Sanctify Yourself will be released at the end of December as the next single from the
Acoustic album. Promos are already circulating which feature
the album, edit and instrumental versions of the song.
acoustic live 2017, strictly come dancing, acoustic, ken bruce, hackney, forth award
Simple Minds will perform their acclaimed Acoustic show across the
Europe and the UK in 2017. They will be joined
by very special guests KT Tunstall on the European dates and by
The Anchoress (Catherine AD) on the UK dates.
The whole band appeared on the Strictly Come Dancing results show where they performed
the acoustic version of Don't You (Forget About Me) to a enthusiastic
audience in the Blacpool Tower.
It was a major coup, the show being one of the BBC's most popular programmes. Even the judges were shown
to be dancing and clapping along to the song's coda and La, la, la sing-a-long.
"All stunned - by the beauty of the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool - where Simple Minds will
perform with the full acoustic [line-up] on the BBC'sStrictly Come Dancing : The Results on
BBC1 at 7.15pm tonight 20th November. (I wish my mother was around to see us on her favourite TV show!)
It's located inside the iconic Blackpool Tower, itself an institution. The magical ballroom with its spectacular
architecture and unique sprung floor is world-famous and understandably so. But when it comes to sprung floors in
dancehalls... is there anywhere to beat the sprung floor of Glasgow's own Barrowland Ballroom - where Simple Minds
have experienced some of our greatest ever nights? To this day Barrowlands still remains one of our all time favourite
venues, even if the beauty of the Tower Ballroom is fantastically unique." - Jim, November 20th 2016
The limited edition double-vinyl and signed CD packages are destined to become the notable formats of this release.
And collectors will be kept busy tracking down the various promotional formats
of the album which have started appearing, along with a couple of
promos of the Promised You A Miracle single.
As a warm up before the Hackney Show, Jim and Charlie
appeared on the Ken Bruce Show on BBC Radio Two where they performed Alive And Kicking
and Promised You A Miracle. Special guest K T Tunstall joined
the duo for the last song. It was recorded at the Hackney Empire where it served as a soundcheck for the evening's performance.
Simple Minds won this years Radio Forth Award for Best Live Performance.
The event was held at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh on the 16th November where Jim,
Sarah performed two acoustic songs.
Everywhere we looked - everybody just seemed to be having a great time. I am talking about our experience
over the last couple of days in Edinburgh, firstly at the Forth Awards in the fabulous Usher Hall, then followed
by last night's Scottish Business Awards. Both Charlie and I were of course
humbled to be recognised for our work, but it was also great fun to spend time, relax, and be among so many who helped
"make us". And it has to be said - in the event that anyone does not already know - what a great and beautiful
city Edinburgh is." - Jim, 18th November 2016.
SIMPLE MINDS - ACOUSTIC
On 11th November 2016 Simple Minds release
SIMPLE MINDS ACOUSTIC via Caroline International.
This follows several years in which the band has gone from strength-to-strength, becoming more relevant than ever;
the 2014 album BIG MUSIC received across the board praise:
"their best album in 30 years."
"Will keep Simple Minds' well-deserved revival rolling on." Record Collector – 4 Stars
"It's fascinating to hear their biggest hits in such a raw & intimate form." Vive Le Rock – 7/10M
"An earnest, refined take on many of their classics." Classic Pop – 3 Stars
SIMPLE MINDS ACOUSTIC continues the band's artistic
quest with a one-off album release of stripped down and re-imagined songs spanning their eclectic and illustrious
career. On the lead single Promised You A Miracle, the band
are joined by fellow Scot KT Tunstall, whose distinctive vocals, acoustic strumming and rolling
bass groove transform a piece of music that was the band’s first 'pure pop song' when it arrived in 1982.
On SIMPLE MINDS ACOUSTIC the band have found a way of doing the
acoustic thing without losing their essence, and a dozen Simple Minds songs loved by millions
now sound more organic and even more likely to leave a lasting imprint. The synths are no more – but the Celtic
A limited number of copies pre-ordered of this CD were signed by Jim and
The fact that the album sessions entailed a sentimental return to their Glasgow roots for
Jim and guitarist Charlie Burchill
helped, with some songs recorded in Gorbals Studio, a former railway workers' social club located a stone's
throw from the high-rise estates of the city's South Side where the pair took their first musical steps. It was
in this building that Jim and
Charlieplayed their first gig,
as teenagers in a school glam-rock band, and emotions were understandably high on their return.
The genesis of Simple MindsAcoustic can be traced back to a
rare live session the band recorded for the Chris Evans Breakfast Show
in September 2014, promoting their 16th studio album, BIG MUSIC.
The reaction, to the band's surprise, was overwhelmingly favourable.
With this in mind, the band began 2016 by putting together an acoustic set for
the Zermatt Unplugged Festival in the Swiss Alps.
Having spent weeks working on meticulously layered acoustic arrangements of their best-loved songs for
that 90-minute performance, they began hatching plans to record them. With
Jim and Charlie augmented by regular
bassist Ged Grimes, backing vocalist
Sarah Brown, acoustic guitarist
Gordy Goudie and percussionist Cherisse Osei,
they temporarily halted the recording of the forthcoming sequel to BIG MUSIC – an
album that is 'anything but acoustic' – and gave their complete commitment to an all-encompassing acoustic project.
The recorded versions stick to many of the ideas forged for that Swiss show, with the synthetic sounds of old replaced
with warmer effects.
With so much music to choose from, picking a running order wasn't easy. But there were some numbers that had to feature.
A quartet of songs from 1982's New Gold Dream album, all still performed
live, were among them. For Promised You A Miracle, the band are
joined by fellow Scot KT Tunstall, whose distinctive vocals, acoustic strumming and rolling bass
groove transform a piece of music that was the band's first ‘pure pop song’ when
it arrived in 1982. With regular backing singer
Sarah Brown soulfully to the fore, there is also a powerful feminine presence
on Glittering Prize, another
New Gold Dream song. The two remaining
New Gold Dream tracks,
Someone Somewhere In Summertime and the title track, add deeper,
darker textures while retaining the panoramic ambience of old.
The album concludes with Don't You (Forget About Me), the enduring
Breakfast Club closing song that gave Simple Minds a number one single in America,
plus a yearning cover of Richard Hawley'sLong Black Train.
Jim Kerr discovered the wonderfully moving lament, from the Sheffield
singer-songwriter’s 2001 album Late Night Final, when it cropped up on an
Alan Yentob BBC documentary about Man Booker Prize winner Richard Flanagan,
whose brutal novel The Narrow Road To The Deep North chronicled the experiences of Allied POWs
working on the Thailand-Burma Railway in WWII.
As a group who formed in the punk era and found their mojo through a shared love of
Bowie, Kraftwerk and electronic dance, Simple Minds
are not natural acoustic adventurers, but they have done a remarkable job here, adding fresh nuance to brilliant
songs without trampling on sacred memories.
"Our songs mean a lot to people, so we had to be careful," says Jim.
"It wasn’t a case of just knocking up some acoustic riffs. We had to show respect to the songs and retain everything
that made them good in the first place, and we wanted to create a Simple Minds party album, not a
traditional, introspective acoustic album – more something that people will play during goods times. This experience
has reinvigorate and excited us about the potential of new songs, which we’ll begin recording soon."
australian tour, simple minds gatherers, discography, mel gaynor
Simple Minds will be touring Australia and New Zealand in February
along with The B52s.
"It's been said Simple Minds has a love affair with Australia and I think that's true. It was the first
country anywhere in the world to give us success and from our very first tours, we’ve always had a wonderful bond with
Australian and New Zealand audiences. We have so many fantastic memories and can’t wait to be playing in both countries again." - Jim, August 2016
The website Simple Minds Gatherers has been around for over a year now, and features a pictorial reference of the
band's discography and collectables. Run by Wolfgang and Andreas, it is definitely worth
Mel Gaynor, known as the best drummer in the world and part of the band
Simple Minds, is about to kick off his solo career as a singer. During the past years
Mel wrote his own songs which you can stipulate between pop and rock music,
he has a warm soulful voice and his songs have a large range.
The first release is a Robert Palmer song, "Addicted To Love (with Robert
on it) and it was chosen as first release as a tribute to one of his best friends who past away years ago.
Next releases will be Mel's own songs.
The showcase to announce Mel’s solo career will find place on Monday, 12th
of September at the Hard Rock Café in London at 8:30pm.
Also cool to know, Mel will be performing from now on in a kilt powered by
AMA Management 9th September 2016
echos, derek forbes tour, artwork
Derek Forbes' new album Echos is now available as a CD. Housed in a digipak,
it features the eleven tracks previously available as a download.
"At last the CDs are in my hands and anyone who wants one can get it at
derekforbesmusic.com or download it from the usual outlets. Thanks everyone
who has purchased my album. If this keeps up, I may make another one" - Derek
As part of the promotional push for the album, Bruce Findlay has his take on the early
days of Simple Minds and the importance of Derek and
Brian in the early lineup:
Derek is also embarking on a US Tour. Dates and venues are given below:
Ruth Rowland may not be immediately familiar with fans but you will know her work. As an artist, she was involved with
Peacock Design and Stuart Crouch Creative who've been designing Simple Mind's sleeves since
the first Greatest Hits + compilation.
Empires That Dance returned on the 16th July with their third single Boys From Brazil.
The band membership has also swelled with Brian McGee
and Gordy Goudie appearing on drums and bass respectively.
"Empires That Dance" is a studio project comprised of Andy Inniss, George Porter,
Johnny B Good and Gordon Machray."
"We filmed the video during the Easter weekend at Sportsmedia Studios, Livingston, Scotland. We were the first people to use
these new studios and as soon as we finished "Churchill" was filmed there and I believe they are also filming
"Train Spotting 2" there now. Gordy Goudie (bass),
Brian McGee (drums), George Porter (vocals) and
Andy Inniss (keyboards) are in our video available on
our YouTube page and
Facebook page. Getting everyone together was
logistically very difficult as we had to travel from England, Germany, Netherlands and of course Scotland."
"The video was directed by Martin Poschinger of Sweet Invader Movies with behind the scenes
work by John Provyn (AKA Johnny B Good). Gordon Machray was also invaluable
to the production." Michael Baggers Lees also appears in our video as our taxi driver."
"Our new EP features a main mix as well remixes by Johnny B Good and Michael Baggers Lees. In
addition our own composition called "Stargazing" has also been included. "Stargazing" was played on a loop through the studio
speakers between takes for "Boys From Brazil" so for us it is very special."
"Some very limited T-shirts are also available to anyone who visits our Facebook page
and comments on our competition thread."
"The Boys From Brazil" is available from all major download sites and streaming services."
"Eleven tracks from my time with Simple Minds...The band I never left!"
"This is a Watershed for me, a chance to show what I can do, and a gift to you, the fans, for staying with Simple Minds
through all the changes, and giving me your support...I really appreciate it."
"On this album, I play and sing everything. There are no other musicians. It is a true 'solo' effort. drums, Keyboards,
guitars, mandolin, banjo, theremin, tablas, stylophone, kitchen sink... all played by me. If there is a demand to tour this album,
then I would be delighted to do so, all I ask, is that you spread the word, far and wide, to let fans know, that the album is out there." - Derek Forbes
Derek Forbes has recorded an album of early Simple Minds classics. His
Full details about digitally purchasing the album can be found at www.derekforbesmusic.com.
There are also videos, a song diary (which gives background details about all the songs), a gallery and more. If there's suitable
demand, then Derek also mentioned that he'd look into producing a physical copy of the album as well.
ivor novello award, new gold dream super deluxe
Congratuations to Jim,
Mick who won the
Outstanding Song Collection at the
61st Ivor Novello Awards.
"We had a great day yesterday and of course we were chuffed with the award. As with any award that
Simple Minds win, we fully recognise all who have played a part. Including everyone who has played live – and
everyone who has worked in the studio with us. That adds up to dozens of people, and if we had our way, they would all be
present when these statues are handed out."
"But why stop at that? What about all who have helped us immeasurably behind the scenes? Invested time, energy, belief,
etc – as they guided as throughout our career, and continue to do so. And what about our road crews over the last almost 40 years?
Hundreds of individuals putting their families on hold, as they tour(ed) the world, spending the longest days setting
up the show so that we can give our best night after night. Do they not deserve to be up there with us also? Of course they do!"
"And finally, our story would not have happened, and would not be happening still if it was not for the millions
who have encouraged us by listening to the music. To encourage is to contribute massively – it gives us the oxygen to do
what we do, and continue still into the future. In summary, anyone who has ever cared about Simple Minds
deserved to be up on the stage with us yesterday. In my mind you were. So let's celebrate a little." - Jim
The band were also briefly interviewed at the awards (although the background noise makes it difficult to hear what's being
Q: What are you doing at the moment? CB: We're half-way through a new studio record. And we've got another project – but it's early days for that one yet. But there's a couple of projects.
Q: Any idea when it's going to be released? JK: Not quite yet. It's sounding good already.
Q: What would you say is the key to your longevity as a band? JK: This is what we wanted to do with our lives. There was never any plan but certainly we wanted to have a life in music and playing and performing. And in our own way, we all still do.
Q: And what does it mean to win? MM: We won!
[All laugh] JK: [Pointing to Mick] He said earlier it wasn't before time.
[All laugh] MM: We're really, really chuffed. It's great to be recognised for our songwriting.
Other interviews include MusicNewsWeb (during which Mick said
his favourite song was Belfast Child) and PRSForMusic:
Q: What do the Ivors mean for you? JK: A great day out. This is the first time for us. Everyone who has been to these awards previously said this
is the best one to go to – it's always good fun. So we've been looking forward to it for a long time.
Q: What keeps you writing new music? JK: It's what we've done all our lives. It just continues. Yesterday we were in the studio.
Charlie, and Mick I guess, still play
every day – always thinking about new songs. And it's part of your personality I think.
Q: How has the songwriting process changed since the start of your careers? JK: Writing songs still hasn't really changed – you're still looking for a chorus, you're still
looking for a verse, you're still looking for hooks. It's funny: the whole industry's changed but essentially the
things we do – trying to write songs and playing them live – it's still the same as from day one.
Q: What's next for you? CB: We're working on a studio album at the moment. It's early days but it's shaping up great. We've
got a few other things but they're very early stages. So it's a work in progress. It's a quiet year touring wise
for us – we were busy over the last five years so it's more concentrating on writing and studio work.
Q: Who have been your biggest songwriting inspirations? MM: Well as I've said earlier, I think John Lennon was a great song writer of our
generation but currently there's so many doing different stuff just now. Ed Sheeran is really, really
good. I like people who keep it simple and keep it really, really basic. They do it for me every time.
Q: Is there anyone you would rather collaborate with? CB: We did a song with Lou Reed one time which was probably as good as you're going to get.
He was a big influence in terms of songwriting. JK: We all sang with David Bowie. That was quite something. And Peter Gabriel
as well – to all of us he was a big hero and we got to tour with him. So we've been really lucky.
Q: Do you still keep up with the Glasgow Music scene? CB: We were just talking about Chvrches – you know the band – we've done a couple of songs
of theirs actually. We've collaborated with Iain Cook who's one of the three – they're
really great and we love their sound. It's great that they're from our neck of the woods.
Q: How important is it to get politics across in your music? JK: It's just who we were at the time and what the world was at the time. It was our interest. And possibly some
of the people who influenced us: Peter Gabriel and writers like that. They had a big scope to their writing
and they could involve these subjects. But they were the subjects of the day. I think, at the time, anything
Margaret Thatcher said, we would've written a song against. A whole generation was like that. But it
felt right. And it wasn't just the songwriters, everyone was getting up in arms at the time. It was amazing for the guys to
come up with a tune – because it was an easier thing to say than do, to take these weighty subjects and cram them into three
minutes for it not to be clichéd or whatever. But they came up with a great piece of emotional music.
And it was not without some controversy as the
NME later eported
(see The Happy Mondays).
'NEW GOLD DREAM (81,82,83,84)'
SUPER DELUXE BOX Set
On 29th July 2016 Universal Music release a six-disc box set of what is considered by many to be
Simple Minds' finest album, New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84).
It will be the first time the entire back catalogue of this era has been collected together.
"My loyalty towards Simple Minds is known to be considerable, yet even I am jarred by the constant beauty of this music.
New Gold Dream robs me of my breath." – Paul Morley, NME 1982
Originally released in September 1982, New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) was
Simple Minds' fifth studio album and their crossover – the one that took them from revered cult status
to a chart band with pop singles, launching their career worldwide. Featuring the number 13 and number 16 singles
Promised You A Miracle and
Glittering Prize, it turned the band into a major force in pop music, reaching number 3
in the UK Albums Chart and spending a full year there.
Recorded over a five month period at Rockfield Studios, The Townhouse and The Manor – with pre-production taking place at
The Old Mill, a pig farm in Fife – in January '82 the band actually laid down musical sketches for what would evolve into
King Is White And In The Crowd,
Hunter And The Hunted and
Promised You A Miracle during a short tour rehearsal. The latter song
would prove pivotal in terms of the direction they took next.
Released in April 1982, Promised You A Miracle garnered heavy daytime radio
play, a first for the band. In the preceding months, frontman Jim Kerr had
taken encouragement when contemporaries such as U2, Echo And The Bunnymen, The Associates,
The Teardrop Explodes and ABC had breached the UK singles chart. When it entered the
Top 30, the band flew to London to pre-record a performance of the single for transmission on Top Of The Pops on
BBC1 (included on the DVD component of this release – the first time it's been commercially available). Their debut appearance
boosted the single which climbed to number 13 in the charts. The elation of their first hit single was short lived as the band
buckled down to the real task in hand – the meticulous pre-production for New Gold Dream.
In May '82, the band arrived at The Townhouse to begin recording. Reputations were on the line – for both musicians
and producer Pete Walsh, who only had one production credit to his name at this stage,
Heaven 17's impressive debut album, Penthouse And Pavement. But the sheer momentum of a hit
single provided an additional adrenalin rush and boost of confidence. The band's creative surge resulted in a plethora of ideas,
which resulted in a problem for Walsh. As the backing tracks were laid down it also
quickly became evident that drummer Mike Ogletree's playing was not hitting the mark.
It forced Walsh to make a snap decision – one which would have unforeseen long-term benefits.
He called in Mel Gaynor, a session drummer who had played with top Brit-funk acts
Beggar And Co., Central Line and Light Of The World. Early the following year,
following Ogletree's departure,
Gaynor was quickly recruited, later becoming a full-time member.
The sessions gathered real momentum as Burchill, keyboardist
Mick MacNeil and bassist
Derek Forbes overflowed with riffs and song ideas.
Walsh found himself with such an abundance of new material, the collective skill – from
both band and producer – was how best to capitalise on such a creative rush.
Kerr absorbed the music being made at The Townhouse and his keen eye for detail would
prove crucial. By his own admission, his songwriting methods are unorthodox. Even so, his drive and passion instilled a confidence
in the band and, with their time in The Townhouse completed, they moved on to The Manor in Oxfordshire.
Kerr's lyric book was overflowing and he nailed all of his vocals with a relative ease.
He was also conscious of a development in his singing style. The timbre of his voice on tracks such as
Someone Somewhere In Summertime or
Glittering Prize is markedly different from the darker tones of
King Is White And In The Crowd or
Big Sleep. The varied textures of the material was leading him down a more
fertile path and the task of matching the mood of the music proved a real challenge.
With mixing underway at The Townhouse and Utopia Studio in London, attention turned to the record sleeve design.
Malcolm Garrett – who'd caught the eye with his work on The Correct Use Of Soap
by Magazine – and had worked with the band on The American,
Love Song and
Sweat In Bullet single sleeves and the striking artwork for
Sons And Fascination /
Sister Feelings Call, was recruited to design the
New Gold Dream sleeve. It was his job to conceptualise the optimism of the music.
But few could have anticipated his quasi-religious design of a purple cross, with a book of scripture inside a flaming heart. When
he delivered the finished artwork the band were stunned.
In August ‘82, Glittering Prize was released and reached No. 16 in the UK charts.
A month later, New Gold Dream was finally unveiled to an eager press and public.
The response from both was overwhelming. Smash Hits' writer Mark Ellen – now a successful
broadcaster – said: "Personally, I have never cared for Jim Kerr's compositions up until now.
But Promised You A Miracle and the other songs are something different. The single
is a classic, in fact." While Mark Cooper – now head of music at BBC 4 – wrote in
Record Mirror: "They have stunned and impressed me but they have rarely moved me. Suddenly, in
New Gold Dream, they've conquered their fear of feeling and come out shining." But
the most glowing review of all came from Paul Morley in New Musical Express. He said: "My
loyalty towards Simple Minds is known to be considerable, yet even I am jarred by the constant beauty of this
music. New Gold Dream robs me of my breath." The band couldn't wait to showcase
New Gold Dream and hit the road again for the UK leg of a world tour.
In November, a second and final single – Someone Somewhere In Summertime – was
released and reached No. 36. At the turn of the year, the
New Gold Dream tour took the band back to Australia and on to New Zealand,
Canada, a return to the UK and Ireland, Europe and the US before climaxing in Dublin on August 14. The combined momentum of
continual radio play and live gigs helped keep the album in the UK charts for a full year.
New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) is the sound of a band fully realising the
sophisticated, accessible pop sound they were striving for, whilst continuing their quest for experimentation. Whereas
previous albums had explored the dark undercurrent of a more monochrome European culture,
New Gold Dream is an expansive, cinematic affair, with a generally
lighter, more melodic sound, bursting with warmth and colour. Simple Minds' ability to tap into
internal emotion is profound on tracks such as
Someone, Somewhere In Summertime and the album's
title track. The haunted nature of
Hunter And The Hunted was led gravitas by guest, the truly legendary US
jazz pianist Herbie Hancock, renowned for his work with the Miles Davis' Second Great Quintet,
his own hugely influential jazz albums and the Grammy award-winning single ‘Rockit', hailed as the first jazz-hip hop song.
The album's timeless, enduring appeal – including its chronological listing at No.489 in the best selling music reference book,
"1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die" – makes it a masterpiece for each new generation to discover.
The New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) super deluxe box consists of six discs. DISC ONE is
a re-master of the original album – re-mastered at Abbey Road Studios by Andrew Walter and approved by
Charlie Burchill. DISC TWO features extended versions – 12" remixes and instrumentals of the
album's singles, some of which are being made available on CD for the first time. DISC THREE features 7" single edits and B-Sides.
DISC FOUR features previously unreleased BBCJohn Peel and Kid Jensen
radio sessions, recorded in February, May and August 1982, encompassing songs from
New Gold Dream, as well as
Love Song and
Sons And Fascination. DISC FIVE is made up of alternative mixes and demos.
Finally, the box set is completed with a DVD, featuring a 5:1 Mix of the album by
Charlie Burchill and Ronald Prent – which received a
limited edition 2005 release and is now a rare collectors' item –
as well as promo videos and, being made available commercially for the first time, Top Of The Pops performances
of Promised You A Miracle and
It also includes a 36-page booklet with extensive sleeve notes by journalist and broadcaster,
Billy Sloan including new interviews with
Jim Kerr and
Charlie Burchill, as well as extensive rare photos of the band.
The New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) re-master will also be available on
digital download, standard CD, a 2CD version (which features an abridged version of the box set's sleeve notes), Blu-ray and LP.
When asked about the remixes, he revealed that he'd reworked four tracks from Big Music
and that they were being considered for a limited edition 12" release on Record Store Day 2016. However,
Live Big Music Tour 2015 appeared for that Record Store Day instead.
Johnson's remixes were promoted by the official site throughout April and May 2016. Each was presented as a
"remix video" on every Thursday: Blindfolded appeared on the 14th April;
Honest Town on the 21st April;
Midnight Walking on the 28th April; and
Big Music on the 5th May.
Each "remix video" was based on the original video for the song, slowed and/or looped so it covered the extended length of the
Promotional CDs of the four tracks appeared in late April 2016. These
featured the four remixes pressed up on CD and housed in a brown graphic slip sleeve.
Jim Kerr of Simple Minds to host show on KX 93.5
Jim Kerr of multiplatinum band Simple Minds will host his
own radio show starting April 30th, exclusively on KX 93.5 in Laguna Beach, Calif.
Kerr has been interviewed several times on the non-commercial
station and has affinity for independent radio, so he wanted to bring his show idea that he’s been tossing
around for a few years to KX 93.5, he said.
“I really owed it to [KX 93.5] first,” said Kerr. “I’m a kid from housing estate
in Glasgow. If you told me when I was eight years-old that I’d be presenting radio shows in Laguna Beach, I’d ask you what
you were on!”
The show, called “Alive and Kickin’ w/ Jim Kerr” will feature whatever music Kerr
decides to play from his extensive collection, both new and old, familiar and unfamiliar. He’ll share stories behind why
he picks each track.
Simple Minds are best known internationally for their 1985 #1 hit Don’t You (Forget About Me),
which was featured in "The Breakfast Club." The band still sells out shows around the globe.
KX 93.5 is a non-profit, independent radio station founded in 2012. It plays “Generational Alt Rock” from
the 1960s to today, with a focus on exposing new artists, especially those local to Southern California. The station considers
itself part of a movement of non-corporate media to bring radio back to the local people and make a difference for artists who
aren’t charting in the “top 40,” according to Station Director Tyler Russell.
“It’s a big deal for us to allow our hosts to play whatever they want, something that is missing from chart-driven corporate
radio,” said Russell. "The fact that Jim Kerr wants to bring his
show here is a huge win for small radio stations everywhere."
“Alive and Kickin’ w/ Jim Kerr” can be heard Saturdays at 2 p.m. Pacific Time at
www.KX935.com or on its companion iPhone or Android apps.
It will also be Podcast at the same website or available on iTunes.
Laguna Beach, Calif. April 28, 2016
Alive And Kicking with Jim Kerr: Show #1: May 2nd, 2016
Better Than Love: Hurts
Slave To The Rhythm: Grace Jones
Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues: Bryan Ferry
Tiny Dancer: Elton John
Love Is Noise: The Verve
Protection: Massive Attack
The Crystal Ship: The Doors
The Passenger: Iggy Pop
Wonderful Life: Zucchero
From Mars: John Carter
Making Plans For Nigel: XTC Alive And Kicking Show #1 Podcast
Alive And Kicking with Jim Kerr: Show #2: May 9th, 2016 Alive And Kicking: Simple Minds
She Sells Sanctuary: The Cult
Grounds For Divorce: Elbow
It's A Family Affair: Sly And The Family Stone
Heaven: The Psychedelic Furs
Darkness: The Police
Manchild: Neneh Cherry
Somewhere: Tom Waits
Perfect Skin: Lloyd Cole And The Commotions
Killer Queen: Queen
4th And Vine: Sinead O'Conner
I'm Going Down: Bruce SpringSteen Alive And Kicking Show #2 Podcast
Alive And Kicking with Jim Kerr: Show #3: May 18th 2016
Quiet Life: Japan
Let The Day Begin: The Call
Big Yellow Taxi: Joni Mitchell
Letter: The Box Tops
White Flag: Dido
Ian Brown: Stellify
Paradise City: Guns N' Roses
Ruby Lee: Joe Cocker
Thin Line Between Love And Hate: The Pretenders
World Shut Your Mouth: Julian Cope
Gimme Shelter: The Rolling Stones Alive And Kicking Show #3 Podcast
Alive And Kicking with Jim Kerr: Show #4: May 23rd 2016
Heard It Through The Grapevine: Martin Gaye
Take Me I'm Yours: Squeeze
Unknown Caller: U2
Personal Jesus: Johnny Cash
Let's Work Together: Canned Heat
This Is the Day: The The
Because The Night: Patti Smith
At Last I Am Free: Robert Wyatt
Let The Good Times Roll: The Cars
Pink Houses: John Mellencamp Alive And Kicking Show #4 Podcast
Alive And Kicking with Jim Kerr: Show #5: June 6th
Tomorrow Never Knows: The Beatles
The Switch: Planet Funk
Funk My Life Up: Paolo Nutini
Take Me To The River: Talking Heads
Laura: Bat For Lashes
Mr. Jones: Counting Crows
Computer Love: Kraftwerk
Atlantic Avenue: The Average White Band
Missing: Everything But The Girl
After Midnight: JJ Cale
Walking In A Dream: Empires Of The Sun
Sparks: This Town ‘Aint Big Enough For The Both Of Us Alive And Kicking Show #5 Podcast
Alive And Kicking with Jim Kerr: Show #6: June 27th
Horses: Patti Smith
Natural Blues: Moby
Hand In My Pocket: Alanis Morissette
Middle Of The Road: The Pretenders
Reflections: Diana Ross
I'll Be Your Mirror: The Velvet Underground
Bette Davis Eyes: Kim Carnes
Hound Dog: Willie Mae 'Big Mama' Thornton
Orinoco Flow: Enya
Give Me Back My Man: The B-52s
Wordy Rappinghood: Tom Tom Club
I Feel Love: Donna Summer Alive And Kicking Show #6 Podcast
"Old school record store days! Check out the hand made foamcore wall display made
by the artists at Tower Records Berkley to promote "Once Upon A Time" in 1985. For more
on those crazy heavy metal loving Tower Records Berkeley store artists (that helped influence
the in-store look of Tower Records stores moving forward in the 80's) check out the documentary
"Art Gods" on DVD (artgodsmovie.com). - Zak Wilson
"We're off up the mountains to get ready for our first ever full-on acoustic gig. It's all sounding pretty inspired too.
Or at least it is to my pointy ears!"
"Wish us well - will let you know how it goes. If it goes well that is. And should it not go well? Hmmmm... Might stay
silent for a few months in that case." - Jim, 5th April 2016
"Back from Zermatt/Switzerland and feeling pretty good re the first of our Travelling Light shows. Thanks as always
to all who came to see us, making us feel so good throughout. Thanks also to Zermatt Unplugged for giving us the opportunity
to show that Minds music seemingly can work in just about any format. We may have got off to a great start, but
it is only a start. Can't wait to do a whole lot more of these acoustic type shows." - Jim, 8th April 2016
"The 'other guitarist' on stage with us at Zermatt Unplugged was (Glasgow's) Gordy Goudie.
Writing, recording, producing, arranging etc. - Gordy has been a part of our team on and off
since the Cry album in 2002. The acoustic arrangements of
Speed Your Love To Me and
Glittering Prize - highlights in Zermatt - are an example of one of
Gordy's talents and I am sure he will contribute further.
Although not included in Thursday's set, my own fave Gordy contributions to
Simple Minds are the acoustic versions of songs from Cry.
Cry Again was particularly beautiful,
but the sensation of New Sunrise (New Sunshine Morning)
gets me every time and is surely calling out to be included in future Travelling Light shows." - Jim, 9th April 2016
The Vinyl Collection (79,84) was the first vinyl box set issued for
the band. This weighty box-set collected their first seven vinyl albums, newly remastered from the original stereo master tapes and
pressed up on 180g vinyl, into a sturdy box. The emphasis was to reproduce the albums as exactly as they were; so the outer sleeves, inner sleeves
and any inserts were all recreated from the original records.
There has recently been some questioning about the merits of "Half-Speed" transfers;
particularly as the New Gold Dream Half Speed Pressing
was taken from a digital file and not the master tape playing at half-speed. It was questioned whether
a digital stage in the process would be a disadvantage and lead to a lack of clarity.
Abbey Road and Universal have recognised these concerns, and
the engineer responsible for the transfer, has taken time to outline the process, and why
certain decisions were made - especially the choice of digital files to this release.
New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
1. What is 'Half-Speed Mastering'?
This is an elaborate process whereby the source is played back at half its normal speed
and the turntable on the disc cutting lathe is running at 16 2/3 R.P.M. Because both the
source and the cut were running at half their "normal" speeds everything plays back at the
right speed when the record is played at home.
2. What are the advantages of Half-Speed Mastering?
The vinyl L.P. is an analogue sound carrier. Therefore the size and shape of the groove
carrying the music is directly related to whatever the music is doing at any particular point.
By reducing the speed by a factor of two the recording stylus has twice as long to carve the
intricate groove into the master lacquer. Also, any difficult to cut high-frequency information
becomes fairly easy to cut mid-range. The result is a record that is capable of extremely clean
and un-forced high-frequency response as well as a detailed and solid stereo image.
3. Are there any disadvantages?
Only two, having to listen to music at half-speed for hour after hour can be a little
difficult at least until I get to hear back the resulting cut when it all becomes worthwhile.
The other dis-advantage is an inability to do any de-essing. De-essing is a form of processing
the signal whereby the “sss” and “t” sounds from the vocalist are controlled in order to avoid
sibilance and distortion on playback. None of the tools I would ordinarily employ on a real-time
cut work at half speed as the frequencies are wrong so the offending “sss” does not trigger the
limiter and everything is moving so slowly there is no acceleration as such for the de-esser to
look out for. This has always been the Achilles heel of half-speed cutting until now (see 6 below).
4. What was the source for this record?
This album was cut from a high-resolution digital transfer from the original ½" analogue
masters. The tapes were re-played on an Ampex ATR-102 fitted with custom extended bass response
playback heads. Only minimal sympathetic equalisation was applied to the transfer to keep everything
as pure as possible. Also, as this was an analogue, vinyl only high quality release, I did not apply
any digital limiting. This is added to almost all digital releases to make them appear to be loud
and is responsible for “the loudness war” and in almost every case is anything but natural and pure
5. Why could it not be cut 'all analogue'?
The biggest variable when cutting from tape is the replay machine. Every individual roller in the
tape's path will have a direct effect on the quality of the audio emanating from the machine. In
addition to this, there is the issue of the sub 30Hz low-frequency roll off on an advance head
disc-cutting tape machine which in effect will come into play at 60 Hz when running at half speed.
In addition to this, there are also some unpredictable frequency anomalies in the 35-38 Hz region
with analogue tape that will double up at half speed. These are all problems if you want to hear
as originally intended the lowest register of the bass end on a recording. There is also the lesser
potential problem of tape weave that effectively increases at lower speeds and leads to less high
frequency stability and the possibility of minor azimuth errors. Even if these problems could be
overcome, this is quite a long album and the masters were recorded on ½" tape running at 30
inches per second. The master reels are 14" in diameter and are just too big to fit onto a Studer
A80 advance head replay machine. Neither Studer nor anyone else made a machine that could be used
to play 14" reels and have an advance head for all analogue disc cutting. Even when this album
was originally cut in 1982 it was played on an Ampex ATR-102 feeding into a digital delay. The
advantage I have now is that digital converters are greatly improved over what was available 34
years ago. Finally, analogue tape becomes degraded with each pass over the replay heads. These
tapes are getting old and it is no longer considered good practice to play and play and play
precious old original masters for fear of damage and general wear and tear. Far better, then,
to eliminate the variable of the reply machine and to minimise wear of the master by capturing
the music digitally at very high resolution using professional converters locked down with stable
external word-clocks. I can completely understand the reasons for the concerns that some people
have when cutting classic albums from digital sources. Historically, there have been some horrible
digital transfers used as a vinyl cutting source. This has absolutely not been the case with this
series. Micro-management of the audio and attention to detail has been the order of the day. Abbey
Road has striven to eliminate any digital weaknesses from the signal path in all the rooms in the
building. Therefore to capture to high resolution digital from a well maintained Ampex ATR-102 with
extended bass heads is a far superior working method in my opinion.
6. Are there any advantages to this working method?
Yes, any problems with the tape can be treated far more accurately digitally than they could be by
using traditional analogue techniques. For example de-essing. I can, by careful editing, target
just the offending “sss” and leave intact the rest of the audio. Therefore high-hats, bright guitars
and snare drums are not affected or reduced in impact. Using an analogue scatter-gun de-esser approach
would also trigger the limiter in many parts of the audio that do not need to be worked on. The
de-esser cannot tell a bright guitar from bright vocal and will smooth everything out leading to dull
guitars or soft snare drums and weak hi-hats. Targeting the “sss” sounds in the vocal as I have done
in this series is time consuming but is worthwhile in the pursuit of the very best possible sounding
record. Also if there was any damage to the analogue tape (drop-outs and clicks for example) this
can by and large be restored using modern digital methods in a way that is unobtrusive and this would
be impossible using analogue methods. For the record, none of the albums in this series have been
de-noised. Only clicks have been removed and drop-outs repaired where possible.
Miles Showell - Mastering Engineer Abbey Road December 2015
"Suffering from a miserable cold - it happens annually at this time for me. Meanwhile all I can do is
load up with Vitamin C - plenty of that to be found in the garden in Sicily - but not so much here in
icy Sweden. Nevertheless I am sure our fans will help my spirit rise tonight at the Friends Arena. See you there.
Sniff." - Jim, 19th March 2016
"All performed with a 60 piece orchestra and additional choir! It is obviously not something we do every
night of the week, which is why we always look on our involvement with Night Of The Proms as the special
event that it is. Since the first opportunity almost 20 years ago,
both Charlie and I have enjoyed every minute sharing the stage with so many talented
musicians. That is set to continue tomorrow night in Stockholm. See you there" - Jim, 19th March 2016
"Thanks to all who welcomed us at the Friends Arena. As always our fans lifted us, putting me in a trance, forgetting
whatever problems and making us feel better than ever!" - Jim, 19th March 2016
"From the early days right up to the current! Please listen in to my show on Absolute Radio as I play
and talk passionately about the music and artists that have entertained and influenced me through the ages." - Jim.
"Not being a visual medium, the great thing about radio is that should you for example choose to listen in to my
series of shows beginning next weekend on Absolute Radio - Saturday 13th of February - you will neither have
to put up with my ugly mug - or for that matter - need to cope with the sight of the diminutive (but seemingly well proportioned
all the same?) figure of Prince posing in his panties while you listen to Little Red Corvette. And Jeez.... what
a cracker of a track that is. So listen in please - or I will feel very lonely." - Jim, 4th February 2016.
"In countless conversations the question comes up "So what was your biggest hit?" A far more interesting question I
reckon is "So what was your biggest flop?" Tough question. Had many of them and quite proudly so in the case of our album
Neapolis. No one except both Charlie and I
seemingly have any time for that record and as unfortunate as that may be - we just don't care. Continuing down our merry path all
these years later - still liking it, despite its terrible mix and absurd modern weirdness. But you can rest easy. I won't be playing
anything from Neapolis tonight during the first of the shows that I present for
Absolute Radio. But I might listen to it all the same, on the way back from the studio. Because, well, that
is just the kind of mood I am in. Thanks for listening tonight - should you do so!" - Jim, 13th February 2016.
Show #1: Broadcast: 13th February 2016
The Jean Genie: David Bowie
Radio Nowhere: Bruce Springsteen
Woke Up This Morning: Alabama 3
Days: Kirsty MacCol
Pretty Vacant: The Sex Pistols
Scream (Funk My Life Up): Paolo Nutini
Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God): Kate Bush
Real Wild Child (Wild One): Iggy Pop
Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down: Robert Plant
Join Together: The Who
Long Black Train: Richard Hawley
"Better do as Tony says!: Theme tune from Sopranos by Alabama 3 is
without doubt a fave of mine and for that reason I included it in the first of the series of shows that I presented
for Absolute Radio last Saturday night. Thanks to all who listened, thanks for the feedback also.
For those who missed it, you can listen to the podcast here. Better do so straight away or I might have to send the
Sopranos round to have "a little word" with you!" - Jim, 15th February 2016.
Show #2: Broadcast: 20th February 2016
Waiting For The Man: The Velvet Underground
A Design For Life: Manic Street Preachers
Nutbush City Limits: Ike And Tina Turner
Love Action (I Believe In Love): Human League
Under Pressure: War On Drugs
I Go To Sleep: The Pretenders
Like A Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan
Steppin' Out: Joe Jackson
Laura: Bat For Lashes
That's Entertainment: The Jam
Whole Lotta Love: Led Zeppelin
"The Beatles - Tomorrow Never Knows: And you might never know what other great music I have chosen to highlight - unless
you listen to Absolute Radio tonight at 10pm. The show - No 2 of 4 - can of course be heard in UK on air and on line.
A podcast of the show will be available on Mixcloud from Monday 22nd - So listen in from wherever you are in the world - and
whenever suits you. "Tune in relax and float down stream." Thank you!" - Jim, 20th February 2016
Show #3: Broadcast: 27th February 2016
Street Life: Roxy Music
Lucky Man: The Verve
Seasons: Future Islands
Golden Brown: The Stranglers
Two Tribes: Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Popular: The Anchoress
A New England: Billy Bragg
Learning To Fly: Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers
Blackbird: The Beatles
The Mother We Share: Chvrches
Arnold Lane: Pink Floyd
"Don't you forget! Surely they can cut Bruce some slack for confusing which city he was in? Being
such a big hearted lot in Cleveland - I know that they will. Love it when the greats screw up, shows they are human.
Ever forgot what city I am in? I once forgot what continent I was in! That takes some forgetting.
I did not forget to include Springsteen in the playlist I put together for Absolute Radio. Third
show airs in The UK at 10pm this coming Saturday." - Jim, 25th February 2016
"Creativity and individuality? Well who doesn't want some of that? Precisely why I chose to include
The Stranglers on the latest radio show - the 3rd - that I presented for Absolute. Also chose
Pink Floyd, Chvrches, Bryan Ferry and Harry Secombe. (Not really!)" - Jim, 29th February 2016
Show #4: Broadcast: 5th March 2016
All The Young Dudes: Mott The Hoople
It's A Family Affair: Sly And The Family Stone
Rockin' In The Free World: Neil Young
Dear Prudence: Siouxsie And The Banshees
Pale Green Ghost: John Grant
A Forest: The Cure
Rebel Yell: Billy Idol
4th And Vine: Sinead O'Conner
Always On My Mind: Elvis
Waterfront: Simple Minds
"With the last of my Absolute Radio shows coming up tomorrow night - Saturday 5th of March - could it
be that I forgot to play The Stones? Surely not! Whatever... thanks to all who have listened and
encouraged me within the challenge of presenting so much great music. And so for one last time - why not listen in to
Absolute Radio on Saturday - in the UK at 10PM." - Jim, 4th March 2016
catering, 9th november 1978, john peel session, discography
As part of a behind-the-scenes series of interviews, Shaun Tranter talked to the oft-overlooked caters, who provide
all the nourishment for the band and their crew whilst on tour.
During Simple Minds'UK Spring tour 2013
I was lucky enough to interview some of the people behind the scenes that we never get to see
or hear of. In this interview I was talking to the caterers Simi Donald and Jessica Mayer-Jones.
The interview took place at the UEA Norwich on the 3rd May 2013.
Shaun Tranter: So, out of you two, who says 'We're having that for the meals today?' Simi Donald: I choose the main courses and hot food and Jess does the starters and desserts.
ST: So with being on the road, is it a case you top up with food as you go to different towns
and cities, or do you carry a lot of food with you? SD: We get as much fresh food every day as we can for what we are going to cook that day. We are
often at the shops at 7:30AM while our equipment is loaded into the venue that we are at that day.
ST: At Lincoln the last I saw of you guys was just after 7PM when everything had been cleared away. So what did
you guys do after 7PM? Jessica Mayer-Jones: It was slightly different at Lincoln only because we were cooking in the back of the hall.
Normally we have a separate area backstage like here at Norwich, so we had to be packed and away in Lincoln for when the
doors opened at 7PM. Normally we will start to close down the catering as the show goes up at about 8PM and then be done
by about 9:30PM but we do prepare some aftershow food for the band if they want it, and then we do The Guardian crossword [SD laughs]
and then wait to load out with dressing room once they have left.
ST: So basically you guys are first in-last out. So what sort of time is last out? JM: Normally about 11:30PM to midnight; it's very civilised on this tour. ST: So what's uncivilised? SD: Can be as late as 3AM or 4AM in the morning. JM: Can be as long as they want to stay in the venue. [Both laugh] ST: Then you're back out to the shops at 7:30AM - that's some hours in a day. SD: Yeah we can clock up some hours in a week. JM: It keeps us busy though.
ST: Do you ask the band you're working with if there are any special dietary requirements for anybody
on the tour or is it down to the band to let you know? SD: Normally the production manager will ask the crew and the band for any dietary requirements which
includes allergies, special diets, and likes and dislikes.
ST: So do you then sit down and work out what you can put together? And do you try and vary the menu? SD: Yeah, we try and vary it every day. It can also depend on where we are. If it's a fishing town we'll
probably do fish. For example, we'll probably do four different choices: one say 'homely', one more 'restauranty', something
in between and we'll also do a veggie option which may be pasta one day, something else the next, and so on. There's always
changes as we try to keep it as varied as possible.
ST: As musicians get writer's block do you get chef's block? [Both laugh] SD: We just look back over previous menus and pull something out of the hat. JM: You get to know what crews like. In general crews divide into like what Simmi
said: 'homely', 'restauranty' and healthy so you go back to the favourites of what people liked. SD: We do special requests for the band and crew as well.
ST: So Simmi, what is your speciality? JM: All tour he's been on pies: he is the pie master. SD: For the amount of cooking that we do I don't really specialize in one area. Like we said, we try and keep
it varied so - excuse the pun - I've got my fingers in a lot of pies, where as if we were in a restaurant we possibly would
be more specialised. ST: So what's your speciality Jess? JM: I just feed them lots of sugar and fat. It is sweets, biscuits and cakes at lunch time and then
the big desserts in the evening. But there is always the healthy option as well, as there is always fruit available. Also
I think the pudding thing is very comforting and homely. The simplest dessert like sponge pudding and custard and they
all go for it. Mind you saying that this lot do eat really healthily; lots and lots of salads, especially for the evening
meal, and it also depends on the time of year and the weather as well.
ST: So today in Norwich, what time did you guys get here to start setting up? SD: We arrived here on the bus overnight. The runner took us to the local shop at 7:30AM, we got back
roughly at 9AM and the truck is unloaded while were shopping. ST: So you don't do you own roadieing then? JM: Caterers don't push cases! [Laughs] As our gear is first off the lorries it means it's the last thing
to go onto the lorries at night, so unless I've got a very unhelpful stage manager that says caterers have to load and unload their
own stuff, it means you're not hanging around until 2AM or 3AM waiting for the lorries to be loaded. But if they want their breakfast
cooking they have to be nice to us! SD: So if everything goes to plan and we've got electricity, the breakfast is about 10AM, lunch about 12:30AM and
dinner for just after 5PM. ST: So it's not just a case of roll up, do afternoon and evening meal - it's a full day? SD: Yeah. It's definitely a full day. JM: I swear some people have this vision that we just turn up and do an evening meal for the band and crew, and
then go. SD: Yeah, people think we have the entire morning and afternoon off!
ST: With this being as such a small tour, that is the venue size and not so many crew, if you were doing an
arena tour with more crew do you staff up on your numbers as well? SD: Yeah as such with say up to thirty people to cater for there will be two caterers. JM: You can roughly say approx one caterer to fifteen crew. SD: For an arena tour, you can say you would have four caterers, and for a stadium tour eight, or possibly ten,
ST: So if the band were doing a string of festivals around Europe this summer, would they use the caterers that
are supplied by the festival or would they take you guys? SD: They would use the caterers supplied by the festival. Our company, for example, will do
T In The Park and V Festival caterering for the bands. ST: Going back to the hours that you do they can be really long days. JM: Most of us come from a hospitality background so short 9 to 5 hours we've as such never done which
means we are all used to, I suppose, the obscure hours that we can end up working. Its good fun and it's a slight different
way of working in hospitality. SD: The good thing about it is that it changes every day, where as if I was working in a restaurant, I'd
be working to basically the same menu, day in, day out, apart from if you put specials on.
ST: How does the catering change from being in Britain to going over to Europe? Do you have to do a lot of
forward planning in case you can't get this or that? Do your menus change that much? SD: As long as you take a couple of thousand tea bags your normally OK! Brown Sauce and Red Sauce - can't
forget those! JM: Custard power as well! [Laughs] SD: You try and cook the food of the region you're in for that show, but we also include the home comforts
as well, so again the variety is there and people seem to like that as well.
ST: Are there ever any venues when you turn up and think 'How the hell are we going get our stuff set up in
this place?' JM: I've only been doing this for a couple of years so I don't know a lot of the venues. So you can turn up
and it becomes a challenge straight away, but Simmi has done a lot of the venues before so that helps. SD: Like last night we were in Oxford and we were basically cooking in a cupboard! [Laughs] It becomes
like a big jigsaw looking at where and what we can fit in with what the venue has to offer. You get used to the pitfalls of
cooking in a cupboard. The two main things we need are the electricity and water. We basically set up the same way every day
just some days are easier than others.
ST: So it's not like venues have specific rooms or areas for catering? SD: Most venues it's just a room or sometimes behind, or to the side, of the stage. The arenas are better
as you get a larger room.
ST: So who washes all the dishes and cutlery? Do you have a mobile dishwasher? JM: No we use a catering assistant who's local.
ST: How do you go on with transporting glass jars of sauces etc? JM: Very carefully! [Laughs] We pack everything carefully and you just have to remember you can't tip
things over same with the cookers, fridges etc. that are packed away in their own flight cases. And the crew know that if
they treat the gear nicely as such, and don't break it when loading, then they will get fed the next day. Caterers are very
popular with the crew as they know we feed them so they do really look after us.
ST: Having watch you guys work at Lincoln it seems to work like clockwork. SD: It's organised chaos! [Laughs] No, it's like any job, you switch into work mode. The problem
with Lincoln was we had the time restraint for the doors opening as we were cooking at the back of the hall, so it's
not normally that manic. But the crew are good if you change eating times, they'll respond as they don't like it when they
miss a meal, but we make sure there is always something cooked for them if they are running late due to technical problems
(like Steve was at Lincoln having to re-programme the lights.)
ST: The food must be good as at Lincoln there didn't seem to be anything left on anyone's plate. JM: I don't think we've had a complaint yet on this tour. Mind you, I don't think they dare! [Laughs]
ST: Do you notice in your tour itinerary that like Lincoln things will have to run a bit different? JM: Yeah, but we've got a great production manager on this tour, James, he's very organised. Once our day starts
it doesn't stop, which helps as the time can fly by, and you're on tour so you get into that daily routine which I like.
I'd be a lot worse off if I had to sit around for say four hours and twiddle my thumbs. From the second we start in the
morning its straight through to the end.
ST: Do you get the chance to watch the band or is that totally out of the question? JM: This is different as there is no support. Sometimes, if there is support, you can get the chance to
see some of the show, or you can get out of these four walls and go for a walk outside and see some daylight. [Laughs]
ST: So how do you get on travelling on the tour buses? SD: You get used to it. That's another thing that we as caterers look after: the food and drink on the buses.
ST: It is one massive team effort starting with you guys, as you feed the crew who put up the stage for
the band to play on. JM: Yeah that's true and the band acknowledge that as well which is really great. SD: We've had Ged as a guest chef on this tour as well. He cooked some
Spanish food as he used to live in Spain and it was delicious. ST: So role reversal at some point then - Ged doing the cooking and
Simmi on bass? SD: No chance! I can only play the flute. [Laughs] ST: So, as well as being a top bass player, Ged is a top chef? JM: Yeah, he really is a good chef especially Spanish food. SD: Right looks like some of the crew need feeding - great to talk to you. JM: Likewise great to talk to you but we must go and feed the crew otherwise they won't be happy! [Laughs] ST: No problem thanks for finding some time in your hectic day to talk to me.
Confirmation about the set-list of this early gig:
One of the best bootlegs from this era, this recording is particuarly notable for the inclusion of the "clocks" Intro (1978)
and the only known live recording of Rosemary's Baby.
Recent research has cleared up some of the mystery surrounding the band's last John Peel session. Long missing from
various listings and books, more details - including its true recording date - can be found in the sessions section.
What can fans expect from your show in the UAE?
A band that's on form. We'll put together a set that has something for the people who want
to hear the big hits from the peak MTV years, but also for the Simple Minds fans
who know everything from our very first album onwards. We'll probably do a David Bowie cover, too...
Of course. Bowie, who died this month, was a huge influence on Simple Minds.
How would you sum up his importance?
The way his career unfolded and everything that went with it – the look, the fashion, the video
experiments, the acting... he did 14 albums in 14 years, and not one of them was remotely the same.
When you look at it like that you could argue he gave The Beatles a run for their money.
But what made us love him was that he was completely fringe, mad as a hatter.
Charlie Burchill called me on the day Bowie
died and he was very emotional. I said to him: 'Bowie's only gone about
eight hours, but I already feel more inspired by him.' He was an artist right to the end.
2014's Big Music was widely seen as a
return to form. How did you get the band firing on all cylinders again?
It's been a gradual process, which began with Black And White in 2005,
then Graffiti Soul in 2009.
Black And White was pivotal, because it was the
album where we said: 'OK, if we're going to do this we have to commit like we did when we
were young.' And when you're older, and you have responsibilities and children, that's a tough call.
Plus, who has the same hunger in their bellies when they've been rewarded as we have? But we kept
writing songs through the good, the bad and the indifferent – and we got strong and confident again.
With Big Music, meeting [record producer]
Andy Wright at the right time was a big thing, and our
manager Ian Grenfell is a bright guy, too. We strapped a lot of brains on to us.
You live in Taormina, a hilltop town on the east coast of Sicily. Why does the lifestyle
there appeal to you?
The first time I ever went abroad was on a school trip to Rimini on the Adriatic Coast. I'd grown
up in a high-rise flat in Glasgow but when I went to Italy, I discovered that the world was in
colour – and I've been drawn to the place ever since. I recently discovered that when my
grandfather was in Italy during the war, he was stationed here, in Taormina. Without even
knowing that, I was drawn here somehow. How about that?
Are you working on a new album?
We're writing it and recording it, yes. Before we'd even finished Big Music,
I was adamant that it wasn't going to be a flash in the pan, some little purple patch. I think
that to get 15 really good songs, you've got to be messing with about 30 to 40 pieces of music.
We're motoring again.
Some people feel that, deliberately or not, you never capitalised on the stadium years
in the way that, say, U2 did.
Well, it's the truth. But I think what people don't understand is that every band is a different
organism. Unfortunately for us, in the 1990s – which was when we needed to prove ourselves to the
next generation – the wheels were coming off. The irony, though, is that those years in the wilderness
were probably what refreshed Simple Minds in the long run.
And a lot of those bands who never went away – I won't name names – are just treading water now.
What's left to achieve?
We're only just starting out! (laughs). As we've seen, even David Bowie
doesn't defy gravity but, hopefully, there's plenty more to come from us.
A lot of people in the music business today say: 'Oh, you can't sell records any more, what's
the point?' But this is who we are – this is what Charlie Burchill
and myself have been doing since we were 14. You can't switch that off.
James McNair The National 25th January 2016
A second interview with Gulf News reveals more about the band's future plans.
The emphasis will switch from touring to writing so 2016 will be a relatively quiet year; and the
band will celebrate their 40th anniversary in 2017.
I fret for rock as we knew it:
Jim Kerr in Dubai
The year 2017 will mark the big four-zero for Scottish rock band Simple Minds,
which makes 2016 the calm before the storm. Or at least that's what frontman
Jim Kerr announced in Dubai this week, chatting
to the press before the band's Thursday night performance at
the Dubai Tennis Stadium.
“Next year is our 40th anniversary, so there was a quandary; it's like, do you keep quiet
about that or do you make a fuss? And we decided to make a fuss. But in the meantime, we're
working on what seems to be two new records, which I can't quite believe,” said Kerr.
The two records would be their 17th and 18th studio releases, following 2014's
Big Music. And though they haven't been on top
of the charts, Kerr says they've been getting some of the
“best reviews of our lives”. One of their inspirations since the beginning has been
David Bowie, who died earlier this year.
“It was a profound sadness. The second gig I ever saw was David. He shaped a
world. As a band, we looked at him as a kind of accomplice. He's still in the ether, that's
for sure. I can't see that ever diminishing,” said Kerr.
He recalled one time when he was 19, and a chance encounter with Iggy Pop led to
another chance encounter with Bowie himself.
“Bowie and Iggy Pop were partners in crime. We were lucky
enough to be recording, in 1979, in a studio in the Welsh countryside [and Pop was there], and
we couldn't believe it. What would Iggy Pop be doing in the same studio as us?
What would he be doing in the Welsh countryside?” he shared.
Pop started coming around the studio just to hang out, much to
Kerr's befuddlement. One day, he told the boys,
“Oh, David's coming up tomorrow.”
“We were all hoping that David was David. And indeed, it was
David,” laughed Kerr.
Bowie came in during one late-night session and gathered the troops around for
a “football chant chorus” on a new song he'd been working on.
“Everyone was on the mic, the whole band, girlfriends, everybody. After a few takes,
Bowie diplomatically said, 'Everyone who doesn't do this as a professional, can
you stand back from the mic?' Which just left me, Iggy Pop and
Bowie. No one had a camera. But I got credits, and it's there in history. I got
to sing with my two heroes at the same time.”
Another life-changing moment for Kerr and the band was
getting their first — and only — US number one hit,
Don't You (Forget About Me). It became
famous as the anthem of 1985 cult classic film, The Breakfast Club. It's the band's
magnum opus, for better or worse.
“There's two months in a year where I really love it,” he said. “March and September. That's when
the royalties come in. It's just the greatest thing ever.”
On a more serious note, he added, “It's such a special song to people. It will always be an
outsider to us, not just because we didn't write it, but we just never expected it to do what it did.
We saw the rough cut of the movie, and we thought, 'Big deal. No one's going to like this.' We just
never saw it coming, but we're very grateful that it did [get big].
“We always want to play it as though our life depends on it. It's a strange relationship with that
song, but there is a saying, 'never look a gift horse in the mouth'.”
Kerr has been in the music business long enough to
see a couple of generations of new artists come up, and he's been, in turns, underwhelmed and
impressed. He likes Chvrches, War on Drugs and
Future Islands, but he's not a fan of the Ed Sheeran prototype.
And while Rolling Stone magazine recently carried boy band 5 Seconds of Summer
on their cover, calling them the “world's hottest band”, Kerr
is of the opinion that the golden era of rock might very well be over.
“I do fret a bit for rock bands as we knew them. I think the traditional rock bands, and we were
one of them coming up, were usually four or five guys in a smelly transit van going 'round the country
for years learning the trade and all that, which you had to do — playing universities, playing pubs,”
None of that exists today, or as he puts it, “the economics are not there anymore”.
“There's no more pub gigs, there's no more uni gigs. That's why you get a solo guy with his
acoustic and all that, which is okay, but doesn't really get me jumping up and down. I think there
is a chance that we might be seeing the end of the rock band, in that sense. It will be interesting
to see if that's the case,” he said.
As for the band's Dubai gig — their first in the city since they played a decade ago — fans can
expect a set list that spans the band's entire career. Once the lights go down, the band will be
focusing on writing and recording, instead.
“This show on Thursday night is going to be our first and last of this year,” said
Kerr. “We're determined to have a great time.”
"Looking forward to playing Dubai. It has been a long time since we last played there, hoping
therefore to make up for our absence by putting on a great show. Thanks to all who plan on coming to see
Simple Minds next week. See you there." - Jim, 21st January 2016
"Who's idea was it to send us to Dubai in January? Having to deal with non stop blue
skies and fabulous weather? Who ever it was - I want to kiss you! We definitely lucked out this
time. Certainly a bit different from January '14 when we kicked off our tour in Riga.
(Temperature around 14 below.)"
"Not only a holiday, we are also here to mean business and look forward to giving our all this
coming Thursday at Dubai Tennis Stadium, for what looks like being our first and last gig of this year.
(I know we have the acoustic show coming up in April - but
that is obviously different.)"
"Thanks to all who attended today's press conference, thanks to everyone for making us feel
special. We appreciate the welcome." - Jim, 25th January 2016
"Band and crew arrived. I'm sure they will enjoy the next few days in Dubai as much as I
have over this last week. The highlight of course will be tomorrow night at the Tennis Stadium - our
only full - on show for this year. We can't wait." - Jim, 27th January 2016
"Gig day: 58 days since our last gig - and who knows how long it'll be to our next? Also
nearly 14 years since we last played in Dubai - according to Andy Gillespie!
Simple Minds never need any added incentive when it comes to playing gigs, but
additional factors like these mean that we will want to do as good a show as possible at the Dubai
Tennis stadium tonight. Plus, being the last gig for a while - we'll feel the need to go out strong.
It does feel like the end of an era. But the good news is that we already feel a new era about to
begin - from tomorrow! Hope everyone enjoys tonight. Thanks for coming to see us. And thanks
for all who have come to see us on this Big Music Tour." - Jim, 28th January 2016
I was at the EMI Archives on Wendesday where the majority of Simple Minds'
back catalogue is kept. This includes all the master tapes from Zoom, Arista,
Virgin and Chrysalis; paper archives and all the photographs
from the period.
My task was to go through all the photo folders and catalogue what was there. They were stuffed with
negatives, colour slides, transparancies, glossy black and white promos and colour pictures;
some of familiar photo sessions, some of not so-familiar shots and one entire session which was rejected entirely.
And there were many alternative and unpublished shots.
A goldmine for future projects.
And there was a surprise fifth release of Celebrate - Live At The SSE Hydro Glasgow
which some collectors may not be aware of. In July 2015, the set was reissued as a limited edition, but
this time pressed on black vinyl. The only differences - given the vinyl - were the catalogue numbers
and the sticker on the front.
Billy Sloan has recently talked about his career in music with
the The Herald.
Thankfully, music fans will be pleased to hear that he's now broadcasting from BBC Scotland
after leaving Radio Clyde - so hopefully those exclusive sessions can continue.
Simple Minds are currently working on their next album with work continuing in London.
So far, a new song called A Silent Kiss has been mentioned.
All details about the new release - which is expected in 2017 - can be found on in
new album page.
While in London, Jim is going to
present four shows for Absolute Radio. Keep an eye on the station's
schedules for an announcement of the shows which will be about the
music and artists that influenced and enterained Simple Minds
throughout the years.
"I attended that concert but it was not at Magasinet. It was a long time ago but I don't
recall that it was a concert at Magasinet at all. The location was Högskolerestaurangen
(Örebro University restaurant) as you can see from the attached pictures of the poster.
Even though it was the Real To Real Cacophony Tour the poster said Life In A Day as the new
record wasn't released yet. I'm still a bit crossed that Derek Forbes
left the party before signing the poster…" - Stellan
Another release from two years ago which needed updating was the
second issue of Celebrate - Live At The SSE Hydro Glasgow.
Released in July 2014, this was a (slightly) stripped down version of the
original release. This was the second time the concert
was issued, albeit the first true commerical release.
The January 2016 issue of Record Collector has reviewed the
Once Upon A Time Box Set, and
it earns four stars out of five.
It also includes Kilty Pleasures, a review of Scotland's post-punk scene, and the
emergence of independents. Peppered through the article are quotes from
Bruce Findlay and
Jim Kerr as Bruce
recalls the history of Zoom Records whilst Jim
recounts the early days of Simple Minds. "I can remember walking up the
stair's to Bruce's office in Shandwick Place in Edinburgh with our demo," says Kerr, "He
sat down, rolled a huge spliff, closed his eyes, listened to every note and said... 'Where are you playing
next? I'm coming.'"
somthing old, something new #1
Thank you for your patience over the last six months. All updates ceased for a while as I
had to concentrate on various Universal releases; and as I was doing that,
Simple Minds played concert-after-concert and released record-after-record.
Now there's a lull in the preceedings, I can concentrate on getting Dream Giver
back up and running.
The next few updates will offer something from the previous years which I've just finished; and
start to offer insights into what's coming for 2016. Hence Something Old, Something New.
You'll also notice lots of dead links and dead images for a while - these will be corrected over the
coming weeks as all the gaps get filled in.
The Celebrate - Live At The SSE Hydro Glasgow limited edition DVD
was such a huge release that it took a long time to fully document it. This has now been done, but did
you know that parts of it have been reissued four times in various formats over the last two years? More
on that for future updates.