Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006


The Police Reunion Tour, Mannheim

Despite cultivating the look of a hoary old sea-dog (perma-tan, salt and pepper beard, piercing blue eyes), Sting remains a very good advert for yoga and graceful aging. Not many 56-year-olds can wear a tight T-shirt and look that good. Oh, and he can still sing. 

Sting and his Police cohorts, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland, gave a great concert last night. Their music (damningly described by one friend of mine as “all those slow dances”) doesn’t always rock everyone onto their feet, but they are all such superb musicians and the songs off their five albums are so strong, that the Mannheim audience were happy to sit, sway and let Sting’s voice wraith around them. 

Did I mention the piercing blue eyes?

A couple of songs did get me dancing: Message in a Bottle, Walking on the Moon, Roxanne and Lonely. But it was fabulous to hear other anthems of my teenage years like Wrapped Around your Finger, Every Little Thing She Does is Magic, Don’t Stand So Close to Me and De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da. There is something about the purity of just three musicians – two guitarists and a drummer – on stage giving their all in their last-ever tour (The Police will play their final concert in New York in May) that gave the concert an added dimension. Compared to many contemporary bands that need backing singers, dancers, additional instruments and distracting videos on the screens in order give good concert, their show is simple, straightforward and dedicated to the music. Also, Sting is a great lyricist and is not scared of words with more than two syllables.

Someone in the crowd behind me described it as “minimalistich, aber supergeil” which pretty much sums it up. It’s minimalist in that they do nothing else but play great songs for one and a half hours, but supergeil (a word I struggle to translate into English – my inadequate offering is “mega-hot”) because (a) it’s the Police, (b) that’s Sting, right there on stage in front of you, (c) the music does remind you of a hundred teenage slow dances, (d) the songs are fabulous, and (e) my God, that really is Sting, isn’t it?

It was supergeil! And Sting really does have lovely blue eyes.




No-One Here But Me-Oh

Watch this video, note the man’s bow-tie and understand why I wore one for two years and thought I was cool. Someone should have sent out an SOS for my fashion sense. This was the first pop song that crossed my consciousness, that I chose for myself over my parents’ music. I remember wandering down the corridors of my lovely school for young ladies, wearing my hideous brown winter uniform, dreaming of Sting and singing this:

Twenty-eight years later, and I’m off to see The Police tonight.

*Waaahhh! Runs off screaming. Waaahhh!*

(Will return tomorrow in adult mode to report …. *Waaahhhhhh!*)



News of The Week

There is news, dear readers. The first is, of course, that Doris Lessing has won the Nobel Prize for Literature. The news itself has has been bettered by darling Doris’s reaction to it. She climbs out of a taxi outside her London home and an enthusiastic hack who has been camping there asks her if she knows. “What?” says Doris, all long grey hair coming down and slouchy blue cardigan. “You’ve won the Nobel Prize for Literature,” the hack tells her. “Oh Christ,” says Doris, putting down her shopping and looking very irritable as if she’d just had a rough time down at Tesco’s.

Watch it here:

We felt almost as irritable as Doris this week when we heard that poor poppet Sting had laryngitis and had to cancel his Mannheim tour date, meaning that I’m having to watch him on YouTube instead of live.

Another essential piece of news is that next week is Chocolate Week. From Monday to Sunday, chocolatiers and choc-fans will be attending tastings, talks, demonstrations and launches of new chocolates, while admiring chocolate fountains and chocolate sculptures. Shops will be featuring exquisite artisanal chocolates. People will be gathering to taste them and buy them and take them home and eat them, or put them on specially-made chocolate shrines, if that’s what they do. And this is all happening in London. Where I am not. I am not remotely bitter.

However, I am extremely well-placed for visiting the Frankfurt Book Fair, which is where I am going on Sunday. Me and 35 000 sausages. If I’m really lucky, maybe Doris will be there.