Born in Wallsend, a mainly working-class area of North Tyneside in the early 1950s, Gordon Sumner, aka Sting’s creativity and drive for success were established in the region of his birth, with vestiges of the spaces and places of his upbringing, social conditions and ‘Northern Englishness’ continuing to re-emerge in his music long after he left the area. When broadly considering his relationship with the city, it is possible to regard the years 1977 – 1985 in terms of ‘outward momentum, while the last 30 years have witnessed an increasing ‘gravitation pull’ – during which his interface with Newcastle has become more regular and profound. This ongoing process of exploring and sometimes exorcising his background eventually cumulated in The Last Ship (2013), an album and production replete with local dialect and real and imagined characters based from his past: resulting in a vivid visual portrait of the time, places and spaces of his upbringing – through the lens of his imagination and memory. This talk will investigate Sting’s often problematic love/hate relationship with his hometown of Newcastle since forming The Police in 1977, with a particular focus on a critical analysis of The Last Ship (2013) and his quest for authenticity.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2019
Event5th Modern Heavy Metal Conference : Markets, Practices and Cultures - Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland
Duration: 26 Jun 201928 Jun 2019
Conference number: 5


Conference5th Modern Heavy Metal Conference
Abbreviated title#mhmc2019

    Research areas

  • Sting, authenticity

ID: 3369406