The Police light up Blackpool...
From the first guitar notes of 'Roxanne' to the brilliance of 'Tea In The Sahara', The Police changed my life. However due to being at school and everything else it wasn't until the final Police tour that I managed to get my lifelong ambition of seeing the greatest band in the world live. I remember the year 1983 vividly as the best year of early feelings on the band and playing the album for the first time was a momentous occasion for me. It just blew me away. I'd first heard the big single 'Every Breath You Take' on Radio Luxembourg as a power play. Summer of '83 was a hot one, and 'Wrapped Around Your Finger' was doing the business in the top ten.
The band totally took over the States in the summer/fall and the album was top of the charts for a staggering 17 weeks! Autumn was spent counting the weeks until December as I had tickets for their show in Blackpool. When 'Synchronicity II' was on TOTP the show was only about a month away. I'll never forget the feelings before the gig. When the night came it was freezing with snow everywhere, but nothing was going to stop me from getting to the Opera House in Blackpool. A good support was needed and China Crisis fitted the bill. Then it was so close I couldn't contain myself. The first sound of 'Voices Inside My Head' and then they were there in front of me. Sting all in black playing a thundering bass and singing out of this world. Andy all in white with stunning guitar and the ever brilliant presence that is Stewart on drums, in T-shirt and shorts.
All the giant hits came as well as the majority of the 'Synchronicity' LP, all played with heart and feeling as always. The whole thing just thrilled me. I kept thinking to myself this is the group I have idolised and lived for, for so long; and finally seeing them and achieving my goal was a feeling I shall never forget. Sting the dynamic frontman who held that great crowd in Bombay just four years earlier when The Police conquered the world. Stewart who formed the band and thought of the name, and Andy playing that wonderful guitar solo on 'So Lonely' right before my eyes. I remember feeling very excited on the way home having finally seen them live. It took me months to come back down to earth.
Finally, I'd like to thank the Police, not only for changing my life, but also for introducing me to to so many friends I have met through them and later Sting himself. Also, a huge thank you to Tina & Dee for running a great club. It has been a great honour knowing you and keeping a friendship so long. Cheers to the Police, may they always remain in our hearts.
© Paul Shennan for Outlandos/Sting.com