Star rating: ****
Friday 10th April 2015
Tropic at Ruislip
It would take something special to make me miss a Secret Police gig and that something special was a certain Mr Boris Johnson, Mayor of London and candidate for Uxbridge & South Ruislip. Well he didn’t quite make me miss the whole show, but as he was performing in his one and only general election 2015 hustings at nearby St Margaret’s Church in Uxbridge so, as the organiser of two General Election debates myself I couldn’t really miss that one off appearance.
An overlong, but lively and interesting hustings meant that unfortunately I only caught the tail end of the first half and the whole of the second half. What I saw and heard from the band was tremendous. There were many of the big hits, ‘So Lonely’, ‘Every Little Thing She Does is Magic’, ‘Message in a Bottle’, ‘Walking on the Moon’ and the like. Played with the band’s customary verve and passion, there is a great faithfulness in the singing and musical performance to the original high energy tempo of these great songs which the fans love so much.
I was informed that the first half was beset by some technical problems and there were some in the second half too. Before launching into ‘Tea in the Sahara’ the lead singer, John Green, admitted the band were a little nervous about this one as a piece of kit the drummer, Cam Findley, needed was missing. You would not have known though as Cam never missed a beat.
The audience were loving it, bopping away on the dance floor. It’s a great curiosity and mark of Sting’s talent as a song-writer and musician that he can make a sad song sound so upbeat – think about ‘So Lonely’, ‘Message in a bottle’ and ‘Every Breath you Take’ for instance. What The Secret Police do so beautifully is make these songs so danceable and memorable.
The timing was interesting for this gig, right in the middle of Sting and Paul Simon’s UK tour and just a week before they were to perform two sell out gigs at the London O2 Arena. Whilst Sting has tended to deliver solo, more acoustic, restrained versions of his hits in recent years, it has always been refreshing to see this band recreate the high intensity passion of The Police. Having said that, the Sting and Paul Simon gig saw a return to delivering the hits with the great passion and energy again of The Police. I should think so too – there were about 50,000 musicians on stage providing the musical accompaniment to these two rock legends!
Whilst this was about as far removed from politics as you can get, I know The Secret Police would get my vote for Best Tribute band. Five more years. Five more years!
© Tiemo Talk of the Town
- Paul Simon & Sting: On Stage Together – London O2 Arena – 15th April 2015
- The Secret Police – Tropic at Ruislip review – 26th January 2014
- Uxbridge & South Ruislip hustings featuring Boris Johnson – 10th April 2015
- Tiemo Entertainments Funny Ha Ha Amazon on-line store including DVDs and books from Sting & The Police