You know that band that everybody's been waiting for - the one that will achieve
that magic fusion of the verbal visions of the Bowie/Harley/Verlaine twilight academy with
the fertile firepower of the New Wave, that early Roxy Music with a rock 'n' roll heart?
Well, here they are. They're called Simple Minds, they come from Glasgow, and they create not just
startlingly good rock music but a whole show, an event, all in their cramped corner of a crowded city pub, the Mars Bar.
There are two basic reasons why Simple Minds are such a devastating prospect, and they're called
Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill.
Highlighted by unorthodox lighting, vocalist
Kerr is an extraordinary performer. With blank made-up eyes in a
pallid face, he has the hypnotic aura of a man running on psychic energy as he dances jerkily around,
intoning his lyrics of urban unease.
You Better Watch Out - the titles speak for themselves.
Burchill alternates between Flying V and occasional violin, providing a melodic but
incisive intuitive complement to
Kerr's preoccupied lyrics.
But a two-man show this is not. The six-piece line-up creates a thrilling, enthralling aural kaleidoscope of
searing intros and instant riffs, tuneful aggression and sparing use of effects, brief bursts of disciplined
creativity and fiery rhythm work.
Revelatory execution, strong visuals, consistently good material both in busy rockers like
The Cocteau Twins or the building emotion of their
Chelsea Girl instant classic... Already the superlatives are straining at the leash!
Weak points? Indistinct vocals, a jarring lack of presence between numbers, some indifferent pacing - a few rough edges but no real flaws.
Ending as they began with their odd but effective visual motif - a translucent blue head revolving silently in the darkness atop the PA
Simple Minds drop the tempo to unveil their piece de resistance,
As the twisting, turning, eerie epic burns its way home, its hard to recall the last time I witnessed such an exciting yet thoughtful new talent.
NME, 14th October 1978