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Who is this fellow musing about a town with “a strange magnetic pull”? Haway man, it’s Sting, on a nostalgic trip back to Wallsend in the northeast, surveying the brooding waters of the Tyne where young Gordon Sumner, wee canny Gordy, grew up as a bairn amid the clamour of the shipyard.

Our distinguished songsmith opens his mouth – and out comes an odd gruff voice with a theatrical Geordie accent, recounting tales of noble workingmen and ignoble industrial decline, soundtracked by ersatz folk and better-sounding jazz; all wrapped up in the sentimental message that “love” (not, as Marx thought, labour) “is the only true power we wield.”

Sting

The Last Ship

(Cherrytree/Interscope)

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