December 03, 2009


All This Time: Sting, recently turned 58, looks remarkable - not "good for his age" or "well-preserved" or any of those other patronizing labels that are attached to people who defy chronology. Besides, it's embrace rather than defiance that defines Sting. He looks his age. He's also just made an album. 'If On a Winter's Night...' is a collection of traditional songs, hymns, lullabies and laments inspired by Sting's favourite season. His record company had suggested a Christmas album, but he wasn't partial to that idea...
November 27, 2009


Lonely this Christmas - Following the Police reunion tour, Sting was asked to cut a Christmas album. Instead of conjuring a winter wonderland of gaily-wrapped presents, he's delivered a melancholy collection of German lieder and songs about death. "I do what I want and I don't give a fuck," he tells James McNair...
November 14, 2009


A singular songsmith - As he releases a 'winter album', the former frontman of The Police talks about Belfast, playing with Stevie Wonder, making olive oil - and seeing ghosts... Sting wants my autograph. "Come on, just sign your name for me," he says shoving an expensive-looking pen my way. I tell him I don't usually do this sort of thing. "Just put a dedication," he insists. For reasons I still can't fathom, I scrawl "To Sting, from Brian XXX"...
November 12, 2009


Taking the Sting out of winter: The origin of the word Geordie itself is rooted in Anglo Saxon lore, and has numerous definitions, but that's a debate for another day perhaps. What is less complex when considering Geordies more generally is their role on the world stage. In real terms, I'm sorry to say that despite the undoubted collective worth and character there are few contemporary Geordies who have cracked it. Local footballers have great note, Gazza and Alan Shearer seem to be most renowned - but would they be known in Fort Lauderdale - probably not. The films of South Shields born director Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, Alien et al) are better known than the man himself and while Ant and Dec (bless 'em) have captured the heart of primetime Britain - their fame in Minnesota or Michigan is less certain...
November 11, 2009


Sting: The X Factor kids are going nowhere: I was an altar boy and considered being a priest," says Sting, with a twinkle in his eye. "But I already had a strong interest in the female sex so my vocation lasted five minutes. I quite like dressing up, wearing a dress... just not permanently," he says, laughing at the idea of Father Sting...
November 10, 2009


My next guest is one of stars of the pop world who also has a deep feeling for the classical, when Police reformed recently they trailed more than their glory days with them, millions turned out all over the world for and including the unmistakeable voice of Gordon Sumner, better known of course as Sting but he's turned his talents in the past to classical music like Purcell's lute songs when he was last here and his latest recording with an eclectic and wonderful group of musicians is a little trip into winter. You're very welcome to 'In Tune' and on the face of it that may seem a rather gloomy and chilly prospect. Why winter...?
November 01, 2009


Sting and his Tale: For more than 30 years, every little thing this singer/songwriter does has been magic, and he's not done yet. Chatting to Sting is like talking to a wise old owl, albeit one that's morphed from a proud cockerel who once strutted his colourful plumage and ruffled feathers around the globe. Heaven knows how he manages to sound casually philosophical and self-deprecating at the same time; it's quite a feat considering he made his name as the spiky haired, egocentric British frontman of The Police (alongside Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers) - one of the biggest bands of the early '80s. Add a string of hugely successful solo albums after the trio's tumultuous split in 1984, at the peak of their popularity, and his celebrity was cemented. But it was his habit of rubbing shoulders with the likes of Sir Bob Geldof and Bono, and entree into environmentalism long before the rest of us jumped on the green bandwagon, that sold us the idea he was more than some flash-in-the-pan rock god...
October 30, 2009


Sting - "Let it die. Kill it, Kill Rock!" 14.7.2009, London. The sun is blazing outside. Inside, it is comfortably cool. However, not as cool as the title of Gordon Sumner's upcoming album in October: "If On A Winter's Night" celebrates the coldest, but according to him, most beautiful and fragile season. In an elaborate, led by Sting's typically short but precise way, he tells that he doesn't only love snow as such. The one-time-only Police comeback and its background, his son's music or a life in spirit of Tantra are just as interesting to talk about...