Conked out conquerors...
The hero returns. Local boy makes big. "Ee, they must be a popular group cos they hired a white Rolls Royce to pick 'em up from the station," says the cab driver, "and that cost about £120 per day."
Yes. Sting was the returning star to Newcastle City Hall. Two charity shows in the same day and the only British dates planned this year.
The punishing world tour, taking in India, Egypt, Hong Kong and the Philippines is over.
Aye, the conquerors returned to give and take the glory but, own up, if Sting, Andy or Stewart had come back to fart onstage you'd go bananas. I know you don't give a monkeys what I say about them as long as it's good, right?
The bleached bombers could do no wrong in your eyes and, fair enough, from audience reaction they didn't, but I must say that at times Sting's voice sounded, well ropey, even though he gave everything - frogs and all - he and Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers resembled the express train we travelled to Newcastle on. The speed was phenomenal.
Police may have played all those weird and wonderful places and must have got their buzz from playing some, tonight wasn't one.
With that many gigs it can become a routine and the motions have to be gone through. It was a celebration because it was Sting's homecoming, they were charity gigs and 40,000 people applied for 4,000 tickets. And I'll give it to you that what they've done is a tremendous achievement and, as Sting said earlier on a local TV programme, Police could have played St James' Park football ground but it didn't make the performance any more enjoyable.
I've seen them before and I've seen them better. The people who got tickets for these two shows will disagree but most of them are probably newer recruits to the Police fan club, they were just the lucky ones to have their names picked out of the hat.
Even Sting was disappointed in the reaction of the first house. He couldn't have been with the second because the crowd were as vociferous as any I've seen at megaband gigs.
So, the gig had been fixed up and the show must go on but even the lighting engineer was going through his paces. They've got more lights than most bands but they're the same as I saw them on the start of their British tour. With the amount he's got to work with you'd think he could do more than light up Sting and the audience with them.
OK, Sting can now sell it on image alone but there are three very competent musicians in this band.
Christ, what am I doing? I'm having a go at this year's big thing. Police weren't bad, in fact, they were pretty good and they deserve every bit of success they can get but even they must admit it was a workmanlike performance that included 'Message In A Bottle', 'So Lonely', 'Roxanne' and 'Walking On The Moon'. You name the hit, they did it. Admirably too plus, of course. Sting bouncing and dancing onstage the way he does would please even the most jaded eyes but the batteries and ideas need a top up and Police are off for a well deserved rest.
Take a seat in the sun boys and get those barnets ready for the next onslaught.
© Record Mirror by Alf Martin
Ticket image courtesy of Dietmar & Raphael