Ee-oooh, ee-oooh, ee-oooh-yoh!

September 15th, 2007


This time last Saturday I was sitting in Twickenham Rugby Stadium watching three men aged 55, 55 and 64 respectively bash out what Tom Lehrer once described as “rock and roll and other children’s records”.

They did what every good band should do: they shut the hell up and played stonking good tunes for two hours. DJs and politically aware bands take note: just play the damned music. From their perfect opening with “Message in a Bottle” to their belting finish with “Next to You”, the evening was a sheer joy of music that is both intensely nostalgic and incredibly fresh at the same time.

However, apart from the good memory of an amazing evening spent with old friends, I took away a few important thoughts from the gig.

The whole is greater… I like Sting’s solo stuff, but I wouldn’t be particularly interested in going to a Sting concert. Andy Summers’s solo efforts were… well, let’s just say as a solo artist he is better off focusing on his photography skills. As for Stewart Copeland, that deity of the drumkit, his solo work, as far as I know, is limited to the feme toon from “The Equalizer”. Together, however, they are gods! Play track 1 of album 1 and you can be in no doubt (that’s “Next to You” on “Outlandos d’Amour”). If you are good at something, surround yourself with people who complement your skills. Elevate each other.

Your work might be considered crap now… but it might just be a classic in the making. “Roxanne” was originally released in April 1978 and it got nowhere. It was re-released a year later but even then only reached #12 and #32 in the UK and US charts respectively. Now, however, Rolling Stone magazine ranks it in their Top 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and when The Police played it at Twickenham last weekend 55,000 people erupted in adulation. So don’t throw away work you truly believe to be good just because other people can’t see it yet.

You’re never too old to kick ass! The TV advertising companies will have you believe that once you’re over 50 life is all about insurance and gardening and releasing the equity in your house so you can afford logs for the fire. This is what The Police are doing at 55, 55 and 64 respectively…

The Police Live 2007

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