IT’S official – the Police are reforming. Never having been a fan of elderly white men playing watered-down reggae, I will happily give this one a miss. But what shouldn’t be allowed to pass without comment is the explanation given by bassist and frontman Sting for the reunion. “We had such a good time at the Grammys, we thought it was time to dig out the old songs,” he said before a roomful of journalists in Los Angeles.

At least he didn’t say they were getting back together for the fans. Or because they still have fresh musical avenues to explore. Or because their children begged them to. Or because their band astrologist said Venus was rising over Mars in the third quadrant of their personal star charts. On the other hand, he might have just admitted the Police are getting back together because of the money.

Ah, you ask: how can anyone be so sure of this? After all, it’s not as if Sting is down to his last million. The answer is simple: all bands get back together because of the money. I know this because my band did. When Lloyd Cole and the Commotions reformed a couple of years ago, the cheque we received had a few zeros fewer than the one Sting and his compadres will get. But it still paid a few bills for the flat, and bought another handbag or three for my girlfriend’s collection.

advertisementOf course, it was too embarrassing to admit as much, even to ourselves, so we rationalised the exercise in other ways. We were doing it to promote the release of a twentieth-anniversary edition remix of our first album, Rattlesnakes. We were doing it because hadn’t seen each other for such a long time and wanted to catch up on old times. We were doing it because Billy Sloan of Radio Clyde had promised to take us to a great Chinese restaurant in East Kilbride.

Finally, we were doing it to settle an argument that had raged throughout the time the band was together and for years afterwards: who was the best golfer in Lloyd Cole and the Commotions? We staged an epic tournament stretching over four weeks of rehearsals.

The outcome? Thank heavens the cheque arrived and I was able to pay off my losses. As for the winner: the last I heard, Lloyd Cole was thinking about buying a country mansion next door to Sting.

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Publication: The Herald

Publication date: 14/02/07