Sacred Love

Glasgow, GB
Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centrewith Chris Botti
Kicking Sting is a popular pastime in the UK...

Kicking Sting is a popular pastime in the UK. But every so often it is worth reminding oneself that, yes, Sting is as crushingly mediocre as the lazy potshots about Tantric sex and rainforest crusades suggest.

On his previous tour, solace from the dull-but-worthiness could be derived from his wonderful trumpet player but, on this occasion, he was wheeled out for one meagre solo. The set was a flashy, inorganic parade of slick corporate rock, exemplified by the blaring, plasticky opener, 'Send Your Love'. Subtlety went out the window as Jason Rebello hammered mercilessly at his keyboard.

'Synchronicity' was robbed of some of its brooding menace. 'An Englishman In New York' had all the charm bludgeoned out of it. 'Fields Of Gold failed' to resonate. And the whole unengaging spectacle was wrapped up in horribly anachronistic 1980s visuals.

(c) The Scotsman by Fiona Shepherd

Sting never been better...

''Sorry we're late,'' offers Sting, referring to his illness-induced cancellation in May. The roar that greets his arrival on stage, launching straight into 'Send Your Love' from his 'Sacred Love' album, indicates that he was missed. Sting may not be cutting-edge, but he produces quality albums for a guaranteed market, the proceeds of which have made him unimaginably wealthy. He still seems to have fun doing it. ''I played this at the Apollo in 1977, when I was about 12'' is his introduction to the classic 'Roxanne'.

Ironically, some of the best moments of this show are Police songs. 'Every Little Thing She Does is Magic' and 'Every Breath You Take' are superb.

Other highlights include the beautiful 'Fragile', the wonderful 'If I ever Lose My Faith in You' and 'Whenever I Say Your Name', originally a duet with Mary J Blige. Tonight, he performs it with one of his backing singers, Joy Rose, who wipes the floor with Ms Blige.

The band are magnificent - tight, but supremely musical. Special mention here for long-term Sting sidekick Dominic Miller on guitar and Jason Rebello on piano, who contributed some dazzling, jazzy playing all night. Keith Carlock, on drums, is one of America's hottest talents. I last saw him at the Edinburgh Jazz festival, playing to about a hundred patrons.

Sting himself has never been better, his voice soaring and crooning, his bass and guitar playing splendid. I am advised, by one who knows about such things and who insisted in wandering to the front of the stage for a closer look, that he is obscenely good-looking for a man of his vintage. It's all quite sickening, really.

(c) The Herald by Stuart Morrison