Dream Giver - Simple Minds Online Unofficially SaMPLE MINDS Tour Diary

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This section has been written by Simon Hayward, keyboard player with tribute band SaMPLE MINDS

9th October
A new life-form / Anal Announcements!
Despite having a further two gigs to look forward to, the last few days have been a pretty depressing time for Steve, Dave and myself. How bands cope with post tour blues I'll never know.

Our flight from Manchester to Cologne was very uneventful. Steve stole some cigarettes from the airport lounge and we sat in the front seat of the plane - next to the driver. BLOND HAIR Steve had the usual problems with passport control and we are again met by Thorsten, who this time wisely didn't wear his pink shirt. Thorsten now has BLOND HIGHLIGHTS!!! What is it with you guys? (My grey highlights are clearly the 'in' fashion accessory!)

It's a pleasant evening and as we witness a horrendous car crash on the opposite carriageway I find myself thinking, Thorsten drives far too fast. He disagrees - despite getting caught for speeding that very same morning!!! As we make the jump through hyperspace to Hamm, Thorsten tells us that our radio interview from last week was broadcast earlier that day during prime drive time to approximately 3 million listeners - no pressure then!

Arriving at Thorsten Towers at about midnight we had some toast (alright I admit it, I ate most of the toast - you've gotta be quick guys!) and instructed our German host on some choice phrases from Roger Mellie's Thesaurus. Thorsten's deadpan delivery of "I wish to make an anal announcement" was quite amusing to say the least!

As we retire for the night, we are slightly alarmed to discover that in our absence Dave and Steve's dirty pants (that they left under their beds) have evolved into living breathing entities!!!

We slept well.

Instrumental re-workings of classic Simple Minds songs by Simon Hayward

Sound in 70 Cities (5.23)
War Babies (4.10)
20th Century Promised Land (4.02)
Soundtrack for Every Heaven (5.02)
League of Nations (5.43)
Real to real (2.43)
C Moon Cry Like a Baby (4.39)
Hunter and the Hunted (3.32)
Factory (3.50)
This Fear of Gods (4.32)
King is White and in the Crowd (4.28)
East at Easter (2.08)
This Earth that You Walk Upon (5.24)
Pleasantly Disturbed (6.41)
Somebody Up There Likes You (4.31)
Love Song (4.26)
Once Upon a Time Tour Intro (1.11)
Theme for Great Cities (5.40)

On sale now.
Contact Simon Hayward for details.

10th October
I Travel and the Bass Pussy!
Rise and shine for another great breakfast. During the day we watched footage of our performance at the SM Convention and decide 'Hunter and the Hunted' may make a comeback in the set for future gigs. We then watched 'Ali G' and 'Bo-Selecta' on DVD.

When we arrived at The Hoppegarden for our soundcheck, the P.A. was already assembled. We tried hanging the claddagh backdrop in several positions, but thought it looked better without it. Thorsten again used his electronic drums, which I much prefer in smaller venues. We ran through 'Theme for Great Cities' then, as we were about to run through 'Waterfront', Jacky said, "Waterfront is for pussy's, let's do 'I Travel'". So we did. The extra homework in the week paid off as we nailed the track and decided to include it in the nights set. (Then we did Waterfront!).

We were very happy with the sound and went to our dressing room / presidential suite! How different this was to the usual UK hospitality. The dressing room was very large with nice seating and a fridge full of drinks. We were served with a delicious hot meal in our own private candle lit dining area and played with the classic musical instruments that were part of the decor. We just chilled out for about 2 hours, then we get the call that it was time to start the show.

As we're standing on the stairs leading to the stage, we can hear The Floating World intro loop playing and there's no time to go to the toilet! (Though Steve gets a quick one in - good job we saved that empty bottle!).

It's a warm welcome and off we go.

= = = = = = = = = =
= = = = = = = = = =

I was a bit concerned, as when I started the 'One Step Closer' intro pads (I don't play that bit - it's on a backing sequence), the sound engineer didn't turn down the Floating Loop - I think he thought it was part of the intro tape - though I was able to signal him before we started to play the song for real.

The first 6 songs went fine - then it was time to premier our version of 'I Travel'. Well, 80% of the band got it right, but Jacky on bass had a bit of a nightmare - what a pussy - best stick to Waterfront! With the exception of 'New Gold Dream' (which again in our excitement we got a bit wrong), all the songs went really well and people were dancing and singing along.

Again we closed with 'Room', which went down a storm. I've been really surprised at how well this relatively obscure song has been received and how people know all the words. (Maybe they could teach them to Steve sometime!)

It was a great night - thanks to everyone who came.

After the gig it was nice to meet Chris (aka DJ Firestarter). He kindly gave us some t-shirts, though in future clean underwear would maybe be more practical. Hopefully we'll be doing some stuff with Chris in the future.

After packing the gear away we left the venue at about 2am and got some food on the way back to Thorsten Towers.

11th October
The full on 'Robo-Chubby'!
We didn't get up until about midday. We had some breakfast and I managed to spill orange juice everywhere on several occasions. We discuss the future of Simple Minds and despite our disappointment that this could be the last hurrah for Jim and Co, decide that disceasure of their activities might be good for our business!!!


We watched 'Jackass - The Movie' on DVD before going to The Hoppegarden to see what the nights running order would be. There would be several bands playing that evening and we would be on at about 10.30pm. There would be no soundcheck and only 10 minutes to swap over between bands. Bugger!

Dave - "What? We don't get a soundcheck?"
Thorsten - "No Dave, we just set up and play".
Dave - "So we don't get to soundcheck at all?"
Steve - "No Dave, you plug in and we start playing".
Dave - "Not even one song to get the levels right?"
Jacky - "Not even one song. Soundchecks are for pussys, no problems".
Dave - "So there isn't a soundcheck?"
Dave - "Where's the toilet?"

It would have been easy (and predictable) to play just the greatest hits in our short half hour set. Those who came to last nights show got the full picture, tonight it was going to be our treat! We decided to play a really full on set of the songs that we enjoy playing most (and Don't You Forget About Me!).

As Dave starts to come to the idea of there being no soundcheck, we went into Hamm's town centre and had a meal at an Italian restaurant. We treated Thorsten and Angela as a thank-you for their wonderful hospitality.

As we returned to The Hoppegarden, both Thorsten and I were feeling a bit ill (nothing to do with the food). We met Jacky and ran through 'New Gold Dream' in the rehearsal room as we'd had problems the previous night. We were told that one band had dropped out so we'd have a little more time to play, so we thought we'd tag 'Belfast Child' on the end of our set list (that was Steve's idea, I wanted to play 'Twist Run Repulsion'!).

There was a hospitality room, which the bands shared. The food looked a little frightening (and out of date) so we stuck to the draft beer that was available.

Suddenly, there was a loud rumble from above. At first I thought Dave had finally found the toilet, but it transpired that the first band of the night had started. I didn't see them, though I was told they were not very good. Next on was heavy metal band B.M.F. who played Metallica songs. They were very loud and toit, though maybe playing to the wrong type of audience. I liked them and Dave made friends with their guitarist Sven.

We then rushed to get set up in our 10 minutes. I had the most to do as Thorsten would be playing the drums already on the stage and Jacky and Dave would plug into the amps that were set up. It was a mad scramble to get all the keyboards and sequencers wired up and sub mixed, though somehow (with Steve's help) I got it done. We were dripping with sweat and we hadn't even played a note!

Then we immediately fired into 'New Gold Dream' which was slightly different to the version we'd been closing the set with (and Dave realised that there was no soundcheck!).


What a rush! The songs raced by and Dave, Steve and myself all felt it was the best gig we'd ever done. Musically it was spot on, performance wise - we've never had so much fun on stage and there was a great buzz and appreciation from the audience.

We had to abandon our plans to close with 'Belfast Child', as we were told to get off stage by the following bands guitarist - the remarkable (though badly dressed) Uli. This pissed us off somewhat as the next two sets both over-ran their slots by 10 - 15 minutes.

As Dave, Steve and myself put our feet up and enjoyed a cool drink, Jacky very kindly dismantled all of our really heavy equipment and carried it down the stairs to our storage room. He then gave the gear a quick polish and ironed our clothes. What a star!!!

Our full on 'Robo-Chubby' set would be a difficult act to follow. (Maybe why we asked to cut it short?) Thorsten had remained on stage to play with the following two bands.

'Dirty Pants' were up first, fronted by a guy who's recently had a couple of heart attacks. The tension was excruciating as you contemplated if he'd live long enough to finish each song and despite having to have an electrical infusion on the middle 8 of 'Gimme Some Lovin', he was able to complete the set and return to his infirmary! Uli was resplendent in a 1984 Dire Straits kind of way and the saxophone player was clearly a big fan of Zoot from The Muppets - except he wasn't blue!

Next up was 'The Empty Bottle Bluesband'. These were fronted by the epitaph of all things masculine, none other than Mr Willi Wonker himself!!! Pure sex on a colostomy bag!!! Uli also played in this band, and he wowed the audience with a costume change into a little Huey Lewis / Miami Vice style number. During their set, I was introduced to Uli's girlfriend who I might have upset ever-so-slightly by saying "I thought Uli was gay - your operation looks really good!" Jacky also played bass in this band and that was the last I saw of him that evening.

I enjoyed a couple of songs by 'The Dirty Pants' but for the most part it just wasn't my kind of music - and the drums were really sloppy!!!

The last band, Embassy were quite good, if you're into Cruise Ship style music - and as I'd offended just about everyone and Dave was on his 23rd pint (that's what happens when he doesn't get a soundcheck) we thought we'd better be leaving.

All night we'd managed to avoid hearing the result of the crucial England vs Turkey football match. (I'd toyed with the idea of trying to get the commentary on my ear monitors - though felt this might be a bit distracting when I'm playing a gig - especially if England score or if Beckham missed a penalty - yeah, as if!!!)

Once back at Thorsten Towers we were excited about watching the recording of the game. There were some nervous (and dangerous) moments when we thought Thorsten had taped the wrong channel - though it was OK and we settled down to enjoy the match. I'm a bit passionate about my football - though I don't think the guys (and Angela) were prepared for just how 'loud' I can be. When Dyer was booted in the face by that Adam and the Ants-w**ker-c**t face-turd-Turk-goalkeeper my language was somewhat colourful!!!

It was a really tense game and 0 - 0 was a great result and job done. I was pleased that both Wales and Scotland also secured play off places though don't give much hope to either of them getting past Russia and Holland respectively.

After we'd completed our naked victory lap of Hamm, we went to bed and slept well we did!

Instrumental re-workings of classic Simple Minds songs by Simon Hayward

Someone Somewhere in Summertime (4.09)
Life in Oils (3.22)
Big Sleep - fookmiester remix (6.58)
Easy (2.50)
Veldt / Spaceface (3.20)
Scar (3.02)
Homosapien (5.24)
In Trance as Mission (3.44)
Hello (3.01)
Come a Long Way (5.00)
Film Theme (3.07)
Book of Brilliant Things (4.28)
See the Lights (4.21)
I Travel 85 (3.46)
Room (5.16)
Boys from Brazil (3.10)
Cry Again (3.30)
Waterfront (4.37)
New Gold Dream (5.37)

On sale now.
Contact Simon Hayward for details.

12th October
The Englishmen Abroad
I'm no longer allowed to pour orange juice without supervision! After breakfast we said goodbye to Thorsten's girlfriend, Angela and went to The Hoppegarden to collect our gear. Waiting there is Sven from last nights heavy metal band B.M.F. He'd been instructed by his girlfriend to get a copy of our CD - the poor guy looks like he's been waiting for us all night!

Thorsten, clad in his black leather Terminator costume takes us for an afternoon out in Cologne. It looks like a lovely city and we take some photos of a quaint little church in the centre square. There was a big festival going on where people dressed in traditional costumes march around with military bands celebrating shooting things - or something? It was a bit like the Nuremberg rally - only with fewer tanks!!! Not content with ridiculing the Germans in their lady-boy clothing, we move on to the many Turkish takeaways to spread the news of England's footballing qualification. What a great day out!!!

As the water cannons were being deployed to quell our jubilations, we thought it best to sneak away to the airport. It was sad to have to say goodbye to Terminator Thorsten, but he said, "I'll be back". Then, in an act of vengeance for part 1 of my tour diary, Dave drives the trolley into my ankle and cripples me. Strangely we didn't get hit for airport tax this time (despite having more stuff than when we came out) and had a pleasant flight back to Manchester (though the landing was a bit scary). I tried to claim compensation for damage to my keyboard in transit, but the scary old trout in baggage control is having none of it! (Bitch!)

It's been quite an experience playing these gigs and I'd like to thank all the guys for putting up with my snoring, bad bass playing and constant 'air biscuits'!!! Thorsten and Angela have been wonderful hosts - a HUGE thank you. For all the people who came to see us I hope we lived up to your expectations - seeing you smile and sing along makes it all worthwhile.

We discussed plans and songs for our next gigs (whenever they are) and Steve has come up with the most audacious Simple Minds set opener of all time - I can't wait to play it!!! Based on feedback, both 'War Babies' and 'Hunter and the Hunted' look set for a comeback + we'll be taking a look at some new songs from 'Cry', 'Street Fighting Years' and 'Sons and Fascination'.

I can't wait!!!

See you there!

Simon Hayward

SaMPLE MINDS - Live On The Waterfront

Waterfront (4.15)
Alive and Kicking (6.36)
Love Song - live (5.00)
Someone Somewhere in Summertime (4.42)
Don't You forget about me (5.25)

Live - Glasgow, Scotland 2003
Theme For Great Cities (4.04)
War Babies (3.27)
The American (4.59)
King is White and in the Crowd (4.24)
New Sunshine Morning (3.50)
Sanctify Yourself (6.12)
Pleasantly Disturbed (6.43)
Alive and Kicking - featuring Betty! (6.15)
New Gold Dream (6.41)

On sale now.
Contact Simon Hayward for details.