My Favourite Live Album – Bring On The Night – Sting

I love The Police. Stewart Copeland is my absolute number one drumming hero. To be blessed with even a snippet of this deftness and finesse at the skins is the stuff of my dreams.

The Police were well and truly disbanded by the time I was really getting into them. But I continued to love Sting’s solo work and bought the Dream Of The Blue Turtles as soon as it was released.

I have no recollection of what brought me to the decision to buy Bring On The Night. I may have heard a track aired on radio. Or perhaps it was on special offer at the time. Or perhaps the local library had a copy and I borrowed it and fell in love? My mind is sketchy as to the circumstances now.

But I remember playing it often on breezy balmy nights.

A favourite track from it? It’s hard to pick just one.

At the time “I Burn For You” was. I found it just…emotionally beautiful. Full of yearning and longing. I may have been a tender 15 soon to be 16 when it was released…but as a teenage girl, I already felt I had those yearnings and longings. The song would bring me to tears.

We Work The Black Seam…it had such atmosphere to it compared to the studio version (which I love too).

Down So Long – it’s just so much fun. And I actually used to sing along even to the band namechecks. And I took particular notice of “on the drums Omar Hakim!” In the days before the Internet, I wanted to know more about him. What other bands had he played for? Was he a session drummer? Or was he with a band? How long had he been playing? Etc, etc. Sting has worked with the best drummers in the world. Honestly. He knows how to pick them. Then again, a bass player is always going to want to have the best drummers to play with.

But the favourite now (as it was also then)? Tea In The Sahara – I loved this version so much more than what was on Synchronicity. It was always so beautifully melancholic and so full of emotion.

So, there we are. Probably as about as obscure as you can go for a live album favourite.

By and large, live albums have never done much for me other than to turn me off the idea of going to gigs. NOTHING and I mean NOTHING beats being there. And few live albums ever gave me the sense of wanting to go to a gig from listening to it. In actual fact most manage to put me off the idea of live music and the gig experience.

This album is one that actually made me want to go to a gig.

 

As for an overall favourite live track? My favourite live track of all is this…”Angel or devil, I don’t care, for in front of that door there is….. ‘ME! ME! ME! ME!'”

Stewart Copeland – Royal Festival Hall, London – March 30th, 2019

After Thursday’s affair at The Stranglers gig, I was thankful to know that I’d be seated at the Stewart Copeland gig.

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From my memory of how the side seats looked when I was there for the Manic Street Preachers/The Anchoress Meltdown gig last June, the seats appeared like they’d give you a pretty good view. I suppose the rail could make it a little restricted with the view, especially if you’re a short person and sit low in your seat but for less than half the price of the stall seats, it made it an affordable last minute choice to go.

And I chose my seat well. There were seats either side of the auditorium. Both seats I was viewing when buying my ticket would have given me very similar views of the stage. It was just down to me whether I’d feel more comfortable facing the stage via facing it to the right or left. For some reason I couldn’t quite understand, I was favouring sitting on the left side. It ended up a great choice as from how you see in the few sneaky snaps I took, Stewart’s kit was facing – what was for him from the stage side perspective, the right side of the auditorium. I had a prime view.

He arrived on stage promptly at 7.30pm, wishing the crowd a good evening. Cracked some jokes about half of his children were probably in the audience…or the actual audience! Lol. He started with film scores.

Tunes from Rumble Fish, Wall Street, his work on the Ben Hur live experience, the Spyro videogame soundtrack….as well as the odd Police number (in which he gave praise to Sting – I nearly fell off my chair! “Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner – the greatest songwriter ever to exist on the planet” – quote/unquote!), playing Don’t Stand So Close To Me, Darkness and Miss Gradenko. And no Stewart Copeland set would be complete without The Equalizer, which he strangely did not perform but handed it over to the orchestra conductor who just happened to be a rather accomplished drummer himself. Stewart by way of a role swap, conducted the orchestra on the piece, as you can only imagine Stewart Copeland would…with quite a few giggles from the crowd as he made over exaggerated hand gestures and at one point did the Twist whilst still conducting away.

I think he also played something from The Rhythmatist and also played some Balinese Gamelan music.

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He talked in between every piece, telling a brief story behind each. How they came to take place, etc. Namedropping directors like Oliver Stone and Francis Ford Coppola along the way. Always bringing out chuckles in the audience.

With a 20 minute interval about 45 minutes into the set, the gig came in at just on two hours. All done and dusted by 9.30pm. I had never been out of a gig so early! I was back at Victoria by 9.50 and on the coach back to Luton just after 10pm. And back in the door at home by 11.30pm. Incredible!

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Any worries I may suffer a repeat of Thursday were long gone. I had a draining journey back from Weston-super-Mare during the day, but was soon revived with a meal and a short meander around the Southbank of London.

Stewart put on a great show. Great musicianship by the orchestra. Stewart was in good form both musically and as a general showman and class goofball.

It was a great night. I was so happy to have seen him. At times during the set I had been sitting their inwardly pinching myself, thinking “I am actually HERE watching Stewart Copeland play! This is fucking amazing!” And it was.

WANT! Gig Wish List – Number One!

OMG! I only saw this today. The gig (in London anyway) is 18 days away. I WANT THIS SOOOO MUCH! This man is…my drumming GOD. He is everything, in drumming terms, that I would ever aspire to be. I’ve never seen him live. It would be ssoooooo amazing to see him. So amazing.

I probably won’t be able to buy a ticket until next week. So…I just have to hope and pray some will be left then. Fingers crossed! It would be a DREAM to see him.