The Police shut down the Isle of Wight

Sunday's headliners go out with a bang

The Police shut down the Isle of Wight

16 June 2008

The weather may have finally begun to wane as the day drew on, but the feel-good atmosphere bouncing around Seaclose Park certainly hadn't as the reformed rockers took the stage for the swansong at the festival, voted Best Major Festival at last year's UK Festival Awards.

Announcing their arrival with a huge gong, a newly-bearded Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland launched into 'Message In A Bottle'. Little did they know that over in the Big Top Tent, London inie/electronicas New Young Pony Club were beginning their set with the same song.

Back on the main stage, the veterans were treating fans to an armada of classics spanning their career including 'Walking On The Moon', 'Every So Lonely' and 'Every Breath You Take'. Teenagers at the front of the 50,000 strong crowd - many of whom could not have been born during the band's recording career - were singing their lungs out to every word, as ardently as the band's older followers, also out in force.

Sting delighted fans (and photographers) by covering every inch of the expansive stage and even the VIP's in the wings were treated to a special wave.

"I last came to this festival as a five year old in 1969, to see Bob Dylan", said the singer, "I got a lift with a mate from Newcastle. Here I am now with The Police."

He kept a dignified silence after Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon had referred to The Police as "bumholes" on-stage last night.  

After an extended 'Can't Stand Losing You', the trio briefly left the stage, returning with a five song encore that included 'Roxanne' and 'Every Breath You Take', and concluded with 'Next To You'.

The Police performed:

'Message In A Bottle'
'Walking On The Moon'
'Demolition Man'
'Voices' / 'When The World...'
'Don't Stand So Close'
'Driven To Tears'
'Hole In My Life'
'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic'
'Wrapped Around Your Finger'
'De DoDoDo De DaDaDaDa'
'Invisible Sun'
'Can't Stand Losing You'
------------------------
'Roxanne'
'King Of Pain'
'So Lonely'
'Every Breath You Take'
'Next To You'

Before The Police on the main stage, The Kooks kept the rain clouds at bay with a sunny set of hits including 'Ooh La', 'Naïve', 'Always Where I Need To Be' and 'She Moves In Her Own Way'. The biggest cheer came when frontman Luke Pritchard turned on guests in a the VIP area at the front, telling them to "Fuck off".

Other highlights earlier in the day included a roof-raising set by The Music in the Big Top Tent, James inviting fans on-stage with them during a rousing 'Laid' and The Cribs' Ryan Jarman making a surprise karaoke appearance during his bandmates' DJ set in the Ray Ban tent, to sing Rick Astley's 'Never Gonna Give You Up'.

Covers had, in fact, featured heavily with Starsailor inserting sections of The Stone Roses' 'She Bangs The Drums', U2's 'Where The Streets Have No Name' and 'Dare' by Gorillaz into their main stage set. Previously, Newton Faulkner had impressed all with his ambitious acoustic cover of Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody'.

Check out our full coverage from the 2008 Isle of Wight Festival here with reviews, artist interviews, videos and the best photo gallery on the web.

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