Archive for the ‘Police’ Category

The Orchestral Tubular Bells and Last Exit Newcastle City Hall 1975

The Orchestral Tubular Bells with the Northern Concert Orchestra conducted by David Bedford with support from Last Exit Newcastle City Hall 26 October 1975
tubulartix This concert featured the Northern Concert Orchestra, conducted by David Bedford, performing Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells. The event opened the A1(M) 1975 – 1976 season which also featured concerts by Philip Glass (wish I had gone to that one), Derek Bailey (solo guitar improvisations) and workshops in “experimental and electronic music”. The concert did not feature Mike Oldfield, but did feature Andy Summers (soon to be of the Police) on guitar. The programmes tells me: “Tonight’s guitar soloist is now a member of the Kevin Coyne band, after a very varied career in rock”. tubular The concert is of particular interest because the support act was local up and coming band Last Exit, which featured one Gordon Sumner, also know as Sting, and also soon to be of the Police. I don’t know if Andy and Sting met that night, but it is reported that Andy did watch some of Last Exit’s set. There is also a story that Stewart Copeland was playing with Curved Air at Newcastle Poly (I think I will have attended the gig; I certainly saw Curved Air at the Poly) and he went along to see Last Exit (but I think that may have been on another night, and the Last Exit gig was likely to have been at the Gosforth Hotel, but thats a story for another day. The programme tells me of Last Exit: “Formed one year ago (the birthday was celebrated with their regular audience a few weeks ago) Last Exit play electric jazz and jazz-rock; both their own material and a well chosen repertoire of other peoples’ music, not all of it well known…this is their first concert hall appearance. Last Exit are: John Hedley – guitar; Gerry Richardson – piano; Gordon Sumner – bass; Ronnie Pearson – drums”. a1m The gig was not well attended. My ticket says I has a balcony seat, but I recall going and sitting right at the front, as the hall was pretty empty. As far as I can remember the orchestra performed Tubular Bells in two parts, with Last Exit playing a set in the interval between. I went along partly to see Last Exit who I had already seen once or twice, and also to hear Tubular Bells, and to see David Bedford who was well known for his recent work with Roy Harper and others. It was very different from the rock gigs that I was used to attending at the time, and I found it a very welcome change. However, the concert goes down in history as the first time that Andy Summers and Sting were in the same hall, and performed (sort of, although not actually) together. I’ll write a little more on Last Exit and early Sting gigs (pre Police) tomorrow.

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The Police Reunion Tour Manchester Arena

The Police

Manchester MEN Arena Tuesday 17 June 2008

This show had been rescheduled from last October as Sting had been unwell at the time. I’d seen the Police many times in the late 70s and early 80s including the original band before Andy Summers joined when they supported (and backed I think) Cherry Vanilla at Middlesbrough Rock Garden and Newcastle Polytechnic. When I get the chance I’ll scan in the programmes and ticket stubs from shows that I have seen in the past including their Milton Keynes Bowl concert, Gateshead Stadium (with U2 support), redaing Festival headliner and shows at Newcastle City Hall and Mayfair.

This time I’m on my own (Laura and David don’t appreciate the Police I am afraid) and I drive down to Manchester after work. I’ve booked a Travelodge room for the night just off the M62, so I don’t have to drive straight back after the show.

I get down in time to catch the support act Starsailor, who are Ok, better than I thought they would be. My seat is at the back left hand side of the arena, not such a good view so I have a walk aorund to see if I can get anywhere better to sit. They have sold tickets for the seats behind the stage but there seem to be some empty seats in there so I go in and sit myself down.  I’ll be viewing the band from behind, but I am only a few rows away. Its also interesting to llok out onto the crowd, and there is a screen above us so we can see what is going on.

Soon they are on, I recognise the first song but not quite sure what it is. Then Bang they are into Message in a Bottle; the place goes crazy; the whole arena is up an dancing and singing along; great atmosphere. And the hits keep coming: Walking on the Moon; Don’t stand so close; Can’t stand losing you. The encores include Roxanne and So Lonley (I had almost fogoetten that one; sounds great). This reminds me just how good they were!

Great to see them again; worth the 8 months wait! 

Set List

Bring on the Night
Message in a Bottle
Walking on the Moon
Demolition Man
Voices Inside My Head / When The World Is Running Down
Don’t Stand So Close to Me
Driven To Tears
Hole In My Life
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
Wrapped Around Your Finger
De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da
Invisible Sun
Can’t Stand Losing You/Reggatta De Blanc

Encore I
Roxanne
King of Pain
So Lonely
Every Breath You Take

Encore II
Next To You

the programme

the programme

my ticket

my ticket