Sting in South Africa...
After returning to the UK from Israel only the evening before, it was time to embark on Part 2 of the 'Short Tour' - destination South Africa.
My first taste of the country was on arrival at Cape Town with breathtaking views on the journey between the airport and my hotel. I could hardly believe that this was the same country that was on the news with such ugly scenes of violence.
I decided to go for a walk along the beautiful beach and couldn't believe my luck when I met Vinnie and Dominic, who enquired about my health, since the last time they saw me was in Tel Aviv when I was writhing in pain and getting taken to hospital with a broken rib. But I told them it would take more than a broken bone to stop me!
The concert was held in the Good Hope Centre to a capacity crowd. As Sting was one of the first international artists to play in the new South Africa, most of the audience had no idea what to expect - but I knew they wouldn't leave disappointed. Sure enough, as the lights dimmed the band launched into 'If I Ever Lose My Faith In You' and the crowd welcomed Sting to the stage for two hours of first class entertainment.
At the end Sting thanked the audience for inviting him ''to your beautiful country'' and hoped that the new life would bring peace and prosperity to everyone. He played a final encore of 'Fragile'. Everyone in the audience listened to each word he was singing as it was so appropriate to the situation in South Africa.
The next stop on the tour was Sun City where Sting was to play six concerts over two weekends. I had no idea what to expect at Sun City. I'd heard it was like 'Disneyland meets Las Vegas'! It was a huge complex rising out of the surrounding desert - very impressive but in contrast to the beauty of the South Africa I'd seen earlier.
Staying at Sun City was boxer Chris Eubank, who was training for a fight later that month. He was fascinated to hear I had traveled all the way to South Africa to see Sting!
The concerts at Sun City were a bit more relaxed. Sting joked with the audience: ''Well, here we are in Sun City at last. How does the song go? ...I ain't gonna play Sun City...!''
The second concert was the night before Sting's birthday and the crowd wouldn't let him leave the stage until they sand ''Happy Birthday'' and Sting replied with ''I'd like you all to come to my birthday!''
Back at the hotel after the concert the wine was flowing and a huge buffet was taken to Sting's table on the balcony. Trudie had flown in with little Coco for the occasion and a fun time was had by all.
By the fifth concert Sting said: ''I feel like I live here...'' and I knew exactly how he felt!
After the sixth and final concert he said: ''Tonight we're flying back to England with some wonderful memories of our time here. Thanks for inviting us, thanks for listening - goodnight!'', and with a fond farewell it was all over.
(c) Sue Bett for Outlandos/Sting.com