Police at Kings College
I'm confused. Are these three coves really the crowd I cupped a careful ear to before coming here tonight? If so, why are these... er, rather mature chaps pretending to be young punks? Why the frantic on-stage pogoing? Whither the three chord thrashing? Let's see if we can sort this one out.
The Police consist of bass/singer Sting, and what really amounts to his backing group in Andy Summers (lead) and Stewart Copeland (drums). The aforementioned Sting, when not raping Paul Cook or Joanna Lumley on film ("I had to be nice to her" ) plays another role. He is a popstar. He is not a very good one. Almost resplendent in a rather dated flying suit, he plucks a nimble fretless Fender in the Townshend/Foxton high-jump windmill tradition and smiles a lot. He's got other tricks as well. He tells the audience, "You're great, you really are", and these young, soft-core punk punters go bananas.
Not me though. I just felt disappointed.
Disappointed because a band of the Police's obvious experience and ability ought to know enough to let the music speak for itself, instead of trying to tart it up with a lot of hackneyed stage (better make that staged) silliness.
Most of the numbers were taken from their promising debut album and bashed out with an eye to maximum effect and minimum sensitivity. Though Andy Summers did whip out a few earblinding solos, notably on 'Peanuts' and 'Hole In My Life' swung in and out of 'Fixing A Hole' with impressive alacrity, everything else degenerated into repetitive chanting and electric overkill.
The dichotomy between the live and recorded Police indicates a definite identity problem.