Why is it important for Simple Minds to release live albums?
"Simple Minds are primarily a live band and most of our career has been
spent criss-crossing the globe playing literally thousands of shows. It is therefore in concert
where somehow the essence and spirit of Simple Minds is at its strongest. We grew up on
stage, it is our natural habitat, we feel better there than anywhere else. But it is also in the live
situation where the real connection is made with our audiences - who themselves play a big part of
any Simple Minds show as we feed off their energy and enthusiasm."
"To document that, especially as the band still continues to evolve is indeed important to our
story. But it is also interesting in that just as each Simple Minds album is
different from the previous, likewise no two Simple Minds tours are the same.
The best way to document all of that is to record the shows. This we do as we go along from gig to gig,
in doing so we also start to create a distilled souvenir that we hope many who come to our shows value. That
is what lies beyond the urge to release live material, that is why it is important."
These days many fans who go to shows make their own souvenirs and we see that all over Youtube etc.
as their clips and photos are posted.
"Yes they do. And that is both understandable and fine. But - and there is a but - rarely does
that stuff sound any good, and rarely does it capture to any full degree what the evening was really
about from an overall audience point of view. The production and mixing on this release is all under the
control of our live sound engineer GG, and what you hear is what he hears, as
he works with our sound in concert halls the world over. He does an amazing job of capturing what we put out,
this has to be said."
How do the songs differ live from the studio recordings?
"Much as we like our recorded work in general, the fact is that it is not until you take songs out
and play them night after night in front of a live audience that you really find out what truly lies at the
heart of a song - or indeed how good it is? Songs are honed live, they grow live also as arrangements can be
more expansive, or shorter even, as they morph into some other tune altogether. Certain songs were seemingly
written to be played live especially, while others might be too fragile to cope with the live bombast. Like
wild horses - live is in the end where the songs are finally set free of the studio constraints. Played live
is where they become powerful shots from heart, aimed directly to the front row and reaching all the way to
the back of each and every venue."
How "live" is this recording - is there any additional post production work involved. Things
that are added to make a more polished product?
"This is 100% live without any additional recording whatsoever. This is warts and all! Nothing is
diluted - this is the true sound of Simple Minds live recorded as it was on the night."
What gives you most pleasure when you listen through to these songs?
"The set list of the Big Music Tour was gloriously
ambitious. Almost theatrical in the way that it was put together. So many varying styles of music and
atmospheres feature, and yet it is always inherently Simple Minds live. Simply put, it
was a real pleasure to be involved." - Jim