"Been looking forward to this for a very long time, finally it's here and we can't wait to get started. Unlike last weekend in the UK, it's forecast
to be warm and sunny. Sunglasses at the ready then if you are coming to see and hear all of us at Maidstone, Kent on Saturday. Followed by the show at Cyfarthfa Park on Sunday.
Already the talk of the town, therefore you will know that KT Tunstall and The Pretenders are sharing the bill with Simple Minds.
Make sure then that you get there early and don't miss a note. We look forward to seeing all of you in the UK throughout this month and beyond." - Jim, 3rd August 2018
"Late night, last night. Followed by today's ferry crossing from Calais to Dover. Those white cliffs glistening in the sunlight etc. are an emotional
sight to see. Or so I was told. I slept the entire journey. It feels good to be back in UK. Feeling fresh despite the thousands of miles travelled
over the last 3 months. Been looking forward to these UK gigs for some time, now very keen to get started." - Jim, 4th August 2018
"Enjoyed performing at the Maidstone Grandslam. Cherisse Osei as always played her heart out.
Thanks to all for making us feel so good! Next up - heading to Wales for tonights show at Cyfarthfa Castle." - Jim, 5th August 2018
"Bit of a lengthy bus trip, but we are in Wales now and as you can see from Charlie's picture, he's very happy about that.
Both KT Tunstall and The Pretenders were on fire last night. We weren't bad either.
With truly perfect weather, you can expect more of the same tonight." - Jim, 5th August 2018
"Thanks to all at Cyfarthfa Castle. Grandslam indeed! We certainly all had a grand time in Wales. Packed venue, great weather, great audience,
and truly great artists performing with us i.e. KT Tunstall and The Pretenders." - Jim, 5th August 2018
"Two down! Bring on the next two! Might be what I am suggesting judging by the picture!
Or alternately I might be asking for another two of these cool T-shirts, since both my father and my best friend instantly claimed the two in my suitcase on
arrival back home. Either way, still on high from the weekend and looking forward to Salford this Friday, followed by Leeds next night." - Jim, 6th August 2018
tour diary: charlie burchill, summer tour updates
Festival De Carcassone, Thιβtre De La Cite, France 20th July, 2018
"Looking at the dates before we set out, we were happy to see that there would be six French shows in total
this summer. All gigs have gone superbly well so far, all audiences given more than we could have expected.
"Carcassonne, due to the unique beauty and atmosphere at the amphitheatre, was nevertheless always the show
that we particularly looked forward to playing, being so it will be nice way to complete the series of French shows.
There will be some added emotion tonight when inevitably recalling our longtime friend/promoter, Jean Marie Sanez.
A genuine supporter of Simple Minds back in our very early days, it was Jean Marie who first brought
Simple Minds to France in 1982. Believing that if we toured enough we could find an audience for our music.
Four decades later we are still touring France, blessed with enthusiastic audiences throughout this fine country.
I have a very clear memory of Jean Marie smiling proudly as we sound checked in Carcassonne on our
previous visit. He had predicted that we would fall in love with venue, the city, the region. He was more than correct.
Living fast - and dying - young at heart, Jean Marie had a rock n' roll spirit that seemed liked it could burn
endlessly. He won't be with us physically tonight, but somehow he will always be with us whenever we go on stage in France.
I'll be singing Dolphins tonight. Most probably thinking of
Jean Marie throughout!" - Jim, 20th July 2018
"Been many excellent ones, but for me it was the most enjoyable. I particularly love that venue, and I like the huge dimension of the stage. A really great place for any performer to go to work. An honour.
OK! Some people might have needed their umbrellas once the rain began towards the end of last night's show
in Carcassonne? But what an audience all the same! Thanks to all of you, and as always thanks a little bit more
to those who travelled from far and wide. Special thanks beyond that even, to those who saw us play in Carcassonne
so many years ago, and once again turned out for us. Still loyal to Simple Minds after all these years!" - Jim, 21st July 2018
Das Fest, Karlsruhe, Germany 22nd July, 2018
"Feels good to be back in Germany and a great start hopefully tonight at Das Feste in Karlsruhe. Always an
encouraging audience for Simple Minds, the name Karlsruhe, translates as "Charles repose", and was
given to the new city after Charles III William of Baden-Durlach, woke from a dream in which he dreamt
of founding a new city.
"Charlie Burchill also had a dream to become not only a guitarist. But
also a songwriter/arranger and producer. Learning to play a little bit of saxophone and violin, additionally
you can hear his piano and synth work featured throughout almost entirely the last thirty years of
Simple Minds recordings. For many who don't know, Charlie plays all
guitars and almost all keys from our Real Life album in 1991 going
all the way to this year's Walk Between Worlds album.
"When not busy with all that, as well as performing thousands of gigs etc, Charlie has
learned to speak Italian and is now once again working on his Spanish. Ged Grimes
could help him out with that I suppose? In great form right now, is Charlie!
You might notice that over this next week or so in Germany, beginning later on this evening in Karlsruhe." - Jim, 22nd July 2018
"Got off to a great start in Germany last night, the huge crowd in Karlsruhe made it so. All festivals are
different, each with its own vibe. Some have an organic/idealistic feel about them. While others, are little
more than great big money making machines.
There was a sweetness in the summer air last night at Das Feste. Hard to describe, but we could feel waves
of positive energy coming our way, especially from those way up on the surrounding hills. People of all ages
seemed to be really loving the music, having a great time with each other, having a great time with us.
Thanks to all in Karlsruhe. What a cool festival you have. Congratulations!" - Jim, 23rd July 2018
"After a two day break we are more than refreshed and very much looking forward to performing live in Bonn tonight.
Still on a high after the reaction to our first summer show in Germany last weekend." - Jim, 25th July 2018
"A sultry evening, and it felt beautiful to be be right at the river's edge in Bonn last night.
Our second gig in the series of German dates and we could not have been happier with the welcome
and the reaction to our show. Thanks to all who came to see Simple Minds in Bonn last night!" - Jim, 26th July 2018
Summertime at Norderney, Norderney, Germany 26th July, 2018
"The sea breezes felt great tonight! The sound of the crowd that greeted each song felt equally special.
A tiny festival on a dreamy little island - but the organisers work every bit as hard as elsewhere to make
it all happen. I loved being there tonight. On to Mainz for the last German show of this week, and what a week
it is been. Glorious!" - Jim, 26th July 2018
"Germany. Thanks from all of us to all of you!
Something special going on in Germany this week. We could feel it at each of the gigs, all of them were uplifting experiences.
Thanks to all who came to see us, thanks to all for the kind comments." - Jim, 27th July 2018
Camp Bestival, Lulworth Castle, UK 29th July, 2018
"Gordy Goudie might not need those sunglasses for
Simple Minds set at Camp Bestival tonight?
Whatever the circumstances we will try to bring our ray of light!
Would be nice nevertheless if the rain stopped and the wind died down a little at least.
Please!" - Jim, 28th July 2018
The concert was cancelled due to safety concerns brought on by dreadful weather conditions.
"I couldn't tell you the last time we were involved in an event that was cancelled due to safety concerns associated
with poor weather? No doubt someone reading this will remind me. Likewise an amount will testify that we have indeed endured
some pretty horrendous situations in the past, when downpours on a quasi-biblical scale have let loose on Simple Minds.
Even more so on our most loyal fans. That said, we are sad and frustrated to not be performing as planned tonight at Camp Bestival.
Sad for all those who had made much effort and were looking forward to our set, saddened for all involved with the festival.
Frustrated because we were of course all set to play. Our equipment had been unloaded, crew were in place, band already in the vicinity etc.
In the end though, plainly it was not to be. And that is a real pity!" - Jim, 29th July 2018
"Meersburg tonight - last but not least.
Situated on the northern banks of Lake Constance, I'm sure that we have not performed previously in Meersburg. Distant memories of
shows on Lake Constance still resonate however, and we are lucky to be heading towards some beautiful landscapes en route. Tonight is
the fifth and final date in Germany and as mentioned on a previous post, it has felt rather special throughout. Beginning at Das Fest in Karlsruhe
and continuing with each and every show, band and audiences have created an atmosphere that has seemingly overwhelmed. We will be looking to create
more of that tonight in Meersburg.
Thanks to all in Germany who continue to come and see us, who continue to support the music of Simple Minds." - Jim, 1st August 2018
"Yes, well. OK. We were a little unlucky with the weather yet again!
Can you believe that the rain waited until we walked up the steps to the stage before graceing us all with its presence?
It did not manage to dampen anyone's spirits though or so it seemed to us as we looked out to into a packed town square.
We loved playing in Meersburg in fact, even with the constant rain, And what a gorgeous place it is, situated on the shore of Lake Constance.
Thanks to all for making us feel so good throughout this series of German shows." - Jim, 1st August 2018
"It began in Croatia 3 months ago and ended in Belgium last night. In between we travelled travelled thousands of miles and performed our music
in front of hundreds of thousands as we criss crossed much of the continent, also taking in Switzerland, France, Spain, Italy, Holland and Germany.
We are grateful for the whole adventure, grateful above all to everyone who has come along to see us play. We are very lucky to have this life,
and we we know it!" - Jim, 4th August 2018
tour diary: ged grimes, summer tour updates
"When it is raining 'cats and dogs' as it was last night in Udine? Well, it is not easy.
Huge compliments to the audience for staying with us. Thank you!
To be honest, we have played in far worse conditions, and in those situations you can even get to delude yourself that it
is possible to conjure enough good fortune to will the rain to stop!
My private attempts at that last night were in the end farcical. As were our attempts to navigate an increasingly treacherous stage. Slippy
when wet! Any of us could have gone over the edge last night in Udine.
Talking of dogs? As happy as we are to be back once again in the proud port city of Genoa, we can never forget out first time back in 1980,
when we opened for Peter Gabriel.
Some nights on the Italian dates of that tour we got 'dog's abuse' from an audience uninterested in a then unknown bunch of youngsters from Glasgow.
Fairly common practice to almost all opening acts back then, I didn't blame them. Adversity makes you stronger in any case.
See you in Genoa later tonight! We'll do all to make it great! Might even try to stop the rain if needed!" - Jim, 11th July 2018
Arrivederci meaning 'Goodbye until we meet again'. Above all, implying a temporary parting.
Hopefully it is not so long until we return to a country that in many feels like home to Simple Minds.
Thanks from to the heart, to all who came to see us during these Italian dates.
I am confident that both band and audiences contributed in making some unforgettable nights." - Jim, 12th July 2018
"After going on through the night, travelling pretty much as soon as the gig in Genoa finished.
Charlie and I decided to spend the day in Geneva, Switzerland, while
the rest - wanting to be based nearer that night's gig - made their way into Annecy, the pretty alpine
town situated just across the nearby border in southeastern France.
"I'd have been more than happy to spend the day walking around the lake in Annecy. However yesterday I felt
more like having a swim, and I knew the right place for me to do just that in Geneva.
Wanting to further check out Geneva's botanical gardens added to the decision. A living museum, the
gardens present a collection of more than 12,000 species, and last time through I only managed a very
quick visit. The Japanese restaurant situated a couple of blocks away got much more of my time that day. So good, I
had promised that next time in Geneva I would take Charlie, since Japanese
food is his particular fave. And that then is what we did.
"We made the right decision too. It was a beautiful day in Geneva and we managed to have a chat about
our upcoming American tour, feeling the need to add some
songs the the current 30 or so we have currently been playing. We also took time to sing praise for our hard working
technical crew, and the job that they do on our behalf.
"By mid evening it to was time to leave our day of leisure behind and set about our work for that night.
The gig was about one hour's drive away and as we were not due on until around midnight, the roads en-route were very quiet.
It was then that it dawned on me that these road were possibly the same roads that Charlie and I
had hitch-hiked on, while still teenagers.
Now looking out the window, from the back seat of a chauffeur driven car, it was hard to imagine whether that trip
we made so long ago actually happened.
"But of course it did, I reassured myself. Truth is, wherever we are now within our lives, is merely an extension of
the journey we set out on as kids.
Finally. Just as dusk arrived we pulled into the festival site. Getting closer it became possible to just about
make out the distant music of the act we would be following on that night's festival bill.
Looking up at that moment, we could also see the huge video screens displaying a quite beautiful image of
Depeche Mode's, Martin Gore. And while the tender song he was singing was absolutely unknown to me.
There was no denying that it sounded just great." - Jim, 13th July 2018
Bospop, Weert, Netherlands 14th July, 2018
"I hope our hard working road crew enjoyed the day off and have recuperated a little from their recent slog.
Our shows rely 100 per cent on their effort, it is thanks to them we are able to try and shine.
We will of course be trying our best to do just that at our next gig, Bospop Festival in Weert, Netherlands,
Saturday 14th of July. It is not the first time we have played Bospop, but it feels nice to be invited back
onto that big stage.
Any opportunity to give our best for our Dutch fans is to be welcomed, and this is the only summer date we have
in Netherlands for this year. Need to make every minute count then?
I am confident that we will." - Jim, 13th July 2018
Vince Barker's connection with Simple Minds goes all the way back to our
New Gold Dream touring days. You could call him a keyboard
tech/programmer - but his value to our band transcends any generic term.
Many Simple Minds fans also know Vince as a photographer, and a
splendid one at that. Generously, Vince has allowed Simple Minds through
the years to publish his work on our various sites, we more than appreciate it.
From Vince's working position at the side of the stage, his shots are obviously
unique. The positive aspect means that he captures angles that no one else gets. The negative? Well there is no negative -
all bonus. But it means that he is tied to the same side stage position mostly. Don't forget that his main job is
keyboard tech! In fact Vince only gets to take shots in those rare moments
during a gig when he is not fully engaged with his main duty.
The greatest thing about Vince's pics is how often members of our
audience get to feature. In many cases the front-of-stage fans are the stars of the pics. While we take the
secondary role. How about that for a change? The best shots plainly, are those that capture the bond between band and fans.
Good news! Just today Vince has delivered a ton of images from various shows
performed throughout these last weeks. We look forward to publishing many of them over the next months. We also feel
sure that along with us, many of you will want to thank Vince for his efforts!
Sion Sous Les Etoiles, Sion, Switzerland 15th July, 2018
"Can hear the sound of some distant thunder tonight. Who knows if it is headed our way? Already been soaked
once this week, if so another soaking won't make that much difference. Going on in about 1 hour and
very much looking forward to it!" - Jim, 15th July 2018
"We say farewell now to Catherine Anne Davies.
Having received such recognition
for her debut album as 'The Anchoress,' she is now headed back into the studio
to finish the follow-up album. We hope youll join us in wishing her all the best
future and we look forward to hearing the next instalment from 'The Anchoress.'
Attitude Needed To Play Live!
I realised a long time ago that among so many talented artists/musicians etc that I had come across
that not everyone was built for performing and playing live. I also realised from those who were in fact built for
'the road,' that they seemingly came with an attitude written right through them. One that was always all too
evidently wrapped up in a hunger and desire to prove a point, and to do it with great determination. If needed to
prove that point on stage, on a nightly basis, week in-week out, year after year even? The glint in their eye
told you that they felt all the better for that. They are a type and most probably just born that way.
Competitive through and through, pushing themselves on.
Tough nuts, with no time for bullshit. Charlie and I relate to them.
Those who were not so driven to get out and give selflessly, despite their mountainous talent? It didn't make
them any lesser in my eye. But it did make them vulnerable to all the not so great stuff that comes with leaving
home and mostly all else behind - as you must, if you are going to a performer who travels incessantly. That
vulnerability inevitably diminishes the performer within.
It is not so difficult to 'smell' if someone would rather not be on stage on any given night.
I could smell it at a recent festival while watching a band from our generation tragically go through the
motions. You could just tell that despite the fat cheque coming their way for a measly hour's work. The
last place the singer wanted to be that night, was on stage in front of 40,000 people.
They were asking me about all of this and more during a recent interview, and I'm sure that and much more
of the same will come during the dozen or so interviews I am due to give today.
People do want to know how we approach touring, about Simple Minds' attitude to playing live, how we
developed our passion for touring etc. Some of the following will no doubt come up. For the record then.
Indoors or outdoors?
We don't care.
Rain or shine?
Don't care that much about stuff beyond our control.
Festival appearances or our own tours?
No real difference to us when we are walking on stage.
Acoustic or full on electric?
A show is a show, we want to be great whatever the format. We even want to be great at soundchecks before
the doors have opened and before anyone has come in the venue. As a duo, a three-piece, four piece, five, six,
or preferably with seven on stage? No matter who is on stage, we give all that we have.
What is important and what do we care about the most?
The most important thing is having been given the opportunity to get in front of an audience, to
never take that for granted. To always consider that for them it is not just another night on an extensive tour.
And to realise that for most of them it is 'The night!'
Being so we feel the need to forget any idea of future and past. We need to be there 100% in that moment only
and giving that same amount of ourselves.
Doing all we can to make sure those who have come to see us, feel that every note they heard and ever word
sung came with genuine commitment to fill the place with our energy and our desire to entertain.
We want them to know, that we know precisely how lucky we are to have this life. That it is
an honour to be on stage in front of them.
"We gave out a lot of energy over the weekend. We got a lot of love in return. Thanks to all who encouraged Simple Minds at Bospop in Netherlands,
followed by Sion, Switzerland, last night. With a handful of days now free, band and crew will be back fully
refreshed no doubt, and already we look forward to magical Carcassone on Friday 20th of July." - Jim, 16th July 2018
"With little more than two weeks to go before we start our UK leg of this summer tour, we are already
starting to look back over the last couple of months spent touring throughout continental Europe. As mentioned previously,
each gig has had its own individual character, all of them unique due to the varying backdrops of each venue.
Pleasingly, a few of the gigs had us literally performing right at the water's edge. Genoa and Valencia among them.
A couple of shows were also part of city beach festivals, including our the tour opener in Split, Croatia - where
a deluge of rain and powerful winds made it seem anything but summer?
A few weeks later in Grimaud near St Tropez, France, it was an entirely different story. Summer had more than
kicked in, and Vince Barker's [pictures] before the festival doors had opened details perfectly how
idyllic it was to perform there at the Harley Davidson Festival." - Jim, 18th July 2018
the long walk with, tour diary: sarah brown, summer tour updates
I didn't know what to expect from The Long Walk With with Janice Long and Jim. But I was pleasantly surprised.
The broadcast touched on many long-lost aspects of Simple Minds' history - including the almost legandary, undocumented and forgotten
Biba-Rom!, so it was well worth a listen.
The Long Walk
JL: So welcome to the first in a new series of A Long Walk With starting with someone I've known and admired for years,
and it's Jim Kerr. JL: Now, we've come to the largest city in Scotland, a historic centre of enlightenment, trade, engineering and culture for centuries with
an ever-growing list of musical innovators. 41 years ago, one of Scotland's most successful bands was formed here. Number one singles and albums, in American
and Great Britain, more than 70 million sales, and it all began here in Glasgow for one of the biggest bands in the world, Simple Minds. JL:Jim is going to take us back to his school, where he met his life-long friend and band-member
Charlie Burchill, the studio and stage where they first played together, the formative venues and record stores
in this fine city, the legendary Barrowlands, and the place on the river Clyde where he wrote Waterfront.
JL: So Jim it's fantastic to see you it's been a while. JK: It's been a while yup. JL: And where are we? We're in a studio? Gorbals Sound Studios? JK: We are indeed. This place we're in is a recording studio, which opened about five years ago. Which is amazing in itself because all
over the world, studios are closing. I was abroad on tour [when someone said] "There's this amazing studio opening up." "Where?" "Glasgow." "Really where?"
"The Gorbals." Or the infamous Gorbals as it once was. When I came back it turned out that not only was that happening, but the business man in question,
Willie Haughey's his name, or Lord William Haughey, is two years older than me - he was two years above me in school and my first ever job
was delivering the milk and Willie was the other milk boy. It was really an act of - whatever you want to call it 'madness', but a great gift
to the music scene in Glasgow. JK: This was the Gorbals Railwaymen's Union's Club. People would come here Saturday and Sunday. You were meant to be in the Railwaymen's Union, but your
pal got you in. JK: So relating to Charlie Burchill and myself, our families came from within 5 to 10 minutes from here, so our
aunties and our uncles came to this building to dance and sing and make merry. So we always knew it as 'The Railway Club'. In 1975,
Charlie and I went to the same school it was that period where we were just leaving school and not quite
working yet. We had a little school band called Biba-Rom! - don't ask me why - and
Brian McGee, who played drums in the original Simple Minds, his dad was never out the railway club and he said to
us "I can get you a gig," he said. "Yeah, the Christmas party for the kids on a Saturday afternoon before Christmas." So we did our one-and-only gig in
this building. The kids were crying.... [Laughs].... We were on stage dressed in clogs and satin bomber jackets and all this stuff, playing versions of
The Velvet Underground. I think it was all The Velvet Underground with feedback, singing songs of heroin and debauchery. The kids were just
screaming but not in a good way. [Laughs] And this room I'm going to take you into because, lo and behold, as much as 90% - I can't believe this - 90% of this
building is restructured, the 10%, the ballroom, the old railwayman's ballroom, is still there. And so's the stage. JL: Do you want to take us through to the other room? JK: Yeah, let's go through. JL: Oh, wow! JK: This is the original ballroom. JL: Yeah, with the little stage. JK: And the stage is the actual stage, because everything else is new and modern. That's the old stuff. JL: Wow. So microphone here? JK: Microphone there; Charlie, as always, there; Brian McGee at the back; and
Tony Donald [there]. All of us from Hollyrood school. We were obsessed with the music. Punk was still around the corner,
was still to come, but the first strains - those New York bands you know - we were obsessed by them and so did a set would have been taken from their catalogue. JL: Who had the music? Were you listening to it on the radio or did somebody have copies and pass it round? JK: Of course, radio was a huge deal: John Peel, Johnny Walker of course. JL: And in that era, The Army And Navy Stores did really, really well didn't they? It's where we all went to buy clothes. JK: [Laughs] That's right. JL: Air force coats! JK: You'd need one for a day like this. Shall we'll go to the Army And Navy stores and see if it's still there Janice? JL: The blokes in my area would always have LPs under their arm, and they'd always have the title [on display], so everyone would know who they were into. JK:Van Der Graaf generator, Camel... whoever it was.
Audio: There She Goes Again (The Velvet Underground)
JL: So, the new album, was it written or done here? JK: A lot of it was done here because... It was a great thing for me personally, because my mum passed away about 5 or 6 years ago, and it that meant that
not only could I spend more time working here but see a lot more of my dad and all that stuff. The last two or three things we've worked on, including
the new album, you can say about to 50% of it was done here. And it's a great thing because bringing the musicians - some
of whom who don't live in Glasgow - bringing the engineers, producers... there's a lot of great pleasure in that because invariably they love their time here,
which makes us proud when people come at your town and they enjoy walking around, they enjoy the characters they meet. Glasgow has this thing when it is both intense,
as is Liverpool, Manchester and all those places, but is somewhat laid back too. People are kind of relaxed in the sense that the space we're going to find today
when we go on a walk, that I think of population of Glasgow... when we grow up it was near a million, it's probably three quarters a million now. It's got everything
you need but there's space. JL: I feel the need for a tune here. JK: [Laughs] JL: Like I Belong To Glasgow. JK: [Laughs] You know when you're asked to pick out music related to Glasgow and it's been amazing because throughout our time the amount of music
that's come out of Glasgow has been immense; but I'm going back to probably the first song I ever heard relating to Glasgow. That's a song you would have
heard at the end of the night, at a real Workman's Club, when people... you know it's our version of Maybe It's Because I'm A Londoner. What would the Liverpool song be? JL:My Liverpool Home. JK: Of course. My mum loved that song. I Belong To Glasgow, which is what I chosen, when I listen to it I laugh because you know you got to
be drunk to appreciate it and it's just as the greatest Glasgow anthem for me still.
Audio: I Belong To Glasgow (Will Fyffe)
JL: So, the new album, was it very easy? JK: We're now 40 years down the road and I would I could never have imagined you know when we started the band we couldn't imagine 40 weeks or
40 nights - you lived in the moment. But here we are, and one thing that I didn't expect at this stage of the game, was first to have the energy, the buoyancy, vitality
and when you feel like that, things are easier than periods where - because there have been periods where it's not like that - we're thinking "This is like getting
blood out of stone," or "You've lost your mojo," or you're a bit lost within yourself. Because no-one goes through life just having an easy run. We've been very lucky,
possibly luckier than most, but it's not all been bright lights and jumping up and down. JK: However, currently, Charlie and I having reconnected with the music again, having recommitted to the music again
over the last decade. It's much easier when you feel that way so there was a ton of ideas - we came off very much on a high from our last album
Big Music. In fact, the tour finished for
that up in Aberdeen, and the very next day we were in here, in Glasgow, in the Gorbals pushing on. I don't
want to say it's easy because music to us is still a puzzle - you know as much as we've written hundreds of songs, as much as we've played thousands of gigs,
that's what's great about it. No-one knows. You could sit here, you and I, and bang out something and we go "This is great, isn't it?" and a person walks in
and says "I don't get it." You never know and so it's never easy. And certainly within us as well, the songs develop, we're not always on the same page, a
few punches and a few kicks are swung, but if you love something, it makes it so much easier.
JL: So this is your school. JK: Yes, this is Hollyrood school. Back then they used to call them Secondary Moderns and Catholic schools. And I only found out
recently that, when we went to it, it had the biggest catchment area of any school in Europe, so kids came from all over the city to go there. If you
look up the road, you can see the high-rise flats there, that's where from the age of eight years I met Charlie in the
street the first day that we moved there from the Gorbals. We went to primary school at St. Brigid's and then, by the age of twelve or thirteen when we first
started to listen to music, we came here to the secondary school. JL: Was this all boys? JK: No, it was it was boys and girls. But it wasn't until 14, the first two years we were separated. There was a girls section and boys section, and then
at the age of 14 or 15 I wonder why! JL: All hell broke out. JK: Well, they did that but at night it was the Youth Club as they called it, and that's when you could meet the girls and play the records and all that
stuff. And I have to tell you, I've always wanted someone - maybe you can do a program on this alone Janice - the amount of music that came out this school. I
can't remember all them all but, apart from Simple Minds there were members of Texas, Travis, Lloyd Cole And The Commotions,
Frankie Boyle, a lot of football players: Paddy Graham who played in the first Man United European Cup team, two or three guys from the Celtic European
Cup team came from here; so it's produced a lot of stuff, but particularly music: Hipsway, Love And Money... JL: That's incredible. JK: It is incredible. When I tell people that they say "Was there a good music class?" There was nothing. I wonder if there had been any other
comprehensive school which produced as many musicians, and have records and have hits and all that stuff. JL: It is phenomenal that. I was also thinking of that working class thing. There used to be boxing gyms on every corner. And then it suddenly changed.
And people wanted to be into the arts. JK: You really hit the nail on the head when you say "suddenly changed" there because, as you said, there were boxing clubs, there were football clubs, but
we had never met anyone who had written a song, never met anyone who'd played a gig. You couldn't walk along the road and meet your dad's mate who worked in
A&M Records of Hollywood. We'd never met anyone with a record deal. So the idea that you could just suddenly imagine that it was on, you know you made more
chance of being an astronaut really - as much chance because it was that unlikely. JK: But suddenly, there it was, and I guess the catalyst for all that, the changing mentality, was really punk. Because the whole ethos of punk, apart for
the sound, was kind of like "Anyone can give it a go": didn't mean to say you were great, and one day you were going to be whatever, but suddenly the idea of
self-expression became "Well, why not?" JL: So here, you and Charlie, did you ever envisage at that point the Simple Minds sound was that in your head? JK: Really the key moment was going to see bands play live because that's when it was real, that's when you were in the room with other people, that's when
you heard the sound coming through the amplifier, that's what you hear a PA system. Charlie had given me - I'd already like
everyone around, had a copy of Ziggy Stardust, but Charlie had sneaked me a copy of Bowie's earlier album
The Man Who Sold the World. ('Sneaked' as it belonged to his brother Jamie.) I was besotted. We all were. And Bowie came to play it was the
Ziggy Stardust Tour. I'd just got my second job working as a butcher's boy cleaning the back store - I've been a vegetarian for last forty years as a
result I was getting paid a fiver a week. And David Bowie was playing the Glasgow Greens: the first show was sold out but they were doing a matinee and
it was sixty pence. Wow! So this is going to be my first gig and, believe it or not, the day before - I can't believe this happened, this is my biggest regret our
housing scheme was still being built, everything was still scaffolded, and I stood on this piece of wood with a rusty nail. My foot was the size of a balloon and I
was on crutches and my mum and dad said "That's it. You're not going to any gigs." So I had to sell a ticket to my mate. I missed Ziggy Stardust! I did see him
four months later, he came back to the same venue, with Aladdin Sane. But in-between that period I saw Lou Reed, Roxy Music,
Genesis with Peter Gabriel, and it's not an exaggeration to say that the world inside me had changed, because this thing that had no source of reference
about previously was suddenly "There it was." JL: Pick a Bowie tune. JK: There's a million we could pick, but there's one that pertains to Simple Minds because our name comes from a Bowie lyric in
The Jean Genie.
Audio: The Jean Genie (Bowie)
JL: This is incredible. It has always been on my wish-list to come to Barrowlands. Jim has very kindly brought me.
And with Willie Florence [Barrowland's manager] what an amazing place, I'm already feeling the buzz. How long have you been doing it? Twenty years? WF: Well, I've been doing it, on-and-off, for 20 years. JL: And you were telling me on the way up the stairs, it's a market. For people who don't know, it's on top of a market. WF: Yes. It's on top of a market. There was a woman called Margaret McIver she started the Barras market. Margaret was out one day, and a woman
asked her to look after her barrow so she looked after the barrow. She started selling the goods from the barrow. So the saying goes, she took to it like a
duck takes to water. So, later on in years, she went to the foot market, and hired a barrow of her own, she started selling, and she met a chap called James McIver.
So they started courting. Eventually they got married. This is how she became Margaret McIver. WF: So the two of them started renting out barrows to different people in Glasgow. Then they decided, let's operate from a ground ourselves, and have our own
market. So they started here. And that's where they rented out barrows, in this market here. And later on in years, she decided she'd have an annual dance for the
traders. So they hired a hall St. Mungo's hall, a wee community hall then she decided to build a hall upstairs from the market. So she built the hall here.
And Billy McGregor And The Gay Birds that was the orchestra, the resident orchestra. WF: Then it eventually closed down and was lying derelict for a while. Then they opened up again, and they started roller-skating. Then it closed down again.
Then, after that, it's over to Jim because Simple Minds played a big part in the building in the way it is just now.
And they stated the concerts. JL: You opened it, didn't you? JK: To people growing up in Glasgow, even Scotland, Barras and Barrowlands are a mythical place. We heard about it from our mums and dads, and our
aunties and uncles, maybe even our grandparents. This is a place for people came to dance and sing and as every different new wave music came along, from the
big bands to the early rock and roll - Alex Harvey... The Rolling Stones played in Barrowlands too - Barrowlands was this mythical place. JK: Glasgow at that time and this part of the city was, shall we say, rough around the edges. So you could say that Barrowland's reputation, and the
reputation around here, had a double edge to it. When we were growing up, the doors had closed. It seemed that time had moved on. But as Willie said, in 1983, in
November, we just put out what was then going to be our new single from the album Sparkle In The Rain, a track called
Waterfront. Which was written about Glasgow, and doing the clip, the video for it, the promoter said "How about if we can
get the doors open in Barrowlands again? And really you know, there's some talking about Barrowlands to open again as a venue, and you could be the first - if
this thing works you could be the first." JK: So on a Sunday afternoon I think we've gave out free tickets on radio - there were queues for miles, pandemonium.
We shot the video for Waterfront here and
we also played a few songs. It was was a roaring success, the video was shown around the world. Everyone wanted to
know about this place, Barrowlands. And within months, or within a year, ourselves, U2, Big Country, The Cure,
The Pogues... it goes on and on... The Smiths... and suddenly Barrowlands was becoming mythical; not only in Glasgow, but around the world. And to
this day, whenever we meet...I was talking to the guys in The Killers the other night, was talking to the guys in
The Foo Fighers, they go "Barrowlands. That's the place to be." Because Glasgow is very fortunate now: it's got its Hydro, an arena, its beautiful
concert halls, but the Barrowlands, which has really not changed much since and that's the charm this place is still the temple of rock-and-roll in Glasgow. That's
why we're here today.
JK: The famous thing about the Barrowlands is that - it has many famous attributes - but this is like a sprung dance floor, so whenever the
crowd jumps up and down, it's exaggerated and I have to say at this point as you can see above us the original ceiling with its stars canopy. I've
got one of the original stars in my house, in my work room at home; thankfully it was presented to me... JL: I was going to say you didn't nick it? JK: No. But Bowie's got one. Dylan got one. Bowie really wanted one; he was a star. And so much so, a couple of years ago, this star the
vibes from this thing - it would be great to write a song somehow, but nothing was clicking. And two years ago, I'm ashamed to say I forget the name of the band, I
was walking through Glasgow, and Glasgow's just like this, a guy came up to me and said "I saw you three weeks ago. It was great" and all that. "Can you believe
my son's playing at the Barrowlands tonight." And I said "Really. Who's your son?" And he told me the name of the band they were opening for someone - and he
said "The Barrowlands! Can you believe that? They're playing the Barrowlands!" That's how much it meant, and that's how much it still means to artists. And I went
home later that day, and I wrote about being a Barrowland star I was writing... I wasn't writing about us, I was writing about his son that I'd never met and
don't know, but the excitement of walking on stage and proving yourself in the Barrowlands was, and is, such a big deal to any rock and roll band it's worth
its salt really. JK: The thing is, with the greatest of respect, the dressing rooms, everything, it's just kind of how they were. They haven't updated them or modernised
them and that works in its favour. In most places, that wouldn't work in its favour, but it kept its authenticity. The other great thing about Glasgow, Britain,
and the rest of the world, is football and we were talking about these new big stadiums, these places people go. And they are amazing but, they've sort of lost
something. JL: Their soul. JK: They've lost their soul. And in the same way a lot of the venues we can go around venues around the world and we can't remember any of them. We
had a good night in Texas, or we had a good night in Munich, or whatever, but do you remember the venue, do you remember the room? No. Places like this, and
goes back to Liverpool and Erics I was never in The Cavern but it was Liverpool, Erics... and The Marquee, all these places that the wall's breathed. JL: And the floors were sticky. JK: [Laughs] And the floors were sticky. Although this is very clean today. WF: We cleaned it just for you coming in Jim! JK: A man who cleans his floors for the radio. [Laughs] JL: This is brilliant. Willie's brought us to the dressing room at Barrowlands. And this must bring back memories for you in here. JK: It does indeed, Janice. I've got great memories. I remember a friend of ours, and a good friend of yours, Kirsty McColl, getting engaged in this
room well, announcing their engagement in this room with record producer Steve Lillywhite.
Big Country were playing that night, it was New Year's Eve, and it had been live on the BBC. And we'd all be here.
Stuart Adamson of course, who'd just put on a phenomenal show. I remember the celebrations back in this room and obviously remember plenty of celebrations
when Simple Minds played here. JK: But there was one gig in particular. I think we put
two or three nights in January. The day after the first gig, we decided to go to Loch Lomond. It wasn't very
far from here. Get some fresh air and get ready for the night. Of course, back in those days without mobile phones and all that stuff, you didn't know what
was what. Anyway, I got a message from someone saying you've got a call home, your mum's looking for you, or whatever. And I thought that someone forgot to
put someone of the guest list or whatever .So I phoned her up and she went "Bono's here... Bono and Ali's here. They're touring round and they've
found out you're playing and they want to go..." And I said "Put them on." And she went "They're upstairs sleeping. They've had something to eat and they're now
having a wee rest. They're going to come tonight." JK: We never saw them before we went on but, as we were playing, I could see Bono at the side of the stage and he was dying to get on. So, of course,
we brought him on and we did this version of New Gold Dream that seems to last for about twenty minutes those jam things
we did then but back in those days there were a lot of people who loved their band, loved U2, loved Big Country, that was an experience for them. I don't
think we left this dressing room until about seven o'clock the next morning. Because it seemed that everyone who was out there, ended up back in here.
JL: Tell you what Jim. It's nice to feel a bit of warmth. JK: It was nice to come in here, yes indeed. JL: So, this is the CCA. JK: It's the CCA the Centre of Contemporary Art. I'm thrown thinking about the title of the place, because when were growing up, when we were teenagers,
we would come here and then it was then known as The Third Eye Centre. They put on poetry readings that wasn't much interest to me then but they did put on
gigs as well and we saw some amazing stuff like Suicide with Alan Vega and all that stuff. Patti Smith did a poetry reading here actually, thinking
about it. JL: One of my favourite movies of all time is The Breakfast Club. I absolutely love it, I think it's so clever. And I showed it to my daughter, she
loves it too. And, of course, that was your first big moment in America. JK: Indeed, it was. I mean sometimes it's the most unlikeliest of places where you find a success. We never in our lives imagined that The Breakfast Club,
or indeed Don't You (Forget About Me) would come in. And I mean, for those who don't know, Simple Minds were knocking
on the door of the big league, had a few number one albums, were going into the arenas and that was happening all around the world apart from the States. We tried,
we'd spent a lot of money going into debt to tour there and kind of thought "This is not happening." We weren't getting on radio basically. JK: From out of the blue, this director called John Hughes, who went on to do The Breakfast Club, but had also done Pretty in Pink in
some of those other teenage American movies. He was a huge fan. I mean the movies were so American but he's a huge fan of British pop at the time: he loved
Echo And The Bunnymen, he loved The Teardrop Explodes, he loved OMD, he loved all that Liverpool stuff, he loved The Psychedelic Furs and
he sprinkled his movies with those kind of songs. For what was to become his next movie, The Breakfast Club, he was really hot in getting
Simple Minds. But it turns out that not only did he want Simple Minds he wanted Simple Minds to do this song that a producer he was
working with had written. And the pitch to us was "You should do it, it'll be really great, the American record company's really gonna give your album a push,
but you got to do this song, that sounds like Simple Minds." JK: And we went "Hang on a minute. We are Simple Minds - we don't do songs that sound like Simple Minds. We are Simple Minds. We do our
own songs." We didn't fancy it at all, we didn't fancy the premise of the movie it wasn't exactly The Godfather. We thought "no big deal." And we knocked it
back about five or six times. Within five of six months we were like "No, we're not doing it." We were working on our own stuff, the album that was about to become
Once Upon a Time work, we were working on
Alive And Kicking and stuff like that. We thought "We'll be fine without your song." JK: The producer, in question, a guy called Keith Forsey, the co-writer of the song, he got in touch and said
"Look. I know you're not going to do it. Disappointed but I love the band. I love to work with you some point in the future. I'm going to be over there. Can I
come and see you?" And we said "Yeah, sure" because he had done some stuff we really liked. Anyway Keith comes over and
it's only for three days. It was just one of those things. And he's just a brilliant little guy, and we loved him instantly, full of enthusiasm, and he played
it brilliantly. He waited for the last day and said... and by this time we were best mates and I had been drunk about five times and all that stuff and he said
"Why don't you just do this track? It'll get the record company off your back. If it's rubbish, it's rubbish and you've got nothing to lose, and if it's good... who knows?"
And by this time a couple of guys in the band said "You know, I don't think the track's that bad." We never thought it was bad, we just didn't like the idea of
doing someone else's stuff. Anyway, smitten by Keith and his enthusiasm, we took an afternoon in the studio. JK: The track as it was - it didn't resemble at all what came out in the end. Sure the chorus and melody was there but it didn't have the whole intro, it
didn't have those brilliant lyrics that I wrote that go "La, la, la, la" and it just didn't have that big Simple Minds heartbeat. We just completely transformed
this thing. At the end of the day, we all kind of knew we'd created this thing that we were all hoping everyone would go "It didn't work. That's it. Story's
finished." But, at the end of the day, or by the end of the afternoon, we knew that "Oh God, we're in trouble here" because this is the kind of thing that record
company's going to love, radio will probably like, MTV which had emerged perfect for." All the things we started to
envisage came to be. Along with that came Live Aid and this number one success. None of it you could predict.
None of it. You can still see how I'm a bit hesitant don't get me wrong, we're not hesitant when we play it live but we play it with so much heart and soul,
because the song has given so much pleasure to people. JK: It'll always be an outsider. It didn't come from inside us. But that's fine especially when the royalty cheque comes through. [Laughs]
JL: You were the other side of the water for Live Aid. JK: We were homesick! Live Aid came up and Geldof called us and he said "You've got to do Live Aid" and we said "Fantastic. And who's doing it?"
and he told us and we said "Great." But he said they're in Wembley, but you're not going to do it in Wembley. And we said "No. We want to do it in Wembley."
And he said "Don't be stupid. You're number one in America. You've got to do it in America." And we said "No. We want to do it in Wembley." "NO. You're doing
it in America." JK: So we did it in America. We had great memories of it but we wanted to be here playing with Bowie and Queen and U2 and
Status Quo and The Who. But we went over there. And people ask "What do you remember of it?" And, what you've got to understand is, when you do
these festival things or these events like that, that you've only got fifteen minutes or so, it flashes by you so quickly, it's hard for you to have a memory. But
my memory of it... there's two. I remember we were going up on stage. And at that time you have to think about how colossal this was because there was is in
America about 130,000 people in the Stadium. We'd never played two of the songs we were about to play live. Televised audience at that time was going to be the
biggest globalised event ever. No much pressure then! And we're walking up to go on stage and the legendary American promoter Bill Graham walks up to us
and we thought "Bill's come up. He's come to say 'Hello'." [Laughs] He stuck his head down in amongst us, like a bull, and he made clear "YOU MOTHERS GO
ONE MINUTE OVER FIFTEEN MINUTES AND I'M GONNA RIP...." We were like "Auggghhh!" We had no intention of playing [over time]. I think he did that to everyone.
It was terrifying. JK: But I remember as well, he looked at me and he said "Who's the singer?" And I said "Me." And he said "Right. The presenter's going to introduce you. Go over
to him. As soon as he gives you the nod, start playing." And I was thinking "It's the drummer who does all this stuff." But he just says "the presenter" he doesn't say
who the presenter is. When we go upstairs, who's the presenter? Jack Nicholson. So, I just spent the next fifteen minutes thinking "Jack Nicholson!" JK: Well, I spent the next thirteen minutes thinking Jack Nicholson. The last two minutes I spent thinking "Whatever made me think I should've worn
these trousers?" I could feel them flapping in the wind. They would've been good for yachting. I don't know what I was thinking. But I just thought "Wrong trousers."
That's my memory of Live Aid.
JL: So, Jim we've moved on up to the waterfront. JK: We've moved on up to the boardwalk, the terrace. We're outside the BBC building we still call it the New BBC Building but it's been here 10
years. It's one of the things that gave this part at the waterfront being the River Clyde - it really brought it back to life again. There's been a
lot of new structures here and, of course, looking at the water itself which made Glasgow the city to begin with. So many cities are built on rivers - it's
the river that brings the trade. The salmon is the symbol of Glasgow. Glasgow began is a fishing village right here on the River Clyde. As you can see it's
still moving on. As long as it's there Glasgow will be here. JL: Funny you should mention salmon but did you give Nelson Mandela any tips about salmon? JK: We were talking about meeting Nelson Mandela who Simple Minds had the great pleasure of playing concerts for, and we wrote
a song about him. But when we eventually met him, hearing we were from Scotland, he immediately said
"Oh! I love Scotland. I love salmon fishing. What can you tell me about salmon fishing?" [Laughs] Which coming from a housing estate in Glasgow... had I
been born three centuries earlier, I probably could've told him a lot about salmon fishing. But, no, I couldn't give the president any advice that day. JL: Music has just brought you this incredible life, hasn't it? JK: Oh, beyond our imaginations. Fortunate, so fortunate. Music's given us so much. I was saying earlier, born and bred from here, we're cut from a
certain rock but it's music and the life it's given us has shaped that rock and shaped who we are. JL: Your dad must be so proud still. JK: I don't know about that! [Laughs] Our mums and dads were proud of anyone who that had done anything. They're proud of anyone who sets out and tries
to get a job and tries to do well. And I'm like that as well. Anyone who can put a roof over their heads and put food on the table that's heroic enough for me.
So, God knows what Dad thinks. JL: And will it continue with your family? Are they into music? JK: Well, I'm not sure it will with my immediate family, my kids, because they're interested in other things. But with the grandkids and stuff, who knows?
I mean, I didn't know I asked my dad: "You didn't play anything, mum didn't play anything. How come there's no music." And he said "What are you talking about?
Your aunties and uncles could play anything." Who knows but looking at the Clyde now, and thinking about Glasgow, I'm wondering if this city will produce more music
in the future. Will the city produce music wherever it is? This city's always had to reinvent itself. Simple Minds have always had to reinvent themselves. And
the river itself I've always found something symbolic in that. I think it probably takes us to the song Waterfront
why we are here. JK: The story goes or the reality behind the song was in 1983/1984 Glasgow was on its knees. It hadn't quiet turned the corner yet and it was still
coming out of this post-industrial [phase] it wasn't the Glasgow we know now as we look at all these new buildings, and all the activities, the hip-and-happening
Glasgow. It was going through a very tough time. And Simple Minds, at that time, had started to tour a lot, becoming estranged from Glasgow, but we just
weren't here very much, we were out doing what we do. JK: But I remember coming back, it was a beautiful summer's night. This stretch here was full of old factory buildings, really they were like ghosts or tombstones
to a previous age. There was something sad about it. It felt like the place had come to an end. However, on that night when I came, it was a most beautiful night,
walking up and down here, it was cobbled there were all these cobbled roads then and the river was still flowing, the sun was out, I just had this feeling of,
somehow, hope. Dunno what it was. I should also say I was listening on the Sony Walkman to this new track that Derek Forbes,
our bass player, had come up with. This powerful track that just, to me, sounded the way the sound inside a steam engine on a boat, and being here and all this
stuff, being on the waterfront... I dunno. I went back home and I wrote this song about rebirth: Water still flowing, time past, time still to come, a million
years from now... This stuff just poured out in a stream of consciousness. Because it's not really a song
Waterfront, it's just a big effect, this defiant chant of things go in a circle and if the song's about anything that's
what it's about.
JL: Do you know what, it's been an absolute pleasure. JK: It's been a pleasure for me. I think you should come up every weekend. It's been a pleasure for me because living here,
walking around, you know you flash on things, but you don't really come down and meditate on some of the spots that we have today. But I hope people
have enjoyed our trip and I hope they will be inspired it come up and see some of this Glasgwegiana for themselves. JL:Jim thank you. JK: My pleasure.
"Check out Cherisse Osei's film profile on Sarah Brown. Even though she
has been a Mind for almost 10 years, none of us knew the depth of Sarah's story, including her childhood and finally her career breakthrough.
Her path has been more than difficult, even if her talent has shone throughout. Faith meanwhile, continues to play a huge part in
Sarah's story. We are more than proud to have Sarah Brown with
us as we walk on stage each night. Bravo Sarah. And what a great job by Cherisse!" -
Jim, 8th July 2018
"Initially planned for Granada's Bullring on June 28th the show
will be moved to the Sala Garcia Lorca at the Palacio de Congresos in Granada on the same date.
The show was been moved for production reasons."
"It felt enchanting all around on landing here last night. The drive into town coincided with the golden hour - in
photography, the golden hour is a period shortly after sunrise or before sunset during which daylight is redder and
softer than when the sun is higher in the sky. To cap it off a full moon was doing its thing brilliantly.
"Even though I am sure that this is our first time here. (No doubt someone will tell me otherwise.) I for some
reason had a flashback to a tour we did back in 1989, where I recall being in Spain and throughout that visit listening
to Lou Reed's "Romeo And Juliet." Among myriad things, Lou mentions both moonlight and the soft light of day
in that heartbreakingly romantic rock song.
I'm listening to it quietly right now. And already looking forward to Simple Minds performing in Granada
later on tonight. Thanks to everyone who is coming to see us here in Andalusia." - Jim, 28th June 2018
"Thanks to everybody in Valencia. It felt like reigniting a precious friendship. Memories of more youthful days were in the air.
But some new history was also made last night. Congrats and good luck to the organisers. This was the birth of a new festival, and for sure
4ever Valencia will succeed. Tonight we will end our shows in Spain. To play the capital city is of course always special
in its own way and we also have great past memories of shows in Madrid. Much to look forward then. See you tonight in the Botanic Gardens." - Jim, 30th June 2018
"To all who came to our shows in Granada, Valencia and Madrid. A huge thanks from all of us. Each show felt full of powerful
emotions, every night we played in front of the very best kind of audiences. Unforgettable really. Until the next time once
again we say thanks to everyone of you!" - Jim, 1st July 2018
"Whenever asked to name a favourite country to perform, inevitably Italy is one of the first that comes to mind.
Simple Minds are so fortunate that we have such good audiences everywhere.
Being so there is no favourite place, we are just grateful for the opportunity to play all around the world as we do!
Nevertheless, like most people who have had the chance to visit Italy, I am sure you will agree that for so many reasons it is a delightful experience.
As for a touring band? Italy in summer can be a real joy in particular with so many towns allowing their wonderful piazzas
and town squares to be used as concert venues. For example, tomorrow night we will begin a series of Italian open air shows right there in Cremona.
Followed by others over the next two weeks.
It will be our first time in a town that has seen much important musical history.
Our job if only for one night is is to try and create a little more. It really feels great to be going back to Italy." - Jim, 1st July 2018
"In the early days of Simple Minds, Rome was always a favourite place to play. So good that
Charlie Burchill then made it his home for a number of years.
For those reasons it is always a chance to meet up with friends old and new.
Above all though, some of truly best shows have happened in Rome.
We want to add to that tally see you tomorrow night in Rome!" - Jim, 2nd July 2018
"Italians know how to do it! Summer gigs that is! Keeping it simple, it seems like they just stick a stage up in any old (beautiful) place.
They then turn up early - with their summer clothes on - and enjoy some cool drinks while watching their fave artists sweat it out under the stars.
Jesus! It was hot on stage last night. It must be more than 30 years since I last had a cold beer. But I was sorely tempted last night! That's how hot it was.
We are expecting more of the same in Rome tonight. Loving every minute of this tour!" - Jim, 3rd July 2018
"We might think we know all of Italy? But until we saw the name Macerata on our list of concert dates, none of us had heard of it?
Nevertheless, it is always a pleasure to play anywhere for the first time and especially so when the venue is as remarkable as the Arena Sferisterio, Macerata.
Another unbelievable situation awaits us in Italy later tonight. And we very much look forward to our show in Macerata." - Jim, 4th July 2018
"Hoping Gordie Goudie brings some of his extra coolness on stage with him tonight in Marostica.
Our 4th show in a row and the last in Italy for this week. France is coming up next, where temperatures are equally hot. No one is complaining though!" - Jim, 5th July 2018
"We used up all our superlatives many years ago in attempting to describe how wonderful it can be to tour outdoors in Italy during summer.
That notion was even further enhanced, with the 4 shows we performed in this passing week. It is the combination of many things that make it so.
Firstly, the multitude of unique venues that spring up countrywide throughout the warm months, really do make for magical situations. The historical
'Castle setting' in Marostica last night was yet another addition to a whole past collection of unforgettable settings in which we have performed.
Both Cremona and Macerata, experienced in the last few days, would also be added. As always however, it is the audiences in Italy, engaging with the music in the
way that they do, that truly bring these nights alive. Occasionally the formality and grandeur of some settings can make for an inhibited beginning to the show.
Especially if the venue is seated? That inhibition soon starts to disappear, as more and more individuals start to demonstrate how happy they are to be hearing
live versions of songs that seemingly mean very much to them. Soon after, what was initially a formal setting, becomes a seething mass, with the entire place
seemingly jumping up and down as they sing along to entire songs. That certainly happened last night, it happened every night this week in fact.
I first visited Italy as a 13 year old. Barely a teenager, Italy became my first love. A passionate affair. A love that continues. I see no end to it." - Jim, 6th July 2018
"Sun is shining ever so bright this morning, and it feels good to be in Normandy, France.
After 4 shows in succession and much over night travels, it felt nice to have a "free night". To forget about music. To forget about
Simple Minds. To forget about what makes us who we are in the eyes of others.
And so who and what are we on those nights when we are not pumped up, full of desire to entertain?
Well, we are simply tourists. Strangers in a strange land etc. Far from home and apart from our real families, we become a little bit of a surrogate family.
And if it is a night like last night in Caen, we sat around enjoying each others company. Food was good, and apparently the wine also. This is France after all, and
yes, we really do know how lucky we are.
Talking of family. The festival tonight includes a performance from the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. All the way from San Francisco, the group features
Robert Levon Been on vocals and bass guitar.
We have never come across Robert before, but we owe a heck of a lot to his father, Michael Been. Michael of course was the central figure in
The Call, he also composed the wonderful Let The Day Begin, a song that
Simple Minds adapted and play on a nightly basis almost wherever we are.
I could go on and on about the influence of Michael on both Charlie and I. We think about him very
often, and we miss him dearly.
Actually if not otherwise engaged, I wouldn't mind spending some time with my own son and daughter today. My little grandsons likewise. All those
"London Kerr's" are getting super excited about England's progress in the World Cup.
I'll be watching, before we go on stage tonight!" - Jim, 7th July 2018
"People are kind when they encourage you to enjoy a birthday. A phrase they often use is 'Make it a day to remember.'
Similar in sentiment. 'Make it a night to remember' more than sums up Simple Minds' approach to playing live.
A simple phrase. But it works for us as an added motivation while touring. Reminding us that no matter how many shows we are set to perform, every
gig has to somehow be considered as something unique.
And it is precisely that for many who have come to see us on any given night. Where the decent chances are that they might never have seen us before? Or
have the opportunity to see us again?
Likewise for us. It is almost certain that we will never be back in that same town, playing exact same songs, with same arrangements, featuring the same line-up,
performing in exactly that same venue?
Our next two gigs are good examples of that.
Udine tonight, will be a first for us. Meanwhile Genoa tomorrow, we last played in early 90's.
Being so, no matter how good these concerts hopefully go? We genuinely might not have any other chances to impress in those cities.
No guarantees. Who knows?
Better to live in the moment then.
Somehow make each night seem like it is 'the only night.'
And if we can succeed at doing that each and every night.
We will have genuinely made some nights to remember." - Jim, 9th July 2018
joe donnelly, summer tour update
Simple Minds' rocker Jim Kerr reveals secret brother 'adopted' by parents aged three.
Joe Donnelly went on to form The Silencers, who played to millions around the world
and supported U2 on their mammoth 1987 Joshua Tree tour
SIMPLE MINDS rocker Jim Kerr
told of his love for his secret brother after speaking about him for the first time.
The singer and childhood pal Joe Donnelly were raised as siblings
after Kerr's parents took the lad in aged three when his parents split.
They have been as close as blood relatives ever since and Donnelly's acclaimed
band The Silencers even toured with Simple Minds in the 1980s.
Kerr, 58, said it has been a delight to know
Joe as a brother since his family took him under their wing.
He added: "Mum and dad being there for Joe is somewhat typical of
the attitude of the community we were privileged to grow up in 1960s Glasgow.
"We all gained from Joe coming to live with the Kerrs. In an
instant my best friend became a brother and to this day I look on Joe as exactly that."
Donnelly, 59, said they knew each other aged one as they shared a tenement
in Govanhill in the city.
But he said: "Then my mum and dad split up when I was three and my mum left home.
"Because my dad was working, Jim's mum would get me dressed for school and
then I would go downstairs and we would have breakfast together.
"Jim and I would go to school and then come back for lunch and dinner."
When the council decided to demolish the tenement, the Kerrs took Donnelly with
them when they moved to Toryglen.
Donnelly added: "They unofficially adopted me. From then on
Jim and I lived as brothers."
Bass player Donnelly went on to form
The Silencers, who played to millions around the world and supported U2 on their mammoth 1987
Joshua Tree tour.
The following year the brothers' bands
went on the road together on a European tour and played to 80,000
fans at London's Wembley Stadium.
"In summer 1986Simple Minds were overwhelmed to
discover that we would play the magnificent antique Roman arena in Nimes. All that history was too much to take in,
and completely fascinated by what was to be our concert venue in Nimes, we took the opportunity to visit the arena
on the day before our show while the stage etc. was being set up. While there we took some pics, some of which
ended up in the booklet of that tour's live album, Live In The City Light.
The memories of all of this came flooding back to us today as we visited once more that same arena where a
whole 32 years later we are due to play tomorrow night.
Again we wandered around this monumental structure, again taking a few pics/fiming, still marvelling at the fact
that we will have the challenge of filling the historic place with our music.
Back in '86 I recall that the venue was packed, and that we shared the stage with Scotsman: Mike Scott's brilliant
Waterboys. Tomorrow it is set to be packed once again, this time the packed audience will again see plenty of
Scots on stage as we share it with fellow Glaswegians Texas.
Back then we played our hearts out, proud to perform in such a magical place. Tomorrow we will do exactly the same.
Everything changes as life moves on, but in some ways everything stays the same. That's Simple Minds." -
Jim, 17th June 2018
"Touring Europe, open-air in summer, can be full of surprises. Genuinely no two gigs are even remotely the same,
likewise no situation resembles the other. Add in a couple of tiny acoustic sets as we did in Paris/Lille a few nights ago,
and the whole thing becomes dizzying. Wonderfully dizzying that is. After all, if I wanted consistency the last thing I
would have done was turn my back on "conventional life" at the age of 18 and decided to be an artist. (An artist? Still
feels weird saying that.)
Anyway, here we are as Simple Minds. So many years later, where one night you could find yourself performing in
front of 200 competition winers in a sweat filled club, with condensation dripping from the ceiling. And then just a
couple of nights later (tonight) under starry southern skies in front of 10,000 people within a Roman amphitheatre
built around AD 70, situated in the French city of Nξmes.
And strangely enough, as much as there is a huge difference in the challenges of performing is such diverse gigs.
That difference melts away as soon as the music starts and you find yourself embedded in the heart of the songs. Once
there, all surroundings seem to disappear, and ironically you find a kind of quiet bliss among all that noise and the
hysteria of the event. See you tonight in Nimes..we go on at 9pm" -
Jim, 17th June 2018
"We enjoyed every moment in Nimes last night. One thing that all who performed agreed on, including
those experiencing it for the first time and those who had played there various times before, is that the
ancient Arena is breathtaking and surely along with similar ancient arenas in Verona, Taormina etc, you cannot
help but feel honoured to have had the opportunity to play music within those walls.
But of course a venue needs an audience to bring it to life, and the audience in Nimes last night were as good as any.
A warm night, and a joyous feeling throughout made for a show that we are unlikely to forget." -
Jim, 18th June 2018
"'There are only two types in the world - those who stay at home and those who do not. The second are more interesting.'
A quote from Rudyard Kipling, pondered from the lip of the stage in Nimes a few nights ago as I became
increasingly more interested in figures high above me - way at the very top of the ancient Roman arena, animatedly
jumping around to the music while proudly waving a Scottish saltire.
Naturally I got to momentarily wondering what their story was? Where they actually from Scotland? How and why they
had travelled so far - if so?
Of course we constantly give thought to those who travel from far and wide to Simple Minds. Going back to our very
earliest days, before we even had a record deal, there was always someone who would make the effort to follow our band
around the country, determined to support us, driven to be there with us.
To this day we see plenty of familiar faces, people who over the decades - have literally been to hundreds of
Simple Minds shows, travelled countless thousands of miles, criss crossing continents, spending vast amounts
of money that they no doubt worked hard for. And all to be there with us, to also meet up with fellow Minds enthusiasts?
How can we not be humbled by that kind of dedication? How can we be anything but immensely grateful?
As indeed we are to all who come to see wherever we play, no matter how close or how far." - Jim, 21st June 2018
"With a few days free between gigs in Nimes and Zurich, I decided to make for Nice. Most people head for Nice for a
break of some sort, with it being the gateway to much of the south of France. Nevertheless, the town/city itself has
plenty of charm, and historically it has been an old and "lucky "stomping ground of mine.
Lucky in the sense that I wrote some of the lyrics to
our biggest selling album while spending time in "Nice la Belle."
For that reason among many others I will always have an attachment to the place. For that reason I will probably always
try to return whenever possible, particularly so when I am working on lyrics to new song ideas, as I found myself doing
these last days.
Is it beneficial to have inspirational views when you are trying to be creative. Not necessarily so. I've written
in all manner of situ, and plenty of past work has emerged out of dark/cellar type basements, squalid rehearsal rooms etc.
Although in fairness, that was all a very long-time ago.
The cliched idea of the poor and struggling artist admirably creating enlightened work, while living out of a
cold garret, still holds an attraction for some. Personally, I grew out of the perceived romance of all that about
40 years ago. Back when we were actually working out of a frozen, dilapidated, former factory.
As for Nice. It pained my heart to see the destruction that was wrought two years ago.
Nice however has it's smile back, and it made me smile to be back there this week." - Jim, 22nd June 2018
summer, summer tour update
And as summer spreads throughout Europe, the number of remixes and reworks of the band's latest single continue to grow.
In the last few weeks, a radical official Club Mix has appeared which dramatically deconstructs and reconstructs the
But, my favourite new remix, is the semi-unofficial opus by supremo Johnson Somerset, who does not disappoint
with his latest rework.
City Groove Fest, Podgorica, Montenegro 3rd June, 2018
"Last weekend we played in the grounds of a palace. Next day, it was a purpose built auditorium situated on one of
the world's most prestigious golf courses. Every gig a different challenge, with no two ever the same, especially touring
Europe/UK in the outdoors of summer. This weekend's show is part of a city festival that takes place in Podgorica's stadium and
it is a first for Simple Minds since we are set to play in Montenegro.
40 years ago, when first we started Simple Minds, our ambition then was to put together a great live band and
take it around the world performing in as many countries as possible.
The challenge we set for ourselves back then continues to this day.
Next up Montenegro then and we are looking forward to it greatly!" - Jim, 31st May 2018
"First time in Montenegro for Ged Grimes, first time for all of us.
Descending into a sweltering hot airport, the surrounding landscape looked beautiful. Met some of the locals following
a press conference last night, it was obvious that there is a lot of excitement building up to tonight's show.
We will aim to give our best - that is for sure! See you tonight. - Jim, 3rd June 2018
"The first few gigs of every tour are always a little "nervy". Plainly it takes a while for band and crew to settle
as new arrangements need be familiarised, and some songs from deep in our past, that we might not have performed
live for years, need to be reacquainted.
In addition we have not played the same setlist twice so far in this series of shows, continuing to try and keep
each show unique.
Being so, it might have taken a handful of gigs until now but finally all seemed to click into place almost perfectly
last night." - Jim, 10th June 2018
"We were delighted to be asked to perform in "La Hora Musa", Spain's impressive new music show. Our four song set was
recorded in front of an enthusiastic live audience to be broadcasted later this year.
Sadly there are very few great live music shows on TV these days, however it looks like "La Hora Musa" is set to
kick start a great reputation for itself. We thank all who helped us yesterday, for the amazing hospitality also." - Jim, 11th June 2018
"Meanwhile, we are all on high after last night's live show in Barcelona. The audience - as always in Barcelona - were
tremendous throughout, and Jardines De Pedrables is surely one of the very best open air venues. A beautiful and memorable
evening!" - Jim, 12th June 2018
"We will be heading out early today, leaving Paris by (Long Black?) train. So we wave goodbye and say thanks to
all who came to see us over these days - in Fnac on Tuesday and then at Le Reservoir last night.
Everyone we met was enthusiastic about Simple Minds - our past and our current music. Thanks to
OUI FM for the opportunity. Thanks to Laurent from BMG also, thanks to our technical crew as always.
Mostly though thanks to all who made the effort to come and see Simple Minds as well as though who listened on line,
then commenting." - Jim, 13th June 2018
A stripped down, acoustic version of Simple Minds performed at Le Reservoir, promoted as a gig from a secret
location. This was broadcast live by Oui FM in France followed by a live Q&A.
"It was a little bit of a "stretch" to suddenly break off from our full on 7 piece electric rock band - reverting
instead to a 4 piece acoustic as we did last night. No rehearsals previously, and only 1 soundcheck yesterday afternoon
made it quite a challenge.
Nevertheless, we felt great performing at tiny Le Reservoir last night. Regardless of only being acoustic our aim with
Simple Minds is always to create a night full of powerful musical energy - giving 100% - no matter if we are
playing in front of only 50 or indeed 50,000 people.
My thoughts do however go out to our bassist Ged Grimes. He was not with us
last night, instead he is mid way through a cycle trip, going all the way from Barcelona - where we performed on
Monday - making his way to Nimes where we will perform this Sunday 17th of June.
392 kilometres in total. Now that is a stretch" - Jim, 14th June 2018
summer tour diaries, wentworth, kensington roof gardens
Cherisse Osei kicks off her Summer Tour Diaries with a review of the concert in Split. This
includes a walk around the city and the growing concerns about the rain.
"It was a bit of stretch to imagine that former wild child and Stooges frontman Iggy Pop, who initially made his name through
covering his torso in peanut butter and fronting the greatest garage band of all time, would as it turns out, also be one of rock n' roll's most
unlikely aficionado's of golf. You can add Alice Cooper to that list, likewise Flea from Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
"Yet how ironic? Simple Minds, from the very country that is proudly recognised worldwide as the home of golf. The Mecca of grass
courses etc. And yet somewhat shamefully, almost none of us know anything much about the sport that is so massively popular throughout the globe.
Hard to believe? I know. But no one who was brought up in the Glasgow housing estate that we were, had access to the game of golf. You can add
rugby and cricket to that list. You could also add sumo wrestling, cock fighting, and even fox hunting should you want to be pedantic. Some of
"the Dad's" were into pigeon fancying though. And I always thought that was quite impressive. Meanwhile less dominoes and darts, the nearby
greyhound races were diminishing in popularity, just as speedway was getting into some kind of mini ascendency, back in those days when both of
Glasgow's giants - Celtic and Rangers - were picking up European Cups.
"That said, both our record producer Andy Wright and our manager Ian Grenfell both
meet up on a fairly regular basis to whack little white balls, and they among quite a few others are looking forward to seeing
Simple Minds play on a stage that overlooks the most idyllic looking grass course outside of Scotland - when we turn up to perform after
the day's competition ends - at BMW PGA Wentworth, near London, this coming Sunday, 27th May.
"And for that reason among others, we are very much looking forward to the novelty of it all. After all having performed in football stadiums,
show jumping, and ice hockey arenas. In addition to basketball and tennis courts, and even trackside at Formula 1. It is now time to get out there
and bring our music into "another green world "... one that is both new and mysterious to us." - Jim, 24th May 2018
"Just arrived, warm and sun is shining. I've been told we are now going on at 5 pm. See you there! - Jim, 27th May 2018
"Seemed like we all, band and audience, enjoyed ourselves at sweltering' Wentworth. Both Sarah and
Catherine definitely did!" - Jim, 27th May 2018
"Virgin Limited Edition occupied The Roof Gardens as a tenant from 1981-2018. It played a key part
in the London nightlife scene, showcasing top DJs and live musical talent from across the decades as well
as hosting numerous events, showbiz parties, award ceremonies, weddings and dinners in its award winning
restaurant Babylon. - www.virginlimitededition.com
After 37 years, Virgin Limited Edition have not renewed their tenue of the Roof Gardens, blaming difficult
Yet the opening date was significant. Simple Minds had just signed to the label: what could be better than to
use the newly opened Kensington Roof Gardens as a showcase for their new band? So it was that both
the Love Song and
Sweat In Bullet videos were shot there back-to-back; whilst the promo
pictures of the band relaxing were also taken on the famous rooftop.
"It always feels special for Simple Minds to play in Scotland, hopefully that will be very apparent to all who turn out to
see us this weekend. With a positive weather forecast and a beautiful venue, in the grounds of Scone Palace, we look forward to this grand BBC music event due to be
broadcast live on radio and TV.
"We first played in Perth back in 1978, and I recall the feeling of excitement and adventure
as we bundled our equipment into the back of our delapidated transit van to make the journey north. We would soon get to know all those roads
very well as we gradually spread out from playing pubs and clubs in Glasgow, to further forging a live reputation by eventually building a following
in Stirling, Perth, Dunfermline, Dundee and Aberdeen thanks to an impressive amount of constant gigs in pubs, clubs, colleges and universities.
"By the end of that year our hard work was rewarded when record company executives started travelling up from London to see us as we continued to
traverse the motorways and backwood roads of Scotland. All the time honing our music, growing in confidence dramatically with each and every gig.
"40 years later, essentially nothing has changed as we spend the next few days working on our live show, still desperate to improve, and still
excited at the thought of travelling back to Perth." - Jim, 23rd May 2018
"Perth was glorious yesterday. The weather and a lot of good music helped make that so. But above all else it was the audience who made us feel
so good. Thanks to all for that! We are now on our way to Wentworth near London - and we are looking forward to playing a much
more extensive set tonight." - Jim, 27th May 2018
On May 18th, an edit of Summer was officially released.
This was probably planned to ensure good BBC Radio Two support, especially with the band's appearance at
BBC Biggest Weekend the following week.
The single was added to the station's B-list that week.
Two promos were also issued. Like all the promos from Walk Between Worlds,
the tiny number available have been slow to appear. One promo featured an edit and instrumental of the album mix,
whilst the other promo featured the Gary Numan remixes.
"Ever had a case of mistaken identity? What is your story? Me, I have had a few. Some disconcerting, some funny ...
Fast forward many years. A few days ago we turned up at Hamburg airport, and felt it was yet another case of mistaken
identity when I noticed that the flash cars they had sent to pick us up bore the logo of The Eurovision Song Contest.
Until then we knew nothing of the fact that the TV promotion we had accepted for that night was in anyway connected
to the event. And had we known we would have politely declined the invitation.
Why so? For what reason and should I not explain further? No! Mother taught us that 'If you have nothing good to
say - then best say nothing at all.'" - Jim, 14th May 2018
It was released in a newly remixed form by Gary Numan and Ade Fenton after an exclusive play by
Steve Lamaqc on his Roundtable show on the 3rd May.
So far, only the edit of the remix has appeared as a download, and no physical formats have yet surfaced.
and Fenton stated: "We were very happy to be asked by Simple Minds to rework their single
Summer and considered it to be the ideal track for an electronic
transformation in the style of Savage. We're equally thrilled that the band are so pleased with the way our interpretation
of it turned out."
And word from the Simple Minds camp via Jim was
"Simple Minds' connection with Gary Numan goes way back to the late '70s when we toured in Germany together.
We are thrilled to reconnect currently via this impressive remix of Summer by
Gary Numan and Ade Fenton."
Spotify have recently been advertisting on the sides of buses. Simple Minds are the stars in Glasgow,
with large purple backed ads stating Simple Minds haven't forgotten about you along with a
Virginia Turbett promotional picture taken in 1980.
"It is said that Croatia's second-largest city Split will capture your mind and steal your heart.
Simple Minds will surely attempt to do likewise this upcoming Saturday evening when we kick off with the first
date of our summer tour in Split.
"Meanwhile, although the Roman emperor Diocletian was one of the first to fall for Croatia's coastal city, choosing
Split as the spot to build his palatial retirement home etc.
"Simple Minds also more than fell for Split when we last played there. The memory of a beautiful city and a
most enthusiastic audience still lingers. As for the need for our very own palatial retirement home? Well, plainly
that is not on the agenda for us at the moment. With many tours still to do, and much music still to be made. We still
have way too much energy to burn.
"So feel welcome to come see us - set the night on fire.
We're really looking forward to getting this tour underway in Split" - Jim, 2nd May 2018
"We had lightning and plenty of rain prior to last night's open air show in Split. That is all part of touring in
summer, and we just get on with doing our best no matter. That said, for sometime it looked as though the show might
have to be cancelled. Bad weather is a serious issue after all and those in charge of events have a lot of
responsibility re crowd safety etc. In any case, the audiences who come to see Simple Minds are generally
loyal. It is tremendous how they encourage us despite standing sometimes for hours in even very stormy weather.
The audience in Croatia did just that. We thank all of them for keeping positive throughout. Particular thanks to
those who travelled from far to see the show. How did the show go? Well, with pools of water all over the stage
it made it difficult to move around as much as we like to. Singing is also not really something you are meant
to be doing in the rain - despite that famous song! Luckily though, the rain stopped and the wind seemed
to settle down after a few songs. Thankfully, we managed to have a good atmosphere despite the disadvantages.
It has been more than eight years since we last played in Split, we certainly hope that we do not have to wait
so long again to perform in Croatia." - Jim, 6th May 2018
"Simple Minds recent (free) show in Split came about by enlarge thanks to the energy and vision of
the city mayor Mr Andro Opara. Very much of our generation, Andro grew up in what was the former Yugoslavia,
which of course at that time was a communist country. As a result it was never as easy for Andro and his colleagues
(generation) to always access their kind of live rock music - the particular stuff that meant so much to them. In turn,
for whatever reasons, infrastructure, finance, or just bad luck? Some bands like Simple Minds did not get to play in
Yugoslavia as we did elsewhere frequently. That is not to say that no big live shows ever took place. Communist Yugoslavia
was after all much more open than other communist countries.
Nor to suggest that our music was not broadcast on radio. It was. Hence our popularity."
"Interestingly. I'm informed that although our album New Gold Dream was
available. The original sleeve was modified to not feature the cross? Maybe someone can verify that, or not?
"Anyway politics decided all back then, much as it does now.
But the world has of course changed in differing ways since then. Yugoslavia is no more. And as all over the world, many
of the idealistic kids from back then now find themselves in powerful governmental positions. Very much now the elders
and leaders, dealing with the tremendous responsibilities that go hand in hand.
"Although largely apolitical these days personally, to spend an hour or so, as we did in the company of Andro, to
feel his passion and positive energy for Split, for life, and for Simple Minds even, was an invigorating experience.
How great is it after all to meet people who seem to instantly fill the room with their energy, lifting the mood of all of us?
Likewise how tedious is it to spend even ten minutes in the company of complainers and cynics? Fending off their gravity
as it attempts to pull you down?
"Andro in any case has a vision for the future of Split, it is a huge challenge indeed. But he is undeterred and
he follows that vision, it is his muse. Faced with critics etc. He laughs, then gets on with the job. And he is winning.
Or so it seems. Simple Minds do likewise. Positive people are by nature attracted to similar types. They feed off
each other. It was a real pleasure meeting Andro. We wish him the very best in all that he does, and in all the
challenges that lie in front of him. Simple Minds are fortunate to have so many inspiring fans.
Andro Opara is certainly one of them." - Jim, 11th May 2018
"Throughout the scenes of rain and stormy winds that confronted us on looking forward, out from the stage in Split
last weekend. We were all aware that only a few feet behind, someone was lashing into the music, arms moving in non-stop
motion, playing with a continuous smile that seemed to radiate heat that you would normally associate with summer nights
by the sea in southern Europe. The joy explicit in Cherisse Osei's playing
was apparent for all to see. Likewise her tremendous skills. Cherisse Osei,
may be still young. But she's already a great. And we know a great thing when we see and hear it." - Jim, 11th May 2018
mick macneil and trevor horn, signal and the noise johnson somerset remix, sense of discovery
Of course 30 years is a long time - a hell of a long time actually. The world itself has changed dramatically
within that time. And with so much having happened, we ourselves have also changed in so many ways. Perhaps though,
the interior essence of who we are, and what we do, never truly changes.
It is amazing how even very long gaps in a working relationship seem to dissolve, as soon as the music starts to
play and the creative flow takes over.
Paul Buchanan, of Blue Nile fame popped in to the studio. As did singer
Eddi Reader, formerly of Fairground Attraction. Eddi sang some backing vocals on one or
two tracks from our New Gold Dream album.
All of those people are still making music, all continue to be creative. No one gives up. I guess we all just
keep on keeping on. Which is what real artists are meant to do. Right?
Or hold on, what am I saying? Shouldn't everyone try to be creative in their own way. All try to create something - why not?
Never too late to begin. I believe all of that is possible.
Anyway. Like I said. It was a great week in Glasgow.. And the vibes were very good!
"If there is one track on our latest album calling out for an extended version, it is surely
The Signal And The Noise. Well, seemingly Johnson Somerset has taken
it upon himself to do just that. And as with all of Johnson's take on Simple Minds' tracks, we think
Mr Somerset did a grand job. If you like
The Signal And The Noise - and many consider it to be a
recent highlight - you should really give this a listen." - Jim, 26th April 2018
Promos for all the Walk Between Worlds releases have been extremely sparce and
difficult to track down. Which is a shame as they're often the only way to physically pick up many of the edits and instrumentals
that have been prepared for each release.
Promos have appeared for each of the singles so far. The rarest is the Sense of Discovery
promo which featues the edit, album and an exclusive instrumental version of the song.
arcade fire, discography, mojo magazine
Jim joined Arcade Fire onstage at the SSE Hydro Glasgow on 18th April during their set. He thanked
the band for inviting him before they launched into Don't You (Forget About Me).
There are several clips on YouTube:
"Thanks to all who made me so welcome last night - especially the audience. As for Arcade Fire? Lovely people
and phenomenal show. Thanks for the invite. It was a pleasure "Doing the business with you!" - Jim, 17th April 2018
Corrections are always being made to the discography: it doesn't matter if they were twenty days, or twenty years, ago.
In this case, it was pointed out to me that the Glitterball European CD plays
the full-length album version of the title track, and not the Edit, as it mistakenly says on the sleeve.
Thanks to Eddy for finding this error.
One we missed from last year was the September 2017 issue of Mojo. That month,
the magazine revisited punk, and included "a 15-track free CD
of punk rock scorchers." Included with the obvious selection of The Damned, Vibrators and others, was
Johnny And The Self Abusers, represented by the B-side of their lone single,
Many thanks to Giuseppe Mazzitello for the information.
playone, rip it up, australian tour 1981, north of the internet
GLOBAL SUCCESS: CROATIAN PRODUCTION TEAM PLAYONE
AND GRAMMY AWARD WINNER ANDY WRIGHT WORKING ON
COUPLE OF RELEASES FOR THE LEGENDARY BAND SIMPLE MINDS
After last year's co-operation with the famous British group Simply Red, the Croatian production team PlayOne
(Darko Juranovic D'Knock, DJ Fresh Jay and Zvonimir Dusper Dus) has continued achieving new
successes. Last week, in Darko Juranovic's studio in Zagreb, they hosted one of the world's top producers and Grammy Award winner -
Andy Wright, known for his work with international mega-popular performers, such as
Simple Minds, Eurythmics, Annie Lennox, Natalie Imbruglia, Luciano Pavarotti, Simply Red,
Jeff Beck and many others.
The reason of Andy's arrival in Zagreb was to complete the new versions of 12
greatest hits of the legendary group Simple Minds, which PlayOne has been working for intensively over the last six months.
What is worth mentioning is the fact that Andy Wright, as the
Simple Minds' music producer from the very beginning of their career, chose D'Knock, DJ Fresh Jay and
Zvonimir Dusper as his collaborators on this big project. It is about the Simple Minds' hits re-sung and replayed with
the arranging innovations, for which the credit goes to Andy Wright and PlayOne.
In addition to 12 radio versions, PlayOne also made 12 additional extended versions of these hits, as well as special club
remixes which will have the exclusive promotion by Simple Minds' management.
The executive producer of this and all previous projects where PlayOne has collaborated with
Andy Wright, is Petra Crnetic, who
Andy chose for his agent for the Southeast Europe. An important part of
PlayOne's management is also the production company Svijet Produkcije, while the record company
Hit Records cares for the discography part.
A proof that Andy and Simple Minds are extremely pleased with the previous work of
Croatian producers is the fact that they will cooperate again on some of the songs from
their acoustic album, as well as on several singles from
their new album to be released by the end of 2017.
Jim with Darko Juranovic D'Knock and DJ Fresh Jay in London, June 2017.
The picture was probably taken at one of the Acoustic Live concerts.
This news was missed a couple of years ago but PlayOne, working with
Andy Wright, have re-recorded twelve
Simple Minds songs. These tracks have yet to see the light of day, but I suspect they'll be released as part of the
40th anniversary. Interestingly they've also been given the 12" treatment, presumably as bonus material for a special edition release.
"Working with Simple Minds on all their releases since 2012... so it's part of our ongoing collaboration really... but specifically with
Simple Minds we had twelve songs we looked at - classic songs - and you guys [PlayOne] have done versions of all of those, plus some remix
versions of the most famous songs at the moment." - Andy Wright
Further information about the project is scarce and mostly repeats the press release from October 2016.
PlayOne's website rehashes the original PR but
features a more indepth interview with Darko Juranovic D'Knock. In it, he reveals that he hopes the work on the twelve tracks and
remixes will be completed by the end of 2017, and that they've worked on a new track called King Of The Underground.
There was much speculation about this new song, but the dark and broody King Of The Underground is a song by
Paul Statham and intended for the next The Dark Flowers project.
Rip It Up
Spanning a period from the 1950s to the present day, Rip it Up will take in diverse movements from dancehall to the
emergence of pop in an explosion of colour in the 60s, through the 70s and New Wave, exploring influential record labels
like Postcard, Fast Product and Chemikal Underground, and from global stars right up to today's outstanding newcomers.
A major exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland this summer will feature clothes, photographs, instruments, memorabilia,
props, film and, of course, music as well as interviews and archive footage collated in partnership with BBC Scotland. Among
the wide-ranging artists and bands to be featured in the exhibition will be Lonnie Donegan, Gerry Rafferty, the
Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Lulu, The Rezillos, Midge Ure, Simple Minds,
Garbage, Franz Ferdinand and Young Fathers. A three-part BBC TV series along with digital and radio content
will bring another dimension to the story through the voices of those who made the music, those who witnessed it from behind the scenes,
and the fans who lived for it. BBC Radio Scotland's content will include a 4 part series, presented by
Vic Galloway, that will complement the television series.
Alongside the exhibition and BBC Scotland's content on television, radio and online there will be a book
and a wide-ranging programme of events, including live performances, talks and discussions.
Both the exhibition and the National Museums Scotland programme of events are sponsored by Baillie Gifford Investment Managers.
The exhibition runs from June through to November. Further information and some pictures can be found
on their website.
Simple Minds have loaned several items for the event. These include two guitars - one which was used for the artwork for
the acoustic album and a rare, previously unseen, handmade concert photo.
Many thanks to Stuart for the information.
The advert above was sent to me by Larelle Read who runs Priptona's Simple Minds Space. (It may contain a "heavy dose of Jim Kerr" but
is well worth a read.) It came from the November 1981 edition of the
Australian magazine Roadrunner. It finally (almost) clarifies the Australian tour dates for that
year, so they've all been updated.
congratulations, barrowland ballroom, steve lamaqc interview, sense of discovery, albert hall, tour diary, discography, brussels, talksport, virgin radio, bbc radio two,
amsterdam, bbc radio four, reviews and reactions, xsnoize interview, johnson somerset, paris, q magazine
"Sounding... and like they're having the time of their lives. Joyous" **** Q Magazine
"... the band's best album in decades." The Sunday Times
"[Simple Minds] are making their best music of the century" Classic Pop
"We are overwhelmed with such a positive response
to our new album, both in UK and throughout Europe.
We want to thank all our fans for supporting our music. Now we look forward to going out and doing what Simple Minds
do best, by playing some of these
great new songs live." - Simple Minds
"I'm more than sure Glasgow will give a good welcome to all who are making their way to see Simple Minds
kick off our latest series of live dates - planned specifically to coincide with the recent release of our album
Walk Between Worlds. As I understand it some fans are travelling
from all over UK/Europe/USA... and even some Australians are in the process of making their way. All showing the
ultimate in support in order to be there when we perform our new music for the first time, performed within our hometown.
Those travelling fans may not actually be walking between worlds to get to Glasgow, but their on going loyalty to
Simple Minds is out of this world. As it is with anyone who after all these years continues to listen to our
music, or takes up the offer of coming to see us play live. We in turn never take for granted the sacrifices made by
those who decide to invest their time, money, and emotions in deciding to listen to Simple Minds. We truly
cannot thank you enough."
"Thinking about the Australians in particular. It is exactly one year ago today that we played our final
show of what was one of the most pleasurable concert tours to date.
(A Day On The Green Concert, The Hunter Valley, Australia.)
Memorable for so many reasons, including the fact that the show came perilously close to being cancelled, due to
record breaking and dangerously high temperatures.
Thankfully that never happened. Instead we all sweltered throughout one of the great nights that are all part and
parcel of touring both Australia and New Zealand in the heart summertime.
Alternately, a quick glance at Glasgow's weather for this upcoming week informs me that there could be more than one
flurry of snow. Could be chilly on the streets then? But I guarantee that Simple Minds will turn up the heat
once the music starts playing. Thanks again to all of you!" - Jim, 10th February 2018
"Been looking forward to these live dates ever since they were announced. A dream start to be in our
hometown for the first one. More than a music venue. For Simple Minds, Barrowland is sacred ground. A church.
A sort of rock n roll temple even. Going on at 8PM sharp. We look forward to meeting up with all our fans, both local
and those who have travelled from far and wide. Guaranteed we will do all to hopefully make it a night to remember.
Thanks to all of you!" - Jim, 13th February 2018
"Biggest thanks imaginable to all who made their way to Barrowlands last night. Great to feel
encouraged when playing new songs, and the audience more than got behind us last night. Fans, friends, and
family all present. Michael MacNeil,
Andy Gillespie, and
Bruce Findlay attending - wishing us well. Wonderful!
On to Manchester now, another city that means so much to Simple Minds. See you all later tonight!" - Jim, 13th February 2018
SL: We've heard several excellent stories whilst that record was playing... Simple Minds are here,
Jim Kerr and
Charlie Burchill. When we were deciding what we were going to do with
this interview, when we were organising it, I said to the chaps "Do you want to pick a track from your past which has, in
some ways that has a link to where you are now, with the forthcoming album?" And you picked
I Travel. There are shades of that era in what you're doing now. JK: Cards on the table Steve, it's great to be here because over the last few weeks I've been in Sicily
and I must be the only man who listens to the Steve Lamacq show from Mount Etna. [Laughs] But you can actually get
a signal up there. I'm a hiker and I have to say thanks because you debuted
The Signal And The Noise from our new album a couple of weeks ago. SL: So where were you? A point half way up a hill? JK: Half way up. Struggling but I had determination. Anyway, it's always a thrill to hear your new track
on the radio and I have to say it sounded really good - all credit to the man sitting next to me now. On hearing that,
it just evoked that Empires And Dance / Sons And Fascination
feeling so when the question came up what old track should we play? I thought, for me, there's a link in
the nature of them somehow so that's the reason. SL: It's got a real momentum about it as well. I don't know if you feel suddenly you're in a rhythm I don't
know where it came from when you were writing that record, but it feels like now we're in a rhythm and we
know where you're going. CB:I Travel yeah. Every time we hear it I think
"Well, it's such a peculiar mix of sounds on it." It's obviously so inspired by Moroder and that stuff. It was
all accidents but everything on it had a pretty unique sound for the time. And it's held up over the years.
SL: This is going to sound like a weird question. Do you sometimes have to remind yourself that
you're Simple Minds? Because there's been several Simple Minds down the road and there's
things that you've done and there's places you've been, you could turn around and say "Do you remember when we
sounded like this. We did it this way." CB: We have had conversations about that. Which Simple Minds is it we're talking about? But on
our journey there's been so many different, weird genres of music we've tried. JK: It's funny. When I listen to the records I'm also thinking about what we were listening to at the time.
And when you play that, we were at Rockfield, and at the end of night we would probably listen to
Remain In Light by The Talking Heads, XTC'sDrums And Wires. It's funny
Charlie plays a lot of slides stuff and it's not really a blues slide,
but used to listen to King Sunny Ade then, a lot of those records were built up on an African groove. And
then they had these cosmic guitars coming in from everywhere and I think
Charlie is more influenced with that than he realises.
Charlie: get on the couch and I'll tell you when you're realising it.
Or when you're not. [Laughs] But when you listen to the records, the memory of the room comes back to me, and the memory
of the records we'd have been listening to.
SL: Your career took a slightly longer time than some of the bands that were around at the same time as you. Did
you ever have a slight tinge of professional jealously as you were watching bands who were suddenly popping
up on Top Of The Pops? JK: Yeah. Still do. [Laughs] We put curses on them Steve. Actually I'll put it a different way.
When we did break through in 1982, I think there was a lot of inspiring each other, moving on from that period
through to the New Gold Dream period which was our breakthrough album.
It was a great year for new pop. People we thought would never had hits, were having them.
The Associates, Echo And The Bunnymen just loads of stuff who'd have thought The Human League
would come from being this Cabaret Voltaire up in Sheffield to being number one pop thing all over the world. JK: We were brought up with the live thing, so when you thought of the live thing you never thought of pop. But
you thought "Hang on a minute. You can be both." I think The Beatles were pretty good at that. And still
even with the new record, you're looking... we still see it old school, we still see things in terms of "Well that's
the single" or "That's the opening track" or "That's the last thing on Side One." We still see it
that way. Our new album lasts for 42 minutes. And we didn't sit down at the start and make that our strategy. JK: We went cards on the table - no-one's got more than eight great tracks. You're lucky if you're got three
or four great ones. And the rest, you're lucky there's another good one. But if you can get eight ones that really
count. Our most focused albums New Gold Dream,
Once Upon A Time and hopefully this one, we still think in that
old school way of 42 minutes, eight or ten tracks to make it count.
SL: The thing is that there's no mucking about. The record starts with Magic it does
everything that you need to do in and you can time it - thirteen seconds. You've got tough synths you do that
Simple Minds thing you've got tough synths, melodic synths, echoes of your vocals and then ten seconds in, the
chime of the legendary ringing Simple Minds guitar sound... it's eleven seconds, I'm just checking... bang,
job done, there you go! JK: Well if you can do that. I love the way you say that we're going to make that our manifesto. We'll
print that out and put it on the wall for every track! For us, the greats that we loved, they had their DNA, they
had their thing that you knew within... you've got to put the ball in the net in the first half-a-minute. People
don't have time, that is the thing. There's too much else on. They never had time, but they really don't have time now.
If you can manage to do that then you're onto something pretty strong. SL: We talk about how the album is split in two really, in a way, but the first four tracks do go back to
some point in your past. I think as well as that, Magic sounds really
contemporary, I think, in a lot of ways. CB: Well Steve, we've had that track since the early nineties. Jim? JK: The melody kept slipping through our fingers. Charlie came up with it then. CB: We could never crack it. We couldn't do it. And we tried it a few times on albums. Finally this time around,
the guy we're working with, he heard it and he said "No. This is a definite." And we couldn't crack the chorus they
worked on it and they found a great move in the chorus and it made all the difference. JK: The strange thing is and this is hard, it's just a sense some songs take their time. You know
"This is a good tune but it's not just its time." It's time in relation to the other stuff you're doing and time
in relation to what you feel's going on in the world. And in the case of Magic
too, it was a lyrical thing. We would hear it and Charlie and I would go
"Magic? You can't say magic." "Magic?" "Magic what?" How can you get mileage out of the world "Magic,"
it's been so overused about a gazillion times. So I would go "That's the end of that." And then three months later
it would come up and we'd go "That sounds great."
JK: Last Wednesday night was
the fortieth anniversary of our first ever gig. And you know we
didn't do anything. [Laughs] We texted each other... we didn't even do that! [Laughs] I was thinking this had been
on the horizon for a long time and finally when we went with Magic, the
character in the song is kind of us. I was thinking of when we were starting a band. We weren't in London, we were
in Glasgow and as much as Glasgow's amazing, it's an amazing scene - it wasn't then. We didn't know anyone who was
in a band, we didn't know anyone who'd written their own songs, there was no teacher, you couldn't go on YouTube and
download a lesson. So where did we get the chutzpah to think what we were doing was on? I really did believe it was on.
And people said "You must be an arrogant so-and-so." And I wasn't , because you could hear what was coming out
of his amp. And you just described it. SL: I tell you what was interesting to me as well was - it sort of reminds me of something. And it took me ages before
I got there. Lyrically it reminds me a little bit of Richard Ashcroft who does that lonely man with a belief. JK: You still need that. Lou Reed, and he said it, it's definitely about
faith. Not in the religious way. "You need a busload of faith to get by,"
Lou Reed said, a great line. And there's a link to another song at the end,
Sense Of Discovery, which is a more wizened man [Laughs], still has
faith but kind of a bit beaten up. But not as easily hyped. So going back to
Magic, finally, I thought I can believe in this. And I can put this
across. And as Charlie said, the tune was always there. But we've got
a good team around us, and they go through things, and they kick the tires and they go like "Nah" or else they go
"What are you doing? This is a great thing here. Pursue it." It's good to have that.
SL: There's a sort of split and I read that before I even heard the record so I approached the
record thinking where's the split? But there is to a certain extent. There's the thrust, urgency and agility
of the first four tracks and then there's the point where you breathe in and all of a sudden it's a bigger
cinematic sound. JK: I think breathe is the word. The first four or five tracks are young bucks still trying to prove
themselves, their reins are really tight, more of a pop thing. If you look at the titles they're a bit
"Magic!", "Dreams!", "Summer!". And then you get "Walk Between Worlds" and "Sense Of Discovery" and "Utopia"
and it's more profound. There's a track it's a particular favourite of ours in a sentimental way called
Barrowland Star which is seven minutes long. If I'd had my way,
it would've been seventeen. Because it was like "OK. Unleash the dogs. Let it go." But
Charlie reigned it in. But he did manage to sneak in a three minute
guitar solo. [Laughs] When I wasn't looking. SL: There are two or three rock-God guitar solos in this record which we'll get to.
SL: One of those things which struck me as well just quickly going back to what's in the lyrics you're
doing what you do quite well which is expressing a feeling. Summer
gives you that impression that Jim Kerr wakes up in the morning, jumps
out of bed and says "I love being alive." And I'd imagine that you do do that. [Laughs] JK: Well I'll tell you the good thing about that. And this is a thing when I played it to our manager Ian,
he got so excited he said "Ah, Summer... bummer" and I said "What do you mean?" and he goes
"The words. Here comes summer. That's good. Here comes rain. You can't... what...? Here comes summer. Here comes rain.
Can't we..." And I said "Jim Morrison would've said that." You've got to throw the shadows in there.
You can't just go "Summer!" There's got to be a feeling of lightness coming or thunder clouds are somewhere
there. And then you're on to something. JK: But it's interesting you say feeling because the music I get from
Charlie not only is it full of melodic content, it has a lot of feelings in it.
It comes with impressions to me. And my job is to translate them.
SL: Is it now the case when you're in a studio you know exactly what's going [on], it's intuitive now? Or
are there times where you both look at each other and sometimes you'll look at Charlie
and he's already playing the guitar line and you think "That's what we need there." Or are there times you look
at him and think "What on earth are you doing now?" CB: [Laughs] JK: Rarely that is. Not in terms of the guitar... CB: I think the vast majority of the time, Jim and I, we don't have to mention anything. We're already on
the page. If there was something getting done it's hard to remember that many things that we'd question something.
An arrangement maybe. Or structurally. Or setup. Or things like that. But usually with the core music, we're right
on the page. JK: In being bit music fans of the catalogue, the track that you played,
The Signal And The Noise, from day one, when it was first sent,
it was just great. Then a week before finishing I thought "There's something missing." "Hang on a minute. You've
been saying it's great for months." "Well, no, there's something missing, we just need a final thing."
"What like?" And the producers will be like "What are you on about?" and I'll go
"Kinda Boards Of Canada." And he'll go "I was thinking of Boards Of Canada the other day." And
shorthand, we know what it is. And when you played it there, we were both sitting here going "Boards Of Canada."
It's not nothing like the Boards Of Canada it just evokes a feeling. JK: We're very different, we have different lifestyles and stuff sometimes
Charlie and I will go for two or three months without seeing each other, not
being in contact and when we meet up, it turns out we've bought the same books, we watched the same films, it's
quite remarkable. SL: That's scary isn't it. You're going to end up sharing a house, aren't you?
SL: You were mentioning, while we were listening to The Signal And The Noise
about Magazine and Magazine were the first band you properly toured with. I imagine it was in a terrible
old van. Was it? JK: It was a transit, mini-bus type thing. But what an honour to tour with them. CB: We were huge Magazine fans. And that track you just played, we think there's a tip-of-the-hat to
Magazine on that. SL: This is from The Correct Use Of Soap from Magazine. This is A Song From Under The Floorboards.
Audio: Song From Under The Floorboards.
SL: There's a couple of batches of dates coming up which begs the question serious question this how
do you balance your love of football and being on tour? JK: It's easier now because you can glance down at your phone, third song in, and see that we're being beaten 2-0,
against Patrick Thistle at half-time. SL: So you don't have to request satellite TV on the rider or anything? "We're not going on until the game's
finished." JK: We're going way back and what a position to be in -
we played Milton Keynes the day England played the famous
Hand Of God... Argentina of course. Scotland weren't there. But we're backstage, we're about to go on and we see
what's happening and this is the days before mobile phones so the crowd all want to know the score. And if ever
I'm going to say at Milton Keynes "sorry guys." So I thought "How am I going to phrase this right?" And so I said
"England one!" [sounds like "England won"] And then I was going to say "Argentina two" But I went "England one" and
everyone went "YESSS!" And I thought "Oh man." And then I went "Argentina two." Of course, being a Jock, people
thought... it was a bit out of hand. So these days I don't have to give out scores at games. SL: And I suppose in the old days it's the long distance phone call. Which you've got to make somewhere on tour. JK: It's worse for us. Anywhere we would go in the world there would be a Scottish concigerge guy who'd be "Rangers
won last night." [Laughs] So that would be how we found it. SL: And this week we've been asking listeners about the coldest gig they've ever been to. Have you got a coldest
gig, or you have played? I guess you don't notice it so much on stage with the lights and everything. But have you got any?
The coldest gig? CB: I don't think it was that long ago. JK: I remember you not being able to play for hailstones. There were hailstones all over the shop. His fingers
were blue. CB: We did the New Years' gig. JK: Up in Aberdeen. It wasn't kilt wearing weather anyway. SL: One person said the Futurama gigs do you remember those? You had those gigs in a massive, empty
carpet warehouse. That's cold. CB: I remember one. Bingley Hall? JK:Stafford Bingley Hall. Some of the more farming, showground
SL: We haven't covered all the songs on the record yet. When you were writing it, coming off the back of the last
tour, and coming in and making this record, songs that you were consciously thinking "I can't wait to play this live."
Are there any songs that you think "This will fit into the set perfectly." JK: We... I say we... They have been rehearsing [Laughs] We've been on the golf course Steve The stuff you
played, The Signal And The Noise, sounds tremendous, the band and I can
say this because I'm not a player the band are incredible. Simple Minds have always had great musicians. And
this one is something. JK: But The Signal And The Noise
Charlie has a whole set up of it it's already expanded. And it's got a
whole Station To Station intro on it. And it sounded amazing.
SL: You made this record back near where you grew up. Is that right? CB: Part of it Steve. We did it in London and Glasgow. The last stages were in Glasgow. Funnily enough,
the studio we were working in, in the back room there's a stage it's a little small hall with a stage and it's
where we first ever got on a stage together. It wasn't even the punk band we were in before Simple Minds.
It was a band we had earlier than that. JK: You've got to tell Steve the details. He'll like that the context. CB: It was a gig to orphans who were about twelve years of age. We played eight Velvet Underground songs. JK: It was Christmas party. We're played Heroin, What Goes On, Waiting For The Man... the guy
said "The kids were crying." I was crying, never mind them. But that was the birth. It was a glam rock, pre
punk... and now that hall is converted into a studio. It's minutes from where I was born and ten minutes from where
Charlie grew up. SL: Has the area changed much? JK: The Gorbals. It used to be the infamous Gorbals and it had a lot of character then, and it has a lot of
character now. I think colourful is the word I would use. SL: The reason why I mention it is because it feels like the record touches on the idea of change and how, on the
surface some things change, but then again nothing changes at all. CB: Sometimes when we're inside making an album, it's really difficult knowing. You think you're doing something
contemporary. You always think you're breaking new ground. But, of course, underneath, you can't really change your spots. JK: When we started, technology and the record industry have changed beyond belief in every way - and the way people
listen to music. Thankfully for us and this is really strange at the core of what we fundamentally do, nothing has
changed. Because what do we do? We look for a sound, a melody, words and emotion, we try to make them songs, and we record
them. And we take it around the world. And we've been doing that since we were 18. And that hasn't changed at all.
Thankfully because everything else is dizzying and we can hold on to that handrail. SL: That is that which is behind some of the poignant parts on the record. Including the track which you mentioned
in the last half hour which is about Glasgow Barrowland: Barrowland Star. JK: That's right. There's about three different strands going through that. I said earlier about if I'd had my
way, I'd have made it a lot longer. But Barrowland you will know it Steve and people listening to this record
station would've heard of Barrowland, the famous venue in Glasgow it's now become world wide famous now. If you talk
to the Foo Fighters, talk to Iggy Pop, talk to John Lydon, Barrowland would be in their top five
gigs. And it runs through the history of us. Because, before we were even born, our parents, and aunts and uncles, all
went there to dance in the 1950s it was built in the 1950s and it's seen big bands, swing, jazz, rock and roll. And
when we were growing up it was closed because that part of town became very edgy, there were a few...
Charlie was talking about it earlier... CB: [Laughs] The Taggart thing? "There were a few murders there." JK: It sounds like Taggart when Charlie says that one.[Laughs]
"There were a few murders in the ballroom." It's a great title for a song. JK: They closed the venue for years. Barrowland who would go there? And then Simple Minds we did
this video for a song called Waterfront and the director said
"Maybe we could open up Barrowland?" And you imagined blood on the walls and all that. Anyway, we opened it
and it went great. And the place as thrived ever since. So that's the first part. JK: The second part it's got this amazing roof. Kind of chessy the ceiling's full of stars and occasionally a
star which are made of Bakelite they fall off. Charlie and I have got one
each they were gifted us and I have one in my little writing room. But low and behold and this is well documented
in a book David Bowie was playing and of course it would during a soundcheck a star fell from the ceiling.
And he took it back with him. He took it as a piece of memorabilia. JK: So when we were working on the song, it was just at the time of Bowie's passing. So the track tries to
channel all of that. And you can hear the Bowie influence. Certainly the voice. It's a homage I hope it's not a
parody. Charlie'sMick Ronson glam guitar goes through it. It's just one of
these tracks and we're really looking forward to playing that there in about three week's time. SL: I get the feeling Barrowland Star at the Barrowland is going
to be very special. JK: It is.
SL: And gigs you're looking forward to? Nick, in Cumbria, says "I've been a fan since
the early 1980s, very fortunate to have seen Simple Minds play live at many different types of venues, from
tiny King Tuts to Milton Keynes Bowl "England One" and possibly my favourite gig in St. Mark's Square in Venice."
What are your favourite venues you've played? Or on the forthcoming tour, which are you looking forward to? JK: Well, you always get a nice ice-cream at St. Marks in Venice. But the great things about these venues is
historic our keyboard player Andy Gillespie was really into The Beatles and
whenever he would go on he'd go on-line to see if The Beatles had played there. So if you were at Margate he'd go
"Look. The Beatles played here in 19..." and I'd look and I'd go "What do you mean The Beatles played
here? Laurel And Hardy played here." And now you got to these venues and you see Charlie Parker played
there or whatever, but we're looking forward to them all. JK: We're coming to London in a couple of weeks and we love The Roundhouse but I was listening today of a
recording of The Doors at The Roundhouse in 1968 and some of these places the Barrowland is obviously one the
walls just breath. And that's just a pressure on you before you go on. Because you think Jim Morrison stood here or
Laurel And Hardy stood here. SL: Do you sometimes have that cross your mind? Does it cross you mind? JK: It does. In those venues, you think of the greats that have been there. It's interesting when you
go to Italy because you're playing arenas and you think "A few people who copped it here with the lions and stuff."
But this thing we do has been going on since the start of time when you get up on a raised platform and try to
take people somewhere. And the venues themselves again being great fans of music it's great to look at the
references. That's what it is and you've got to live up to that.
SL: As you get to the end of the album you've got the title track the last two tracks with these big
sweeping introductions. I don't know how you conjure those out of the air. Unless the idea of the arrangement
is in your head, where do you pull them out from? CB: We had an electronic version of it. But I'm just trying to remember why we decided real strings would be ... JK: Oh, I just decided it. It was calling out for that. You'd already invoked it with the melody. Steve was
asking about the emotion of that. I want to know the answer to that as well Charlie! [Laughs]
How do you come up with stuff? SL: Is he not giving away trade secrets so you can never fire him? CB: He is. He's incredibly modest. You'll go "That's an incredible thing you'd done there" and he'll go
"It's easy. Come here a minute. I'll show you how to do it." I don't want to know how to do it. He's modest
about it but he comes up with stuff like that. SL: Is it trial and error? Do you get it wrong sometimes? And then get it right. CB: I think the real secret to trying anything is you can never really drive from point A to point B and do
it successfully. You've got to have a vague idea of something. And then you have to try and start, and then let it take
its own course. I would say 99% of the times, when people are coming up with stuff, they're getting accidents and their
judgement is what makes it good. Just an instinct. Because there are so many things that happen. You don't really sit
there and think "I'm going to write this." It happens somewhere. There's a merge of things. SL: Some electricity somewhere. JK: I'm disappointed actually. I just thought he'd decide he'll do a masterpiece and here it does. But it sounds
like it's trial and error, you roll up your sleeves and it's pot luck. [Laughs]
SL: And there's your career right there. You're doing
some dates on your own and
some dates with The Pretenders I believe. JK: In a couple of weeks we've got three dates in the UK: in Glasgow, Manchester and London. It's really
to promote the album and play the whole thing. But we're looking forward to the summer with these dates with
a true rock icon everyone involved is delighted to be touring with The Pretenders. Chrissie Hynde, we've
known for a long time, and last year we did this acoustic thing and K T Tunstall opened for us in Europe and
she was amazing. She doesn't get the credit either K T, she invented that whole look thing. And a lot of
the venues are outdoors and I think that's going to be a bit of a night with that line-up. SL: Fantastic. We'll play out with the track which ends the album. Only one question I've sort of got the
answer to this now it's six and a half minutes long. It fades when it could've gone on for longer. Are you the man
who's got his hand on the fader going "Step back. Step back. We're fading this here." CB: Definitely not. There's been millions of times, millions of albums, where I go off my head because people
fade it at the best bit. So it's not me. SL: It's not you. But someone's faded this record. Bring me the head of the person who faded this record. JK: The fader. The Dark Fader. [Laughs] SL:Sense Of Discovery is the last track on the album
Walk Between Worlds. Thanks very much chaps. And hanging around for
the full hour as well that was nice of you.
Whilst the album version was released prior to the album, an edit appeared later in February, on the 23rd. This coincided with an
announcement that the band shot a video for the song, but nothing has been offically released yet.
"A great welcome came our way in Manchester. 24 hours after Glasgow, another most memorable night for
Simple Minds. Once again thanks to all who have come along and supported us so thoroughly during these dates.
How can we not be overwhelmed by the response? New stuff really starting to shine. London Roundhouse here we come!" - Jim, 14th February 2018
"One hour to go before we walk on, however the prospect of performing in Brussels tonight - followed
by Amsterdam tomorrow - is more than enough to put a spring in our step. This tour is really whizzing
past now and I'm certainly going to miss this opportunity of playing the entire
Walk Between Worlds album - when this
all ends in Berlin, in just a few days time!" - Jim, 18th February 2018
As part of the album's promotion, Charlie Burchill appeared on
Talksport radio in a lively interview where he was teamed up with Alan Brazil and sparred
against Ally McCoist. The banter was mostly about old schools, Glasgow and football; with the odd
reference to Simple Minds thrown in.
Charlie from Simple Minds. Thanks for joining us. JK: It's a pleasure. Sam: A pleasure. Now, boys, I have to say, right from the start, and I think I'm right on my dates
Alive And Kicking 1985? JK: Sounds about right yeah. Sam: So I was 10 when that came out. But I was fifteen in 1990, I think when, or 1991, when
Let There Be Love was released. JK: Good for you. Sam: That changed my life. Because it got me my first girlfriend, that's all. JK: We're still waiting to get our first girlfriends. Sam: What happened was she is now married to one of my mates, her name was Steph, and she was
obsessed with you guys. She was older two years older and I wanted her and then
Let There Be Love came out and I said to her because
she was impressed with you guys I said "Heard the new single by Simple Minds?" and she
said "Yes I have Sam" and that was my opening. JK: It's interesting you chose that tune because obviously when we play live and it's a
nice problem to have there is a problem as there's so many songs and I think that's a good one.
And I look over at Charlie and he'll be like "Nah." CB: It's just having to do it live.
Amy: Do you have favourite songs? Like when you're on stage? You're like "Yes!" JK: There's definitely ones you'd know - songs like Waterfront,
that if you're a football fan it's like scoring in the first minute. When you play that it's like
"The game's in the bag. They're up for it. They're there." Because we're insecure it's always great to
see the audience right from the start and you think "Oh my God that's great." But how are you going to keep
them there for the next ninety minutes or whatever. Amy: And you still worry about that even now? When you're on stage. When you're on tour? Or the nerves? JK: It's just every single gig you want to give [all] a so-so gig isn't acceptable. For the
audience it's the only night for them. And they don't care if you were in Amsterdam last night or
whatever they've been looking forward to it for a long time. And they're invested emotionally, their
time, money, and even bands of our vintage, they might be thinking "It'll be good but it won't be good
like back in the day." Sam: It's better! JK: We have to send them back to work the next day, saying "Guess what? It was better." Sam: And playing the new stuff as well which they might not have heard. JK: Well, yeah. That's a challenge too. For us, every album you're bringing two or three songs
into the live set which not only have to be good within themselves, but also got to live with all these
classics, all these others otherwise the bar does great takings. Unless you're getting a cut at the
bar and then you play more new stuff. [Laughs] Amy: And merch. JK: Merch. Exactly!
Amy: And the new album, Walk Between Worlds, is out
on the second of February. So this album is a reflection of your career? You said it was looking back at
the world back then and what it is now how different is it? CB: We normally work on a body of songs. And then from that you carve out what you think is going
to be a good album. And this one in particular, Jim and I felt
it was a vinyl album. Not because vinyl's there at the moment, and making a resurgence, it's we think if you
put too many tracks on an album it loses focus and I think listeners lose focus. So in that sense
it was a bit like an old school way of working on it. JK: The challenge at this stage of the game we say "What would make a great album?" and invariably
our fans and ourselves would say "It should be like classic Simple Minds." And you go "OK. Great. And
what else?" "It should be contemporary." And you go "Hang on a minute. One is going back to the past and
the other one..." Sam: Well, you're wearing leather trousers. They're pretty contemporary. [Laughs] JK: Well, they just look leather. Sam: Are they not? JK: I don't want Chrissie Hynde coming in here and challenging me. She's already given me
enough grief. And I'm too cheap to buy leather.
Sam: You boys have been together for forty years. CB: We've known each other a lot longer. Sam: But as a band, it's been forty years. CB: Yes, it has. Sam: And, obviously, many bands these days don't make it for four years. How have you lasted so long? CB: I dunno. I guess we're two sides of a coin. We're very similar and we're so alike but we're
very different as well. I just think we cover each other in so many areas. I just think we have a laugh. JK: We're into it. We still can't believe our luck. Last week was forty years since
our first ever gig and although there's lots in-between
I can't remember I can remember that day very clearly. I'm convinced if you said to us then "What do you
want out of this" we would've said "We want to be in a great live band and we want to take it around the
world." And here we are forty years later still working with that challenge. And this in itself we feel
blessed for that. It's been amazing.
The show included a chat with Jim,
Cherisse during which they performed an acoustic version of
Don't You (Forget About Me). They were still in the studio
when other guests were interviewed, sometimes adding to the discussion, and performed three more acoustic
numbers during the rest of the show.
CE: Here to get us giddy are a Glaswegian group who have been singing and strumming for the
past forty years. They return with their eighteenth album, Walk Between Worlds. It's only
Simple Minds. Good morning Jim. JK: Good morning to you. CE: Good morning Charlie. Good morning
Gordy Goudie. Good morning Cherisse. Welcome back guys. JK: Thank you very much. CE: It's a big year for you. JK: It is a big year. CE: It's your birthday. Forty years together. JK: Yes. My father said we should've got forty years inside instead of outside. CE: So your fortieth anniversary has already happened but this is your fortieth year of celebration. JK: We're going to drag it out over two years or something. But you're right, last week was
forty years since we did our first gig in they used to call them "discotheques" back in those days did
you ever go to any of those? CE: Of course. It's where I cut my cloth. So what are you going to play for us first Jim? JK: We're going to play a song we played for you the last time we were here. This is a slightly
different version. And I think when we were here last time, it was the first ever time we'd done any
of this acoustic malarkey, we weren't sure we could do it you see, we could do it, and we ended up making
an album of acoustic stuff and
doing fifty dates around Europe and everywhere we had a blast. CE: So it worked? JK: It did work. We thought it would be a bit "bongos on the beach" how's this going to work? But
people were jumping up and down and going mad. It still had the energy and hopefully we're about to do it now.
CE: You've got a certain swagger about you this morning Jim Kerr! JK: We've got a new album out, it's our fortieth year of course I've got a swagger. I've already
had a nice walk up and down Regent Street. CE: And a new backing singer as well. I couldn't help myself. If you can't sing along to your own show,
who can you sing along to? I'm sorry they can take it off in the edit. It'll be fine. CE: But your new single and
the new album it's got a certain confidence back to it,
if you don't mind me saying that. Don't take that the wrong way. For me, it's one hundred per cent again. JK: I think the last five or six years, we've really made the band the ultimate in our lives again.
You've got to go in deep, you have to really CE: And it takes a while to come back fully. JK: It takes a head of steam. Your confidence and when you go in there, things magically
start to go your way. And things you never thought you'd see: reviews start to come in, people
start to come in asking you to tour all over the world, it takes all of that sometimes you've
just got to wait for your time. CE: Sometimes you've got to wait for it to come back your way. And you can't force it. And
if you do it's a waste of time and energy and you get on everyone's nerves. Go away for a while. [Laughs] JK: But, seriously, when we saw you the last time, we'd just put out an album that had been
received so well, Big Music, and the great thing with this
new album what we do now, is half-way through albums we stop and think "Let's take a few weeks" to
get a perspective. Sometimes we go on tour or whatever. This time we thought "Let's go back to that
acoustic thing that Chris was on about" and it had been hanging in the air, and trying to commit
to that. And that whole tour was rejuvenating for us and it also gave us confidence that we took in
with the new stuff. CE: And it's different. And you had fun. JK: It was different. We met this amazing woman. This woman
here is the ultimate drummer. She's just playing a little percussion there, but you've got to come and
see us live. It's insane what CE: I've heard the word machine. She's a machine! JK: She's an incredible drummer. Gordy's been with us,
in the background, for about ten years. CE: By the way, Gordie, love the cathedral. Barcelona. Well done on that. [Laughs] JK: That was his Dad's idea. He was an apprentice on that. CE: But it's so cool. And as you say, and we were talking to Kyle Minogue about this, she's
got this new album and single out it's fantastic, I played it early on she went to
Nashville, and they started writing songs with an acoustic guitar and we were saying "The more naked the
song in the beginning, the more confident it ends up." JK: If it works on a basic [leve], then you know you're on to something. But it's a good, good period.
And we have to thank all our fans out there they've been amazing I've just got to say to Maureen Robinson who's still
in hospital she was a bit poorly but she's going great and her son Steve who are mega fans so
that was for her. CE: And don't go anywhere because you've got three more songs. You seem very relaxed. I almost
sent you out for another walk up and down Regent Street. You can go to Hyde Park, just turn right. Very nice. CE: Anyway, busy gigging this year. You've got festivals,
you've got a stadium tour with Chrissie Hynde and
also K T Tunstall. That's not going to be a terrible night out is it? JK: Well, the last time we toured with Chrissie Hydne I ended up marrying her. I don't
think this will happen this time. [Laughs] CE: Never say never! JK: Well, I'd never say never but I think she like Charlie
better than me. [Laughs] But how great that is. Chrissie's a legend. And K T Tunstall amazing. CE: And next year you're doing more gigs. JK: Some live activity yeah. CE: Don't burn yourselves out. You know what happened last time! JK: Exactly. Pace yourself. CE: What are you going to play for us now Jim? JK: Well, there's an important message in this. The chorus is "anything is possible."
"Travelling at the speed of light - this tour is whizzing past in a complete blur. But we are
not the only ones with our travelling shoes on. Thanks hugely to all who have gone the extra miles
in travelling to see Simple Minds over this last week. We appreciate all who make the journeys,
in doing so you encourage each and every night!" - Jim, 19th February 2018
SA: The sound of Simple Minds. Along with U2, they're one of the stadium filling
bands who first came to prominence in the 1980s. And Glasgow musicians originally formed Simple Minds in
1977 and have been together ever since. They're just about to release their 20th studio album,
Walk Between Worlds, and they're here with me now. Welcome
to Front Row: lead singer Jim Kerr, guitarist
Charlie Burchill. We say you've been together 40 years but did
you two meet when you were eight is that right? JK: We did, yeah. We were from Glasgow the south side of Glasgow we'd just moved to the new
housing scheme as they called them then, and the very first day well, Charlie
was a street urchin [Laughs]. He played a bit of guitar and I ended up writing words to his melodies. And
here we are 40 years later.
SA: For your last album, Acoustic, in 2016, you left
all the big production sound, you're so famous for, to focus on these unplugged versions of your songs.
And we'll be hearing a bit of that in the podcast tonight. But much of the new album returns to that
classic big sounds of Simple Minds. Was it good to be going back to that familiar electronic
territory Charlie? CB: Yeah, it was. Jim and I resisted the acoustic thing
for so long. We really did. And then afterwards, it was so rewarding doing it, we learned so much.
And we carried a bit of that into the latter stages of the new album we're doing. But it was
familiar territory to get back to the gear again.
SA: And also I gather a lot of people have mistaken your guitar playing for keyboards on earlier
albums because the effects you use. And I wonder what effects they are? CB: It's just echo. Once you have delay you know delay when it repeats. I once worked with a
very famous producer who said when our albums come out, people hear them three weeks later. Which is how
much delay is on them.
SA:Jim, you described
Walk Between Worlds as a two-sided vinyl album. I wondered
what you meant by that? And how? JK: As you get older, you get grumpier, and one of the things
Charlie and I have been grumpy about, for about 25 years we
finally stood up and went "Big mistake back in the day when CDs first came out. Everyone went 'Great.
You can put much more music on. You can put on 13 tracks.'" Well, we've got news for you. No-one's got
more than two or three good tracks. Prince never had 13 great tracks on an album.
Springsteen never had 13 great tracks on an album. So we went "Look. Let's go back to making it
count. Forty minutes. If you do it as the old vinyl was forty to forty-two minutes then if you can
make enough quality in there, then it should work. It should feel value for money.
SA: Now there's a song on the album called Barrowland Star.
Which is taking you back to a really significant, real place in your past. Let's hear a clip:
SA: It.s based on a real place. Why does it have so much significance for you both? JK: Going back, we've always written something about Glasgow. It goes back to
Waterfront. You played a little bit earlier. That's about the
river in the city. Barrowland is a famous venue an infamous venue when we were growing up. It's a
ballroom. It was opened in the early 1950s so our parents went there to dance, our aunties and uncles maybe
even our grandparents who knows but if you were working class, that's where the people went on a
Friday or Saturday night. To make merry and to make romance. And when we were growing up the venue
had been closed the area had got a bit 'colourful' and they closed the venue. Taggart had
been in and there had been [adopts broad accent] 'a couple of murders.' [Laughs]. Anyway the venue was
closed and lo and behold, around the period we were going through the door to the big time, we got
the chance to open it to film a video. And it went so
well that the venue has been open ever since. And it was lovely hearing the article earlier about
the South African writer talking about the pub well, to us, Barrowland is a church, it's a temple,
it's rock-and-roll and it came back to life.
SA: Those who were teens in the 1980s will of course know the hit
Don't You (Forget About Me) when it was featured in
The Breakfast Club. Younger audiences will know it from 2010 when it was sampled by
Nicki Minaj and featureing Kayne West on her album Pink:
Audio: Blazin' by Nicki Minaj
SA: How do you guys fell about them wanting to use it? Did you not know about it until tonight? JK: [Laughs] No. CB: No, we didn't, honestly. We never minded being used. JK: Was it a big hit? What number did it get to? Have we lost out on a few quid here?
I feel a new car coming on Charlie. [Laughs]
SA: Exclusively for this evening you're going to be singing an acoustic version of that hit
Don't You (Forget About Me). And I do wonder how those
old hits are now in your repertoire when you play them. How do you work them in among the newer albums? JK: Timeless jewels. [Laughs] They move beyond time. They're great. We're incredibly lucky.
Last week was the 40th anniversary of
our first ever gig and if you'd asked us way back
then what we wanted to do then we'd have said "We want to be in a great live band. And we want to take
it around the world. And we want to write songs." And here are are all this time later with an audience,
and getting the chance still with that challange so these songs are parts of our lives and we
are who we are.
SA: We're now going to play another song for us, live in the studio. What is the song? JK: It's called Magic. It's from our new album, out tomorrow.
The album's called Walk Between Worlds. And this is a world
premier. It sounds a lot different from the one on the album this is a sketch of what it is. But it's
unique and this is a one-off. SA: Thank you.
Audio: Magic [Acoustic]
"Loved tonight's venue in Paris. A purpose built music venue, perfect conditions really.
And what a great audience. Thanks for making us feel so good, and thanks for taking the time to
listen to the new songs. Bruxelles next! See you on Sunday night! Can't wait!" - Jim, 17th February 2018
The May edition of Q Magazine features a nostalgic trip around Glasgow with Jim and
Charlie. Whilst the six-page spread is mainly concerned about their past, there's also behind-the-scenes
details of their recent gigs at Barrowland and The Roundhouse. Well worth purchasing.
walk between worlds, formats and magic single, goldmine interview, promo appearances, daily mail reviews, elton
"The title of the new album is Walk Between Worlds. It's the seventeenth
studio album. There's a couple of tracks on the album which are about an abstract idea of faith, and it's interesting
that the first song Magic opens the album with that. It's from a young person's point
of view. Probably us realising when putting the band togther that the odds of finding success, the odds of making this thing work around the world were
stacked against us. You'd have to had some faith to get by. The album ends with
Sense Of Discovery which is also about faith but from a much older person's
point of view." - Jim.
And so the new Simple Minds album dropped on Friday. And from a collector's point of view, it was an
absolute goldmine; a veritable embarrassment of riches. We were duly spoilt by choice. No Simple Minds album
has ever been issued on so many formats, which was reflected by the size of the parcel which greeted me at the end
of the week.
This made me pause and think about formatting over the years. The most meagre mainstream release was
Black And White 050505, by coincidence the start of
the "return to form", and which was simply released as a CD. If you told me that a decade later, I could
expect all sorts of coloured vinyls and limited editions, then I simply wouldn't have believed you.
So hats off to Simple Minds and BMG. I hope this range and choice continues for future releases.
It will take me a while to cover all these, so I'll take it one format at a time of the next few weeks.
The first format wasn't even an album.
A limited edition 7" was included as part of the various album bundles, but
its final form hadn't been decided on at the time. Eventually it was revealed to be
Magic backed by
Direction Of The Heart, an electro-driven stomper, which could've
appeared as a more melodious contribution on Real To Real Cacophony.
Like recent "B-Sides" and "Extras", it's well-worth tracking down.
The single is also available from independent record stores. So search on-line and you'll be able to buy
it as a separate item.
I thought the following interview between Jim and Goldmine'sPatrick Prince was worth transcribing as it revealed how the band were actively searching out and collecting their
old records and memorabilia. In the past, when asked, they'd state that they had nothing, or had given everything away,
but it's good to know that they're building up their own archive of their 40 year history.
PP: Congratulations on Walk Between Worlds. JK: Thank you very much. I'm getting exciting now because it's only a couple of weeks before it comes out.
It's getting a really good reaction. I'm just delighted. JK: Next week the band is 40 years old. We decided not to jump up and down so much about that only because we've
got a new record coming out and we didn't want everything to be overshadowed by the past. But obviously the past is huge.
Everything we've done has lead up to where we are now is from the past. But we thought "Let's try and focus as much on
this new thing." But, nevertheless, it is 40 years. And if you'd said to me 40 years ago we would get the chance to do all
the things we've done and 40 years later we would have a record with the kind of energy that
Walk Between Worlds has either I wouldn't have believed you. But I
would've been delighted.
PP: Musically you have a glorious past. JK: Thank you. Yeah, musically, thank God for that! [Laughs] PP: One thing I've always loved about the band's sound and your voice is and I think you captured it on this
record is there was always a melancholy brilliance in the mood, it also had elements of hope in the end but it was
always cathartic for the listener. And personally that's what I've always liked about the band. JK: Well that's nice to hear and I think I know what you mean with the ingredients that you've mentioned there.
I think there's both a longing to the music and a searching. Not quite sure what the longing and search is about. PP: Every human being has that search? Existential? JK: That's right. Exactly. That's what it is. And we've been so lucky in life because so many of the things we
wanted or would've dreamed about have panned out. But it doesn't mean to say you're not still longing or searching
and it's something profound. And when you're engaged with the music or engaged with the arts, then that's the voices
and the emotions that seem to come through in our sound. PP: And you've lost nothing in your voice. How do you do it? JK: Well that's a great thing too. I one of these rare species: I'm a rock and roller who doesn't drink, I'm a
Scotsman who doesn't drink. And I don't smoke. And people say to me "That's it! Because alcohol's bad for the voice,
isn't it?" and I say "No! Staying up all night talking is bad for the voice." PP: True. JK: I don't know if it's something to do with that but there's a tone there and I think every band has to find
its own tone, language and sentiments as you already picked out. Likewise, for the voice, it's good if you can come
up with something that people really associate with you as opposed to being a generic thing. They've been our trademarks
and they still seem to be very present.
PP: One of the songs on the new album, Barrowland Star, you have
something I haven't heard before a sort of David Bowie feel. JK: Yes, I'll go into that. One of the first things you mentioned when I was speaking to you was memorabilia.
Barrowland is this legendary music venue that goes back to the 1950s it's like a Roseland Ballroom. I don't think the
Roseland Ballroom's going anymore but it goes back to our parents, or maybe our grandparents, danced there to big band
jazz and when rock and roll came along everyone went there. But it's had a rich past. It was closed for years, because
of violence and then it became dilapidated, and then Simple Minds, at the height of our popularity, got the chance
to open up the ballroom again. It's gone on to become almost worldwide... If you were to ask The Foo Fighters their
five favourite venues then I'm sure they would say Barrowland. David Bowie played there really late into his
career I guess it would be one of his last gigs and the Barrowland has this Art Deco ceiling of all these stars,
it's almost like a galaxy and the stars occasionally fall off. No-one has been injured yet but when Bowie was
sound-checking one fell off, he picked it up and he took it back to his flat (in Paris or New York or wherever it is). JK: I also have one of the stars. It was given to me as a piece of memorabilia. I have it up in my writing room.
And it was just calling out to me: "Write about this place. Write about what it meant to be there." It was almost like
a hallowed ground. And, at the same time I couldn't detract the Bowie story from it. And it's been two years and
we're all affected by Bowie's death we're still carrying it around with us those people who have been influenced by
him. And it's all in that story Barrowland Star.
PP: Did you ever collaborate with him? JK: Amazingly, because I'm such a fan, both of Bowie and of Iggy Pop, a fantastic coincidence led me
to sing backing vocals with Bowie on an Iggy Pop track. That was back in 1979. So I guess you could call that
a collaboration. I never called it that until now, but I'm going to. [Laughs] In fact, I'll probably mention it every
day now for the rest of my life. PP: What is the track? JK: The album was called Soldier and it's a track called Play It Safe. We recorded in a place
called Rockfield Studios which is in the countryside and residential. It's the last place that you would think Iggy Pop
would turn up. We were there doing our second album we were still kids, I wasn't even twenty years old and we were
in the little studio. We turned up and said "Who's in the big studio?" And they said "Iggy Pop." And we said
"No! Iggy Pop in the Welsh countryside?" We never thought we would see him. JK: But the short version is that Iggy was 'on the wagon' then. He'd promised James Williamson that
he was going to be a good boy and he wasn't drinking and he wasn't doing all that stuff. When Iggy found out
that this band from Glasgow had just turned up with... we had a lot of pretty girls with us and we brought a lot of
'party equipment'... and Iggy would sneak around most nights and he'd spend a little time enjoying himself with
our 'goodies.' And then one weekend Bowie came up. We couldn't believe it there they were, both of them in our
little studio checking out what was going on. And they had this song where they wanted a football chorus. They wanted
a crowd of people so we all piled in, we were all around the microphone and after a couple of takes, Bowie said
rather diplomatically "Why doesn't everyone who doesn't sing for a living take a few steps back." [Laughs] Which left me,
Bowie and Iggy at the microphone. JK: Can you believe all these years later, no-one had a camera. The idea now! It would be the first thing you
would do. But thankfully we got a credit on the album otherwise even I would think I was making this up.
PP: One thing with collaborating is that you always do well sharing your vocals in the spotlight. Whether it's
backup singers or something like that live version of Dirty Old Town... JK: It's great. She's great. PP: You've always done that well. And Sense Of Discovery reminds you
of the great chorus in Alive And Kicking. I don't know if you agree with that? JK: Or sure! It was even intentional I would say. We you go back and think of
Alive And Kicking you think of the great
Robin Clark. Who's still an amazing singer and who's still works. But from day
one when you've got a presence like that around you, why would you not want to give it the spotlight? We do have
a track record of doing that and we've kept it up. As you quite rightly say, Sarah Brown
on the recent stuff. JK: That Dirty Old Town was quite emotional. About six months ago
that terrible thing in Manchester that bomb going off at the concert we were at Manchester and that was less
than twenty four hours later, less than a mile from the event. Dirty Old Town
was written by Ewan MacColl back in the 1960s about Manchester and about the soul of Manchester. And twenty
four hours later there was even some doubt as to whether the gig was going to go on, or whether it should go on. It did
and at the sound-check we said "Let's do a one off." And I think Sarah had
never sung it. She sang it a couple of times at the sound-check. So what you're getting really is the emotion of the night.
PP: Interesting. It is a very emotional song. I think Summer is my pick
of best on the album. Ironically for something titled Summer, it's dark and driving. But it immediately caught my attention.
I don't know what you call a single anymore but this should be the single. JK: In the old days, people would've said "That's a hit single." God knows what that is now. It's certainly
catchy enough and uplifting enough. A couple of years ago we were up north, way up in Scandinavia, in the peak of the
midnight sun, which was unreal. We were playing festivals, going on after midnight, where there was still daylight.
Up there is a place called Bergen, and the whole town was hyped up, they were going into the countryside to
lose themselves for a few days and people were ecstatic. Not going on until midnight I was sitting in a hotel
room thinking "Maybe I'll do some work here." We had the track, it's a very uplifting track and I guess I was influenced
by the feeling around me. And I thought, "I'm going to try and write one of the ultimate summer songs." Although the
Isley Brothers might have the edge on that. But it's got all that imagery. I'm glad it made that impression on you.
PP: Now you're going to do something interesting with
the album on tour. You're going to do it in three parts. You're going
to do the album in its entirety is that correct? JK: Yes we are. It's so great that the last few years it's seems.. let's cut to the chase: You'll go
"Are we a heritage act or are we a classics act? Oh no you're not going to play new stuff are you?" Over the
years that became quite commonplace for acts that are vintage to hear. However with this one, when we were putting
in the record, people were "You've got to play the album." And we were saying "Some of the album?" And they were going
"No, the album." When I say "only", the album is only forty two minutes so it's not one of these thirteen/fourteen
track things, and it's got a focus so we thought "All right. Let's not only play it but talk about it as well. Let's
make a bit of a fuss." PP: You're also going to have questions? Live on stage interview? JK: Yes. We're going through social networks. It's going to be interesting. Because many of these places
are different languages. Fortunately most people speak English. But we're going to invite a few questions and
see how that thing goes.
PP: I like this three parter. I like the fact that you're going to play the album in its entirety,
you're interacting with the audience in a different way and you can't underestimate nostalgia, you've got to play the
old hits. And I've got to tell you, my son and I watched The Breakfast Club and at the end, after the movie, he was
humming Don't You (Forget About Me). He's ten. See how you're capturing
a younger audience? It's a timeless song. JK: That movie seems to transcend generations everywhere but especially the States. It's become one of those
iconic pop things. It's parodied so much as well. Even that's kind of cool. PP: I just thought a ten year old hearing it for the first time was kind of cool, and liking it. JK: It's funny when we play live, you see kids in the audience and it's kind of obvious their parents
have brought them along. Maybe they came half willing because they know that song or something. Now when I see
them I say "Did your Mum and Dad make you come?", they'll nod their head and I'll say "Could've been worse. Could've
been Duran Duran." [Laughs] PP: If they know who Duran Duran is yet. JK: Could've been really worse. Could've been Spandau Ballet.
PP: I want to talk a little about record collecting. I would love to do another interview on this subject as
I know you're an avid collector. Specifically Simple Minds stuff, right? That's what you mainly collect, you're
still collecting stuff, you're still looking for stuff and you're a completist. You're trying to own everything that
was put out. Does that include memorabilia and other formats. JK: There was a point where Charlie Burchill and I were a while ago, we
thought "You know. We haven't got any stuff. We've given it all away." And then at a certain point, when stuff
started turning up on line we've got a friend in Glasgow, a guy called Billy Sloan
who really is an amazing collector and we said "Billy every time you see stuff you think we should have..." This will
sound so terrible and self-obsessed but this is our little band and it means something so we said to Billy,
"Every time you see something, put it together for us" and thanks to Billy, actually because he's an amazing
collector of sports stuff, of rock and roll stuff he's got Elvis tour jackets, he's got stuff man... He won't
tell me where it is, he's got it in a lock-up in Glasgow somewhere, no-one knows where it is. [Laughs] JK: I'm a little worried now we got all this stuff and Billy looks after it because I said to Billy "You're
going to get me bumped off and then it will go up in value. " I'm worried about it. I probably won't go up that much
in value but it all comes in handy. PP: So you collect it all. Not just vinyl. You're collecting all of it. JK: If it's there, we want it. PP: Is there something in your view right now? Because collectors listen to this. JK: We've got some of the acetates and there's really getting in there deep. Some of the acetates that the discs
were actually cut off it would be good to have a few more of them. PP: I always kind it hard to believe that the bands and the musicians don't get those. JK: I know. PP: Maybe they do and they kind of forget about them. JK: Well back in the day, who knew anything, and it was just a thing. You were probably crashing in
someone's flat at the time and you thought "I'm not going to carry this thing around" or the management got it
or something. JK: But I remember the first time I was backstage and this little guy came up and he was almost Gollumesque.
He said "Look what I've got." And I said "How the fuck did you get that? We should have that." And he said
"Yeah, but you don't have it, I have it." And I said "But that's our stuff." Well, actually, technically,
it's not our stuff but it's the record company that owned it but I guess record companies have certain days
when they just clear out all their junk. And somebody knows that that's not junk I know somebody who'll like
that or somebody who'll want that. I suppose a lot of stuff finds its way that way. PP: It does. It gets auctioned off.
PP: With streaming on the rise, do you see it hurting the tangible, this art of collecting? JK: A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine was really badgering. She was saying "I really want to
hear the album." I said, "What am I going to send you? A link?" All our work is down to a link! I said "Hold off.
I'll send you the whole thing when it comes. Viny. Everything. Hold off." But we've got this on-demand culture
where we all want it all and we all want it now. I suppose there's some good stuff. For instance, BMG with
their record. They're putting out a really extensive mixture of various versions and various coloured vinyls and
all of that. JK: But I suppose I should tell you my first ever foray into collecting. I was just about turning
thirteen, and I went on a school trip. The school trip took us from Scotland to Italy which was an amazing thing but
the first day there I took a walk along the front, it was a place called Rimini, there was a little record store,
that of all things. I already had all the albums it was Bowie, Ziggy stuff and Space Odyssey
and all that, but they had all this Genesis stuff but because they were Italian editions they had picture
bags and picture sleeves. We didn't have them on singles in the UK. And within twenty four hours I had spent all
my money on records that I already owned back home. [Laughs] For the remaining two weeks I had to cage hamburgers
and stuff off my school mates because I'd just blown my tank on the first day. But I couldn't wait to get home
and show everyone what I had. That's what it's all about.
PP: That's about the art of collecting. Are you doing this limited edition sometimes band's sell it through
their website - box sets? Stuff like that? JK: Yeah. Being able to bring everyone together on the website has been a great thing. That's the great
side of the whole medium. Because people will pay a lot of money for stuff it gives you the budgets to go the
extra mile with stuff. So though the years we had done various things and I can see that's awesome. PP: Do you have any demos of Johnny And The Self Absuers or
anything? [Laughs] People would love that. JK: We do, but inevitably there's arguments about who owns it. Because the drummer said he owns it because
his dad had paid for it. Or the bass player said he owned it because he paid for it with his paper round. It gets
into all that stuff and you're "Right. Yeah. Whatever." But, you know, someone will come up and peace will break out. PP: Fans what to hear that so yes. Sooner or later something will give, I'm sure. JK: Stuff I hear and sometimes don't ask me where it comes from on YouTube and stuff you can hear recordings
from rehearsal rooms from years ago. There's stuff up there that I actually remember one or two, and they were three
in the morning. We'd record stuff on cassettes back then. Or maybe it was on a little Tascam. You know, you forget
about all that stuff, you don't know who owned it, who took it, it was just one night's rehearsal but it turns up because
maybe that night was when the seed of one or two songs of note came together. So people are always finding stuff. PP: It becomes a historic record. JK: Yes it does. It really does. Photographs are kind of the same, although as I said, back in the day,
no-one really had a camera. Or it seemed a hassle. Some people turned up recently with pictures of us back in
Berlin in 1979 by the wall and all that it was emotional to see them, it was so great. PP: Back then, bands liked photographers. [Laughs] JK: That's a point.
PP: I'm going to ask you one more question. What's your opinion on Record Store Day? Are you involved? JK: Yeah, we have. Through the years. I think last year we didn't. But I think over the last four or five years
we've put out something on vinyl. Or gone down to one or two of the shop and hung out. Where would we be without the
record shops? It was our culture. PP: I love the day. It's a great day. JK: My first serious girlfriend, at the age of sixteen, she worked behind the counter of a record store. They
were the cool people. PP: I see online here, you're still looking for a Don't You (Forget About Me) UK Limited Edition uncut picture disc. JK: That might be Billy Sloan who's checking that out for me. PP: I remember when picture discs were just decorative. We'd hang them up on the wall. But they're now a serious
collectable. People play them. They sound better. JK: Can I tell you my greatest miss in terms of being a collector? And this is only four years ago. Because our name,
Simple Minds, we took it from Bowie'sThe Jean Genie. Anyway, four years ago I hear in London there's
Bowie memorabilia going up and one of the things is the handwritten lyrics to The Jean Genie, that
Bowie did on a tour bus. We were busy at the time so I called my manager. I said "Look. Make sure we get this."
And he said "Yeah." I mean you can't go wrong it was David Bowie and we had no idea of the sad state of affairs
which was about to emerge. But he FUCKING FORGOT to put in the bid. And it wasn't crazy expensive either. You know,
it wasn't cheap but it wasn't crazy expensive. And for us yes it was Bowie but particularly that song,
the relation to the band's name and all that it would've been a great thing to have. And it would've zoomed in
value since then. PP: Well, you might see it again. JK: There's always stuff. PP: Always. People are constantly selling and buying again. And so it will come back. PP: Listen, it's been a pleasure man, and I would love to interview you more about collecting and we have a
column which is very popular. It's called "Ten Albums That Changed My Life." JK: I'm always happy to enthuse. PP: We did a thing with Mike Scott and he did "Flip Sides." [Laughs] JK: I've got a book that Mike Scott gifted me and we toured together back in the day and he signed it for
me. So I've already got a bit of Mike Scott memorabilia. PP: Good to talk to you Jim and I hope to see you Stateside.
Patrick Prince and Jim Kerr, Goldmine Magazine Podcast
"The guy with the Simple Minds T-shirt on German TV is called
Elton. Guess why! He is a kind of funny presenter and seems to be a big Minds fan. He wore a
Big Music T-shirt on TV when it was new. I met him 2012 at the
Simple Minds gig in the city park in Hamburg." - Torsten.
q review, hmv signing, uncut review, goldmine podcast, classic pop, discography, record collector review
WALK BETWEEN WORLDS
BMG, OUT 2 FEBRUARY Scots power rockers' career renaissance continues.
The idea of Simple Minds unplugged seemed like a risk after decades of widescreen electronic rock,
but 2016's Acoustic had a reinvigorating effect. They've plugged in again for
their 18th studio album, sounding eerily youthful and like they're having the time of their lives.
The Signal And The Noise are so intrinsically
"Simple Minds", you half expect vocalist Jim Kerr to materialise
in the room wearing a beret and ballet slippers. At times, it teeters between nostalgia and
self-parody. "Did we think those days would last forever?" Kerr asks on
Barrowland Star, a tribute to the Glaswegian venue, but you can forgive the
odd slip-up, because the whole thing soulds so joyous. ****
Enjoying something of a late career renaissance, Simple Minds' first album of new material since
2014's Big Music is an expansive, atmospheric reboot of the muscular
melancholy of 1985's Once Upon A Time ("Sense Of Discovery,
a lovely fin de siecle electro-ballad, even reprises the vocal refrain from
Alive And Kicking). The Signal And The Noise and
In Dreams possess a familiar restless propulsion, while the epic stir of
Barrowland Star, bolstered by a fine arabesque string arrangement and a searing
guitar solo, is as strangely compelling as anything they've done over the past 35 years.
I wasn't aware that Jim and
Charlie were collecting their back catalogue - previously they'd simply
stated that everything had either been given away or "walked."
Well worth a listen - especially the anecdote about how Jim didn't purchase
Bowie's hand-written lyrics for The Jean Genie.
Simple Minds are Classic Pop's cover stars this month. The issue includes a lengthy
eight-page interview with Jim where he talks about the new album and the
history of the band. (Unfortunately it suffers a little from "1980s bias" where the band's early albums are talked about
in detail whilst everything from Street Fighting Years is barely mentioned.)
Sidebars include meeting Bowie and a short piece about Villa Angela.
The magazine also includes a full page review of the album, where it's awarded four stars, and the Classic Pop
accolade of Best New Release.
WALK BETWEEN WORLDS
"NOW OVER TO JIM, WHO PREDICTS SOME SPARKLE IN THE RAIN..." SIMPLE MINDS THROW
CAUTION TO THE WIND ON THEIR 18TH ALBUM, A WEATHER-OBSESSED AFFAIR
That Simple Minds trade in instantly familiar methodology has, at times,
left htem sounding predictable. Though 2014's
Big Music - with its great, big,
you-can't-miss-it signpost of a title - was welcomed in some quarters as a return to
form, it still felt stiff and flabby, like a once svelte, now out-of-shape athlete
recovering from their first long run after a holiday.
They've kept busy, howeve,r with 2016 devoted
to an acoustic album and related tours,
and it appears they're now approaching full fitness. In fact,
Walk Between Worlds finds them,
after 40 years in the game, in as good a form as anyone could hope.
Not that they've changed their tactics. Guitars chime hypnotically and
Jim Kerr still sings like a grown man
seeing snow for the first time, letting rip uncontainable disbelief.
On the U2-like Summer this excitment
is almost poignant, the song's forecast bellowed like news of his first-born sun -
"Here comes summer! / Here comes rain!" - before
Kerr ends up charmingly, naively
tongue-tied: "Here comes lightning! I like the way it shoots!" If his grammatically
challenged over-stretching for rhymes might seem gauche - "Here comes all those
fantasies / Taking me to my roots" - it's overshadowed by the song's strapping
melody and the revelation that finally someone might challenge fellow Scots
Travis for pop's meteorological crown.
Indeed, there's climate talk all over the album, from the pumping opener
Magic ("It breaks like a storm / This
is our kind of weather") to Kerr's
insistence - on Sense Of Discovery,
a solemn slowburner which borrows knowlingly from
Alive And Kicking, and one of hte
album's two longest tracks - that: "The rage will dissolve like the wind."
The calmly iridescent Utopia also points
at "solar storms" and "falling snow", while a heavy "freeze" bites on
In Dreams, the full-bodied positivity of
its choruses capitalising on Kerr's
glowering delivery elsewhere.
Fortunately, Simple Minds don't take the weather with them everywhere they go.
On Barrowland Star, the album's swaggering
highlight, they instead celebrate their career, allowing strigns and
Charlie Burchill's extended - and we
mean Andrex-long - guitar solo to provide the elemental sturm und drang. Like everything
on the otherwise trim, 42-minute
Walk Between Worlds, it's a familiar
as April showers, but currently it's the band's glittering early-1980s catalogue
being minded for inspection.
The outlook remains bright, therefore, albeit with occasionally drab spells.
BMG 1442 (CD/LP) Softly stepping, the bombast beaten
Having long been dismissed in some quarters as a byword for bombast, Simple Minds seemed to have made peace with
their place in the pop firmament. Their last album, 2014's acclaimed Big Music,
did exactly what it said on the tin, so it's perhaps a surprise that
Walk Between Worlds should arrive in a spectrum of more varied hues.
The opening Magic has the requisite chorus anthem but is also a touch reserved,
if that's not a contradiction in terms, and could feasibly have been lifted from a late-period Prefab Sprout collection.
Jim Kerr can't help but deliver a vocal as if calling from the top of a huge hill,
but The Signal And The Noise sees him doing so accompanied by a taut electronica
disco beat, closer to the band's early indie singles than the whoop and wail of their massive-selling
Clocking in at an economical 42 minutes, it's possibily the most concise and disciplined album of their entire career; navel-gazing
kept to a minimum and no one song outstaying its welcome for more than a few seconds. It's still undeniably cinematic and
heartfelt, but clearly the work of mature heads reflecting on excesses of their past, especially on the orchestra-led
Glasgow reminiscence Barrowland Star, where they ask "Did we think those
days would lat forever?"
Terry Staunton Record Collector Magazine
magic single, the signal and the noise, we travel, china crisis
A video was also issued on the same day to promote the single.
Three versions of the song appeared: The full length
album version appeared on Google,
and other digital retailers and was available for purchase; an exclusive edit of the
album version was used for the video; and a remixed edit was used for radio play and
The radio-friendly edit was remixed by Ash Howes.
It is expected that the limited edition 7" single released with some of the album bundles will be a physical pressing of
Magic. The B-side is
Direction Of The Heart.
Magic will be BBC Radio Two's Single Of The Week
starting on Monday 15th January.
Edittechnique have covered I Travel as an instrumental called
We Travel. It's surprisingly good - BBC Radio 6 apparently have taken notice and given it
It was physically released on a 12" under the Magick Edit Allstars moniker. Details of the now sold-out
12" single can be found here which includes a link to a brief sample of the song.
Many thanks to Thib du Trois-Deux for the info.
In the sleeve notes of China Crisis' Flaunt the Imperfection deluxe edition,
Gary Daly writes about Wall of God: "I think Eddie's guitar
melody line is a stand out moment and very much influenced by Charlie Burchill's
use of chorus and delay pedals."
Thanks to Darran Mustoe for the info.
radio premieres, photo collection
Chris Evans gets first play of Magic on his Radio 2 breakfast show
tomorrow (4th January). And Steve Lamacq will be premiering The Signal And The Noise
later in the day on his Radio 6 show.
Both will be available on the BBC's iPlayer after broadcast.
Stuart Holland has collected together a massive photo archive of the band. There's lots of shots - including some
I've never seen before.