I still vividly remember the first album I bought with my own money as a kid. It was the first record that I owned that didn’t have a Muppet on the cover. The record was Zenyatta Mondatta by The Police, and from that moment, they had my money, whatever they did! Of course, they would wind down their career a few short years later, and there went my chance to see them live.
While I did end up getting to see them on the reunion tour nearly 30 years later, I knew that was probably the last chance I’d get. This Friday at the Tavern on Grange, there’s an opportunity to get to view the next best thing.
The Outlandos, a Police tribute act from Cambridge will bring the feeling of those sparse, spacious arrangements to the Tavern. Playing this music well is no small feat. The Police, coming up in post-punk London in the late 70s were not a four on the floor power chord band. The arrangements were intricate, but still had an edgy looseness to them. It’s hard to know who has the biggest challenge in recreating that vibe.
Drummer Enio Direto has the unenviable task of playing Stewart Copeland’s near-orchestral drum parts. Copeland didn’t play beats, he played parts that were so specific, you could name any Police song just by hearing the drum part.
Guitarist Andy T (extra points for being a guitarist named Andy) takes on the beautifully restrained parts that Andy Summers brought to The Police. Restraint is not a quality associated with a lot of guitar players (I am one, so I know of what I speak). Summers would never play two notes when one would do, but Andy T has worked hard to amass the right amps, guitars and effects to make it happen.
Singer/Bassist Rich Summoner (again, it’s hard not to notice the similarity between his last name and that of the Mr. Sumner that fronted The Police) takes on the challenge of bringing the voice, the bass playing and the stage presence that encompasses Sting, and makes you feel like you’re in a London club in 1978 watching the genuine article.
If, like me, you’re a fan of both the hits and the deep cuts of the all too brief career of The Police, then you’re in for a treat at the Tavern on Grange Friday at 9.