singer, Paul Smith, thanked the crowd for being ''multi-faceted''.

The stage was also warmed by Sting's son's band, Fiction Plane.

After a second show in Twickenham tonight, The Police will move on to play in Manchester, Cardiff and Wembley.

Mainland Europe is next on the map, including the 90,000-capacity Stade de France in Paris.

The band have already notched up the tour miles on their US leg, playing in Vacouver The tour will end in Perth, Australia, in February, 2008 - over a year after it began.

(c) The Wimbledon Guardian by Sarah Newstead

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