SHOW REVIEW

Bringing his Back To Bass tour to the intimate Clyde Auditorium, international megastar Sting celebrates 25 years without The Police in style...

A single spotlight, above a microphone centre stage, forms the eerie backdrop to tonight's show, with the seated crowd waiting in anticipation induced silence. The sixteen time Grammy Award winner may be sixty years of age these days, but he shows no sign of slowing down with his hectic touring schedule around the globe.

With his 5-piece backing band sneaking into place to start up the show with 'All This Time', it's not long before Sting strides on stage, bass in hand and a wide smile. The lyricly dark track, combined with uplifting instrumentals, a conflict  which forms much of the songwriters work, has fans whooping along, and it's just the start of showcasing the skills of his incredible backing band.

Delving back into The Police territory, it's straight onto 1981 chart topper, 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic'. The track is energetic and fresh alongside the nostalgia in which it is clearly drenched. Sting and his band look at ease together, having toured the states late last year before embarking on Europe. Getting the crowd singing along for the outro, the slightly more grown-up surroundings don't seem to be harming the fun factor.

Known for his distinctive fusion of styles in his writing, it's not long before a glorious rendition of the rhythmically accomplished 'Seven Days', the orchestral element brought by violin master  Peter Tickell. Followed up by the driving blues of 'Demolition Man' where backing vocalist Jo Lawry unleashes an untamed, yet alluring howl, Sting has a lot of career highs to cover tonight and all the boxes seem to be getting ticked, whichever of his tracks are picked from the mammoth back catalogue.

With anecdotes between tracks to tell the audience the often bizarre story behind them, the svelte star is warm and obviously delighted to be on tour and in Glasgow. The loose jam of 80's classic from The Police, 'Driven To Tears' provides the stage for Sting's hired band to show why they were the chosen ones. Career long guitarist, Dominic Miller, pulls off a solo that is both highly skilled and impressive, whilst retaining melodic musicianship. Followed up by an outstanding fiddle solo from Peter Tickell, the dynamic 25 year old, defies the rules of traditionalism and plays his fiddle with daring charisma.

With the audience riled up, it's time for our host to  bring it all back down with a tender rendition of 'Fields Of Gold'. 'Sacred Love' soon has hearts racing again as the tantric sex connoisseur reveals, two things that fascinate him in this life are "sex and love".

The first of three encores tonight finally pulls the polite venue to their feet, as the front stalls are stormed, forming a tight crowd front of stage. The band look delighted, their rock star posturing increasing at least ten fold, as winks and high 5s are dished out like Trudie's ready meals in a discounted foods store.

'Every Breath You Take' and 'Next To You' have fans bouncing, hands in the air, before Sting comes back for one more track on his own. An acoustic 'Message In A Bottle' makes for a calm ending after the two hour storm of the show.

Sting's still got it strong, and who knows where it'll take him next, but it certainly doesn't look like 'The End Of The Game' any time soon.

(c) STV by Kirstin Lynn

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