Night of fun as 15,000 fans see The Police on top form...
Superstar Sting takes his revenge.
Superstar Sting came home at the weekend and took the opportunity to launch a bitter attack on his pete hates in front of 15,000 people.
Fans who had turned up to hear him sing found themselves listening to him slam the press, the legal process and the Virgin Record Company.
The man whose marriage, lifestyle and career have been put under the public microscope was determined to get his own back. And get revenge he did in style.
It started as humour. Gordon Sumner, alias Sting, who is amarried to actress Frances Tomelty, hit back at recent reports in the national press of a mystery blonde girlfriend.
It was the only thing to mar a concert that the crowd, through disappointingly small, loved. The standard of music was superb and Sumner was in good voice - in more ways than one.
His next target for abuse was Virgin Records. Just days after his recent courtroom battle with the giant record company ended in a blaze of publicity and apparant peace, Sting screamed: "I hate Virgin Records. I hate the legal process."
The man who left the North-East seven years ago as an unknown returned to Tyneside for The Police's only UK concert. Organisers expected at least 20,000 at the giant Gateshead Stadium. But they were disappointed.Latest reports put the number at between 14,000 and 15,000.
But it was enough. The moment Sting strode onto the stage in white jeans tucked into boots, a canary yellow jacket and braces and a tee-shirt, the crowd were with him. He looked like a young god. He couldn't quite match the athletic prowess of Mick Jagger but it was a close second.
He sang 'Every Little Things She Does Is Magic' and the crowd nodded their heads in agreement. Even the band's namesakes - the official Police - were tapping their feet to the beat. They were keeping a low profile at the concert with only around 14 officers in the crowd and many more outside.
One reserve policewoman was obviously a fan. Superiors stopped in amazement as they saw her multi-coloured spiky haircut peeking out beneath her cap.
For a man who used to be a teacher Sting's language at times throughout the concert deserved a black mark. But no one seemed shocked. least of all his family who were all watching from seats in the stand - his father, Ernie, mother Audrey, sisters and even his 75-year-old grandmother. Sting's look-a-like brother Philip greeted the former schoolteacher before the concert.
They joined in the clapping as Sting told the crowd: "This night is very special for me."
He went back to his youth and told how he helped his dad on his milk round when he was a young lad.
"We used to get up at 4am when there was no one around. I used to imagine what it would be like if there were no people around - say, if a bomb dropped on Newcastle."
His return to Tyneside was a memorable evening. The local lad made good who seems to have left the North-East far behind was obviously pleased to be back.
He said: "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."
And he told the crowd to sing along with the song 'Can't Stand Losing You'. The crowd were pleased to do this favour. By this time, after so many hits, the atmosphere was charged with emotion.
Thelighting was superb and as the full beams were turned on the swaying crowd it seemed like a mass of moving bodies and waving arms. It was a night of fun and police reported only two arrests for disorderly behaviour.
A spokesman said: "We had just two arrests inside the stadium and they were just a bit of high spirits. It was a quieter evening than normal. We are very pleased with the way things went."
There was every facility for the fans from a beer tent to a bar and plenty of food. Fans had travelled from all over Britain and more than fifty buses were outside the stadium to take them home.
There was no hiding the delight of fans, who had waited a long time to see Geordie Sting return home. He did it in style. His voice was superb and the band on top form.
It would be unfair to try to compare the Police with Rolling Stones. Many believe the Stones will never again go on tour. Their concerts this year may well be the end of an era. For the Police it may be the start of another.
Only one thing marred the concert. The inability of Sting to keep his voice on stage for what it's good for - singing.
© Newcastle Journal by Helen Lennox
Image courtesy of Dietmar