Mercury Falling

Aberdeen, GB
Exhibition and Conference Centrewith Paul Carrack
Class performance from rock legend - rock star Sting helps his audience banish the winter blues at his concert in Aberdeen last night...

Outspoken rock legend Sting let his music do the talking in Aberdeen last night.

The former Police front man's arresting performance had the crowd at the city's exhibition and conference centre eating out of his hand.

Englishman in New York? Fortunately not - he was right here. Aberdeen had the honour of being the kick-off point for Sting's UK tour - and it will not be easily forgotten.

Hit upon hit from years at the top had the memories flooding back for the captivated, if sometimes subdued audience. He even brought two members of the crowd on stage to realise their dreams and sing alongside him.

His performance had sheer class stamped all over it, his distinctive vocals reaching out to everyone. The jazzed-up rendition of 'Roxanne' was particularly magnificent. Melody was again the hallmark - thanks largely to his accomplished five-man backing group, who were all given a chance to shine.

As you would expect from a genuinely great performer, he cam back and gave the audience the encore they were begging for.

Support act Paul Carrack had earlier been given a warm response but the crowd didn't really get into the swing of things until the man they had come to see hit the stage.

The lighting show was simple yet supremely effective - a bit like Sting in some ways. But as the masses flooded from the conference hall at the end of the performance, even the biting cold could not keep the smiles from their faces and the cheers were still ringing in their ears.

All in all, not a bad way to fight off the winter blues.

(c) Unknown newspaper by Ken Banks

Never been sharper...

Mention of Sting's name in hip circles is likely to provoke a curling of the upper lip. The theory goes that he may be the man who, as lead singer and songwriter with the Police, produced some of the great pop songs of the 1970s, but today he has joined the ranks of the old farts. And me? I think he's as good now as he ever was; a self-confessed tree-hugger he may be, but this matters less than the fact that he remains a singer and songwriter of rare quality. He has also been responsible for some of the most compelling live rock concerts I have seen, and this was one of them. For the opening night of the British leg of his world tour, Sting and his five-piece band performed an enthralling two-hours which started well and just got better.

The opening two songs, 'The Hounds of Winter' and 'Hung My Head', both from his recent 'Mercury Falling' album, set the tone; illustrating Sting's gift for using words and music to evoke a vivid sense of atmosphere, and his knack for classy and approachable, sophisticated yet hummable tunes.

As the evening progressed he introduced vintage Police classics such as 'Demolition Man' and 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic'. And so it went on, old and new sings blending seamlessly in this impeccably balanced show. The final four songs provided a captivating finale: 'Every Breath You Take', 'If I Ever Lose My Faith In You', 'Lithium Sunset', and finally 'Fragile'. Each one brimming with brightness, clarity and warmth, all performed with supreme confidence and authority by a man who, far from being ready for fogeydom, has never been sharper.

(c) The Daily Telegraph