Reggatta de Blanc

Reading, GB
Reading Festival
Police top bill at Reading Festival...

The Police topped and have their little niche: they are fortunate, a nice, secure business unit, well spent (sic). Their principle accolade is having written songs of the calibre of 'Hole In My Life' and 'Roxanne', then throwing them away with padded, Americanised, re-packaged versions of same. This they do objectively well, subjectively blandly. Because business-tack is replacing creative adventure The Police are in danger of becoming another cog in the wheel, no matter how consistent they may be: their consistency is fragile and predictable now, anyway. You know full - well no - no one's going to be disappointed. Nobody was.

(c) Record Mirror by Ronnie Gurr

Police save opening day of Reading Festival...

It would be a gross understatement to state that the Police saved the opening day of Reading Festival.

Their achievements were manifold; and not least of them was the realisation that Sting, their thrilling bass player and singer, is set to become the Face of 1979.

The band were nervous before going on stage - wary, like the other new wave bands, that this audience would reject their music out of hand. They needn't have worried. Sting manipulated the people beautifully, successfully transmitting his warmth and enthusiasm to the most sceptical observer. One is reminded of the very best frontmen: he has the confidence of Bob Geldof, and the pose of Phil Lynott.

Musically, the Police blasted the myth that a three piece can't function live. Sting's voice flew across Reading with the elegance of Concorde but the brutal force of a steamhammer. Andy Summers' guitar work was inventive, and Stewart Copeland's drums snapped frantically. The overt reggae influence of 'Roxanne', 'So Lonely' and 'Can't Stand Losing You' was adapted to even more dramatic effect on a new song called 'Walking On The Moon', an enticing atmospheric piece, and other samples from the next album, like 'Message In A Bottle' and 'The Bed's Too Big Without You', showed that 'Outlandos d'Amour' will have a worthy successor.

Yes, you could say that the Police had left their mark on Reading. It was hard to escape the conclusion that the festival had reached its climax two days too early.

(c) Melody Maker by Harry Doherty

Andy Summers from ''One Train Later'': ''Held at the height of summer each year, Reading is the number one rock festival in Britain, and to headline it is a clear stamp of success. We arrive in the late afternoon to the sprawling festival site. There is a crowd of thirty thousand out in the muddy field beyond the stage. Backstage we sit in a tent with our feet on planks of wood because of the mud. The smell of mud and canvas mixes with the crowd's buzzing noise in the field, and I remember sitting on a hard wooden bench beneath the big top of Billy Smart's Circus between my parents, terrified as they laughed out loud at lurid clown antics, ice cream dripping down my woolly sweater and pee running down my legs. In the already chill evening we mount the stairs to climb from the dark into the light, and a roar like a crashing wave rolls across the stage, drums explode, and we rocket into the first song. This is the biggest crowd we have played to, and it's like trying to take control of a writhing beast. But we are intense, furious, tenacious. Sting takes command of the crowd, and they are willing conspirators who sing, chant, and clap along until we finish with a roaring 'Can't Stand Losing You.' It's a moment of triumph, and as I descend the steps to the backstage area Lemmy is standing there and he leans forward and whispers into my ear, '''Who smells of roses, then?'''