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Life In A Day Tour

"And then we went straight into the Magazine tour, and we were already getting the Magazine soundalike tags, even though we'd got our sound before we'd even heard 'Real Life'. And we went on this tour with no LP and no single... and we got out there and really there seemed to be no pressure on us and we just went out to enjoy ourselves." - Jim Kerr.

No sooner than Life In A Day was finished, Simple Minds embarked on a series of tours, TV and radio appearances. After their first national TV exposure on The Old Grey Whistle Test, and an all-important BBC Radio One session, the band were on the road, performing at a series of warm-up gigs.

They then supported Magazine on their Secondhand Daylight Tour, the first time Simple Minds travelled extensively south of the Scottish border. After a brief break, where it appears another batch of songs were written, Simple Minds traced their footsteps again; although this time they were the headlining act.

Winding up in London in August, the band were quick to make trails for Wales, where they immediately started to record the follow-up to Life In A Day. However, there was time for a quick appearance at the Paris Theatre; and the recording and broadcast of a gig for the BBC.

Today, exactly some 42 years later, I still recall the excitement on the night of April 16, 1979, at Malvern Winter Gardens, when Simple Minds played the opening date of our first ever tour of England.

The previous year had been spent playing as many pub, club, and university gigs as we could in Scotland, as a result of that we had built up a strong reputation in our own neck of the woods. Our increasing confidence gaining additional boosts when we were given the chance to play as 'opening act' for various 'big name bands' visiting Glasgow as part of their UK tours.

Seems arrogant to say so, but despite their chart success and cover features in the UK media, it surprised us to find that so many of those already 'successful' acts could barely tune their guitars - never mind play them? In turn, cheered on by our local fans we ran riot on those occasions and making it as difficult as possible for acts to follow our own set became our aim. It still is. (But shhhh, don't tell anyone.)

In any case, increasingly full of swagger with our debut album Life In A Day recently released, we now couldn't wait to now get our chance to cross the border to see how we might fare? And that was finally about to happen as Simple Minds were announced as support to Magazine who at the time were embarking on their second nationwide tour, while also enjoying their position as 'media darlings' among most of the UK's music press.

The next months of touring went by in an almighty blur as we went all over England with a band whose records we adored. And so what, even if after weeks spent touring together, they themselves seemed to find it difficult to even muster a "hello" to us, as we hung around the venues most afternoons praying that we might get a few minutes soundcheck.

We rarely did.

Despite not much recognition from the 'main act'; the recognition that came our way from the audiences more than blew us away. Seemingly "we wormed our way to the heart of crowds" in Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Birmingham, and all of the rest throughout England. (OK! OK! I'll admit we were a bit crap in London.)

Looking back? I'm as big a fan of Magazine now as I was when Charlie and I hitch hiked though from Glasgow to Edinburgh in 1978 to see them play their debut gig in Scotland. They were spellbinding that night. To be honest though; it's not Magazine in the main that I'm thinking about today as I write this. It is those first audiences we came face to face with in England. And how great they made us feel!

16th April 2022

Magazine's tour dates were pushed as full page advertisements in the music press.

Adverts for the Chelsea Girl single featured the second leg of UK dates.

Adverts for the The final dates were advertised as these quarter page adverts. Announcements were also distributed through press releases from Zoom Records.

This tour was the first to feature Simple Minds memorabilia. 'Red Eye' badges were available during the second leg.

Pollock Halls of Residence, Edinburgh University, Edinburgh, UK
January 9th, 1979
"I saw the band play at Edinburgh University Pollock Halls of Residence sometime around Janury 9th 1979. They had been hired by one of my mates to play at his 20th birthday party. Recollections are very hazy - Chelsea Girl, another song with Charlie on violin, and White Light White Heat as an encore" - Ian

Astoria Abbeymount, Edinburgh, UK
March 28th, 1979
Main Set: ... Life In A Day ...
Support: The Cheetahs
The gig took place the day after their Old Grey Whistle Test appearance. However it wasn't a brilliant night: there was a power-cut midway through the set and Jim challenged some punks who were spitting. But it only cost 1.50 (tickets) or 1.75 (on the door). Record Mirror (7/4/79) mentioned a set featuring several new songs. (It probably featured the live debut of Life In A Day.)

Concert flyer

Ticket stub

"The evening after our TV debut, and what an alienating experience that was, (We had never previously performed in an otherwise empty room, with nothing but a couple of people sitting on chairs and a handful of bored looking camera operators as an audience for us to feed off.) it was then back to a familiar scene as we turned up in Edinburgh, where the following Record Mirror quote recalls that night pretty much true to how I also recall it."

"'The gig took place the day after their Old Grey Whistle Test appearance. However it wasn't a brilliant night: there was a power-cut midway through the set and Jim challenged some punks.'"

"Oh dear! What a downer that night was. We thought we would return to Scotland as "conquering heroes", fresh from our TV appearance etc. Instead, we were left embarrassed. A poor sound, thanks to some faulty equipment, ensured that the gig never really built in any momentum, and the frustration of that left me among other things looking for a fight. (Can you imagine the then all 8 and a half stone of me, challenging anyone? Hilarious! It is also why I no longer drink alcohol.)"

"Our pride took a huge dent that night. And the realisation that with no time to waste, we would have to become so much better, started to loom larger than ever before." - Jim, 29th March 2019

Pop Club, York, UK
March 30th, 1979

Technical College, Dumfries, UK
April 5th, 1979

Fforde Grene Hotel, Leeds, UK
April 6th, 1979

Memorial Hall, Newbridge, UK
April 8th, 1979

Grand Hotel, Dawlish, UK
April 11th, 1979

76 Club, Burton On Trent, UK
April 13th, 1979

Winter Gardens, Malvern, UK
April 16th, 1979
Supporting: Magazine

King George's Hall, Blackburn, UK
April 17th, 1979
Supporting: Magazine

Top Rank, Sheffield, UK
April 18th, 1979
Supporting: Magazine

Many thanks to Paul for the picture.

De Montfort Hall, Leicester, UK
April 19th, 1979
Main Set: ... Chelsea Girl ...
Supporting: Magazine

"Having appeared on the Old Grey Whistle Test quite recently, Simple Minds show style and panache. Their perception is discerning, composed stealthfully of a balanced power and access ability. Musically they don't have limits set by social statements, but rather produce songs to last any test of time whatever the current vogue. Jim Kerr, the articulate lyricist shines on Chelsea Girl one of the strongest compositions." Peter Escrett, NME

Clouds, Edinburgh, UK
April 20th, 1979
Supporting: Magazine

University, Aberdeen, UK
April 21st, 1979
Supporting: Magazine
There are supposedly bootlegs of this concert circulating, but the set-list is exactly the same as the later gig at the Paris Theatre on the 8th September. As Scar was probably not written yet, it's reasonable to suggest that the bootlegs are of the later concert.

St. Andrews University, Fife, UK
April 22th, 1979
Supporting: Magazine

Ticket stub

Apollo, Manchester, UK
April 23rd, 1979
Supporting: Magazine
Main Set: ... Hell / Take Me To The Angels / Life In A Day / Destiny / Chelsea Girl / Special View / Garden Of Hate / Pleasantly Disturbed / Murder Story ...
Simple Minds are often listed as playing The Hacienda on April 24th, but this venue did not exist in 1979. So it's more likely that this is the correct date and venue. Furthermore this is probably the source of the 'Rotters Club' tape; also stated to be from Manchester and the source of this set-list.

City Hall, Newcastle, UK
April 25th, 1979
Supporting: Magazine

Victoria Hall, Hanley, UK
April 26th, 1979
Supporting: Magazine

Odeon, Birmingham, UK
April 27th, 1979
Supporting: Magazine

Gaumont, Southampton, UK
April 28th, 1979
Supporting: Magazine

New Theatre, Oxford, UK
April 29th, 1979
Supporting: Magazine

Colston Hall, Bristol, UK
April 30th, 1979
Supporting: Magazine

University, Exeter, UK
May 1st, 1979
Supporting: Magazine

An early press release gives this venue as the Pavilion, Hemel Hempstead.

Drury Lane Theatre, London, UK
May 2nd, 1979
Supporting: Magazine
Someone pulled the plugs on Simple Minds. The finger was pointed at Magazine's crew. When the power was restored, Simple Minds limped through the rest of their set. But, at the end of the evening, they came away with an agency deal and a publishing contract.

There was a German promoter in the audience, wanting to book Magazine for a German tour. He offered the tour to Simple Minds instead.

"Was always going to be an emotional night for us, playing in the venue where we made our London debut supporting Magazine in May 1979. Never forget the disappointment of that night, when midway through our set, and just as we were winning the crowd over, the electrical power went down on stage, ending our set in mid flow. Inexperienced then, we walked off to the sound of silence, also a few jeers and boos. Nothing of the sort will happen tonight, as we aim to give the greatest account of ourselves. I always wondered though who did pull the plugs on Simple Minds that night? Was it the tour manager of Magazine, (a bonafide creep, I recall) as was later rumoured? Or could it have been the ghosts that haunt the building?" - Jim, 4th June 2017

Odeon, Canterbury, UK
May 3rd, 1979
Supporting: Magazine

Corn Exchange, Cambridge, UK
May 4th, 1979
Supporting: Magazine

Leeds University, Leeds, UK
May 5th, 1979
Supporting: The Human League
Supporting: Magazine

Liverpool Empire, Liverpool, UK
May 6th, 1979
Supporting: Magazine

Art School, Glasgow, UK
May 8th or 9th, 1979
"On the 8th or 9th May 1979 my mate and I went to see Roxy Music (Manifesto Tour) at the Glasgow Apollo and I'm 100% certain that after the Apollo concert we ran up Sauchiehall Street and Scott Street area to the Haldane Building, which as you probably know is part of the Art School. We also seen Simple Minds at Queen Margaret University off Byres Road around that time too, but I can't remember the exact date. I remember the other one at the Haldane Building because of the mad dash after the Roxy Music gig." - Dave Cumming

Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham, UK
May 11th, 1979

This date, listed in an early press release, was later rescheduled.

Boogie Club, Norwich, UK
May 12th, 1979

This date, listed in an early press release, was later rescheduled.

Grey Topper Club, Jacksdale (Notts), UK
May 20th, 1979

This date, listed in an early press release, was later rescheduled.

Grey Topper Club, Jacksdale (Notts), UK
May 26th, 1979

This date, listed in an early press release, was later rescheduled.

Tiffany's, Edinburgh, UK
May 21st, 1979

Ayr Pavillion, Ayr, UK
May 23rd, 1979
"We had a ball! Until yesterday the last time I played with a ball on the beach at Ayr was May 23rd 1979. Yesterday I was chasing Leila [his dog], previously I would have been chasing Derek Forbes, Charlie Burchill, Brian McGee among others, as we messed about with a ball after our soundcheck at Ayr Pavillion. At that point we would have been promoting our newly released debut album Life In A Day. Exciting times indeed. The gig went very well, you could say that both band and audience in Ayr that night had a ball. The town of Ayr has on the surface barely changed at all since then, all the better for it in my opinion. Simple Minds however seemingly rely on constant change. Sometimes those changes are forced on us, sometimes we make that decision out of a sense that we must - if we are to keep evolving? That way of thinking has probably played a huge part in helping us with our desire to continue to last as long as it has already - and with hopefully much more yet to come. It has however been said that the trick is seemingly to change - while fundamentally keeping strong ties to the original essence.I'd agree with that completely. But easier said than done. My parents first took me to Ayr when I was a toddler. It is less than one hour drive from centre of Glasgow to the coastal town. Back then we went by bus. It was then something of an annual day trip to the seaside, and the excitement of it all grew on seeing the beautiful green fields of Ayrshire as we made our way. The real excitement nevertheless was held held back until glimpsing - at last - that glorious initial sea view through the bus windows. All of that and more somehow came back to me yesterday en route, while in pursuit of some "good sea air." I also realised that although I have changed in many ways due to the experiences of my life, almost certainly the original essence remains the same. Least I think so! And the proof is that renewed desire to stay connected to Scotland - and so many of the places that meant much to me in my formative years. We had a ball in Ayr yesterday!" - Jim, 2nd July 2017

"Actually, one of the first gigs I probably did see was Simple Minds when I was in a place I was growing up called Ayr. It was a place called The Pavillion. Jim was always a great front man - he had the eye liner and the bowl haircut and he looked mysterious - and you were quite scared of him a little bit. It was theatrical - it was a theatrical thing but they had a great sound. The band were great. They had a great grove and they were modern. They were cutting edge - they were trying to do something. They were the future - if you like - not doing the same old rehashes of rock songs or whatever. They sounded futuristic and I liked that. As all music has to move on - progress." - Gordy Goudie, Tour Diary 2018

Aberdeen Music Hall, Aberdeen, UK
May 26th, 1979
Support: Splitting Headache
Support: Brigade

"I was doing research on something completely different and found the advert for the Simple Minds gig in Aberdeen in 1979. Now this was after the Magazine tour, and they headlined this gig. Slightly surprising, as the Music Hall was one of the two main venues in the city at the time, and this was just after the debut album came out, so they weren't that well known up here quite yet. You have the date of 25th May on your site, as you'll see, the gig took place the day after, and the support is mentioned too. As for that support, Splitting Headache must have been a local band, as they appear in listings for Aberdeen a fair bit around that time." - Ron Hutchison

Music Machine, London, UK
May 31st, 1979
Support: Bruce Woolley

Tickets cost 1.50 and it was the band's first date as headliners in London.

Simple Minds returned to the rechristened venue in 2013 (it is now Koko) and Jim recalled this gig. Apparently they played to 18 people - 15 of whom were on the guest list.

The Factory, The Russell Club, Manchester, UK
June 1st, 1979

Many thanks to Stuart Holland for the scan.

Barbarella's, Birmingham, UK
June 30th, 1979

Marquee, London, UK
July 3rd, 1979
Support: Joe Lung
Tickets cost 1.00.

Nottingham University, Nottingham, UK
July 4th, 1979

Lafayette, Wolverhampton, UK
July 6th, 1979

Nashville Rooms, London, UK
July 7th, 1979

Fusion, Chesterfield, UK
July 12th, 1979

Grey Topper, Jacksdale(Notts), UK
July 13th, 1979
Two days after this gig, The Pretenders played the Grey Topper. And on the same day six years later, the band played Live Aid. In the small audience, a group of lads were so inspired they formed their own band: B-Movie.

Ajanta, Derby, UK
July 19th, 1979

Norbreck Castle Hotel, Blackpool, UK
July 20th, 1979
Earlier advertising listed The Country Club, Kirklevington for this date. This was moved to August 3rd.

J.B's, Dudley, UK
July 21st, 1979

Tracy's, Gloucester, UK
July 22nd, 1979
Earlier advertising listed Newbridge Memorial Hall.

Marquee, London, UK
July 24th, 1979

Stowaway, Newport, UK
July 25th, 1979
Support: The Zones

Limit Club, Sheffield, UK
July 26th, 1979

Erics, Liverpool, UK
July 27th, 1979
'Red eye' badges were definitely sold at this gig.

"43 years ago - this very evening - Simple Minds played at Erics in Liverpool. Excited to be playing in one of the UK's then most famous venues, unfortunately it was half empty on that first night we played."

"Returning a few months later however it was utterly packed and we 'blew the roof off the place' - at least according to a review in the local paper the next day. And that pretty much is how we built up our fan base initially, also how we grew our 'live reputation' - by playing pubs, clubs, universities - and just about anywhere that would have us! I can't help but notice that our ticket price on the night was 1.60. I imagine that our fee on the night was around 75.00. Those were the days!!!!" - Jim, 27th July 2022

Grey Topper, Nottingham, UK
July 28th, 1979

Fforde Grene Hotel, Leeds, UK
July 29th, 1979
Main Set: Scar / Here Comes The Fool / Life In A Day / Destiny / Wasteland / Kaleidoscope / Calling Your Name / Chelsea Girl / Pleasantly Disturbed - Memory Of A Free Festival / Murder Story
Encore: White Light/White Heat
Encore: Someone
Encore: Pablo Picasso
Someone professionally recorded this concert. There's nothing in the Universal or band archives, but a lone 2-track ¼" reel escaped and is now owned by a collector. Despite being of much better quality than any of the bootlegs from this period, the recording is not perfect, and there are numerous drop-outs (and part of Pleasantly Disturbed is missing).

Music Machine, London, UK
July 30th, 1979
Support: London Zoo and The Park

George Square Theatre, Edinburgh, UK
August 2nd, 1979

Country Club, Kirklevington, UK
August 3rd, 1979

Rock Garden, Middlesbrough, UK
August 4th, 1979

The Marquee, London, UK
August 7th, 1979
Plus friends and Joe Lung

Paris Theatre, London, UK
August 8th, 1979
Main Set: Scar / Here Comes The Fool / Life In A Day / White Light/White Heat / Chelsea Girl / Pleasantly Disturbed - Memory Of A Free Festival
This concert was broadcast by the BBC in 1979 as part of their In Concert series. This show was heavily bootlegged until three tracks were released on Silver Box.
Silver Box

The In Concert broadcast also featured The Pretenders. At the start, the announcer namechecks Scar from their forthcoming, yet-untitled, second album. This reveals that the first song in the set was always called Scar despite the different lyrics, and that Real To Real Cacophony was yet to be named.

Ticket stub

The Lyceum, London, UK
August 12th, 1979
Supporting: Squeeze with Yachts
Tickets cost 2.50.


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