The Police Gateshead Stadium 1982
Support Acts: U2, The Beat, Gang Of Four, Lords Of The New Church.
Sting: “Seven years ago I left this town and I said I would make it. It’s nice to come back and make you part of the success.”
Another one day event headlined by The Police. This one was local to me (no three hour drive home; great 🙂 ). The weather was ok, dull but no major rain problems. Attendance was estimated at around 12,000; well below the capacity, and there was lots of empty space in the stadium. The Police were good, but for me and most of he crowd, the revelation of the day was U2. I had seen U2 a few times before this gig, and thought they were good, but it was at this Gateshead gig that I realised just how powerful a U2 performance could be. Bono was simply sensational; his singing, passion, energy and performance were amazing. He climbed all over the lighting towers and had the entire crowd on his side by the end of their set. The Police found it hard to follow U2, and Sting wasn’t in a particularly good mood; but after a slow start, all those hits got the crowd singing along. The standard Police three piece line-up was augmented by a brass section for this show.
From reviews of the time:
“U2 took advantage of the day’s upswing to reinforce the numerous claims made on their behalf to be ‘the next big thing’. Currently cooped up in the country getting their third album together, they exploded with a barrage of pent-up energy that no amount of pastoral activity can fulfil. “(Sounds)
“The Police were totally predictable. Coming on over a tape to ecstatic applause from the half empty stadium, Sting yodelled and changed basses for every other song in sight …. I can’t say that they played badly – they’re much too professional and slick for that – but their many hits were trotted out with a lack of excitement which suggests that their days as a group may be numbered [interesting comment in hindsight]….The audience loved it – but then at £8.30 a time they could hardly afford not to could they? ” (Record Mirror)
U2 setlist: Gloria; I Threw A Brick; A Day Without Me; An Cat Dubh; Into The Heart; Rejoice; Electric Co; I Will Follow; Out Of Control. Encore(s): A Celebration; 11 O’Clock Tick Tock; The Ocean
The Police setlist: Message In A Bottle; Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic; Walking On The Moon; Spirits In The Material World; Hungry For You; When The World Is Running Down; The Bed’s Too Big Without You; De do do do, De da da da; Demolition Man; Shadows In The Rain; Driven To Tears; Bring On The Night; One World (Not Three); Invisible Sun (with Bono); Roxanne; Don’t Stand So Close To Me; Can’t Stand Losing You; Regatta de Blanc; Be My Girl; Can’t Stand Losing You; So Lonely
Archive for the ‘The Police’ Category
The Police Gateshead Stadium 1982
The Police Milton Keynes Bowl 26th July 1980
Rockatta De Bowl
Support Acts: UB40; Squeeze; Tom Robinson’s Sector 27; Skafish
DJs: John Peel (who else) and Jerry Floyd
Not one of the best one day festival events that I’ve attended, but by no means the worst. It’s a long drive from the North East to Milton Keynes, and it seemed an even long drive back after standing all day getting soaked….
I went with a car load of mates; we had all recently discovered the Police and were quite big fans at the time, having seen them several times in Newcastle. This was the first big concert at the Milton Keynes Bowl, and it was organised by the same people that ran the Reading Festival. The Bowl is, as the name suggests, a natural round amphitheatre; “the site was a former clay-pit…filled in and raised to form an amphitheatre using sub-soil excavated by the many new developments in the area and it has a maximum capacity of 65,000. The arena is open-air grassland, without seats.” (Wikipedia). It was by no means full for the Police concert; reports suggest that around 25,000 people attended. There had been a lot of rain in the days leading up to the event and as a result, the bowl was a bit of a quagmire…. The line-up was interesting. I don’t recall whether or not we arrived in time to catch Tom Robinson and his new band Sector 27. I do remember SkaFace who were greeted by a hail of cans, and retreated after a few songs, the singer’s face was quite badly cut. Squeeze were good, as always; they can’t be anything other than good with those catchy pop songs like “Up The Junction”, and great hooks. UB40 were a big hit, with their reggae rhythms drifting around the bowl. There was then a long wait before The Police hit the stage, during which it poured down. The weather and the wait put a damper on things, and I remember that the Police were good, but I couldn’t really get into it for two reasons; first I was soaked (no tents or anywhere else to hide from the rain) and secondly I knew that I had a long four hour drive home. Sting had a pretty classy looking new upright bass (was it hanging from the roof on a wire? Or did I just imagine that?) and he led us all through lots of Yo Yo Yo..ing which started to annoy me after too long….
Some reviews from the time:
“The show by The Police in the hitherto rock and roll backwater of Milton Keynes, proved that there are still few greater thrills available anywhere than to witness a group playing at the absolute peak of its prowess and confidence… One is always astonished at any show The Police perform, by the remarkable power they manage to create with the basic line-up of bass, guitar and drums…” (Evening Standard)
“…they showed a move towards a more varied and mainstream approach, while retaining more than a hint of the white reggae style.” (The Guardian)
“They achieved a better overall sound with three musicians than anyone else did with eight… The white reggae beat was certainly conducive to the festival atmosphere, and the tribal chants brought out the football supporter in all of us.” (Sounds)
Police setlist: Voices Inside My Head; Don’t Stand So Close to Me; Walking on the Moon; Deathwish; Fall Out; Bring on the Night; De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da; Truth Hits Everybody; The Bed’s Too Big Without You; Driven to Tears; When the World Is Running Down, You Make the Best of What’s Still Around; Message in a Bottle; Roxanne; Can’t Stand Losing You; Reggatta de Blanc; Next to You; So Lonely
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!
Bring on the Night
Message in a Bottle
Walking on the Moon
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
Can’t Stand Losing You/Reggatta De Blanc
King of Pain
Every Breath You Take
Next To You