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Empires And Dance Tour 1981

After just signing a deal with Virgin, Bruce talked the label into financing a mini-tour of the USA and Canada before starting work on their first Virgin album. The thinking was sound: seeds had already been sown in Europe, where the band were starting to outgrow their cult status, so it was time to do the same in North America. Surprisingly the label agreed.

Of course, celebratory gigs in Glasgow and Paris were a must.

Sitting around for two months waiting for Arista to release them had allowed the band some breathing space. New songs such as Sweat In Bullet, Careful In Career and Love Song had been written, and they were tried out for the first time on stage.

Traveling the USA gave Jim inspiration for the lyrics of what would become Sons And Fascination: "It was an interesting period in America when we were there: the hostages had just returned from Iran and Reagan had just been elected"

Paul Kerr, Jim's younger brother joined them on the tour for the first time as a roadie. Jim was wary of giving him a full-time job, worried about charges of nepotism. But Paul always pulled his own weight and the band and crew were impressed.

However, all was not well. Despairing at being away from home, and fighting nervous exhaustion, Brian's worsening condition caused the tour to be cut short, and the band returned to the studio.

Tiffany's, Glasgow, UK
March 1st, 1981
Main Set: Capital City / Factory / Calling Your Name / Careful In Career / Premonition / Thirty Frames A Second / Celebrate / Sweat In Bullet / Today I Died Again / I Travel / Love Song / Changeling / Life In A Day / Celebrate / White Light/White Heat

The Venue, London, UK
March 3rd, 1981
Simon Draper, one of the key persons in the early Virgin Records, saw the band at this gig. This eventually lead to the band being signed to the label.

Studio Gabriel, Paris, France
March 13th, 1981

Le Club Montreal, Montreal, Canada
March 16th, 1981
Support: 222

Beacon Arms Hotel, Ottawa, Canada
March 17th, 1981
Support: The Restless Virgins
6 dollars on the door, or 5 dollars if you booked in advance. If the Beacon Arms Hotel sounds small, the band were actually playing the Fyfe & Drum Room inside.

Many thanks to Brad for the poster scan.

The Edge Club, Toronto, Canada
March 18th, 1981
Main Set: Celebrate / Changeling / Premonition / Thirty Frames A Second / Sweat In Bullet / Capital City / Calling Your Name / Factory / I Travel

Tuts Discotheque, Toronto, Canada
March 21st, 1981

Royal Oak Theatre, Detroit, USA
March 23rd, 1981
Main Set: Capital City / Calling Your Name / Factory / Changeling / Premonition / Thirty Frames A Second / Sweat In Bullet / Celebrate / I Travel

Ritz, New York, USA
March 27th, 1981
Main Set: Capital City / Changeling / Factory / Premonition / Thirty Frames A Second / Sweat In Bullet / Celebrate / I Travel / Love Song

This was Steve Pollard's first gig with the band.


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