Event Date April 30, 2018 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Location – University of South Wales, Cardiff Campus, ATRIUM, Theatre
This event is free, but registration is required. Please register your attendance via Eventbrite. Refreshments provided.
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 close to 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 lecture is part of series of talks Paul Carr has been giving in the UK to launch his monograph on Sting (From Northern Skies to Fields of Gold, 2017). 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).
Paul Carr is professor in Popular Music Analysis at the University of South Wales. His research interests focus on the areas of musicology, widening access, the music industry and pedagogical frameworks for music related education. He is also an experienced performing musician, having toured and recorded with artists as diverse as The James Taylor Quartet and ex Miles Davis saxophonist Bob Berg. His most recent publications include an edited collection on Frank Zappa (2014), two chapters in Oxford Handbook of Music and Virtuality (2016) and a monograph on Sting (2017). He is currently working on a popular music nostalgia project in Merthyr Tydfil, with an exhibition and symposiium haven recently taking place in January 2018. He also works as a forensic musicologist/expert witness on a consultancy basis. Recent activity includes work for Warner Chappell and Universal Music on copyright infringement cases (including a major West End Show and a number of international recording artist recordings). He also acts as a music education consultant – recently advising on the role of popular music in the new A Level curriculum.