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charlie burchill
composer | guitarist | philosopher | keeper of the glow
birthday: 27th november 1959
associated with simple minds: 1977-

Charlie Burchill "Charles Burchill, known to Jim Kerr as "The Wee Man" and to all of Simple Minds as Charlie Piranha because of his habit of baring his teeth when under the influence of drink or extreme emotion, is the extrovert of the group. Charlie rarely sleeps, and when accused of looking extremely ill and pale recently declared that he was "on top of the planet, by the way", adding: " think I had too much sleep last night."

"Be that as it may, Charles is undoubtedly a guitarist of distinction. Though each member of the group has evolved a distinctive musical style, organsied to fit precisely with everybody else, songwriting generally starts with Charlie exchaning ideas with keyboards whizz Mick MacNeil. These two have developed an intricate rapport which does away with the normal roles of keyboards and guitar. Instead of one of them playing a dominant role while the other drops back in support, they've learned to weave subtle but potent webs of sound in which both play with maximum economy and minimum flash."

"I started playing the guitar when I was 14, turning 15," Charlie explains. "Me and my brother got guitars - I had an Embassy coupon guitar which was a real mess and he got a really good one. The two of us learned together. Then he stopped playing and I carried on, and he sorta encouraged me."

"Surprisingly perhaps, in view of his extraordinary capacity for both work and play, Charlie will readily admit to listening to such elderly folk as Joni Mitchell or Tom Verlaine (not to mention Chic, The Doors and Bach's Brandenburg Concertos as played by Wendy Carlos). He also possesses the enviable gift of making friends effortlessly, and often surprises complete strangers by engaging them in incredibly frank and lengthy conversations."

"The Piranha's indecent hunger for new places and enriching experiences was already evident when, as a mere 16 year old, he set off with school chum Jim Kerr to hitch-hike across Europe and back. Needless to say, he loves touring, playing live concerts and recording. At all times, he has what he would call "a wee glow."

Adam Sweeting
New Gold Tour Programme

"As widely known, the genesis of so many UK rock bands usually happened when at least a couple of the original members met at an early age. Often they were teenagers who went to the same school, college, art school, or university. Equally often they might have been members of a local youth club, or simultaneously hung out at the same record shops and cafes, before eventually gravitating closer to each other, through a shared passion for a particular style of music.

"With regards to Simple Minds. Charlie Burchill and I have been writing songs together for more than 40 years. We have however now been friends for more than 50 years, and as I often explain in interviews, I recall with perfect clarity my first meeting with Charlie back when both of us were only 8 years old.

"In November 1967, my family moved from Govanhill, Glasgow, to the newly built housing scheme in Prospecthill Circus, Toryglen. The distance was barely a couple of miles, but in so many ways we were moving to a brand new world, and probably glad to be leaving the old one behind. Govanhill, with its coal fires and outside toilets, represented the old and bleak. The dark and the damp. Toryglen alternately, with its elevators, central heating, shiny new bathrooms etc, very much brought us into the modern.

"The impact of that first day when our family first moved in, resonates still. As does the recollection of my mother advising us to get outside and play with our ball for a few hours, while the adults organised the setting up of our brand new home.

"Minutes later we were outside kicking our ball, and soon chatting to a group of boys who's families had already moved into that same street a few months earlier. One of those boys was named Charlie. He was instantly likeable and obviously already popular with everyone.

"It felt great to already have met new friends on that first day in Toryglen. And a friendship bond began between all the kids we would go on to meet over the next weeks and months as we settled into our environment, including our new school, St Brigids. As for Charlie and I. How could we have imagined that our bond was set to last a lifetime?" - Jim, 25th April 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

discography: mainstream singles
Saints And Sinners Life In A Day Chelesea Girl Changeling I Travel Celebrate The American Love Song Sweat In Bullet Promised You A Miracle Glittering Prize Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) Waterfront Speed Your Love To Me Up On The Catwalk Don't You (Forget About Me) Alive And Kicking Sanctify Yourself All The Things She Said Ghostdancing Promised You A Miracle Live single Ballad Of The Streets EP This Is Your Land Kick It In The Amsterdam EP Let There Be Love See The Lights Stand By Love Real Life Love Song/Alive And Kicking single She's A River Hypnotised Glitterball War Babies Dancing Barefoot Cry Spaceface Home Stranger Rockets Stars Will Lead The Way Broken Glass Park Blood Diamonds Live EP Honest Town Let The Day Begin Midnight Walking Don't You (Forget About Me) 2015 (Get A) Grip (On Yourself)

discography: mainstream albums
Life In A Day Real To Real Cacophony Empires And Dance Sons And Fascination Sisters Feeling Call New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) Sparkle In The Rain Once Upon A Time Live In The City Of Light Street Fighting Years Real Life Good News From The Next World Neapolis Our Secrets Are The Same Neon Lights Cry Black And White Graffiti Soul 5x5 Live Big Music Celebrate - Live At The SSE Hydro Limited Edition 2XLP Live Big Music Tour 2015

videography: mainstream videos and dvds
Verona Celebrate: Live At The SSE Hydro Glasgow

family tree
Johnny And The Self Abusers
Simple Minds #1
Simple Minds #2
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Simple Minds ElectroSet #1

live appearances
Johnny And The Self Abusers 1977
Scotland 1978
Life In A Day Tour 1979
Real To Real Cacophony Tour 1979
Empires And Dance Tour 1980
Empires And Dance Tour 1980
Sons And Fascination Tour 1981
Sons And Fascination Tour 1982
New Gold Tour 1982
Tour Du Monde 1983
Barrowlands 1985
Live Aid 1985
Once Upon A Time Tour 1985
Cash For Kids 1987
Brazil 1988
Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute 1988
Artists Against Apartheid Rally 1988
Street Fighting Years Tour 1989
Nelson Mandela Freedom Concert 1990
Germany 1990
Real Life Tour 1991
US Christmas Shows 1994
Good News From The Next World Tour 1995
Festival Tour 1997
Night Of The Proms 1997
Neapolis Tour 1998
Scotland Rocks For Kosovo 1999
Grand Prix Night Of The Proms 2001
The Floating World Tour 2002
Night Of The Proms 2002
Alive And Kicking Tour 2003
Festival Tour 2004
Intimate Tour 2005
Black And White Tour 2006
Australian Tour 2007
Lisbon Lions 2007
Night Of The Proms Spring 2008
46664 Concert Honouring Nelson Mandela At 90 2008
Night Of The Proms Winter 2008
Celebrate 30 Years Live Tour 2008
30 Years Live European Tour 2009
Graffiti Soul Tour 2009
Australian Tour 2010
Festival Show Tour 2010
Final Shows 2010
Night Of The Proms 2011
Greatest Hits Forest Tour 2011
Australia 2011
5X5 2012
Festival Shows 2012
Australia 2012
A Concert In The Gardens 2012
Electroset 2013
Greatest Hits + 2013
Summer Tour 2013
Americas 2013
South Africa / Europe 2013
Electroset Germany 2013
Stonehaven Hogmanay Festival 2013
Greatest Hits + European Tour 2014
Greatest Hits + Summer Tour 2014
Big Music Tour 2015
Big Music Summer Tour 2015
Big Music Winter Tour 2015
Big Music Western Asia 2016
Night Of The Proms 2016
Travelling Light 2016
Night Of The Proms 2016
Australia - New Zealand 2017
Acoustic Live 2017
Walk Between Worlds 2018
Walk Between Worlds Summer Tour 2018
Walk Between Worlds Grandslam Tour: 2018
Walk Between Worlds North And South American Tour 2018
Walk Between Worlds Australian Tour 2018
40 Years Of Hits Tour 2020

Lostboy! AKA Promo Tour 2010 (Joined the band for one appearance in Amsterdam)