Stewart Copeland Transcends Darkness to Light up the Orchestra

Rating: *****
Southbank Centre
London SE1
London Concert Orchestra
Troy Miller – conductor
Stewart Copeland – percussion, drums
Review date: 30th March 2019

This sounded interesting. A culture clash of drumming and classical music, featuring the drummer and founder of “that band” as Stewart Copeland un-cryptically referred to his former band The Police and the London Concert Orchestra. Would it be a culture clash and riotous clash of styles though or would the two forms seque-way harmoniously and symphonically?

The first couple of numbers were traditional classical pieces and Stewart Copeland’s drumming fitted in seamlessly, as indeed did the full, enormous 50 piece London Concert Orchestra playing all manner of instruments – from violins, trombones, flutes, saxophones, guitars and double bass to name but a small selection of the instruments being played. It all sounded so beautiful. The highlights of the show for me were Don’t Stand So Close to Me, Darkness and Miss Gradenko, the former being one of The Police’s biggest hits. The latter were two of the less well known, but still much loved album songs. It was great to hear them all again re-worked in such a classical style.

Stewart Copeland

It was a joy to hear Copeland’s humourous and informative anecdotes and introductions to each song. It was effectively, for those who’d not been paying attention at the back, a real update on what he’d had been up to since his Police days. As this show indicated he’s been busy learning the craft of composing musical scores for films, TV shows and video games. He’s the man behind the music composed for Rumblefish, Wall Street, The Equaliser and Spyro the Dragon platform game (me neither)! Copeland acknowledged that those in the audience over 36 probably would have no idea about that one.

The audience loved the moment when Copeland and the Conductor Troy Miller Wall swapped roles. Miller actually drummed very well and Copeland gleefully conducted energetically and overly theatrically in his exuberant, American way. He was loving his moment running the show and you could see he was thoroughly enjoying himself on stage. It was a joy to behold.

London Concert Orchestra

His drumming, it goes without saying, was superb, if a tad restrained by his usual high energy, frenetic standards, but that was to be expected considering this was an orchestral night. Copeland was so restrained he didn’t even let loose and deliver solo drum passages!

This mix of cultures was not such a crazy idea after all. Drumming and orchestral manoeuvres worked a treat. I love the way both he and the man he described as the “greatest living songwriter alive” Sting have both done tours with Orchestra’s and let their post The Police creative juices flow in this and so many other unexpected directions over the years.

© Tiemo Talk of the Town


Stewart Copeland: Poltroons in Paradise from Tyrant’s Crush; Darkness; Pirate’s Attack from Ben Hur; Wall Street; Coco from Rhythmatist
Gordon Sumner: Don’t stand so close to me arranged by Stewart Copeland

Stewart Copeland: West Tulsa Story from Rumblefish; Theme from The Equalizer; Klentong from Gamelan D’Drum; Rain Tiger; Seventeen from Spyro the Dragon; Miss Gredenko.

Further information on Stewart Copeland and forthcoming tour dates

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2 Responses to Stewart Copeland Transcends Darkness to Light up the Orchestra

  1. Pingback: Sting and Shaggy Storm the Stage at the Roundhouse | tiemotalkofthetown

  2. Pingback: Sting and Shaggy Star at the Roundhouse | tiemotalkofthetown

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