World-renowned singer-songwriter Sting came home to the North East for a charity gig at Bamburgh Castle on Friday.
The Wallsend rock legend and former frontman of The Police played an exclusive, sell-out acoustic concert in the King’s Hall for the charity Dreamflight, which raises money to send children with life-limiting conditions on dream holidays.
He kicked off with a couple of Police songs, including Message in A Bottle, before launching into some compositions from his solo albums, including The Last Ship and 57th and 9th, from which he played Heading South on the Great North Road.
It was an impressive and very intimate gig, according to photographer Simon Williams, from Crest Photography, based at Bedlington, who was given exclusive access to the superstar from the moment he arrived and posed for pictures outside the castle, until he left.
Sting was joined on stage for the second half of his set by his friend, actor and singer Jimmy Nail, another famous Geordie face. Among the audience were members of his family and some fellow musicians.
“It was like he was chatting to you and singing in a front room, albeit a very nice front room. It was definitely a one-off,” said Simon. “He made lots of local references throughout. And the fact that it was Sting, a Geordie legend, made it even better.
“I felt very privileged when he was practising and doing the soundcheck before the gig and there were only a few of us in the hall to hear it.”
Sting and Jimmy Nail went on to attend Newcastle United’s game against Crystal Palace and Sting later performed an impromptu rendition of Bill Withers’ Ain’t No Sunshine at the Hoochie Coochie jazz bar on Pilgrim Street, in Newcastle, on Saturday night to the amazement of everyone in the bar.