Monday, June 23, 2008

Giant Steps Are What You Take

Well it’s nearly a week now since I went to see The Police in Manchester and although I expected to write a meticulous and thorough review much earlier than this, there hardly seems much point when the whole experience can be summed up with – cue high-pitched yelp - “ABSOLUTELY F#CKING AWESOME”. Seriously, if you want to see the greatest three-piece band ever producing a live sound that is the very definition of synergeticismness whilst surrounded by an ocean of white, 40-somethings performing what can only be described as “f#ckwit dancing”, then this is the concert tour for you.

I have to admit that when I entered the Manchester Evening News Arena last Tuesday evening my emotions were a strange mix of teenage hysteria and middle-age pragmatism(ness?), such was my trepidation that Sting would put on some new age re-interpretation of all the classic songs, complete with yoga interlude and didgeridoo.

The appearance of a stool in front of his microphone just before the lights dimmed did little to allay these fears and I held my breath dreading some unrecognisable rendition of Roxanne played on the f#cking lute… “Roxanne… thou dost not need douse the red light…

But I needn’t have worried. The stool was to allow him to play a strapless wee acoustic guitar and as the first familiar strains of ‘Bring On The Night’ began, the show (and my bladder control) was off and running.

Ripping through ‘Message In A Bottle’ (still the greatest pop single EVER), ‘Walking On The Moon’, ‘Demoliton Man’, ‘Voices inside My Head/When The World Is Running Down’ and ‘Don’t Stand So Close To Me’ it was hard to believe such talent and energy was radiating from three guys with a combined age of 176. After ‘Driven To Tears’ and ‘Hole In My Life’, my favourite moment of the night followed when they signed off a stomping version of ‘Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic’ by completely f#cking up the ending and blaming each other. Man, I know how that feels.

‘Wrapped Around Your Finger’, ‘De Do Blah Blah’, ‘Invisible Sun’ (did you know they had this many hits?) a crunching ‘Can’t Stand Losing You’ and still there was time for ‘Roxanne’, ‘King Of Pain’, ‘So Lonely’ and finally – cue white, f#ckwit-dancing 40-somethings holding each other close and gazing wistfully into each other’s crossed-eyes – ‘Every Breath You Take’. But no, not finally ‘cause they still came back to do a whirlwind ‘Next To You’ with punky ending and soaring bass player leap. Fanf#ckingtastic!

Words don’t come close to properly articulating how happy I was at the end of this night. Middle-age pragmatism had come very close to extinguishing 24 years of hysterical teenage hope of ever seeing this band play together again and to see them perform as well as they did took my breath away. Mind you, being there with one of the people who accompanied me to the 1984 Edinburgh Playhouse gig was pretty special also.

Alas, although being only twenty rows from the front and in possession of a half-decent camera, I had neither the technical know-how nor steadiness of hand to produce any decent photographs. This is the best I can offer.

Never mind though. Here instead is me and my short shorts relaxing in our luxury hotel room afterwards. What a night!


At 24/6/08 11:22 am, Blogger Lesley said...

*High pitched yelping* I am soooo jealous (although maybe not so much of the shorts which look as if they might induce tantric orgasms).

At 24/6/08 11:23 am, Blogger Lesley said... the wearer, not the unfortunate person sitting opposite, I hasten to add.

At 27/6/08 7:17 am, Blogger Neil said...

I think thee dost elucidate too much. Admit it, even from far away in another country and through a digital medium you have felt the raw magnetism of the short shorts?


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