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New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Virgin DVDAV2230
January 17th 2005

Includes:
9 audio tracks
Promised You A Miracle and New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)* videos.
Lyrics
Weblinks
Discography


Once Upon A Time
Virgin DVDAV2364
January 17th 2005

Includes:
8 audio tracks
Alive And Kicking and All The Things She Said videos.
Lyrics
Weblinks
Discography

(* The fact that there is no video for New Gold Dream bodes well for the accuracy and contents of both these releases. For the record, I assume it's the Glittering Prize video as these CDs have been issued by Virgin's "Give Them Nothing New" department.)

Joining Sample Minds, The Blowups and New Gold Dream are Simple Minds Tribute 1984 - the latest tribute band on the block.

Having already played the Etten-Leur Hacel Festival, check out the band's website for more information, and hopefully new gigs to come.



Music chain Sound Control born in the days of punk rock has become the UK's biggest supplier of musical instruments and equipment after aquiring rival retailer Academy of Sound.

Sound Control, founded in Dunfermline more than 2 years ago, has paid an undisclosed cash sum to the two owners of Academy of Sound to create a company with 25 stores and joint sales of £60m.

Texas, Busted and Simple Minds are among the rock bands that are counted among their celebrity customers.

A leading player in Sound Control is marketing director Andy Gillespie, who has played keyboards for Simple Minds for the band's world tours for the past three years. "The acquisition of Academy of Sound doubles the size of our business at a stroke" he said.

"It gives us the ability to reach right across the Uk, to satisfy what is becoming a huge sophisticated market."

Sound Control already boasts annual sales of £35m. It was founded by Pat Kelly, who began by providing equipment to bands such as The Skids and Big Country.

Terry Murden & Perry Gourley
Scotland On Sunday
14th November 2004

Previously left out on the new album page, was that the album won't be released on Eagle Records. Despite having a two album deal, and only delivering one (which was Cry as apparently Neon Lights doesn't count) the group left the record company early in 2003. All subsequent releases have been through Virgin and Absolutely.

It's expected that the band will sign up with another major for the release of the new album.



Four albums have been released in SACD format (New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84), Once Upon A Time, Best Of and Cry). Next year, Virgin plan to issue several DVD-Audio versions. Like SACD, the format offers better sound quality than plain CD, but DVD-Audio is only playable in DVD-Audio players.

With New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) and Sparkle In The Rain pencilled in for release, Once Upon A Time will be issued on the new format on the 17th January.



I've been asked several times about the Claddagh, so I've added some of its history and its use on Simple Minds releases to the FAQ.



The covers discography continues with the first release from 1992 (which was a popular year). Eastside Beat took Alive And Kicking and made it their own.



Dec. 27th: 9p.m. & 11p.m.
The Baked Potato
3787 Cahuenga Blvd
Studio City, CA
818-980-1615

Featuring:
Alan Hinds, Guitar
J.K. Kleutgens, Bass
Hans Zermuehlen, Keys
Mark Schulman, Drums



And for Christmas, what could be better than a top Simple Minds rarity under the tree? Forget those ultra-rare copies of Promised You A Miracle that are endlessly listed on eBay - this list is the real deal (scroll down to the bottom).

Despite illness preventing Simple Minds from performing at Trevor Horn's concert in London last month, they're represented on Produced By Trevor Horn, a double CD-set of artists he's produced over the last decades. Released on ZTT on November 22nd, the track-listing features The Buggles, Art Of Noise, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Pet Shop Boys, Seal, Belle & Sebastien and taTu.

Simple Minds are represented by Belfast Child and Mandela Day, the two 'most famous' tracks from the Trevor Horn produced Street Fighting Years.

A great compilation of diverse acts and well worth buying.



Updates to Our Secrets Are The Same in the discography:

  • An image of the original UK non-mastered CD and the matrix number have been uploaded. Seriously anorak I know, but good questions and nice images to compare with anymore copies turning up on eBay.
  • All Jim's comments about the Secrets songs from Silver Box have been added to the song pages. As well as writer and publisher info. (Did you know that Swimming Towards The Sun wasn't written by Jim or Charlie at all?)
  • All the song times are now correct. So, Hello gets an extra ten seconds due to its new intro.
Speaking of Silver Box, I've updated the promo discography with the 10-track, rather rare, sampler.



And I've added Kelvin to the incomplete, but growing, covers discography. This rather Europopish cover of Alive And Kicking was issued in 2003 to help out Utrecht FC. And now it's been immortalized on Redux.

I promised to this to several people a couple of weeks ago.

The Melting Point Of Gold

ONE

THIS RECORD is something of a glow. Whatever your preference you will find it memorable and instructive. Find its qualities and fix your place. Be swept, be drained ... This is really all I have to say, but I shall not stop on that account. Indeed, I shall begin again.

TWO

MY LOYALTY towards Simple Minds is known to be considerable, yet even I am jarred by the constant beauty of this music. Truly, all I need to say is that New Golden Dream(sic) robs me of my breath - but let's continue. Be swept, be drained, believe me.

THREE

After their last (double) LP it could be said that despite their undoubted ability, the group threatened to settle down into an overwhelming, agitating monotony devoid of nobility: a heat-switch has been turned on, the looming Simple Minds solid has melted, is melting into a bewitching, fresh sound. Suddenly the group sound acutely aware of space and emptiness, and their impact is a lot harder because of that. (When I say harder, I am just as likely to mean "softer" - it depends whether you're stood on your head or not.)

Simple Minds took a certain way with rhythm and motion to it limits; they've now shook away what was becoming a kind of concussion, to be left with a very clear head. And, clearly, a heat. 'Melting' is a useful word to use in connection with this record. Not only are the known Minds cliches melting into new forms and shapes, but also more general cliches melt into new meanings. The familiar deliciously fails in on itself. This 'melting' results in an exotic re-orientation.

Indeed, and this is perhaps because the Minds' aspirations sometimes seemed too great for the pop context to hold, the music contained here is as searching a representation of the meltings between what is 'memory' and what is 'imagination' as that which troubles me in the workings of Beckett and Baudelaire. New Golden Dream(sic) is the perfect attack upon those who think POP too small to think big.

The group, confounding banal limitations and their duff reputation as kids muddling in areas roughly outside their scope, have outgrown what was previously their defiant restlessness, a celebrated stoicism, and turned their song into an adventure: an adventure embedded in memory/imagination, patient and dark, as intoxicating as the adventure of Buckley, as personally aggressive as the adventure of Joy Division. It is responsible to no one and nothing, it is sensation for sensation's sake, but it takes the working listener to wherever, it suggests to the working listener that ... everything is possible.

Let's face it, it's a glorious achievement to produce something that works generously in the usual sweet way tucked inside the trivialised pop context, yet that stretches far beyond those coloured walls to stand strong as an exhilarated, canny comment on the "state of the world's flow", on the position of hope and anxiety. There's plenty of light and melody through the 'Dream' to please you; but enough heat to chill you.

There's a number of outstanding instrumental performances to turn to - Forbes' arrogantly shrewd and eager guitar, MacNeil's expressive and seemingly infallible keyboarding - but 'Dreams' music is something that succeeds smoothly yet provocatively as 'a whole'. A rippling, humming, beating, rustling, driving, melting 'whole', with Kerr's voice, his glancing, broken words, as if tiny holes allowing glimpses into the worldview that enabled such noble music to appear. The 'whole' is an ardent, tender sound that sweeps and sways between the sly and the open with pleasured mastery; as for Kerr's 'holes', there's nothing wrong with his spelling, his spelling is binding, his images and touches spellbinding. If previously he could be irritating, now he and his words insist on response. And measure the words' intrigue by the depth of that response. The working listener will be quietly, carefully, profoundly re-placed.

The absolutely gripping opening song Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) immediately announces that Simple Minds have shed old skin. What accounts for this shedding, the 'melting', the shaking away of concussion, is the group swallowing the pill of simplicity: rather than try to make a point or point towards mystery through a rush and rush of overcompensation - this is where many other groups, ie. Bauhaus, flip and flop into the muddle of futility - the group have moved out into the opening of understatement, tweaking will and snatching heart through implication.

It's the kind of simplicity Joy Division smashed into accidentally and to devastating effect: a proof of articulacy and sensitivity through keen selectivity. The two '82 singles Promised You A Miracle and Glittering Prize fit into this record not blatant shows of concession for the charts but as bright, confident celebrations of this simplicity: the group scatter their assault rather than channel it.

Listening to the completely satisfying instrumental Somebody Up There Likes You it sounds as though Simple Minds believe they a creating magic: and in a way they are, conjuring up from nowhere such vital, cajoling systems as Big Sleep and King Is White And In The Crowd, systems that will connect themselves to your experiences without wasting your time or minimising your energy. The title track confirms that Simple Minds' diagnosis of what is up and down about the bits and pieces of the world is as shocking, shaming and indignant as any pop group's.

And then when Herbie Hancock glides in to embellish the lovely Hunter And The Hunted, one doesn't sense a clumsy, irrelevant intrusion by a name pianist with a huge erratic musical background, just an apt, almost hidden contribution by one musician to the effort of other musicians. It's a fine moment, sealing the group's (radiant) simplicity, and claiming that the group can exist on any terms - no longer must they be locked into a strained art-pop closet.

So certainly this is Simple Minds' most distinguished collection. It also continues, powerfully, a period of music that melts and scatters around For Your Pleasure, Correct Use Of Soap, Closer, Sulk, Tin Drum, a music that went to follow through how Iggy somersaulted through good and bad possibilities, how Reed reached below the functional surfaces of city life, how Bowie travelled, how Hamill hoped, how Eno twisted and treated the pop song to the edge of 'the marvellous'. A music swerving and unnerving through recollection and recognition and habit and faded sensations ... searching for connections and new vantage points, using pop to mind more about memory than the order of guitar notes.

Simple Minds have produced something as inventive, as cleansing, as suggestive as anything by the musicians, The Heroes, who first inspired them to form around the days and nights in Glasgow. This will thrill them, for it is still in them to be thrilled. And what will thrill you is that it is possible to pluck something as special and triumphant as this out from amidst all the painful failures. Its uses are abstract, but its signifance is universal. And the feeling grows, as I listen, that they're just beginning.

FOUR

AND NOW you begin...

Paul Morley
NME
18th September 1982




Due to a misprint in a press release, Charlie's birthday was incorrectly given in several official Simple Minds publications (including the Real Life tour programme). If you want to wish him a happy birthday, then it's best to wait until the 27th November.
Congratulations Bruce!

< Former Simple Minds manager Bruce Findlay received a top prize at Scotland’s Music Industry awards. The event was held to raise funds for Nordoff-Robbins, a music therapy charity, the Tartan Clefs recognise outstanding contribution to the music industry, at home and abroad, the Ex-Minds boss was honoured with the Music Industry Award.

Wet Wet Wet claimed the Miller Tartan Clef award, and were set to entertain the 500 strong audience with one of their first live performances since reforming earlier this year. The Darkness guitarists Dan Hawkins and Frankie Poullain were to accept the inaugural T in the Park Best Live Performance award. A spokesman for the flamboyant band said: "Touring bonnie Scotland is like feasting from a veritable banquet where every flower reveals itself."

Nicola Benedetti, the teenage violin virtuoso from Ayrshire, collected the Clear Channel Classical award, while songwriter/singer Edwyn Collins received the Performing Right Society Songwriters award. While Donovan received the Sennheiser UK Outstanding Contribution to Music award. Other honours went to Celtic Connections, the winter music festival, which received the Saga 105.2 Your Life, Your Music award, and The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, awarded the Sir Reo Stakis Foundation Lifetime Achievement award.

All proceeds from the event, which was hosted by Real Radio’s Jay Crawford, were to go to Nordoff-Robbins, Scotland’s first national music therapy charity. Organisers expected the event to eclipse the £127,000 raised last year.

Fiona McGregor
Scotland On Sunday
7th November 2004




Some French on-line retailers are advertising a six CD set by Simple Minds called A History. This mouthwatering box is due to hit the web-based stores in mid-November.

All is not what it seems. A History was the original, deemed 'boring', title of Silver Box, and extra disc is a typo.

Another mythical release from the virtual world.




The saviour of Radio One, Chris Moyles, recently played Alive And Kicking on his early morning show. As part of the Buzz Off feature, the song is kept on the air by majority support of either the studio team or the listeners texting in. Alive And Kicking made it to the end of the song with 82% of audience approval and Chris enthusing the album version was even better.

Another one you might want to leave on the shelf in the shop is Seen The Lights: Live In Verona. Released the same day as Silver Box, this cynical repackaging is simply one disc from the Seen The Lights set.

If you're tempted, find the double set instead. It's probably cheaper as well.




Good luck to sample MINDS who are playing in Crewe tonight. For more details about the gig, or further news about the tribute band, check out their website.
Released this Monday, the remastered editions of New Gold Dream and Sparkle In The Rain have yet again been be packed up together and sold as a box-set (this being the third time).

It's Virgin VBX7, a limited edition which you may want to leave on the shelf.

With the tour finished, and Silver Box on the shelves, Simple Minds are going to return to the studio to complete work on their next studio album.

Therefore it seemed a good idea to gather all the information known about the new album, and gather it all in one place. Expect this section to be updated regularly over the coming year.

Scorpio or God Save Us From Our Governements? Information about the new album can be found here.

Despite Virgin's assurances, some copies of Silver Box are faulty. The lack of one or two discs has been widely reported, but in some cases sections of the booklet are either missing or inserted upside-down.

The morale is: Try to get it from a shop, and check it before leaving.

The initial batch has now sold out, leaving some on-line retailers without stock. I'm afraid it's just a matter of being patient as Virgin press up more.

One small detail which has confused me is the 'misprint' on the back of the box itself. It turns out, after being sent a copy, that Simlpe Minds is on the European copies only - looks like the designer asked to put the Copy Protection artwork on the back overstepped his/her brief.




The 'new' Seen The Lights DVD is now appearing in the shops. It's a single disc from the original double set, comprising of the Verona and Newcastle City Hall gigs. However, the original double set is still plentiful, now being offered at a lower price.... lower than this newly repackaged single disc from the set.




A great review of Johnny And The Self Abusers has just turned up, which paints a vivid picture of those early gigs. Jim is described as "too motionless" and "cool" before he decided to dance on a table during Pogo Dancing. You'll find the review, first published in Pretty Vacant Fanzine here.

The Empires And Dance sections have now been added to Dream Giver Redux.

"The stock should be out there today, but some shops may have taken late delivery - I can't say unless I know exactly which shops people are having trouble with. We did experience extremely high orders for the box and all the initial stock has been allocated. We are currently re-manufacturing stock and will re-supply as soon as possible, however due to the very special nature of the box this is not as swift a process as would usually be the case...

I am not aware of any manufacturing fault and I have just checked with out production department and neither are they." - Virgin Records

I don't think it's a case of a manufacturing fault. Looks like they've already run out of copies.

The first copies of Silver Box were sent out on Friday throughout Germany. Some fans reported that the fifth CD, Our Secrets Are The Same, was missing from the set.

Come Monday, and the CD has been released everywhere. Or has it? Whilst my local HMV had a couple of the box-sets on display, they'd both been opened, which was odd. Furthermore, some on-line retailers have not issued the box: "Please note that this item has been temporarily withdrawn from sale(everywhere) due to a manufacturing fault. We have been informed by the record company that it will become available again in November, and we will ship this item to you as soon as it lands in our warehouse!"

I've so far listened to three of the discs and they haven't been mispressed. It's possible that the withdrawl is due to the 5th disc being missing in some of the sets (hence my local record store opening the packages to check them), but at the moment, the status of this long awaited release is uncertain.











Congratulations Mark and Jen!

"I am so excited to announce my engagement to my extraordinary lady, Jennifer Kolchier! I asked Jen to marry me in the bubble bath on the gulf coast of Florida; she said yes!!! Life is glorious! "

Mark Schulman

The following is the start of a track-by-track review of Silver Box. So, spoilers ahead! If you'd rather keep the surprises for October, then skip this section.

Simple Minds: Silver Box Disc #3-#4 1985-1995

Live In Rotterdam
Silver Box: Waterfront/Ghostdancing/Book Of Brilliant Things/Once Upon A Time/All The Things She Said/Alive And Kicking/Sanctify Yourself.
Actual: Waterfront/Ghostdancing/Don't You (Forget About Me)Book Of Brilliant Things/Once Upon A Time/All The Things She Said/Alive And Kicking/Sanctify Yourself.

By the time of Once Upon A Time, Simple Minds was the eighth most bootlegged artist in the world, with the bootleggers having to press up triple albums to capture their entire concerts. From the Rotterdam gig, it's easy to hear why - this is the period of most excess with the songs going on forever. Having listened to the trimmed and lean Live In The City Of Light over the years, and with the band subsequently shortening their live numbers since the 1990s, it comes as quite a shock as to how excessive some of these songs were.

This gig will be familar to most as it was available as a TV show, broadcast across America (thanks to Westwood One) and bootlegged extensively. Don't You (Forget About Me) even appeared on the flip of All The Things She Said, probably why it's not included here.


Barrowlands 1991
Silver Box: Real Life/See The Lights/Travelling Man/East At Easter/Banging On The Door/Stand By Love/Oh Jungleland/King Is White And In The Crowd/Big Sleep/Let There Be Love/Ghostrider/Belfast Child
Actual: Real Life/Love Song/See The Lights/Travelling Man/East At Easter/Banging On The Door/Book Of Brilliant Things/Stand By Love/Oh Jungleland/Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)/King Is White And In The Crowd/Big Sleep/Sanctify Yourself/Let There Be Love/Alive And Kicking/Waterfront/Ghostrider/Belfast Child

Over the years, I've been drowned in Real Life live tracks. From the B-sides of Stand By Love, Real Life and Love Song/Alive And Kicking, from the US radio broadcasts, from the UK radio broadcasts, from the fan club limited CDs, from the TV broadcast, and from the endless bootlegs, Real Life is the most over exposed of Simple Minds live output. Having an almost entire show here, some of which I've already got, is too much. I've listened to it once and then put it back in its sleeve. The only saving grace is that you get the full unedited broadcast, complete with Billy Sloan introduction, but it's not enough to interest me.


Royal Concert Hall 1995
Silver Box: She's A River/Up On The Catwalk/Hypnotised
Actual: She's A River/Up On The Catwalk/See The Lights/The American/Big Sleep/Great Leap Forward/Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)/Hypnotised/Let There Be Love/Belfast Child/Roadhouse Blues-Waterfront/Love Song/Alive And Kicking/And The Band Played On/Don't You (Forget About Me)/Sancitfy Yourself.

It's interesting as to how bad the sound is here. Jim can heardly be heard through the mix, thus making the last three tracks of disc #4 somewhat of a disappointment. At least Good News From The Next World was represented in part (although why the US live recordings weren't selected is somewhat of a mystery); Neapolis (and everything since) has been ignored. A pity.




Simple Minds: Silver Box Disc #5 1999: Our Secrets Are The Same

For those who’ve heard Our Secrets Are The Same as MP3s, as the badly recorded Internet mush from Jordi Tarda, then you’re in for a treat. The crystal clear recording here is a revelation, and how the album was intended to be heard. With the exception of Space, Secrets sparkles with subtle instrumentation and effects. For example, Death By Chocolate sounds like a completely different song.

However, for those who’ve got the original leaked unmastered CDs, then the changes are far less dramatic. Charlie’s work in the early months of 2003 consisted of remixing the songs, bringing the keyboards further up in the mix, and leaving the guitars behind. Do I hear extra new vocal layering on Swimming To The Sun? Is there extra percussion on Happy Is The Man?

Hello has changed the most, even gaining a new intro, Jim’s voice clarified and extra strings added. However, Space still sounds like it’s been sung in a closet, an incredibly claustrophobic treatment, which stands out amongst the other tracks on the album.




There's another Simple Minds release on the 18th October. Seen The Lights: Live In Verona will be the second official DVD issued by Virgin. However, it's probably just one of the discs from Seen The Lights packaged separately - nothing to get too excited about.




sample MINDS, a Simple Minds tribute band, now have their own website, which can be found at www.sampleminds.co.uk. Here you'll find audio and video downloads, their discography, and all the latest news: for instance, their next gig is in Crewe on the 3rd Novemeber at the Limelight Club. Check them out: highly recommended.




I've finally got around to adding the Australian CD of White Spaces Featuring Jim Kerr to the discography. Whilst it looked like a new collection of all the various Don't You remixes, the Perky Park remix is slightly different, with the addition of crowd noise over the end of the track. One for the completists but they'll probably already have it!

The Real To Real Cacophony sections are now on Dream Giver Redux. This includes updates to the news, discography, songs, people, timeline, tours, press releases, reviews and other sections.




Want to win a copy of Silver Box? RememberTheEighties.com have five copies to give away in their easy competition (click on 'news' and follow the link).

This months Record Collector featured a review of the box set, and a quick Q&A session with Jim:

SIMPLE MINDS BOX

It's a rare, nigh-on impossible opportunity to be confronted with such a vast collection. Rarer still is the fact that it all matters and that each song, whether it's Life In A Day in 1979 or Sleeping in 1999, has been chosen for a specific reason: chronicling where Jim Kerr, Charlie Burchill, Michael MeNeil, Mel Gaynor and the rest of the rotational nucleus that made up Glasgow's most successful band to date have been and, possibly, where they choose to go from here. The last 12 years have seen the Simple Minds back catalogue - well, mainly the hits as opposed to the obscurities - collected together to form ubiquitous showcases of their story: Glittering Prize 81/92, The Best Of Simple Minds and Early Gold, but nothing of the magnitude of Silver Box has been attempted.

Each CD acts as a chapter, skilfully documenting the early, early days, bar Johnny And The Self Abusers, the swift evolution into an enigma way more pivotal than just New Romanticism, the rise to global stardom and stadiums and how Simple Minds managed to sustain the magic and energy before deciding to go it alone and, in many ways, returning to square one where it all began: songwriting culled from the fruits of Jim and Charlie's lifelong friendship. Capturing the band at their earliest critical point between 1979 and 1980, CD 1 shows the transition from avant-garde to John Peel Sessions and John Leckie-produced demos with tracks like Premonition, Changeling, I Travel, Twist/Run/Repulsion and Constantinople Line, to a pan-European sounding group with definition and their own agenda.

The next disc follows on with raw, radically unpolished demos, courtesy of Steve Hillage, that take in old favourites: The American, Life In Oils, Sweat In Bullet and Love Song while select out-takes from David Jensen sessions in '82 and '83 spawn unedited performances of In Trance As Mission, Someone Somewhere (In Summertime), Hunter And The Hunted and The Kick Inside Of Me. Bridging the gap between the New Gold Dream and Sparkle In The Rain period, a 12-minute live version of the former, complete with Bono at the Glasgow Barrowlands in '85 makes way for a Live Aid rehearsal of Don't You (Forget About Me) where Kerr actually forgets the words at certain points.

The two discs that follow are primarily made up live recordings: pre-Live In The City Of Light workings of Waterfront, Book Of Brilliant Things, Once Upon A Time and Alive And Kicking at the Ahoy in Rotterdam precede the euphoric crowd roars before Mandela Day live at the first Wembley Stadium event in 1988. Twelve songs from the 1991 Real Life homecoming bash back at Barrowlands cover anything from See The Lights and East At Easter to Oh Jungleland, Big Sleep and Belfast Child before the fifth final platter is represented by the mature, roots-return album Our Secrets Are The Same from 1999 that was never given an official release due to legal wrangles.

And that, for the time being, is where the story of Simple Minds' influential musical history signs off. So, until they dust off the rest of their old archives that are yet to be found, sit back and bask in the glory of a band whose new gold dream actually made a difference and, in many ways, still does.


Q&A with Jim Kerr

Did it take a long time to whittle down the final track listing?
A guy called , who was the drummer in a Glasgow band called The Silencers - he's a best mate and has basically grown up around Simple Minds. If it had come down to us, we'd have ended up arguing, so we used Martin because he could bring an outside perspective to it. Martin pulled it together really well.

The recordings at Barrowlands seem to hold great significance...
Barrowlands has always been a special place to us; my mum and dad even met each other in there! Even big American bands would know about it. It's the place and it's such a pit (laughs)! I think that there's always a moment in a band's career when they're on the cusp and it can go either way, and once they've played that venue it seems to either go through the roof from then on or it just pans out, so I guess some bands use the place as a kind of rocket-launch, if you like; an acid test. That night when we had Bono join us on stage was definitely one of them.

The atmosphere must have been wild.
The thing is, I was still in shock that night because Bono and Ali, his wife, had stayed over at my mum's house for a few days and he'd just bought himself a really dodgy new old-car that he thought was cool, so he insisted on driving us to the gig in it. I don't think he knew what he was doing as he drove through the middle of Glasgow. This was while he was completely sober (laughs)! I don't think I'd quite gathered my senses even by the time I went on stage. It was a very over-the-top night, put it that way (laughs). A great night.

Where next?
We're always thinking about the next song, the next gig and to the future, but the fact is that if you don't clear out the vaults at some point the tracks will end up online on the Internet anyway: someone will always know someone else who'll have that rare version or that dodgy mix that was never released, and suddenly it's out there for people to download, so you might as well get it mastered and sounding good, with some decent artwork on it and put it out legitimately. It's more a case of us wanting to tidy things up.

Swax M. Thomas
Record Collector
November 2004




Adam Sweeting (originally the band's biographer) reviewed Silver Box in The Guardian this Friday. Giving the set four out of five, the review can be found on the Guardian's website and is reproduced below:

If you chucked out most of discs three and four from this beefy five-disc box, you'd be left with some fascinating insights and lost nuggets from the past and near-present of Simple Minds. Over a 25-year career, the band have gone from eclectic experimentalism through clapalong mega-pomp and back to something in between, and that trajectory is captured here.

This collection consists entirely of unreleased material, with demos and radio sessions covering the Minds' earlier years; previously unreleased live recordings documenting the shouty, lumbering 1980s-to-1990s; and a complete unreleased album, Our Secrets Are the Same, on the fifth disc. The album, dating from 1999, was scuppered by legal wranglings, but it's some of the best music the band have made in 20 years. Tracks such as Death By Chocolate or Happy Is The Man recall something of their old pioneering spirit, and show a fascination with the process of recording rather than with prancing about in front of a sea of cigarette lighters.

Anyone interested in the band's history will be gripped by the first two discs. There are 1979 live recordings of their earliest songs, such as Life In A Day and Chelsea Girl, which display precocious focus and imagination. And there's an excellent batch of demos from the Empires And Dance sessions, produced by John Leckie and mostly very close to the finished versions. From 1981, there are demos of songs from Sons and Fascination, including the long-lost Life In Oils, and powerful performances of tracks from New Gold Dream recorded for David Jensen's Radio 1 show.

You can hear the wheels starting to come off during a horrific 1985 live recording of New Gold Dream from Barrowlands in Glasgow, which goes on for hours and features synchronised bellowing from Bono and Jim Kerr. And the rest of the mid-80s live material is dismally overblown and over-long. But maybe they're on the brink of a critic-defying comeback.

Adam Sweeting
The Guardian
1st October 2004




The Open University are using Usura's Open Your Mind as backing music for adverts on BBC 1. Good to hear New Gold Dream on the BBC again.

The following is the start of a track-by-track review of Silver Box. So, spoilers ahead! If you'd rather keep the surprises for October, then stop reading now.

Simple Minds: Silver Box Disc #2 1981-1985

Sons And Fascination demos
Silver Box: Careful In Career/The American/Life In Oils/Sweat In Bullet/Love Song.
Actual: Americans/Life In Oils/Twenty One/Check Out/Love Song

Prepared as a bait for potential record companies, the Sons And Fascination demos were more polished and refined than the ‘get the latest live songs on tape’ approach take by the previous Empires And Dance ideas. Mick MacNeil took the producers’ chair (not Hillage) and his girlfriend Hanna provided backing vocals.

The songs ranged from rough ideas with minimal vocals (Careful In Career), the almost completed (Love Song), the it’s-all-over-but-for-recording (Sweat In Bullet and The American) and the absolutely finished and never to been seen again (Life In Oils).

Careful In Career: The instrumentaion was softened when Hillage took the chair, and Jims vague, unfinished vocals were really beefed up for the final recording.

The American: Oddly fragile, but complete, even down to the double vocals on the choruses. Some minor lyric shuffling, and harder underpinnings, would nail the track later.

Life In Oils: For many, who avoided the grubby Saturday markets at Camden Town and resisted the chewed C90 cassettes, this will be the biggest surprise, the unreleased and forgotten Life In Oils. If Leckie had produced the album, this would’ve been on it.

This fragile, etherial track was unlike the other songs recorded for the session, wandering from place to place, never really reaching its destination. Its wispy nature would suggest the more etherial nature of New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84), but it lacked any real drive or melody. As such, Jim rescued the more inspired Brecht quotes, and cemented them into 20th Century Promised Land, before casting the rest away.

(Often called Shadow Follow on bootlegs, due to the mishearing of a repeated shouted phrase throughout the song).

Sweat In Bullet: It’s difficult to see where Hillage, or Simple Minds, could’ve pulled more out of the demo, so it was simply re-recorded for the album as is.

Love Song: The demo groans and labours along, as if the weight of the song is too much for it. Brian rattles away, Derek churns on bass, Charlie offers a chord here and there. The only uplifting moments are Mick’s synths, breaking in and lifting the mood during the choruses.

The middle-8 is entirely undeveloped with everyone stopping and watching Brian (as he unexpectedly comes up with the album intro of New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)). Whoever decided to add the appegio riff and its characteristic false start (a nodd towards Both Ends Burning by Roxy Music?) when the song was eventually recorded deserves a medal. The album version shines and flows for it; the demo just plods and eventually gets stuck.




Kid Jenson Session: 23rd February 1982
Silver Box: Promised You A Miracle/In Trance As Mission
Actual: Promised You A Miracle/In Trance As Mission/King Is White And In The Crowd

Those fed on the previous John Peel sessions would’ve wondered what had happened, as Simple Minds turned briefly into ABC for a sparkly, confident version of their forthcoming single.

In Trance As Mission appeared in its flowing live guise, whilst another brand new song, King Is White And In The Crowd, sounded souless and lacked the colour of the others. (This take of King Is White And In The Crowd was oddly chosen to debut on the flip of Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) and isn’t included in Silver Box).




Kid Jenson Session: 13th September 1982
Silver Box: Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)/Glittering Prize/Hunter And The Hunted
Actual: Summer Song/Glittering Prize/Hunter And The Hunted

Invited back before the release of the album, this session allowed Simple Minds to preview some new songs (for those who hadn’t been catching the band at the weekend festivals in Europe). Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) was largely complete, despite the niggling problem of giving it a title (the BBC recorded it by the demo name of Summer Song). Glittering Prize and Hunter And The Hunted also didn’t show much variation to the eventual album recordings.




Kid Jenson Session: 3rd October 1983
Silver Box: The Kick Inside Of Me
Actual: Waterfront/Kick Inside/New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)

Between a rather hesitant Waterfront, and a fast-and-furous rush through New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) (to be found on 1 And Only: 25 Years Of Radio One CD), the band played a santised version of The Kick Inside Of Me, which had literally been written the day before, based around one of Derek’s bass line. Yet to gain the manic furious drive of the studio smash-up, it appears now as strangly santisied and powerless.




Barrowlands, 5th January 1985
Silver Box: New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Actual: I Travel/Glittering Prize/Book Of Brilliant Things/Up On The Catwalk/Speed Your Love To Me/Promised You A Miracle/Celebrate/The American/East At Easter/Waterfront/New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
The Barrowlands concerts of January 1985 were legendary for many reasons. Firstly, the band recorded the event, changing many of the arrangements of the songs into definite live forms for future releases. Secondly, they were absolutely cracking gigs and thirdly, guest appearences ran throughout the performance, with Bono being invited onstage for the nights’ finale.

Many will be familiar with the Summertime In Glasgow bootlegs which captured this event, all taken from the second night. However, the Silver Box recording is from the third night (as Jim doesn't make his 'joke' about the band splitting up), and Bono has lost all first-night nerves. The whole song turns into a numerical shouting match, before Bono screams “I’m in heaven. I’m in heaven!” and Jim’s left to restore some order by launching into Light My Fire.

This was the best version of New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) predating the radical rearranging two years later for Live The City Of Light. And unlike the other released songs from this concert (Up On The Catwalk, Glittering Prize and Celebrate), it hasn’t been edited in any way. Great stuff.




Don't You (Forget About Me) Band Aid Rehearsal
This is definitely one of the most intimiate and brave inclusions on Silver Box. Given that the band were about to play the biggest gig of their career to date, playing a set comprised of two new songs, its amazing to hear Jim fluffing the lyrics in the first verse, before attempting latter lines in a mockney accent. Despite the lead singer taking the mick somewhat, the rest of the band resolutely and professionally carry it through to fruitition. Good to hear that rehearsals were taken seriously by all.




"Welcome to the Simply Mindless website. This site was created in July 2004 by Steve Robinson and Lawrie Lowe. The idea behind this site is to encourage and motivate ourselves and others to compete in a range of events, to get ourselves fit and healthy whilst raising sponsorship for charities."

Two Simple Minds fans getting fit and healthy, and bravely reporting their progress on their website. All sponsorship goes to charity. So take a look at www.simplymindless.com and give them your support.

There was recently a storm-in-a-teacup about the new studio album, originating from a fan's conversation with Jim, and the subsequent write-up (and removal) of the chat on a website. Whilst the website stated that Jim mentioned the new album being released next year, everyone started talking about 2006.

"Next year" is 2005 as far as I'm concerned.




Mel's been busy recently. After finishing his live work with Simple Minds, he's been teaching at various drum clincs around Europe. He confirmed that his single (Addicted To Love) will be released in France soon, his solo album will be out next year (that's 2005), and he's working with two Danish DJs on a remix/house track.




U2's new single Vertigo features a cover of Kraftwerk's Neon Lights. This will be the second time both Simple Minds and U2 have covered the same song, the first being Dancing Barefoot.

Vertigo is released on three formats on November 8th. Neon Lights appears on CD #2.

Despite being released now, U2's version was recorded around June 2001 for an unrealised Kraftwerk tribute album. So it appears that both bands were working on the same track around the same time.




The following is the start of a track-by-track review of Silver Box. So, spoilers ahead! If you'd rather keep the surprises for October, then stop reading now.

Simple Minds: Silver Box Disc #1 1979-1980

Paris Theatre, London, 9th September 1979
Silver Box: Life In A Day/Chelsea Girl/Here Comes The Fool.
Actual: Scar/Here Comes The Fool/Life In A Day/White Light-White Heat/Chelsea Girl/Pleasantly Disturbed-Memory Of A Free Festival

After two consecutive tours of the UK (one as Magazine's support and then subsequently headlining), Simple Minds retreated to the borders of Wales to start work on their follow-up to Life In A Day. However, their live commitments to their debut were still not over, and after almost a months work, they dusted down their old set-lists and appeared at The Paris Theatre, London, on the 9th September.

Recorded by the BBC, this short set featured the bare minimum required from their first album (as the band had now started to loathe it), peppered with covers and two new songs. This heavily bootlegged show offered a glimpse of those early days; from Mick's overworked keyboards, Derek's in-your-face bass, Brian's no-nonescene approach, Charlie's stabbing guitar, and in direct constrast, Jim's almost nervous lyrics.

Despite being played for over a year live, neither Life In A Day or Chelsea Girl evolved much, remaining synonymous with their vinyl counterparts. Starting Silver Box with such well known tracks is a reassuring move by the compilers, but it's the startling, and previously unreleased Here Comes The Fool, that offers the most surprises. Mick's synths are pushed into overdrive, disappearing into an out-of-tune electronic squeal, whilst Derek's bass relentlessly drives the song onwards. Bold and colourful, it had the all the markings of the Life In A Day era, which is why it was probably eventually shelved.

Alas, there was no room for the proto-Scar with its different lyrics, nor the epic Pleasantly Disturbed/Memory Of A Free Festival finale, which ended the show on a dubious high. Perhaps another time?

Notes: The quality is top notch, but not all that improved from the bootlegs, which were taken from the original BBC broadcasts. Due to the segue of Scar with Here Comes The Fool, the last electronic drones of the former can be heard as Fool kicks in.


John Peel Session: 19th December 1979
Silver Box: Changeling/Premonition/Citizen (Dance Of Youth)/Room
Actual: Changeling/Premonition/Citizen (Dance Of Youth)/Room

Between a quick tour of the UK (with additional visits to the USA, Belgium and Sweden) and Christmas, Simple Minds recorded their second session for Radio One, and first for station stalwart John Peel. After playing the Cacphony soundtrack live for the last couple of months, the Minds turned in a measured and solid performance, and Changeling (the new single) and Premonition were refashioned almost note for note from the album. Citizen (Dance Of Youth) ebbed and flowed with more dynamics than its halting countpart, whilst Room, already debuted during the tour (and not written for the session as was later claimed) was still in an embryonic extended form with Jim's lyrics painting a dreadful bloody scene, far removed from the eventual vague muses on the end of Empires And Dance.

Notes: Again, great quality, but the bootlegs also match, being snagged from the original broadcasts. And whole session is included, which is top marks for the compilers.


Empire And Dance demos
Silver Box: I Travel/Celebrate/Thirty Frames A Second/Captial City/New Warm Skin/Constantinople Line

Acutal: Never documented. For the hardcore, completist Simple Minds fan, the demos of Empires And Dance are the jewel in the crown of this box set. Whilst the demos for Life in A Day and Sons And Fascination are well known (both sets having escaped the clutches of band and record companies), and no demos were recorded for Real To Real Cacophony, in retrospect it seems odd that nothing was ever conjectured about demos for Empires And Dance. Especially considering that Arista would've insisted on hearing the prototypes for the new album, not willing to repeat the surprise that greeted the first hearing of Real To Real Cacophony.

Unlike previously released demos, the quality of this set is rough, sounding like a second generation mangled cassette, before dropping to adequate bootleg quality for Constantinople Line. But this only increases their value, and emphasises their rareness; the only copy that could be sourced was found stuffed down the back of a sofa after being chewed by the dog.

I Travel: The demo's instantly recognisable with Mick's bubbling synths and Derek's solid bassline. For the final album recording, Charlie's almost downbeat guitar line would be spruced up, Brian's odd bass drum intro and kicking inserts ("bang-bang-bang I Travel") were wisely removed and Jim's lyrics were given a final tweaking. (For the demo, "Decadence And Pleasure Town" was replaced with something else, "Parks Hotels And Galleries" was used in one verse, and the 'missing' last sequence "Euro-Bureau-Interpol, Making Love To The Criminals" was present).

Celebrate: A slip by Mick in the first verse suggested his one-fingered rythmic pulse through the song as played, and not programmed. Despite that, the the song was essentially complete (one of the only changes being "Run, run, run, there's somebody home" eventually replaced by "Soilder Talk, And Uniform"). John Leckie had hardly any work to do on this song.

Thirty Frames A Second: Mick's main melodic line with it's odd substain and attack synth programming sounds almost backwards. Jim's lyrics are rushed, cramming more stories into the mix, mentioning his suit not fitting anymore, asking his mother where his food was (on the album it's become 'father'), speaking to his wife (who also didn't recognise him), not recognising his children, and so on.

Twist/Run/Repulsion: The biggest surprise of them all. Whilst Mick weaves a convoluted fairground-style riff thorughout the song (which is entirely absent on the album), Jim's lyrics are entirely different. However, the rest is familiar as Derek's twisting bass is still there, with Charlies weaving guitar work, all backed with the female French narrator reading Lolita.

Capital City: Now with its correct title (although are the Virgin listings correct, and is it still Pulse?), the song was almost complete, having being tried out live over the start of the year. However, Jim's lyrics are echoed and overlaid whilst building up to the chorus (To a City That They Live On) and Mick and Charlie fight for supremacy in the chorus building up to an ill-conceived wall of noise and feedback with Jim shouting Pulse over the top. For the album, it was all sensibly cut back and restrained again.

New Warm Skin: Lost to many as an obscure B-side on an obscure single, this will be their first hearing of the song. Unfortunately, whilst the lyrics are almost finalised (a sometimes amusing take on the subject of plastic surgery: "Beauty, this beast, it's as ugly as sin; this sun can be cruel, I don't want to melt"), the wonderful melody in the chorus is completely missing, with Mick just hinting at what it would become. (I'd suggest that those who haven't heard this song should get a record player and get on eBay.)

Constantinople Line: This sounds like a studio warm-up, caught by a cassette recorder somewhere in the room. Whilst the music is instantly recognisable, the lyrics swerve away from the familiar album lines, with Jim narrating more about the train and extending his conversation with the waiter (and "American Express" gets ar rather unexpected plug). Listen on the fade out as the engineer, or producer, commends the band: "That was good."

Note: Good on Virgin to include these as they're the highlight of the entire box set for me. Even more so, given the quality, with tape drop-outs and wow. The first tracks are good, but the quality starts to drop for Capital City and New Warm Skin, whilst Constantinople Line is very rough. But, this is the nature of the beast, and I'd rather hear the rough stuff than not at all.

Simple Minds
Box Set (Universal)

It's hard to believe, and much of this lavish five-CD set of live and demo rarities doesn't help, but honestly - once upon a time, Simple Minds were cool. As angular, theatrical and plain weird as Roxy Music, Sparks or The Futureheads, in 1979 they were true underground stars. Listen to the live version of Life In A Day, Premonition from a 1979 Peel session or the demo of Thirty Frames A Second and you hear startling pre-echoes of the starchy, uptight Euro-funk that also underpins Franz Ferdinand.

CD2 finds the band hitting an early peak with Promised You A Miracle, where their nervy invention is welded to a fuck-off chorus, and the groove-heavy atmospherics of Hunter And The Hunted. All good. Then, in the mid-'80s, something terrible happened. U2 became enoromous and the Minds found their own take on what was called, in all seriousness, The Big Music. Bono appears on a live take of New Gold Dream that's nearly 13 minutes long and 'quotes' from The Doors' Light My Fire. It's immeasurably bad. The Live Aid rehearsal of Don't You (Forget About Me), finds Glaswegian Jim Kerr singing in a Lahndahn* accent. As a cultural artefact it's interesting - once - but you'd have to be mentally ill to want to hear it twice.

By CD3, Waterfront - a neat throb of a single - is bloated into ten-plus minutes of wanky noodling and Ghost Dancing is so clearly in hock to U2's The Unforgettable Fire it's embarrassing, By CD4 it's time for Belfast Child. God no! Miraculously, though, CD5 the band's 1999 `lost' album is almost wank-free.

So, devour CD1, check out two, throw away three and four and burn five. Lesson learned.

*Lahndanh accent - London accent. Think Michael Caine: "You're only supposed to blow the bloodahey doors orfff". Or something like that - Simon.

Rob Fitzpatrick
NME
28th August 2004




Seen The Lights is going to be reissued as two separate DVDS. Seen The Lights - Live will feature the live material from the set and is set for release on the 18th October. Seen The Lights - The Videos won't appear until the 31st January 2005. It isn't known if the videos will include the 'missing' videos from the original set.




The Live Aid DVD listing previously published here was incorrect. Simple Minds are now represented by Don't You (Forget About Me) and Ghostdancing.

See here for more information and a breakdown of each disc.




Dream Ticket, a BBC 6 show, will be featuring a Simple Minds album as part of the show on the 30th August. Those who can't hear the show, but have broadband, can wait and listen to the show via the Listen Again option.

NME have reviewed Silver Box. It's shocking.

  1. It's box-set of the week!
  2. The early stuff is really great. Honestly, it's really great!!
  3. They like Our Secrets Are The Same!!!
  4. (Of course, the stadium years are still rubbish - but you can't have everything).

So, good on the NME




Further excitment occured when a New Gold Dream 2-CD set appeared in the various retail store listings, set for release in September. However, it all turned to complete boredom and disinterest when it was realized that it's simply a repackaging, of the repackaging, of the New Gold Dream/Sparkle In The Rain double pack that no-one wanted in the first place.

Some more details about Silver Box:

  1. Full listings of the 5-CD promo set are now published.
  2. The promos include the usual errors on their sleeves. Hopefully this isn't a premonition (ha!) of the booklet. For example, the two demo sets of Empires And Dance and Sons And Fascination were not produced by John Leckie or Steve Hillage (because, they were brought in to polish them up for the albums, which is what producers do.) The Sons demos, including the oft-bootlegged Life In Oils, were produced by Mick MacNeil, a credit which should be recognised, and incidentally was confirmed by Bruce Findlay on the mailing list this week.
  3. The version of New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) from Barrowlands featuring Bono clocks in at 12:32. Therefore it's the full version of the song and not an edit.
  4. Clive Johnson has picked up the promos, listened, and written the review below.

Simple Minds are a unique odyssey. They have had line-up changes galore, sell-out albums and tours, and, all of this is evident in Silver Box a 5-CD anthology stapling the band's career together in the shape of unreleased demos, sessions, and studio out-takes. From disc 1, Mick Macneil's keyboards are underpinned by Charlie’s guitar on the live versions of Life In A Day and Chelsea Girl. This introduction is signed off with a flourish by a very timid version of Here Comes The Fool. A young but enthusiastic Kerr sings very nervously on stage, but progresses. The Iggy Pop/Bowie (the band took their name from a Bowie song The Jean Genie) influence can clearly be heard, and lurid scenes of Bowie and Lou Reed starting a fight at an Arista publicity bash can somehow be visualised, as Kerr salutes each song with valour. Disc 1 comes complete with several genres, from New Romantic to the Avant-Garde, and with Jim’s lyrics differing from the album version, on I Travel, with “ Europe, Europe Interpol make love to the criminal, then yes, it's welcomed!

Mick Macneil, Simple Minds’ ex-keyboard player was responsible for producing the unreleased Sons And Fascination demos and, although heavily bootlegged, these, and other out-takes, remained unreleased officially. Fortunately, Virgin have got things right. “The ever mystifying Life In Oils was a leftover from the Sons And Fascination album and Kerr, who once declared himself as a cynic, perhaps decided the album was better than the song." Fast-forwarding to the haunting version of Love Song, the listener can clearly hear elements of Room the Empires And Dance track that is featured on Disc 1.

Amidst the quantum leap from the New Romantic past of disc 1 and 2, we hit big time. Introduce Waterfront from the well-publicised Alive In Rotterdam concert at the Ahoy Arena on 3rd December 1985, and you miss the visuals that the song produces, and you are trapped inside a musical bubble that you want to see and not only hear. Ghostdancing and the remarkably pacy Book Of Brilliant Things are visually impaired for the listener here.

The remarkable inclusion of 12 tracks from a show at the Glasgow Barrowlands during the band’s Real Life tour in 1991 is very much an overkill of what has been released before. This said, for the fan, any Simple Minds release is an interesting one and they will listen.

Disc 5 is the opus. The “lost album” Our Secrets Are The Same has, at last, after much bootlegging, and legal disputes, reached officialdom. Recorded in 1999, and produced by Charlie Burchill and Kevin Hunter, we are hearing new reinvented Simple Minds. A new young bassist appeared in 1999 in the shape of Eddie Duffy, who joined Charlie On keyboards for this final CD of the set. The respectful sounding Death By Chocolate is also a rhythmic ode to Yukio Mishima, a Japanese author who committed seppuku (ritual disembowelment) in 1970. The song focuses on one of his books, The Sailor Who Fell From Grace To The Sea, a sharp and clear influence on Kerr, who whilst writing this album, almost lost interest in the band completely. Fortunately we have this box set to prove otherwise. Kerr is joined by a falsetto voice on Happy Is The Man which does the track justice, and like all the tracks on this CD, Charlie is the anchor man here. With invention and innovativeness pouring out of him, especially on the bouncy track number 8, Hello, through to the acoustic on Happy Is The Man.

From the curious newcomer, right through to the die-hard fan, this box set is a must for all tastes. Buy, and enjoy!

Clive Johnson

The Ahoy gig was filmed, the first broadcast appearing on The Tube in January 1986. The concert internally publicized by Virgin Vision (an A4 information sheet is shown right) and it also turned up on various late-night graveyard shift TV shows. It has never been commercially released.

Some of the songs ended up as B-side filler for the Once Upon A Time releases. Love Song, Street Hassle and the ever-lasting Don't You (Forget About Me) were all taken from the Ahoy tapes and produced by Pete Walsh.

Despite the commercial unavailability of these tracks, there was a semi-legitimate source. Westwood One broadcast the gig twice, and the transcription discs became highly source after items (as the Superstar Concert Series: one set with Tears For Fears and the other with The Fixx.)

By the 1990s, the CD bootleggers finally got in on the act, and spawned several illegal recordings of the show (such as Westwood One, Ghostdancing, Alive And Kicking and the imaginatively titled Don't You (Forget About Me).

Silver Box is now available for preorder on a couple of on-line retail shops. It seems to be priced around £30, which is very reasonable for a five CD box-set. Copies can be purchased from www.101cd.com.

Collectors can also look out for the 10 track CD sampler of Silver Box which has started circulating. More copies of the 5 CD promos set have also surfaced.




The Live Aid DVD will not feature the entire concert, as each artist is represented by one or two tracks (and Led Zeppelin have withdrawn permission for their set). The Simple Minds segment includes Promised You A Miracle and Don't You (Forget About Me); Ghostdancing has been dropped.

For more information, click here.

This DVD is set for release on the 1st November.




SaMPLE MINDS played a brief set at drummer Thorsten's wedding on the 7th August, consisting of This Is Your Land and the Live In The City Of Light version of New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84).

The band might support Then Jerico - but nothing remains confirmed. However, they will be playing in England in November. More news about that will be found on the band's website www.sampleminds.co.uk when it goes live later this month.

And it gets more complicated. Completists have another promo of Dirty Old Town to seach out; and this was the one send to radio stations and the press, so it should be more common.
The Dirty Old Town promo is an odd beast, as it features Shane MacGowan's Road To Paradise as the title track, and not the Simple Minds/Jimmy Johnstone duet.

More information about the promo can be found here.




Band keeps it simple - and superb

Simple Minds frontman Jim Kerr is a man of few words on the stage.

Repartee with the crowd has never really been his thing. But on Saturday night he had one thing to say - over and over again - "We love you Liverpool".

And judging by the audence's reaction during this barnstorming, 1980s-inspired gig, Liverpool loves him.

Promising to "destroy this place tonight", Simple Minds launched into a nostalgia tinged set that had the big tent rocking from first song to last.

This was what concerts should be - the band were on top form belting out classic hits from their back catalogue leaving the crowd to do nothing else but enjoy themselves and indulge in some communal handclapping and singalongs.

No set changes, only one change of shirt for a sweat-drenched Kerr, and a glitch free set meant that all that mattered was the music, and Glasgow's finest did not disappoint on that score.

Simple Minds were hailed by many as the best performers at last year's Summer Pops - when they appeared in Liverpool for the first time in 20 years - and those lucky enough to have a ticket for Saturday's gig will have walked away thinking exactly the same thing.

Taking some time out during a European tour to record their lastest album, due for release this autumn [next year - Simon], the show was a deft mix of classics and future releases.

The show rattled along at a frightening pace with no let up for the band or the audience. Kerr defied both age and human physiology with a display of hip swirling stage gyrating that left him, and everyone else, gasping for breath at times.

But the highlight of the almost two-hour long show was the encore. Simple Minds had undoubtedly saved the best until last.

Waterfront, Someone Somewhere (In Summertime), Alive And Kicking and Sanctify Yourself brought the set to a shuddering crescendo and left the crowd screaming for more.

And, for the record, the big top was left standing - but only just.

Tony Barrett
Daily Post
26th July

Rockers Keeping It Real

"Great to be back in a real city at last, Liverpool," whooped Jim Kerr, "We're gonna to destory this place tonight."

For the next hour and 45 minutes his five-man band did just that, with a high octane set of their old hits interspersed with some fresher material.

Simple Minds have tinkered with various styles during their 28-year career, ranging from post-punk pop to avante garde and electro.

But it was the anthemic stadium rock that sprung from their link-up with U2 producer Steve Lillywhite that cast an enduring mould for the Glasgow lads.

And the stage presence that made them one of the biggest live acts in the world during the 1980s certainly hasn't been lost. It was an offering Simple Minds never actually wanted to record, movie soundtrack Don't You (Forget About Me), that lifted things into the hysteria zone.

Hey, hey, hey, hey screamed the crowd and 10 minutes later, when Kerr tried to wind down their most famous hit, the audience simply wouldn't let him.

As Ghostdancing morphed into Van Morrison's 60s hit Gloria, Kerr joked "That'll be Gloria from Kirkby."

The Scot was clearly loving every second of it and after introducing the band of founder member Charlie Burchill (guitar), Mel Gaynor (drums), Eddie Duffy (bass) and Andy Gillespie (keyboards) they returned for a four-song encore, including, aptly for Liverpool the pulsating Waterfront, and the rousing finale of Sanctify Yourself.

Rating: 9/10 Alive And Kicking

Mike Torpey
Liverpool Echo
26th July

Amazingly the promos for Silver Box have already started circulating - 11 weeks before release! This set was snapped up on eBay on the 1st August.
There's also a collectable CDR promo of the The Bhoys From Paradise single. Oddly Shane MacGowan's Road To Paradise is the title track, being followed by Dirty Old Town and Lord Of The Wing. It's the usual record company clobber: CDR in ink-jet printed sleeve.




The Live Aid concert is due for release at the end of this year. It isn't known if Simple Minds segment, which was marred by some technical problems, will be included in its full form. For more information, check here.




Still reeling from the disappointment that Farenheit 9-11 doesn't feature one nano-second of Simple Minds, cinema goers will be releaved that Along Came Polly features everyone's favourite 80s movie theme, namely Don't You (Forget About Me).




In fact, don't take my word for it. Check out the imdb.com's latest poll: When I think "80s movie song," the first song that comes to mind is.....

Well, it polled three times more than Take My Breath Away, and trampled Footloose into third: Don't You (Forget About Me) from The Breakfast Club is the 80s theme song. See the poll here.

Silver Box, the long awaited box-set from Simple Minds, will be released on 18th October. The track listing was published here on the 25th May and here's the press release:

VIRGIN RECORDS

SIMPLE MINDS

'Silver Box'
5 CD Box Set

18th October 2004

In their 25 year career, there are few things Simple Minds have not done. They have sold tens of millions of albums, filled stadiums all over the world, received critical adulation and achieved extraordinary success. At their peak they were arguably the biggest band in the world and to this day they are still touring, writing and recording new material. However it is long overdue for the band to receive the retrospective Box Set treatment, and this 5 CD set, comprised of demo, live, studio and session material collects what Simple Minds are all about, remarkably containing not one previously released track.*

Discs 1 & 2 focus on early session and demo material and highlight just how experimental the early Minds were. Far from the stadium stomp that symbolised the band's middle period, much of the band's early work had an edge which set them apart from most other post punk wannabes. Here BBC session recordings and live versions of classic singles like Chelsea Girl and Life In A Day capture the energy of the band at that stage in their career.

Discs 3 & 4 are comprised of live material from a series of triumphant gigs between 1985 and 1995. Arguably when the band were at their peak, classic tracks such as Waterfront, Alive & Kicking and Sanctify Yourself are delivered with such gusto that it is hard not to have your breath taken away by Jim Kerr's vocal and the chiming power of Charlie Burchill's guitar work.

Disc 5 contains the "lost" album Our Secrets Are The Same. Recorded in 1999 the album was stuck at the bottom of a legal dispute, but finally it is to be available to the fans as part of this Box Set. The Box Set's sleeve notes will contain a commentary written by Jim Kerr on the tracks on Our Secrets Are The Same.

All tracks on this set are previously unreleased*. For more detail on specific tracks please see tracklisting.

Packaged in a long box, the 76 page booklet contains many previously unseen photos from record company and band member archives. Also included is a companion essay to the music written by Simple Minds expert Alfred Bos which includes new interview material from band members and some of the amazing producers that have worked with the band. There is also a commentary to Our Secrets Are The Same, written by Jim Kerr.

* Despite the press release claiming that all the tracks were exclusive, Stand By Love, Banging On The Door, See The Lights, Belfast Child and Ghostrider had been previously released as the B-sides of Stand By Love and Real Life. Additional tracks also appeared on the fan-club only Real Live 91 release.

I've finally got around to uploading the details about the Dirty Old Town single, which was released under the name of The Bhoys From Paradise.

I've updated the 2004 tour page, which was quite easy as the set-list hasn't changed at all. Jim did mention that the songs might change at Liverpool, but it was not to be - however reports filtering back from Liverpool definitely state that the band did not disappoint, and it was the highlight of the tour so far for many.

I was at Charlecote Park (many thanks to Jamie) so I'll write up something about the evening in the next couple of days.




Full information about the 'missed' bootleg remix of Don't You (Forget About Me) by The Deadly Ones vs Simple Minds has now been added to the discography.

It starts out sounding like a hard-house mix (too much bass with everything resonating about the room) but settles down into a rather pleasing old-skool classic mix. As far as I'm concerned, it's well worth tracking down. It is rather rare now, being released in November 2003 as a single sided white, but www.dancerecords.com had some copies recently.





Sparkle Three Day Party Weekend

The Belgian fanclub, Sparkle Through The Years, are holding their three day Simple Minds party this weekend. For more information, click the flyer. Why not attend? It sounds well groovy.




Shaun Edwards has updated his Crashing Beats And Fantasy website. Well, he's actually deleted the whole thing and completely designed it. Check out one of the most comprehensive Simple Minds websites to appear since this one.

Whilst I promoted ATE 1 vs Simple Minds on this website a couple of months ago, we all missed their first release: Don't You by The Deadly Ones vs. Simple Minds which was originally issued at the end of last year. (11th November 2003 to be exact).

It's a great remix, building up slowly, and keeping the song's structure and style.

www.dancerecords.com have recently got a couple of copies back in stock if you're interested.




Bunny Ears At Blickling

You can sometimes sum up a Simple Minds concert in one word. A myriad of adjectives could be applied to past experiences: majestic, energetic, frenzied, insane. And yet as I stood in a cool field in Norfolk in my rabbit ears, watching the sunlight set, with waves of dope smoke wafting around the crowd, it came to me: this one, for me, was going to be chilled.

The ambience of Blickling Hall permuated. People erected small marquees, ate cucumbers sandwiches and poured chilled Chabis into crystal glasses. As for the location, imagine Milton Keynes Bowl with grass and a lake. And a view.

I set up camp outside Wines Of Chile, took a glass, and surveyed the view. The stage was set, the support band were being ignored, and I generally caught up with people. Chilled indeed.

As the hour approached for Simple Minds’ appearance, the sky darkened to a deeper blue, and the cloud cover thinned.

A guy walked past with his girlfriend. “Why didn’t you buy those?” he asked, obviously envious of my rabbit ears. “I wanted a T-shirt” she replied and gestured to an overpriced black Live In The City Of Light shirt. “That cost £20 quid," he wailed. "How much were the ears?”

“Three pounds fifty.”

“Three pounds fifty! The T-shirt was £20 quid. Darling, why didn’t you get the rabbit ears? You could look as sexy as him.” At that point, I elected to wear them for the entire gig. It was, after all, official merchandise.

The Fluke Loop started, the crowd swelled, and picnics were rapidly packed up or trampled into the mud. I might be chilled but there was some serious gigging to get down to. Downing my last glass of Chilean red, and guided by the light of the ears, I made my way down. We’d be Charlie side for this one.

Of course, once in the crowd, and surrounded by the flotsam and jetsam, the lights of the stage, and music of Simple Minds, then I was slightly less chilled. I was just expecting to be thoroughly entertained for my one gig this year (since I’d already seen this concert in 2002 and 2003) and I was not disappointed. From One Step Closer and though the rest of the night, Simple Minds were tighter, clearer and more entertaining than I’d seen them for a long time.

“Let me see your hands.” The field was filled with hands, glasses of sparkly, and a pair of rabbit ears.

Jim looked slimmer and leaner, sporting a tan, white shirt unbuttoned to various positions – probably depending on the song. (I could hear the voice of Bruce Findlay in my head: “Do you shirt up. Tuck it in”). Charlie hadn’t changed (he never does – the universal constant of the Simple Minds universe) whilst Eddie postured and posed, running through the whole manual of Derek Forbes’ bass playing (plus his own customised one-foot-on-the-monitor pose) and belted out Robin Clarke’s vocal lines. Whilst the boys at the front supported white shirts blue trousers, the second row was harder to spot. When Mel emerged at the end of the gig, beaming his cherubic smile, he was dressed all in black. And Andy was similarly attired, his stoic presence behind the keyboards broken by occasional jokes to someone stage right.

Of course, who am I to critize? I was wearing a pair of fluffy, flashing bunny ears for the entire gig.

And the songs? You know them. One Step Closer and New Sunshine Morning represented the latest album Cry. Stadium anthems were present: Belfast Child, Alive And Kicking and Don’t You (Forget About Me). And my highlights were the impossibly brilliant New Gold Dream and the return of Promised You A Miracle.

I won’t go to every gig in the itinary and then moan about the set-list. That’s why I limited myself to Blickling, knowing that this band, and their repertoire, would match that of previous years. And it’s not the band’s fault – continual postponement of Secrets have left them with little new material. But I was extremely impressed – Simple Minds 2004 are new, improved and if you have any doubts, you should see them.

And as I left Blicking for the dark streets of Lincolnshire, I was extremely chilled. And happy.

Simon “Official merchandise rabbit ears: £3:50” Cornwell

Big Beauty by Simple Minds vs Underworld is the latest in a series of white-label, probably bootleg, remixes to hit the specialist DJ shops. This time New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) is the subject of a cut-and-paste mix with additional drums and effects. Whether this turns up later as a legit release remains to be seen, but it should be of interest to dance fans.

You can purchase it, or just listen to a sample, at www.dancerecords.com.




Live In Gazebo City

Well what can I say? Seeing best part of 10,000 people sitting down tucking into their food before a Simple Minds gig is one thing I thought I’d never see, but it happened on Friday 16th July 2004 at Blickling Hall Nr Norwich in Norfolk.

Gazebo’s all around the outside of the arena quite a sight at a Simple minds gig. What would we get from the band possibly a cool box full of goodies to shared out amongst the crowd? No something better than that a red hot performance that even a cool box couldn`t cool down.

The backing tape started just before 9pm & a massive cheer filled the warm Norfolk air. We were then treated to One Step Closer. Quite interesting how many people knew the words as it really has never had the airplay it deserves or album promotion.

The possy down were the front were then getting soggy muddy feet as the opening chords of Love Song rang out to the approval of the crowd .Good to see Eddie Duffy on backing vocals. Charlie gets his “And on lead guitar” from Jim to which the crowd show a massive appreciation.

The possy down the front must be sinking in the mud now as Speed Your Love To Me seems to get everybody going. We then can take a breath as Glittering Prize sounds out with what sounds like a hasher bass line from Mr Duffy which seems to add an edge to it. Jim then gets the crowd to do the side to side Verona wave,well the first part of the crowd respond the other half must still be eating. The end of the song is greeted by the biggest cheer of the night so far.

The next two songs Promised You A Miracle & See The Lights get great audience participation in both sing a long and clapping. New Sunshine Morning gets an airing with a “Let me see yours hands” from Jim and the whole responds. Quite a sight to see from front to back everybody must have finished eating! Eddie again on backing vocals excellent.

Then were away the first few chords of Don`t You (Forget About Me) emanate across the Blicking downs. The crowd are in front of Jim with the words as the crowd sing the first lot of Hey,Hey,Hey,Hey`s. People are dancing, singing - it`s great. Then out come the mobile phones held above head ringing who ever so they can hear the gig.No wonder mobile phone companies make loads of money. The summer of 1985 is remembered for so many with this song myself included. As per usual we get the mass hand clapping in the mid part of the song & then it`s into another Verona wave which this time is going from the front to the back.The band finish playing this track and let the crowd finish the vocals off.

We then get the chance to have a well deserved rest as Belfast Child is greeted with more mobile phones in the air and also the lighters this time as well. During Charlie's big guitar solo Jim is in front of Mel's drums doing some sort of dance in time with the drum beat. Mass crowd appreciation at end of song.

Back to the Good News album as Great Leap Forward gets reworked slightly at the beginning. Jim asks the crowd “Everything Okay?” to which the masses reply “Yes”.

The place then erupts as Ghostdancing pounds into our ear drums. The place is rocking everybody is dancing in some shape or form. There is even a bloke in front of me with flashing rabbit ears. All the band get introduced during this song apart from Mel, mind you the way he hits the drums he doesn`t need an introduction. Eddie and Charlie seem to have a great rapour on stage very often now you`ll see Charlie taking a wonder over to Eddie to have a chat. In mid song the possy down the front are singing Gloria before Jim has a chance to start singing Gloria. Can we have a rest please Jim?

No chance into New Gold Dream. Place is staring to get very muddy & boggy wish I`d bought my wellies. Hang on may be I`ll be able to sell the mud on ebay, Blickling mud from the Simple minds gig? The band then go off after 70 mins just enough time to get some water drunk an anticipate what the encore will be and if I`ve got the energy.

We're off again to the thunderous bass line of Waterfront. The crowd jumping up and down must register on the Richter Scale by now. Possibly not with it being a bit wet. At the start of the song a very rare moment when Jim cocks up he drops the mic to a cheer from the crowd.

The last three tracks of the night to which the whole place is rocking right till then end are Someone Somewhere (In Summertime), Alive & Kicking & Sanctify Yourself. When we get into Sanctify Yourself a few people are starting to look a bit worse for wear either through a bit to much pop or they are not a fit as they used to be with all this dancing.

Show done band show their appreciation to the crowd by all coming to the front of the stage. Mel must have lost his contract with the towel company as only one towel is thrown to the crowd, but half a tree by the amount of drum sticks that are showered over the crowd.

Sound was great,venue was great, only down side it was the same old songs.Don`t get me wrong I liked what the band played but it would have been nice to hear some of the earlier tracks the band did in their career. Credit must also go to the people of Blickling hall who marshalled the cars in & also marshalled the cars out so there wasn`t a mass free for all with people getting irate cause they couldn`t get out. Pity other venues don`t learn from this. Hopefully we will be able to got back to Blickling in the not to distant future to see the band there again.

See you in Liverpool on Saturday

Shaun Tranter

Absolutely have issued a single-sided 10" single which features the new Danny McMillian remix of Don't You (Forget About Me). It's very sparce new mix which will appeal to hardcore and completists.

Jim was interviewed by Todd at 18:05 (GMT) during Some Sweet Day 2004. The main points were:

  • The box set, called Silver Box, will be issued sooner rather than later. Alfred Bos is writing the booklet notes, whilst Marlin Hanlin has been in Glasgow taking pictures and tracking down memorabilia.
  • Due to their record company contracts, anything recorded live and released by the band would be subject to a re-recording clause. However, the contract expires at the end of 2004, leaving the band free to release what they want. This has been the reason for the lack of a live CD/DVD in the past.
  • Despite some interest in his journal writing, Jim has no plans to become a writer or publish his essays in a book.
  • They're going to take their time with the new album, which will probably be released in 2005. Jim mentioned needing a landmark album, and since they'd released so much in the last couple of years, then a new studio album could wait a while yet.
  • Jim said that the band were at the mercy of the promoters as to where they play. Australia was mentioned again as a possibility.
  • The new album will not be released on Eagle. (Simple Minds left the label late last year).
  • More new songs are expected to be unveiled during this tour: Premonition, Glitterball and a new version of Life In A Day.

Many thanks to Todd and Aaron for a superb show as always.

Here's a rough transcription:

JK: Is this the fourth or the fifth Some Sweet Day?
TR: It's been around - kind of like your band! So much has gone on. And the box set has finally come to fruitition?
JK: It's truly immenent.
TR: What was your participation?
JK: Virgin, who own the stuff, come to us occasionally; for a greatest hits, or a new compilation (such as Early Gold) and finally this rarities box set: Sessions, outtakes, live things - and the cherry on the cake is that it will feature Our Secrets Are The Same, recorded five years ago.
JK: Our fans are so on the case, that little counts as a genuine rarity. But for the masses, this is all new stuff in a really nice package. Martin Hanlin, who was in The Silencers, has been trawling through Glasgow looking for pictures and memorabilia for the box set, which is called Silver Box. I don't recall the actual release date.
TR: When Silver Box was announced, people thought it was something different from A History.
JK: A History? That title's too boring. And with that title it would be expected to be chronological.

TR: Any possibilities of a new live DVD from Simple Minds in 2004?
JK: The delay is due that when you sign a record deal, there's a restriction on re-recording songs (which is what a live song is). From the end of this year, anything we record live, we can just go ahead and just release it. We can do unplugs. Orchestral versions. Banjo versions. [Laughs] We've held out on doing that. There was going to be a DVD in 2002, but the record company negotiations dragged us down.
JK: Plus there will be the possibility of downloading material from a website. But, in our hearts, is the desire to move forward.

TR: There's been talk of you becoming an author. You should compile your journal entries.
JK: I've never looked at myself as a writer - I'm a song-writer, I like writing songs. When the idea of the website came along, I felt I should communicate the forefront of my thinking on a particular day. It's gone down well. Would I have a story to tell? I probably would. I do enjoy the writing - doing it freely is one thing, having a publisher and having to come up with juicy material - I wouldn't like that. I hope the journal gives that little bit more (but I've been skipping it recently - I will be more regular - and that's a threat!).

TR: Still a new year release for the new album?
JK: It won't be this year. We need a landmark album, something that's really, really good. Just to put out an album for the sake of it is one thing - but we're hanging in there. I can feel the frustration but it'll be done when it's done. We've done the covers album, studio album, Early Gold, remasters, Silver Box, greatest hits - we've toured non-stop, and we've been writing and recording - it's not the case that we're doing nothing.

TR: Writing during the week and playing at the weekends?
JK: Some nights I've felt the band are playing better than ever. And that comes from the continuation. So we're reluctant to disappear into the studio and not play. And we can bring some of that live energy to the record. But the point you've made is the intention.

TR: Mel hurt his hand, but he's OK?
JK: Last week he thought he had a fracture or an actual break. He got X-Rayed and it wasn't as bad as the doctor thought. But I could feel a couple of nights that it was affecting him. But he's over it.

TR: Is there a possibility of touring the USA?
JK: I hadn't been expecting that question! Unfortunately the band doesn't have a large say in it - we can't tour without promoters. They're only going to invite us to play if they get a return. But there is interest there, from a record company I like, who want to take on the next record. We do get asked to do one-off things - something in LA for K-ROCK for example. But we don't want to slip off and do one gig. But you need to be invitied - we need the promoters. For instance, there is interest in Australia as the classic stations still play us. We almost play where we're asked - but if we're not getting the calls, then we can't really initiate it.

TR: The set-list this year has featured some old songs.
JK: It's funny how songs reappear in the set-list and suddenly start working again. And the festivals are short sets, so it's a standard thing. I like to think about the hard-core fans, and I think we've played between 50 and 60 different songs - and then there's the 10 or dozen we always play, but we have been chopping and changing them. Some of them, like Street Fighting Years, have a heavy atmosphere - you need darkness, lights and the production - it becomes more enhanced. At a festival, it's different.

TR: Any other songs to bring back?
JK: We've done five or six at rehearsals we haven't played yet: Glitterball, for one. We keep revisting them. we have a new version of Life In A Day. We have a gig in Liverpool which has become our own gig - we could do some of them then.

JK: We play tomorrow in Norwich in East Anglia. Probably the last time we played there was a university gig. It's a big gig - we need to be blessed with some good weather! When we played Palermo, the heavens opened during the soundcheck - it never rains in Sicily unless we play!

TR: I have a copy of Live And Rare here, which is live material and new studo material. Was White Light/White Heat a recent recording?
JK: It was recent. Autumn last year - Charlie and Gordon Goudie producing. I think it's a really exciting version.
TR: Dirty Old Town has done well for the charity.
JK: They were all done in autumn last year.
TR: I like the new version of Don't You (Forget About Me). It's stripped down and takes on new character. It's a mature version of the song.
JK: There are so many different versions of that. But a good pop song's a good pop song. I like the drive of it. It wasn't something I was wildly enthusiastic about it, but when I heard it on the radio in Italy, it sounded really good.

Music: Don't You (Forget About Me)

TR: Can you explain the collaboration with Phunk Investigation?
JK: They get enthusiastic about something and they ask and we give them a few things. It's better to give people their shout and space when it's not your genre.
TR: Simple Minds are getting new life with new mixes and releases. It's similar to how your songs change live. They heard songs on Live In The City Of Light and had no idea that they were alternate to how they were originally recorded.
JK: Alfred Bos, a Dutch journalist in Amsterdam, he's doing the sleeve notes for Silver Box; he thinks there's a tendency for Simple Minds to get written out of the rock history, but I tend to agree with him. But when you hear, and see, and notice the amount of remixes, and as the music gets passed down through the generations, you can see that Simple Minds have influenced a lot of people. And long may it continue!

TR: Exciting hearing about old songs being demoed for new sets. Is discovering new songs in the old part of songwriting?
JK: Yes. We were in Spain at the soundcheck - the guys were playing a version of Sweat In Bullet. And Charlie started a new line in a chorus - which sounds like the seed of a new song. I wanted to stop him then! Sometimes you get these echoes, or branches, that grow out of an atmosphere of a song. There's a part of Great Leap Forward that recalls Wall Of Love - you feel this refrain coming through. When you're writing songs you're rarely concious of it.

TR: Is Premonition a possibility in the set?
JK: Some songs feel their age, some feel timeless. Premonition has a great bass line - it's a mood and a dynamic. And it feels relevant. Some of the songs feel like an old jacket that doesn't fit anymore, but other songs don't need dusting down, and they work.

TR: My favourite part of Seen The Lights is the old TV footage
JK: I never watch the videos - it's just too weird watching yourself. You watch them to approve them and I find it difficult to watch myself. And I thought "God, look at those hairstyles" and I looked in the mirror and the hairstyle I have now is equally ridiculous. Life goes on!

TR: It's been a great joy speaking with you and catching up on Simple Minds. It's a pleasure and an honour. Anything to leave the fans with?
JK: The same thing. We might not be the most forecoming but we appreciate everyone who gets off on our music. And those who have the patience to hang in there when we don't visit them, have patience, we're not going to stop. Where there's a will there's a way. And for those who travel to see us everywhere - you're amazing. We've not worthy. The gigs wouldn't be the same.

Jim introduces Premonition and mentions that there's a good chance to hear it tomorrow night.

The set-list seems to have stabilised over the last couple of gigs, barely changing. Although the band have been soundchecking Premonition and Sweat In Bullet, neither have appeared at a concert yet.

Mel has injured his hand - he's still playing the gigs, but is skipping the soundchecks at the moment.

Further gigs may be planned for Spain: Probably Torremolinos in August and Madrid in October.



It's this Thursday!

"Aaron and I are gearing up for this year's show - landing THIS thursday the 15th - 7a-1a USA EST
www.wbwc.com (listen with real audio)
www.runninglate.org/marathons/sm.html (online flyer)

We have TONS of giveaways, thanks to the early ending of last year's show (you should hear the parody we have in this year's promo!) so keep the dialing fingers ready!"- Todd

440-826-STING
440-826-2187
request@wbwc.com

I've been on holiday for the last couple of weeks. Hence the lack of updates. But enough of that. There's news to be told....




Big Beauty by Simple Minds vs Underworld was issused as a white label at the end of June. It's a hardcore (well, very hardcore) remix of New Gold Dream. www.dancerecords.com have a few copies in stock if you're interested. My copy's on the way, so more information when it eventually turns up.




The charity record, Dirty Old Town, eventually reached 46 in the official UK singles chart. Not bad for a single that none of the English retailers decided to stock.




DR WHO!

Having seen the Minds all over the world, this is the fist time, other than Glastonbury festival in 1995 that I have gone when they weren’t at the top of the bill. I sent an email to the festival organisers and Bryan Adams management, just to say, the acts were the wrong way round on the bill!

It should have read, “Simple Minds plus special guests “Bryan Adams” still no change or reply!

The festival was a fantastic success, the atmosphere and people were just how I have always found Ireland, friendly and full of character. There is such a presence of community and togetherness here, every time I leave I wish my home town was as friendly, but everyone at home is so wrapped up in their own self impotence its embarrassing and on the plane home, I often think, why I’m in such a hurry to get back.

On the way to the main outdoor stage “Fitzgerald stadium” there was a huge poster, which said “live tonight 80s rock band Simple Minds”. How bizarre! This is last straw! Unless you’re a fucking time traveller what’s the point in going to see a band that was good 20 odd years ago, this is a misconception that has to stop, and it stops here. The reason why thousand of people all over the world go and see Simple Minds is because they are fantastic, the music, the vibe, the energy, the showmanship and the passion that constantly seeps from the music. Simple Minds bought the house down on Friday and the year is 2004, not 1984! This whole misconception seems to cloud the new music and new albums, simply because of unrealistic comparisons, back to an era that was just a stepping stone, every show the band give a 110%, not for money or for yesteryear, but for today!

A friend of mind said recently “I see you’re off to see the Minds again! Why do you bother? When you have seen them once before” My reply was simple, but to the point. I see you have a beautiful girlfriend, you fucked her once, so why do continue in doing so? (that shut him up) Victory was mine and a valid point was made. I bet you all a ton on money, all the talentless miming bands you see on Top Of the Pops, will either be signing on in 20 years or doing TV shows like “I was in a shit band, get me out of here!” I shouldn’t get this mad, but it does make me blood boil.

Anyhow back to the gig, the Minds came on stage at 7 o’clock, to the same intro as The Floating World shows, for a second I though they were going to start with New Gold Dream, it wasn’t to be, the opener was One Step Closer great uplifting song, but doesn’t work with that particular intro, in fact it seems to clash with the timing, I don’t think it would work with the Book Of Brilliant Things either, it makes the start “bitty” the set list was good, with a strong selection of great songs. Welcome back, New Sunshine Morning, Big Sleep and Spaceface. The crowd were fantastic, half the people here came because they thought it was still 1984, you wouldn’t believe the reaction when someone broke the news it was actually 2004!

A few techno problems and a couple of mis-starts Ghostdancing and Don’t You you always get this at festivals, with different crew and systems its hard to find your balance when there are 4 of 5 bands, after each other.

The band looked great, Jim was glowing as normal, Charlie was smiling like a Cheshire cat and Andy sporting a new haircut looked great in red, but the man was Eddie Duffy (new and improved) suit jacket, boots and sunglasses, he looked like a cross between “RoboCop and Don Johnson”. Eddie is now been invited to join the best dressed rock stars club, me being the founder member!, who would thought I be sending Malcolm Foster an email “your days are numbered Pal!

Just for the record, Andy and Eddie are such wonderful players and musicians, I want to interview them both, just so we know more about them, I will get them!

Everything was brilliant, the music, the show, the only slight let down (for me) was New Gold Dream, this version seems a lot more dancy, its lost its driving steam train energy, sounds very hollow and empty, not a problem, I’m sure when the boys read this they will rush to the studio and play my favourite version!

Thanks to Simon for the best Simple Minds site in the world, if I wrote this review for simpleminds.com, by the time they update there site, my children would of grown up and possibly feeding me or wheeling me around garden centres.

Look forward to seeing all the great people I have met over the years at all the UK gigs, coming soon. I would love to write some more, but my Tardis has been refuelled, with white socks and glow sticks and its back to the 1980s.

Till next time! Up the Minds!

Jamie Sinclair




A big fan of Simple Minds, Harry Prins died last week. He was only 35. His website, with pictures of him meeting Jim and Charlie can be found here. My condolences to his family and friends.




(Incidentally I hadn't previously linked to Harry's site - for the simple reason that no-one told me about it. Please let me know if you have a Simple Minds site and I haven't linked to you).




White Hot Day in Sardegna, Treasure Island.

Sometimes last minute decisions are the best ones...like the one to go to Sarroch...in one word a HOT day... from any point of view...thanks to a free Alitalia flight ...and a little help from some friends :Alex-Drastico (Gio') travelling with me from Rome, his friends that helped us to reach the venue and that hosted us, the really nice fans from Sardegna...thanks to a enjoying band it was an unforgottable hot day!

At first we din't believe in such a gig...after arriving at the venue with 36 (and even more) Celsius degrees...we had a little delusion because of the venue, a football ground lost in a small town where we shared the first minutes at the gates with two dogs sleeping on the ground... so we decided that it was too early and we reached a bar ... there we met two fans from Mantova(Italy) with well known SM t-shirts, they were not going to attend the gig and they came just to take a look... strange things can happen since the boy recognizeed me from Montecarlo 2002 gig...

Then we went again to the gates and we were able to know some wonderful fans from Sardegna...and surprise surprise : the sound checks , without Jim but with the band really full of power! We couldn't get in but even from the gates the sound was perfect!Some changes in the future set lists can be waited: Real Life, Premonition, Sweat In Bullet, Street Fighting Years ....

Then at last the rush to the front row... the band was a little bit late but after the long waiting a HOt gig with a band in the best mood...Jim, Charlie, Eddie, Andy and Mel recognized me... Jim winking, Mel with a wonderful smile, a shy Andy sending greetings from keyboards, Eddie showing his tongue, Charlie saying bye-bye.

At the beginning after coming to the stage Jim said : Come sta Italie, tutto a posto?Siamo qua, ogni tanto...si comincia andiamo...

During Great Leap Forwards, Jim came to dance on the audio boxes that were in front of us... shaking hands (Alex this was your chance!)... Jim danced with fascinating power and joy ...the lights were better than other gigs and even the set list had some surprises... See the Lights, Let There Be Love, Theme For Great Cities... and it was during See the Lights that Jim had to speak about football: Come calcio Cagliari? Serie A? Che fortuna!

A stormy Ghostdancing with Gloria (Jim: Gloria, una ragazza, e' un diavoletto, sicuro!)...the audience was involved by the power of music and the band felt the positive feeling for sure!A gossip: during the first set of songs Jim was wearing an Armani Jeans light blue-with blues stripes shirt... Italian fashion!

As usual the mad photographer took a lot of shots !The next day a nice surprise : in the flight Cagliari-Roma ,while I was seated a saw a black dressed Charlie coming in the airplane! He was nice as usual and we were able to speak a little bit in Italian: I said that the gig was wonderful , and that I was going to Palermo...he said that it was so hot in Sardegna, he asked news about the venue in Palermo and I was able to inform him with some things that Rosy told me ;-)...in Switzerland he was a little bit worried about this new venue...he added that he was really tired and that he was going to London and then to Brittany... then at the end of the flight he asked me about my flight back to Trieste...see U soon Charlie! Strange things can happen in a hot day somewhere in the summertime!

Paola/Bellatrix




Despite being exclusive news on the official site, Farenheit 9-11 does not feature any music by Simple Minds.




Another Absolutely remix of Don't You (Forget About Me) has just surfaced. The Danny McMillian remix is far more hardcore than previous offerings. Again www.dancerecords.com have copies.

Dirty Old Town was finally released on the 21st June, but many shops in England have refused to stock it as it's considered 'just another football' record in a market saturated with football records.

Obviously the fact that it's a charity record in celebration of Jimmy Johnstone is clearly lost on them.

The Internet is your friend - buy it online from HMV.




Jam And Spoon released Tripomatic Fairytales 3003 on the 21st June. This includes Cynical Heart which featured Jim on vocals - the video can be viewed here.

For more information about Jam And Spoon then see their website.




A collection of current tour images can be found on Paola's website.

BBC Radio Wales will again be broadcasting the Kings Dock concert from last year. Tune in this Saturday at 18:30.




The release of Dirty Old Town has again been delayed and it won't be released until the 21st June. Whilst lengthy delays and set-backs seem to be the norm for Simple Minds' releases, it turns out that demand is so high that they're having to press more copies. There's talk of it reaching number one on pre-orders alone.




As the release of the box set gets nearer, all the details surrounding the recording and eventual shelving of Our Secrets Are The Same has been added to Dream Giver Redux. This includes new information that hasn't been previously added to the website.

And, for the first time, details of the second aborted release has also been collected.




Plus, all the history of the forthcoming box set has been collected and uploaded. Note that at the moment, I'm using Live In The City Of Light artwork to illustrate the pages - not a bad guess considering the style of Seen The Lights.




As mentioned on the 25th May, Simple Minds appear on a new live compilation DVD. It turns out that they are represented by Alive And Kicking from Verona.




The tour pages have now been updated with the latest set-lists.

Dream Giver Redux is clean now.

Don't go anywhere near Dream Giver Redux for the time being. (www.simpleminds.org). My ISP has been hit by a virus, and all the index files now will attempt to redirect you to malicious sites. This site is on a different ISP and is clean.




Dirty Old Town's release date has been put back to the 14th June.

The set-list of the 'secret' gig has now been added to the tour page, where all the tour information is being compiled.

A MEETING OF MINDS

Simple Minds put on a surprise gig for 350 fans at Glasgow's Hilton hotel on Thursday night.

TV's Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan, as well as former Scotland rugby player Gavin Hastings, Deputy First Minster Jim Wallace and Glasgow Lord Provost Liz Cameron, were among the guests at a dinner hosted by airline Emirates to launch their new direct service from Glasgow to Dubai. When the meal ended, it was Scotland's own Simple Minds providing the evening's entertainment.

The greatest hits set covered favourites from Love Song to New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) and Sanctify Yourself. Meanwhile, Simple Minds' former record company Virgin Records/EMI is to release a box-set called A History, charting the band's 26-year career, from their punk origins in the late-70s to their global stardom in the mid-80s, with Top 10 hits such as Don't You (Forget About Me) and Alive and Kicking.

Set for release this August, A History is thought to include a number of rarities, including live performances, radio sessions and the unreleased album, Our Secrets Are The Same.

Daily Record
Lee-Ann Fullerton and Beverley Lyons
May 29 2004




Early Gold has been given the Dream Giver Redux treatment.




The “Moaning – but also happy - Review”

When I think I travelled 1,400 km in 2 days and I did not do what I wanted to… Did not take my camera along, got to the place late, just at the end of The Stranglers’ set which I had not seen on stage for the last 13 years… and I barely heard the last three songs…. No comments!

One remark about the crowd at the gig : the audience was rather 40ish, older than, for instance, the Parisian or Geneva audience for Simple Minds in November. And there was a kind of “hippy” atmosphere throughout this festival, while all bands featured on that day were from the Eighties.. Maybe it’s normal as we were in the Netherlands.

But we were lucky enough to make it rather close to the stage, since many people left at the end of The Stranglers’ set. So two little Frogs crept in and found themselves surrounded by Level 42 fans…

During this boring set… which lasted 1h20 mn… my Naughtiness remained very silent waiting for the torture to be over… Excellent musicians but not one inch of soul, or charisma. Mark King is a wonderful bass player but he does not know how to make contact with his audience… And I never liked Level 42 too much twenty years ago… so it’s not going to change now… (stubborn girl, I know…)

Finally the end of this set came after the Encore (glurps!) and we patiently waited for the equipment to be installed on the stage. But the show did not start before 9.30 PM (instead of 9.15 PM) while the Naughty President’s feet were beginning to be sore…

Just before Simple Minds came on stage, we got the news about Cannes… and it made us quite happy!

At 9.35… finally, the boys arrive on stage but I got the awful feeling (so did my hubby) that Jim and Charlie were in a very bad mood… smiling to the audience yes, but also dark eyes sending bad vibes… Fortunately this disappeared rather quickly as the crowd gave the band a warm welcome.

Starting with Book of Brilliant Things was great, but again it was a too short version… OK I love the song too much….

Then came War Babies. And I thought: “This is going to please several people from the site attending the concert”. However I found it a bit too “smooth”, but it was a good surprise.

A bit of sleep for me on Spaceface and then some jumping and dancing on Up On The Catwalk (excellent version…), followed by Hypnotized and The American.

One of the “jewels” then came with New Sunshine Morning. This song is a great one and was amplified during this live performance. I even called poor Cecilia (who could not make it to the gig) to share with her this excellent version.

Don't You (Forget About Me) came afterwards… Where are my ear plugs???? I could just hear that Charlie had problems with his equipment… which was quickly changed by the technicians, but the problem came back later. After this extended “La la la” version (…), Belfast Child came. Very nice as usual.

Our venerated Scottish gentlemen at this moment seemed to enjoy themselves on stage compared with the beginning of the show, and the Dutch audience was getting wilder.

Then the surprise came with Great Leap Forward. A few seconds to recognize it, but sheer excitement among the crowd!

Ghostdancing was terrific as usual, we started singing Gloria a bit in advance… and Jim decided to “croon” a bit. Where was the regular Light My Fire?

Then everything gets more chaotic, the songs come out at the speed of light… She’s A River, then New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) (more jumping!!!) but the feared “Bye-Bye” is already there.

A regular encore then followed : Someone Somewhere (In Summertime), Waterfront and the two usual “American market” ones come up : Alive And Kicking and Sanctify Yourself.

C’est déjà fini!!!! One hour and 45 minutes later the show is over… And the organizers start playing music pretty loud : Roxane… which is sung by the crowd as they leave the tent… OK I will see Sting in Paris later this week (if he has recovered from laryngitis) but I did not want to practice so soon…

When leaving the site, we meet four British guys who want to rent bicycles (at 11.30 PM) to go back to the hotel…. And we slowly go back to our nearby hotel in the darkness of the woods. But fortunately no Dutch “wear wolf” was hanging around in the night….

Joelle Bonnet

A collection of pictures from the Hellendoorn gig can be found on the festival's website. (Click on 'Fotos' and navigate through).




Theme For Great Cities has been used on the soundtrack of Football Factory which is currently being shown across the UK:

"The Football Factory is more than just a study of the English obsession with football violence, its about men looking for armies to join, wars to fight and places to belong. A forgotten culture of Anglo Saxon males fed up with being told they're not good enough and using thier fists as a drug they describe as being more potent than sex and drugs put together. Shot in documentery style with the energy and vibrancy of handheld, The Football Factory is frightingly real yet full of painful humour as the four characters extreme thoughts and actions unfold before us."

A History, the long awaited box-set, has been delayed until August/September. Unfortunately Virgin don't have any artwork at the moment. Or liner notes. Or, indeed, even the music. Bit of a problem then.

So A History currently remains, at the moment, a list of tracks.

The good news is that perhaps something could be done about the choices of material on discs #3 and #4?




Forget the news of VH1 filming the band during this tour (posted yesterday). There was some leg-pulling going on between fans, and the story got a little out of control.
The rumours that Simple Minds were going to tour Australia with Blondie were true. Talks were proceeding until last Friday, but any possible Simple Minds tour down-under have been postponed until next year.




Dischi vs Simple Minds, which is actually a cover of Endgames' Waiting For Another Chance, has now been added to the discography.

Tracklisting of the long awaited box-set:

Simple Minds: A History. CD1: 1979-1980
1.Life In A Day[Live](3:51)[Paris Theatre, London. 8/8/79]
2.Chelsea Girl[Live](4:52)[Paris Theatre, London. 8/8/79]
3.Here Comes The Fool[Live](4:32)[Paris Theatre, London. 8/8/79]
4.Changeling[Session](3:59)[John Peel, Radio One, 19/12/79]
5.Premonition[Session](5:37)[John Peel, Radio One, 19/12/79]
6.Citizen (Dance Of Youth)[Session](2:53)[John Peel, Radio One, 19/12/79]
7.Room[Session](4:18)[John Peel, Radio One, 19/12/79]
8.I Travel[Demo](3:52)
9.Celebrate[Demo](4:24)
10.30 Frames A Second[Demo](5:30)
11.Twist/Run/Repulsion[Demo](4:08)
12.Captial City[Demo](5:33)
13.New Warm Skin[Demo](4:20)
14.Constantinople LIne[Demo](4:41)



Simple Minds: A History. CD2: 1981-1985
1.The American[Demo](4:03)
2.Life In Oils[Demo](4:19)
3.Careful In Career[Demo](6:18)
4.Sweat In Bullet[Demo](4:33)
5.Love Song[Demo](5:00)
6.In Every Heaven[Demo]
7.Promised You A Miracle[Session](4:24)[David Jensen, Radio One, 11/2/82]
8.In Trance As Mission[Session](4:27)[David Jensen, Radio One, 11/2/82]
9.Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)[Session](5:19)[David Jensen, Radio One, 13/8/82]
10.Glittering Prize[Session](4:22)[David Jensen, Radio One, 13/8/82]
11.Hunter And The Hunted[Session](5:53)[David Jensen, Radio One, 13/8/82]
12.The Kick Inside Of Me[Session](5:56)[David Jensen, Radio One, 11/9/83]
13.New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)[Live][Barrowlands, Glasgow. 5/1/85]
14.Don't You (Forget About Me)[Rehearsal](7:25)[Live Aid, 10/7/85]



Simple Minds: A History. CD3-4: 1985-1998
1.Waterfront[Live](10:48)[Ahoy, Rotterdam. 3/12/85]
2.Ghostdancing[Live](7:57)[Ahoy, Rotterdam. 3/12/85]
3.Book Of Brilliant Things[Live](7:27)[Ahoy, Rotterdam. 3/12/85]
4.Once Upon A Time[Live](8:07)[Ahoy, Rotterdam. 3/12/85]
5.All The Things She Said[Live](5:46)[Ahoy, Rotterdam. 3/12/85]
6.Alive And Kicking[Live](7:39)[Ahoy, Rotterdam. 3/12/85]
7.Sanctify Yourself[Live](5:56)[Ahoy, Rotterdam. 3/12/85]
8.Mandela Day[Live](5:10)[Wembley, London. 11/06/88]
9.Biko[Live](9:00)[Wembley, London. 11/06/88]
10.Real Life[Live](5:05)[Barrowlands, Glasgow. 13/08/91]
11.See The Lights[Live](4:52)[Barrowlands, Glasgow. 13/08/91]
12.(Simple Minds Chant)[Live](0:57)[Barrowlands, Glasgow. 13/08/91]
13.Travelling Man[Live](5:13)[Barrowlands, Glasgow. 13/08/91]
14.East At Easter[Live](4:22)[Barrowlands, Glasgow. 13/08/91]
15.Banging On The Door[Live](5:38)[Barrowlands, Glasgow. 13/08/91]
16.Stand By Love[Live](4:35)[Barrowlands, Glasgow. 13/08/91]
17.Oh Jungleland[Live](7:00)[Barrowlands, Glasgow. 13/08/91]
18.King Is White And In The Crowd[Live](5:42)[Barrowlands, Glasgow. 13/08/91]
19.Big Sleep[Live](4:21)[Barrowlands, Glasgow. 13/08/91]
20.Let There Be Love[Live](5:30)[Barrowlands, Glasgow. 13/08/91]
21.Ghost Rider[Live](4:05)[Barrowlands, Glasgow. 13/08/91]
22.Belfast Child[Live](4:05)[Barrowlands, Glasgow. 13/08/91]
23.She's A River[Live](4:05)[Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow. 10/09/95]
24.Up On The Catwalk[Live](4:40)[Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow. 10/09/95]
25.Hypnotised[Live](6:43)[Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow. 10/09/95]
26.War Babies[Bascombe Mix](4:19)



Simple Minds: A History. CD5: Our Secrets Are The Same
1.Swimming Towards The Sun(4:33)
2.Jeweller To The Stars(3:26)
3.Space(4:14)
4.Death By Chocolate(3:36)
5.Waiting At The End Of The World(3:23)
6.Neon Cowboys(3:51)
7.She Knows(4:08)
8.Hello(3:23)
9.Happy Is The Man(4:23)
10.Sleeping(4:30)

Brand new material includes the Empire And Dance demos (super), the demo of In Every Heaven and the rehearsal of Don't You (Forget About Me) for Live Aid. The rest has all been bootlegged but it'll be good to get it mixed, mastered and released properly.

The compilers have also omitted material previously released. Hence the sessions of King Is White And In The Crowd and New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) have not been included - they've already appeared. Nice touch. Likewise Don't You (Forget About Me) has been left off the Ahoy recording - if you want that, pick up the single of All The Things She Said.

Unfortunately a whole glut of Real Life live material has appeared - most of which was previously released on the Stand By Love, Real Life and Love Song 1992 singles. In fact, most of this section also appeared on the fan-club only Real Live 91 CD. It's also one of the most bootlegged tours; so was it really necessary?

Interestingly, none of the new tracks from Live And Rare made it to the box set; so that release has become more desirable. None of the 'remix' album tracks made it either (such as Easy, Precious, So Precious and Speed Your Love To Me). And it looks like the early years material, especially the second set of Life In A Day demos, remains in some form of legal limbo - so you'll still need to search for The Early Years 77-78.

CD1 and CD2 are excellent, proceeding through the albums in an orderly fashion. The compilation gets lost in 1986, becoming an unwielding bulk of live tracks, most heavily bootlegged, skipping major sections. Where's the coverage of Street Fighting Years? Verona? Good News From The Next World would've been better served by the sessions played on Radio One in 1995. What about the Sunset Strip show? And the afterthought inclusion of the single version of War Babies feels like space filling.

Then again, I'm a hardcore fan. Please me? Never.




VH1 are following the band around for this tour. And following them to Australia. And Japan. Obviously some form of tour documentary is being put together, but nothing more is known at the moment.




Cover band SaMPLE MINDS are looking for a web-designer to put together a website. All the content has been prepared (including Steve's Journal) - they just need someone to make it look lovely and put it on this Interweb thing. E-mail Simon Hayward if you can help.

SaMPLE MINDS may also be supporting Then Jerico on tour. So keep an eye out for that.




Of course, the album which everyone is talking about, and is the current topic of every discussion, is erm... New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84). So think www.swagshop.com who are offering a rather tasty red T-shirt with the heart-and-rays design on the front with the album's title near the bottom. Far, far nicer than those Our Secret Are The Same T-shirts.




Jim gets interviewed on Dutch TV here. And they've received an excellent review in a Dutch newspaper - saviours of the festival apparently.




Plus a new 80s DVD compilation of live material has appeared. Simple Minds are represented by Alive And Kicking but I've got no idea which performance it is.

The band have built on the collection of songs they played last year, adding several new songs from the 1990s. It's a welcome return to Great Leap Forward (which now features some lyrics from Wall Of Love) and War Babies. Cry is also represented with Spaceface and New Sunshine Morning.

Good stuff!

"The concert started with "Book Of Brilliant Things", which was a pity because I always likeed Mel's drum solo in this song. Because it was the first song on stage, they weren't warmed up yet. The rest of the concert made up for it. Especially the ten minutes plus of "Ghostdancing" with "Gloria" in the middle; which was brilliant. I'd already heard it from the Liverpool concert, but to hear it live was better.

"New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)" sounded a bit different. It seemed there was a big drum computer playing along, therefore the song sounded more like a dance song (influence from White Spaces?). I kind of missed the oldies like "I Travel", "Chelsea Girl" and "Love Song" which I'd heared at my last concert in Ahoy (Rotterdam).

Overall it was a great night and Jim and Charlie seemed to have a good time as well."

Godfried Mensink

Some pictures from the gig can now be found on the tour page.



Soundcheck at Hellendoorn yesterday.

And it's started. At the soundcheck at Hellendoorn, Simple Minds rehearsed Theme For Great Cities, Spaceface, The American, New Sunshine Morning, War Babies, Glitterball, Great Leap Forward, She's A River and New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84).




Simple Minds return to the stage tomorrow, kicking off the 2004 festival tour in Hellendoorn. As usual, all set-lists, pictures, reviews and other bits-and-pieces will be gratefully received and published on the tour page. Send them in!

Incidentally on the eve of the new tour, I thought it would be appropiate to update the Johnny And The Self Abusers tour pages with a review I've just discovered.

As mentioned here on the 11th February, Don't You (Forget About Me) by White Spaces featuring Jim Kerr has been released in Australia. Sporting a new sleeve, and including the first commercial release of the Stefano Sorrentio remix, the CD can be picked up from www.sanity.com.au.

Given the news that Simple Minds are potentially lined up for an Australian tour, the release of this single becomes more understandable.

"In my opinion "Dont You" is simply a great pop song. It is already an anthem for the eighties generation and having reached number one in America is still one of the most played radio cuts. Like most great songs it is inevitable that other generations will discover the song for themselves - they will want to re-mix, re-make and re-emphasise. White Spaces have done just that to perfection, I am lucky to be their first choice and look forward to the future output that I promise will be very special and certainly bring them much success!" Jim.

White Spaces featuring Jim Kerr
Absolutely/Big Records BIGS 002
1. Don't You (Forget About Me) (White Spaces Main Mix) [3:12]
2. Don't You (Forget About Me) (Andrea T. Mendoze Versus Tibet Club Mix) [6:11]
3. Don't You (Forget About Me) (Gerret Frerichs’s Radio Mix) [3:32]
4. Don't You (Forget About Me) (Perky Park’s Radio Mix) [3:47]
5. Don't You (Forget About Me) (Eyerer’s & Laib’s Radio Mix) [3:42]
6. Don't You (Forget About Me) (Stefano Sorrentino Remix) [7:50]
Australian single release.

Given the information associated with this release, I've been able to expand the information about the single.




Record Collector (Issue 298, June 2004) featured a two page interview with Jim, illustrated by a set of pictures taken in 1984. The magazine were running an 80s Special, concentrating on the New Romantic movement, and interviewing Bob Geldof and Japan.

Whilst Simple Minds were on the sidelines of the New Romantics, the interview concentrates on the band's experiences and growth during the 80s. Obviously the forthcoming 5 CD box set got several plugs:

Why release the box set now?
"It's almost part of the deal, if you're in a band which is lucky enough to have a long career like we have, that a thing like this comes out. It's like clearing the vaults. Six or seven years ago I would hae thought, is this stuff meant to be heard? Is it worthwhile? But since the advent of the Internet everything ends up in the public domain anyway, so you may as well take what is there and get it sounding good and packaged well. It's a thing for the hardcore fans, and gives them a chance to get it in its best light."

No Johnny And The Self Abusers material will be appearing on the box set, although Jim mentioned that he would've liked to include some.




I've updated the links section with several new fan sites and tribute band New Gold Dream. If you have a Simple Minds site and it's not included then let me know and I'll add it.




Belfast Child was used has backing music for a short documentary about snooker player Alex Higgins. It was shown a couple of times during the intervals of the World Snooker Championship finals.




Spanish officials at Torrevieja barely contain their excitment whilst unveiling the line-up for a series of gigs at the town hall.




Sziget Festival is the largest open-air music festival in Europe. It's being held every year in August, on an island located in Budapest, Hungary. It lasts for 8 days. (Visit here for more information.)

Every year the organizers ask the public who would they like to see there. In 2002 and 2003 Simple Minds almost appeared, there were talkings between Sziget and the band management.

I would like to ask all of you to help us, and vote for Simple Minds.

Please help us with voting for Simple Minds and hopefully this year we will finally be able to see Simple Minds playing live in Hungary.

There are two ways of voting.

  1. Write an email to info@sziget.hu and tell them that you would like to see Simple Minds perform at Sziget Festival 2004.

  2. Also please visit www.sziget.hu/fesztival/kivansaggep and type "Simple Minds" where it says "1. eloado:". At the bottom of the page you can find to buttons, press the one on the LEFT. (The writing on it is always changing.) (The other button always says "Megsem" which means "Cancel".)

    WARNING! You have to confirm your vote on the next page, by pressing the button on the left again.

Thank you for your help in advance,

Otto Jung
The Hungarian Simple Minds Fan Club




Part of the band's 2002 appearance at the Heineken Music Hall (Ghostdancing, See The Lights, Waterfront and One Step Closer) can be found here.




Still unable to track down a copy of Live And Rare?. Then contact Ed Desa who has several copies for sale.




The dance track underpinning the Frank'O Moiraghi remix of White Space's Alive And Kicking is Tori Amos' Professional Widow.

Unconfirmed news from down-under: Simple Minds will be touring Australia in October with Blondie.

This time in Spain. Simple Minds will be playing Orense on the 7th July.

Simple Minds will be playing the Liverpool Docks, UK on the 24th July. Tickets can be purchased tomorrow (Saturday 8th May) from 9AM by phoning 0870 151 4000.

Dirty Old Town, the charity single released as part of the Lord Of The Wing film of the life of Jimmy Johnstone, now has at least three release dates, all scattered throughout May. However, the single has definitely slipped, and will either be released on the 27th May (some retail sites) or the 31st May (Jimmy's site).

The single will be released as Jimmy Johnstone/Shane Macgowan. Simple Minds are the backing band for Dirty Old Town and Jimmy takes the mic. (Therefore it's going to be a different version than the one on Live And Rare where Jim's singing).




Some websites are now suggesting a release date of the 21st June for the long awaited A History box set. Whilst this is a further step forward, I'm going to be cautious until the promos start turning up. Why? Some of these same retail websites still display the original aborted release of Our Secrets Are The Same (along with the bootleg sleeve) from last year.




If you're going to the Hannover gig (4th June), why not check out an After Show Party at the Labor club afterwards? The flyer (right) gives the details.
Whilst researching Simple Minds’ early history, discarded, rejected and lost songs seem to litter the way between albums. Here Comes The Fool is perhaps the most well known, surviving long enough into the band’s career to be pressed on the earliest musty bootleg LPs. Others, such as Caught In A Dream or Take Me To The Angels only surfaced on grotty cassettes, where the band can just be discerned through a wail of feedback, now amplified by repeated analogue copying.

Occasionally a gem surfaces, and history gets rewritten. One such occasion was a manic piano rush by Mick, found languishing on the start of the so-called ‘Rotters’ tape. Could it have been Sweet Things, a song oft-mentioned by the journalists of the day? It would’ve been easy to match a lone title with this anonymous music; leaving everything nicely packaged and ordered.

Too easy. And too lazy.

It turned out to be called Hell; a title unknown to practically everyone, a song completely undocumented. Of course, that still left Sweet Things, a song seemingly now completely lost.

Today I was sent a CD copy of the band’s Grangemouth gig, recorded in December 1978 at the draughty town hall. The sender shared my quest for Sweet Things, and offered a solution, because the opening number, given the title Destiny, did not sound quite right to her.

So, I played the CD with interest, hoping, perhaps to be given a clue. In fact, it was more than I could’ve hoped for: Simple Minds’ emerged from the wings that night with this majestic, sprawling, elongated opening that announced to all and sundry that the band were definitely on stage. After three minutes of posturing, they settled, allowing Jim to settle on a melody that sounded like Destiny - but most definitely wasn’t. “Sweet Things” he sang over the chorus and the quest was over.

So, I sat down and filled in the page on Sweet Things, sighed over the tame, sanitised Destiny, and listened to the rest of the concert. Another epiphany, another realisation; Murder Story was literally one step away from Life In A Day: Mick's plodding backing chords were there, along with Life's characteristic musical game of tag; chasing up and down the scales with Charlie. No wonder it spilled out during the rehearsals for the album.

I had to share. The rough, acoustically horrible, recording of Sweet Things has been uploaded (plus the quick snippet of Hell I put up a couple of years ago). Enjoy!


(So, that just leaves Rosemary’s Baby then.)

Simple Minds will be playing Palermo, Sicily on the 13th July. For a list of all the dates, check out the tour dates section.

Information about this new German remix has been added to the discography.

Not much is known about it at the moment. It's believed to be a German bootleg but hopefully more details will surface soon.

As for the remix itself, it's a cut-and-paste, resampling of the original 1985 release. And not bad at that - although it is a little on the 'fast' side.

Billy Sloan exclusively played the new single, Dirty Old Town on his Radio Clyde show last night. Released on the 3rd May, this version of the song features a duet between Jim Kerr and Jimmy Johnstone.




Simple Minds finally got national press coverage with this advert which appeared in the Daily Mail on the 10th April.

For further information, and ticket details, about the NDR Plaza Festival, Hannover, Germany on Friday, 4th June, check out NDR2's website.

Ordering information about Charlecote is given in the press article below.

And another new date has been added: 19th June in Portugal.

Simple Minds play Charlecote

Simple Minds will play Charlecote Park this summer as part of the National Trust's summer music festival.

The Scots rockers, who have sold more than 30 million worldwide, will be performing at the National Trust property near Wellesbourne on Friday July 23.

Formed in 1978, the band fronted by Jim Kerr, have scored a string of hits including Don't You (Forget About Me), Alive And Kicking, Waterfront, Promised You A Miracle and Belfast Child.

The group performed at the legendary Live Aid concert at Wembley during their 1980s heyday, and also took to the same stage(sic) for the concert to celebrate Nelson Mandela's 70th birthday.

The day after the Simple Minds concert on Saturday July 24th there will be a classical and fireworks spectacular with special guests The Opera Babes.

The concert will feature the 62-piece British Philharmonic Orchestra performing popular proms favourites including Pomp and Circumstance, Jerusalem and Rule Britannia.

Joining them will be Opera Babes Rebecca Knight and Karen England who have been singing together since the late 1990s.

Charlecote Park spokesman Sal Ransome told The Observer: "We are all really excited about the concerts."

"Charlecote Park is a lively property and the ideal setting for both Simple Minds and the Opera Babes. It will certainly be a fantastic weekend."

Tickets, priced £27.50 for Simple Minds and £26.50 for the classical fireworks concert are available now by calling 0870 6001804.

The Rugby Observer
8th April 2004




Blowups, the Italian Simple Minds cover band, will be playing Wild Live And Kickin' at the Magic Bus in Marcon (Venice) on Saturday 8th May. They're teaming up with Duran Duran cover band Notorious for the event.

More information can be found on Blowup's Website.




A one track DJ promo of Cynical Heart by Jam And Spoon featuring Jim Kerr has just turned up. Full details have been added to the discography.




Remember the news about all the archive recordings being discovered in Radio Clyde's vaults? It turns out that the releases have started already through River Records - a label set up specifically to issue these rare recordings.

Two recordings of Simple Minds are listed in the archive. Unfortunately, they're not rare and unusual radio sessions, but are the oft-bootlegged Tiffany's gigs (from 29/12/81 and 21/12/82).

These great Christmas shows aren't listed in the release schedule as yet, but keep an eye on River Records' website for more information.




The Hungarian Simple Minds Fan Club are reissuing the Brasov DVD. Originally limited to 100 copies, a further 50 have now been made available.

Full details about the release can be found on their website.

To order, e-mail the club at both of their e-mail addresses: cliftony77@index.hu and simpleminds@freemail.hu.

Dream Giver Redux, the successor to this site, moves ever closer to Simple Minds domination.... well, I've almost cleared the 1970s with the all new Life In A Day sections. Explore and enjoy! Lots of previously unpublished pictures and all sorts of new trivia and information.

To give a small example of the change, the old discography Life In A Day section on Dream Giver consisted of 30 files. The new discography is built from 119 files. And that's just the discography...




Bono better watch out Celtic legend Jimmy Johnstone is set to steal his crown as rock's top singer.

Wee Jinky has been compared to the U2 superstar after singing on new single Dirty Old Town. So today I am launching a campaign to get the former wing wizard on Top Of The Pops.

I want Celtic fans to buy the CD when it's released on May 3. If just 20,000 of the club's massive support snap up a copy, it's guaranteed a slot in the UK Top 20.

And if all 60,000 Celtic home fans buy the single, it could go all the way to No.1.

The Lisbon Lion who is battling motor neurone disease duets with Jim Kerr of Simple Minds on a brilliant cover of the classic Ewan MacColl song. It's taken from the soundtrack of Lord Of The Wing, a new DVD about Jinky's career.

The single also features On The Road To Paradise by former Pogues' frontman Shane MacGowan. And the DVD's title track is by Scots songwriter John McLaughlin. John told me: "Jimmy's voice is absolutely brilliant. I was a wee bit wary at first, thinking he'd just be another footballer who fancied himself as a singer. But he sounds like an older version of Bono. When I first heard Dirty Old Town, I didn't believe it was Jimmy. You'll be amazed."

And Minds' star Jim Kerr said: "We wanted to do Dirty Old Town in the style of John Lennon's album Rock 'N' Roll."

"We asked Jimmy to sing on the track, not through sentiment, but because he's got a great voice. He's so good, I was happy to take a back seat."

Wee Jinky admitted he's nervous about appearing on Top Of The Pops.

He joked: "I'd love to do the show but couldn't you get a younger Jimmy Johnstone lookalike?"

Billy Sloan
Sunday Mail
4th April 2004




It's the end of an era: jo62@dial.pipex.com is no more. Please can you update your address lists and use the catchy simon@simpleminds.org in future. Thanks.

Old 2003 tour clothing merchandise is available from www.swagshop.com. You too could be the proud owner of a T-shirt with the dodgy Our Secrets Are The Same artwork, or a black shirt with the album titles on it. (Well, some of them. And of those, they're in the wrong order and spelt incorrectly.)

A 12" called ATE 1 vs Simple Minds has just surfaced. Featuring an unauthorised remix of Alive And Kicking, this one-sided bootleg is available from americandisco.net.

First impressions (from the clip on americandisco.net) is a cut-and-paste remix of the original 1985 track, sped up slightly with the usual new drum effects. (Some might consider this more friendly than the more hard core remixes released through Absolutely.)

Full details of the double 12" promo Alive And Kicking single by White Spaces featuring Jim Kerr have been added to the discography.

Unlike the Don't You (Forget About Me) release, these remixes are far more contemporary. Only the White Spaces Electro Decade Mix and Niki B & Christian E.F.F.E. Mix retain the melody of the original. Therefore only get the second 12" (Absolutely ABR 058) if you're cautious.

To avoid ordering from separate shops, both are available (with some other White Spaces and Biba-Rom releases) from americandisco.net.




Some websites and small extra details have been added to the tour dates.

Full details of Mel's single have been added to the discography.

And more live dates have been added. The current totals are one gig in The Netherlands; one in Switzerland; one in Ireland (where Simple Minds are Special Guests of Bryan Adams - so it might not be a full set); one in Denmark; two in Spain; two in Belgium and three in the UK.

The following little press release is also floating around:

"Pop legends, Simple Minds have just been added to the Killarney SummerFest 2004 line up. Simple Minds and Bryan Adams play Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney on 25 June.

The performance coincides with the release of their new album "A History"[1] that is to be released in June.

Formed in 1978, Simple Minds have been at the forefront of music for more than 25 years. They have released over 20 albums to date and have had a multitude of top ten singles and albums both in the UK and US Don't miss your chance to see Simple Minds play hits like 'Don't You Forget About Me', 'Speed Your Love', 'All The Things She Said' and 'She Moved Through the Fair'[2]. Tickets to Bryan Adams and Simple Minds are on sale now."

[1]: This, of course, being the box-set, featuring the 'new' album Our Secrets Are The Same.
[2]: Or, more likely, Belfast Child.

Meanwhile, Guilfest is the 6th biggest rock/pop festival in Britain with a capacity of 15000 and will be promoted heavily on BBC Radio Two. More details about this festival can be found on their website: Blondie on the 16th July, Simple Minds on the 17th and UB40 on the 18th.

Two new dates have been announced for Spain: 9th July at Valencia and the 10th July at Torrevieja.

The current 2004 tour can be seen here.




Some Sweet Day, the now annual all-day radio show devoted to Simple Minds, will be broadcast on July 15th. For 18 hours, 7 AM through to 1 AM (USA EST), Todd Richards will be playing singles, remixes, album tracks and rare B-sides.

No word on his legendary interviews yet, but here's hoping he'll talk to Jim again.

Jim was recently at EMI finalising the track listing for the forthcoming A History box set. This four CD package will feature early demos, rarities and other previously unreleased material including Our Secrets Are The Same.

Having kept his eyes fixed firmly ahead for so long, Kerr is still not entirely sure why anyone would want to look into various recesses in Simple Minds' history, although he admits that if I was hold a tape of a Roxy Music gig from 1972 he'd grab it out of my hand... "I suppose I didn't think it would happen with us."

Hugh Fielder
Classic Rock




Simple Minds, along with Bryan Adams, will be playing Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney, Ireland on Friday, 25th June.

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased from Ticketmaster.




Jim is interviewed by Hugh Fielder for Classic Rock magazine (April 2004). Within its eight page, full colour spread, Jim talks mainly about the early days of Simple Minds and their rise to the stadiums.

It's worth getting for the colour pictures alone, and one or two new snippets of trivia jump from the pages. However, as a balanced review of Simple Minds, it glosses over the 1990s, forgets Cry and does feature one or two inaccuracies (particularly the picture captions with the current line-up being called 1984 vintage.)

And not just the nostalgia seekers. "Not at all," he confirms. "The other night I noticed two really attractive girls down the front. Unfortunately in between them was their dad. But they were all really into it. And that's great."

There hasn't been a Simple Minds single for a couple of months; so it's time a new one came out.

Alive And Kicking has been given the remix treatment, with several new tracks spread across two 12" promos from Absolutely Records. Released today, the on-line samples (available via the excellent www.americandisco.net) reveals reworkings that are definitely in Judge Jules' jurisdiction.

Released under the White Spaces featuring Jim Kerr moniker, it's definitely a Simple Minds remix.

Both are available from www.americandisco.net.




Forget the link I published for the Liverpool downloads. Turns out that he's simply linking to files at Oliver Hilscher's site - well dodgy.

So, download them directly from www.hypnotised.de and let Oliver know how much you appreciate his work.




Eight pages of this month's Classic Rock Magazine are devoted to Jim. He talks about the band and the infamous box set also gets a mention.


The original line-up of Simple Minds was reunited at Bruce Findlay's 60th birthday party for the first time since 1981.
From left: Brian, Jim, Mick, Bruce, Derek and Charlie.



The Liverpool show from 2003 (which was broadcast by BBC Radio Wales on New Year's Eve) can be downloaded here.




Two other possible venues for this year's tour are Burjasot and Torrevieja (both in the Valencia area of Spain). No other information has surfaced at the moment.




Dear Minds’ fans,

BLOWUPS are very proud to announce a fantastic update on www.blowups.it.

Further to many requests received during the last years, there are now plenty of audio-previews (about 90 seconds/track) that you can listen from the DOWNLOAD area. There you will find 29 excerpts from 4 concerts held since 2000 (Imola, Florence-Flog, Capurso, Gioia-Nymph).

BLOWUPS have never been so fond of recording gigs just because it’s somewhat useless for a band to record cover-songs. In fact the only exception has been the studio-recorded Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) being our personal vision of that song.

As a consequence the recordings are not of great quality nor the gigs were meant to be recorded but BLOWUPS nonetheless decided to make them available as an act of love towards SIMPLE MINDS.

Songs as Wish You Were Here, Saturday Girl, Changeling, Book Of Brilliant Things (both versions) along with classics Alive and Kicking, Don’t You (Forget About Me) and Simple Minds’ masterpiece Street Fighting Years will lead you to an enjoyable journey through the sounds and moods that marked an era. Among them we took the liberty to include our own song Glory Days (please forgive us…).

Furthermore 4 tracks were included into the Demo folder in their full length version: Silent Sky is our own 2nd song (instrumental+fade) whilst the Joke and October ideas were accidentally included by the web-master; they are just ideas (October Idea) or musical tests (Joke, a funky/soul composed by Mimmo about 12 years ago for testing his SY99 sequencer…). While waiting for these two last songs to be removed you can take the chance to download them, but please take them for what they actually are.

Your feedback (the bad as well) is more than welcome.

Thanks for your continuous support and feel free to forward this message to whoever may be interested.

BLOWUPS




New Gold Dream, an Italian Simple Minds tribute band, will be playing at the Black Out Rock Club in Rome on the 19th March.

For more details, see here.

Two new dates have been added to the list: one at Charlecote Park, Warwick, UK and the other at the Caribana Festival, Nyon, Switzerland. For more information, plus links to festival websites for ticket ordering information, then check out the tour page.

Simple Minds are playing at the Suikerrock Festival, Tienen, Belgium on 31st July and the Lokerse Festival, Lokerse, Belgium on the 1st August.

So far, five dates have been announced - they can be found here.

An all-star five-day music festival at a Norfolk stately home is being launched by resurgent rock band Simple Minds.

Blickling Hall's annual picnic concerts will already feature evergreen entertainer Sir Cliff Richard at a 9000 ticket sell-out show on Friday, July 23.

More top names are promised over two weekends, in the biggest ever week of music in the National Trust venue's history.

The full line-up is still under wraps, but promoters have revealed that the opening concert on Friday, July 16, will be by Simple Minds.

The Scottish band, fronted by Jim Kerr, found chart fame in Britain and America with Don't You (Forget About Me) in 1985, and a follow-up UK number one with Belfast Child four years later.

They were formed from the ashes of Glasgow punk rockers Johnny and the Self Abusers in 1978, and evolved through a variety of styles from arty experimental work and synthesizer sounds through harder-edged rock and into disco and pop.

They have clocked up more than 30 million sales of albums, five of which entered the UK charts at number one.

Their stage performances include being one of the highlights of the Live Aid event in 1985 and the major inspiration behind a concert to mark the 70th birthday of Nelson Mandela three years later.

After Simple Minds strike up the music at the Blickling lakeside stage, the other gigs look set to be a classical concert on Saturday, July 17, followed by Cliff on July 23, and two equally big names for the following two nights.

It comes just six years after Blickling, after several years of staging picnic-style classical concerts, made its first tentative steps into the world of “rock” with Chris de Burgh.

Since then, there has been a string of big names – from Shirley Bassey and Michael Ball, through Van Morrison and Bryan Ferry to the rockier Roger Daltrey and Bryan Adams.

But the normal diet of a couple of big pop names and a classical evening has been upped to a five-course feast.

Promoter David Heartfield said: “We are delighted to have Simple Minds opening the season of concerts at Blickling.”

The two weekends would cover all musical tastes from rock to classical, and demand for tickets had never been higher, he added.

Tickets for Simple Minds are £27.50 and go on sale from Friday February 20 from Blickling Hall or by calling 0870 444 5556.

Richard Batson
EPD24

Simple Minds are going to be using the tried-and-tested formula of working on the new studio album during the week and playing festivals during the weekends. They're trying to get bookings for every weekend from early-June through to mid-August. Two dates have been published so far. Others will follow.

They will appear at the Langelands Festival on the 30th July.




The box set is apparently going to be released to coincide with this period.

The Hellendoorn website is now on-line with full information about their forthcoming concerts including Simple Minds.



I've put up all the information about the White Spaces featuring Jim Kerr German CD into the discography. It appears to be withdrawn as no-one has been able to get hold of a copy. However, for the record, this rare release includes the Perky Park, Gerret Frerich, Eyerer's & Laib, Andrea T. Mendoza Vs Tibet and Phunk Investigation In The City mixes.

However, it's never that simple, and this CD looks set to be released in Australia.

Simple Minds frontman Jim Kerr may have us all dancing to a different beat when next we hear him. He has recorded a techno song with Italian DJs White Spaces.

Kerr has re-recorded the vocal of his Simple Minds classic Don't You Forget About Me with White Spaces.

The song was recorded with the original intent of being used for a Vodafone commercial in Europe. However, at the last minute, Vodafone changed their plan and dropped the Kerr classic for Dido's White Flag.

Now the single will have a commercial release with mixes and remixes by White Spaces, Perky's Parks, Martin Eyerer, Oliver Laib, Gerret Frerichs, Phunk Investigation, Adam Dived, Stefano Sorrentino, A.T Mendoza, Ged5 and Peter Rauhofer.

A release date for the Australian release of the White Spaces single is yet to be finalized.

Paul Cashmere
Undercover Media

Every time this single gets reissued, more remixes appear; this is the first time Ged5 and Peter Rauhofer remixes have been mentioned.



Congratulations and a belated Happy Birthday to Bruce Findlay.

Bruce Findlay's Incredible Fling Band

Bruce pictured at Schoolhouse's offices at Leith, 2000 Bruce Findlay, a dynamic figure behind the Scottish rock scene for over 35 years, has always been, to put it mildly, a talkative chap. But for once he was speechless when he ambled into the Caves in Edinburgh’s Canongate at the weekend, for what he thought was a quiet drink and supper with his partner, Julia.

As he came in the door, he was greeted by a crowd of 300 singing "Happy Birthday". It was the ex-Simple Minds manager’s 60th birthday, and the celebration was the best-kept secret in town.

Among those welcoming Bruce to the Swinging Sixties were the Average White Band leader, Alan Gorrie, who had flown all the way from New York; Mike Heron, of the Incredible String Band, one of Bruce’s all-time favourites; the "busy as ever" Fish; Lloyd Quinan, former MSP; Norrie Rowan (who created the Caves out of nowhere); Pete Scotland the Best Irvine; Karen Koren, of Gilded Balloon fame, and members of Simple Minds, minus Jim Kerr, who couldn’t make it - even if his ma and pa did. Chrissie Hynde sent a card hailing Bruce as a "genius" and our man Lenny Love, another old pal, was spinning the discs.

Alastair Clark, who first interviewed Bruce and his brother, Brian, back in the mid-Sixties, when they were trying to sell records in Falkirk - before the magic move to Edinburgh to set up Bruce’s Records - reports: "I had to double-check the invitation to make sure it was his 60th, not his 50th. Bruce is still such a bundle of energy and enthusiasm."

According to Jim, he did attend, and posed for pictures of the 'original' line-up with Charlie, Mick, Derek and Brian.

Jim is Simply Furious

Simple Minds star Jim Kerr is suing Vodafone for £3.5 million after they scrapped a deal to use the band's hit Don't You (Forget About Me) in a TV advert. The phone giants commissioned Kerr to come up with a new version of the pop classic for the Italian commercial.

But after the group spent two weeks working on it, Vodafone said the deal was off and they would be using the Dido chart-topper White Flag.

Respect
Furious Kerr said: "These companies have got to learn to respect people, above all artists who they have asked to work for them. We spent two weeks in a studio in London working on it and everything seemed to be going fine. Vodafone were happy and pleased that we had agreed to work with them. They were even talking about possible sponsorship for a tour in Italy."

"Then, just as we were about to finish, Vodafone contact us to say they wanted White Flag."

No one at Vodafone was available for comment.

Daily Star
26th January, 2004



Full details of the promo of Don't You (Forget About Me), with its two exclusive remixes, has been added to the discography.

Jam & Spoon's latest album, Tripomatic Fairytales, was released on 4th January in Germany. It includes Cynical Heart with Jim on vocals and Something To Remind Me by Midge Ure.



The new tour section for 2004 can now be found here. Two dates have been confirmed.



More additions and corrections have been made to the Live And Rare section.



If seven new remixes of Don't You (Forget About Me) aren't enought (all released across Biba-Rom!, White Spaces featuring Jim Kerr and Simple Minds releases last year), then Absolutely have issued a 12" promo of two new remixes.

The Adam Dived and Stefano Sorrentino remixes are more contemporary than the recent batch, and are available through www.americandisco.net. The store is also offering the White Spaces 12" for sale.



On the subject of White Spaces, a 5-track CD has turned up (so I don't know if the CD release has been withdrawn as previously stated). It's a mixture of tracks from the Biba-Rom, White Spaces featuring Jim Kerr and Simple Minds releases. I'll put up all the details at the weekend.



Addicted To Love, the first single by Mel Gaynor, and featuring Robert Palmer, has now been issued in Germany as two track and four track CDs (PHA 514214). Unfortunately, it's still not available from his website.



According to Italian paper La Repubblica, Simple Minds are suing Vodafone Italia for 5 million euros. Apparently the new mix of Don't You (Forget About Me) wasn't used for the phone advertisement and Vodafone used White Flag by Dido instead (any more confirmation of this?).

Better news is that Simple Minds are number 16 in the Italian chart with Don't You (Forget About Me) 2003.

I've finally been able to listen to a copy of this illusive album, and I've been able to finalise the track listing. There's a couple more surprises, such that New Sunshine Morning (Acoustic Version) is a different mix of New Sunrise, Mandela Day has been severely edited with all sorts of new crowd noise dubbed on and the two mixes of Don't You (Forget About Me) are taken from the single despite the different remix names.



I've been told that the release of White Spaces featuring Jim Kerr on CD, which was promised for this month, has now been withdrawn. This isn't surprising, as Don't You (Forget About Me) 2003 features some of the same tracks.

However, I've been told that a 4-track CD and 12" promo are now circulating - so things remain a little confused and vague.

Some clarifications about Dauwpop - Dauwpop 2004 is on Thursday May 20th, and is a one day festival only. Simple Minds will play at the same stage on the 22nd of May - so it'll probably just be Simple Minds with a support act.



Australian TV show Rage (famous for broadcasting all of Simple Minds videos back-to-back) are repeating Countdown (an Australian TV show which I'm assured is better than Top Of The Pops. I also assume that it's not in anyway related to the UK show Countdown).

Anyway, an interview with Jim from 1986 is to be shown this Saturday.

Check out the rage website for details.

Jim's latest journal made reference to this article - the rather exaggerated report of the building of his hotel Villa Angela. The reports of his dealings with the Mafia and lava following past the windows should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Does this hotel have a Jim ?

These are the first pictures of Simple Minds star Jim Kerr’s latest glittering prize — his new luxury hotel in Sicily. The Scots rock legend has braved Mafia threats and volcanic eruptions to build the lavish 21-bedroomed pad.

The £280-per-night Villa Angela — which has the band’s logo as its crest — isn’t due to open until April.

The final touches are currently being added to the outside bar, terrace pool and state—of-the-art gym. But thanks to our exclusive glimpse behind the scenes, News of the World readers have a chance to check it out today.

Situated in a picturesque location near the trendy holiday hotapot of Taormina, Jim 44, wants the four-star residence to be a real home from home. A Villa Angela spokesman told us: “Jim will live here and he wants guests to feel they are staying in his house, not a faceless hotel.”


Protection


But the rocker was unpleasantly disturbed by some of the project’s teething troubles. Shortly after work began two years ago, nearby volcano Mount Etna erupted. Then local Mafia bosses turned up and demanded protection money. Jim said: “Sicilian bureaucracy has its own ways of working. It is pretty infamous but I’m enjoying the challenge.”

The hotel is the latest business venture for the chart-topping star — who’s worth an estimated £30 million. He already owns properties In Londoa and the French Riviera, as well as the successful Oko sushi bar in his home town of Glasgow. But fans visiting Villa Angela won’t be treated to suitable Simple Minds hits like I Travel, Waterfront or Someone, Somewhere (In Summertime). Our source told us: “There will be no discos or neon lights flashing — Jim hopes his guests will simply clear their minds in the relaxing surroundings.’

Jessica Kiddle
4th January, 2004
New Of The World



Various additions and corrections have been made to the Live And Rare discography including the addition of the lyrics for Dirty Old Town



Fire-Alarm Hitch Fails To Dampen Concert Fun

Hundreds of Simple Minds fans were forced out into pouring rain when fire alarms sounded at the Music Hall in Aberdeen at the weekend. Cosmetic smoke used during the Glasgow band's performance on Saturday night had caused the alarm and forced an evacuation.

Fans kept themselves entertained during the 15-minute wait outside the venue, singing an impromptu version of the tune which ended as the alarm was signalled - Don't You (Forget About Me).

Purveyors of some of the finest anthemic rock to come out of the 80s, Jim Kerr and co did not forget their obligation to their supporters and came back to the stage in fine form.

Despite dance moves reminiscent of the embarrassing dad at a wedding, Kerr continues to convince as a bona-fide star singer. He trooped on to the Music Hall stage alongside fellow band founder, Charlie Burchill, to a cracking reception. Clearly enjoying the adulation, they treated the near-capacity crowd to an initial hour's worth of tunes spanning two decades. After the brief, enforced break in proceedings - during which many fans unwisely went elsewhere to avoid the rain and did not return - the band were back with a bang.

Bouncing back to the stage Kerr, recalling a Doors reference earlier in the set, said: "That'll teach us to sing Come on Baby Light My Fire."

Standout tracks were their best-known hits - Waterfront, Promised You a Miracle, the earlier Don't You ... and the stunning set-closer, Alive And Kicking. With the chords of that last song ringing in my ears en-route home, one thought I couldn't escape is that had they more drive when the musical climate changed, this lot could have been bigger than U2. The songs are of a similar quality and with Belfast Child (sadly missing from Saturday's set list) they spoke with a political voice previously unnoticed. Thankfully, there is still time for a resurgence.

Grampian Fire and Rescue Service confirmed the evacuation had come about due to a false alarm, triggered by the use of smoke machines

Alan Gorham
22nd December, 2003



Simple Minds will play the Dauwpop Festival in The Netherlands on the 22nd May. There will be a special website launched at www.simpleminds-hellendoorn.nl (expected within the next month) or you can check out pictures of last years' festival at www.dauwpop.nl.



The Breakfast Club will be shown on VH1 at 9PM on the 10th January. (Recently there's been some debate whether the version of Don't You (Forget About Me) in the film is the same as that on the soundtrack - it's a very subtle change of words. And there's also a short instrumental version of Don't You played after the main credits that hasn't been issued either).

Simple Minds will be headlinening the Langelands Festivallen in Denmark this summer. The festival is also called Denmark's Biggest Garden Party and runs from the 28th through to the 31st of July. It caters for 20,000 people and is normally sold out every year. On the bill are for now only a handful of Danish acts besides the Minds.

You can buy tickets at www.billetnet.dk and the festival website is at www.langelandsfestival.dk.

A one day ticket is 400 DKR, whilst a four day ticket is 1095 DKR.

You can also phone the festival on 0045 70 22 00 87



BRAVE JINKY'S POP BID

FOOTBALL legend Jimmy Johnstone hopes to top the pop charts despite battling a killer disease. The brave Celtic hero, who has Motor Neurone Disease, has recorded a song with Simple Minds stars Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill.

The Lisbon Lion went into a recording studio in Glasgow to perform a version of Ewan MacColl's Dirty Old Town. It will form part of the soundtrack to a film of Jinky's life story due for release next year. A donation will be made to Motor Neurone Disease research for every disc sold. Music industry insiders tip it to reach the Top Ten.

Last night, Jinky, 59, said: "To be honest, I'm not convinced but if Jim Kerr thinks it's good enough I'm not going to argue. As far as I'm concerned, if God wills it, it will happen."

Jinky has been helped in his battle against the illness by alternative health practitioner and nutritionist Caroline Rafferty. He said it was thanks to her that more than two years after his heartbreaking diagnosis he is still going strong. Life expectancy for sufferers is usually only two years.

Caroline's technique involves analysing toxicity in the body. She said: "Most people with his condition would have surrendered to it, but Jimmy has pursued every possible avenue of treatment and the fact he is alive shows it has paid off."

The father-of-three lives in Lanarkshire with his wife Agnes, and has fought his illness every step of the way. He said recently: "I was blessed with my ability, blessed to have great friends and blessed to be a part of one of the greatest football teams."

Billy Paterson
Sunday Mail

Dirty Old Town was first made available on Live And Rare.

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