The Police, The Cramps at Edinburgh Odeon...
For The Police this will be the (sell out) tour that establishes them as a major force in the new wave spectrum. To say that this concert was a success is like suggesting that 'Roxanne' is quite a good song. Not only were the band summoned back for a well-deserved encore, but the audience reaction throughout had never been less than delirious.
In true journalistic style, I arrived just in time to catch Bobby Henry's set. It seemed spirited and energetic, but I don't think I missed much, really.
But the Cramps, well, they were a-mazing. Try and imagine a weird fusion of the Rezillos and the Ramones (well, try then), topped off with a heavy sixties R'n'B influence and Addams family visuals. Occasional NY Dolls echoes filtered through and large sections of the audience felt alienated. If the Cramps didn't exist, someone would have to invent them - stolen riffs, tacky image and all. I loved every moment.
From the first strains of 'Can't Stand Losing You', the Police were always in control, and the next hour was a perfect lesson in dynamics and pacing. Never afraid to experiment, the band stretch out old favourites like 'So Lonely' and 'Born in the 50's' to three times their original length, and still everybody sings along! Indeed, on 'Roxanne', Sting was almost done out of a job by the vociferous fans.
By showcasing several new songs (in particular, the superb 'Message In A Bottle', earmarked as the next single), they took a few chances, but then who wants sterile reruns of an album we've all got at home anyway? Next time, I'll make sure I'm in the front row!
© Record Mirror by Johnny Waller