The Police are back on the road this year for the first time in two decades, in one of the most eagerly anticipated tours of recent years.
As one of the most definitive post-punk/early new-wave bands, The Police made their name in the late seventies with their distinctive punk-meets-pop-meets-reggae sound, while showing off a carefully contrived peroxide blonde look. The mix served them well as they produced a series of five successful albums before breaking up in 1984.
Comprising Sting (a.k.a. Gordon Sumner) on lead vocals and bass guitar, drummer Stewart Copeland, and lead guitarist Andy Summers, the trio took advantage of the growing medium of new musical videos and a general public weariness with punk and pop music. They began with a raw, punk-inspired power-pop sound, but evolved quickly into producing much more complex material, both musically and lyrically, allowing reggae and jazz influences to become increasingly apparent in their music.
In their seven years, they amassed five U.K. number 1 singles, four U.K. number 1 albums, with sales of Synchronicity going platinum eight times in the U.S., as well as hitting number 1 on both sides of the Atlantic. They are the recipients of two Brit awards and six Grammy?s.
Discography (original studio albums only):
Outlandos d’Amour – Nov 1978, UK 6
Reggatta de Blanc – Oct 1979, UK 1
Zenyatta Mondatta – Oct 1980, UK 1
Ghost in the Machine – Oct 1981, UK 1
Synchronicity – Jun 1983, UK 1
While the band enjoyed both critical and commercial success, they fought incessantly and often violently (to the point that Stewart Copeland reportedly broke one of Sting?s ribs during a scuffle). The tumultuous relationship among band members was documented by Copeland who recently compiled personal archived footage and released it as a film. Everyone Stares: The Police Inside and Out premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2006, an event that many credit as the being the main spur behind the band deciding on a come-back tour.
Sting?s son Joe Sumner and his band, Fiction Plane, are currently supporting The Police on the North American leg of their world tour, which is continuing through the summer and then again in November. In October the band are set to come to the UK for several dates in England, Wales and Ireland.
Fans can expect a straightforward set with a black amphitheater design and several video screens suspended discretely overhead to show close-ups of the band members. They are touring with no back-up singers or accompanying musicians, special effects or gimmicks, which is bound to keep the purists happy.
The set list is a straight-up, no apologies ?best of?, but most people attending these gigs will be wanting precisely that; a trip down memory lane and to hear some of the best musical tracks ever written and performed.
Forthcoming UK Dates:
6 October – Croke Park, Dublin, Eire
15 October – M.E.N. Arena Manchester
16 October – M.E.N. Arena Manchester
19 October – Cardiff Millennium Stadium, Wales
20 October – Wembley Arena, London
Certainly, one of the most eagerly anticipated tours of recent years.