Ghost In The Machine

Aylesbury, GB
The Police made a fair cop at Friars...

Every little thing The Police do is magic. At least that was the unavoidable conclusion to be drawn from their marvellous concert at Friar's Aylesbury last week.

If The Police were sportsmen they would rightly be described as world class. But last week their performance was universe-class - really out of this world. It was the first of only two concerts in Britain this year and it was truly a privilege to be there.

What made The Police so good? Well for a start they maintained a tremendous pace throughout the one and a half hours of their set, and they established a rapport with the audience which was never likely to be lost.

The Police played the songs the fans wanted to hear, and to tell the truth the gig resembled a ''greatest hits'' event with only the occasional well known album track thrown in for good measure. But nobody was the slightest bit worried about that.

The evening featured several high spots but perhaps the most memorable songs were the early hits. The last number before the encore, 'Roxanne', was as brilliant as you expected it to be. 'Message In A Bottle' and 'Can't Stand Losing You' were also performed with rare genius.

A growing trend among top groups is to use horn sections to augment their basic sound. The Police's three man horn section featuring two saxophones and a trumpet added a new dimension to the sound, and one can only hope they will be retained as a permanent fixture.

The Police's main trio are of course classy musicians in their own right. Sting has a wide-ranging singing voice.

Last week he played a slender object with four strings that looked more like a yardstick than a bass guitar. He is a tremendous bass guitarist producing an almost infinite variety of sounds from his instrument while singing and dancing around the stage.

Stewart Copeland's energetic and impeccable drumming kept the whole sound together, while Andy Summers did his customary unobtrusive guitar work without looking the slightest bit ruffled.

The best thing about the concert was that the band seemed to enjoy it almost as much as the audience, basically because the size of the venue brought the two sides very close together. One can only hope that they arte prepared to take a drop in wages and return to Aylesbury as soon as possible.

(c) Unidentified newspaper