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australia - new zealand 2017

"It's been said Simple Minds has a love affair with Australia and I think that's true. It was the first country anywhere in the world to give us success and from our very first tours, weíve always had a wonderful bond with Australian and New Zealand audiences. We have so many fantastic memories and canít wait to be playing in both countries again." - Jim, August 2016

"Starting to now think about the upcoming tour of Australia and New Zealand, and with that really looking forward to seeing the B-52's who we proudly share the bill with. Last time out in that part of the world we toured with the brilliant Devo, and being a fan, I think I watched their set every night. Lucky me. Likewise I am sure to do the same with B-52's, who's music coincidentally, I remember listening to very much during out first ever trip to OZ back in '81. A local fellow called George Golfi, became one of our best friends, he was a massive fan of the group from Athens, Georgia, and we became fans likewise. Talking of friends and coincidences, another reason we are looking forward to playing with them is that it will give us a chance to reconnect with sound engineer Frank Gallagher. Frank (born in Bannock, Falkirk) was our engineer for a few years during the early '80's, and his "take no prisoner" attitude to performing live, shaped a lot of our attitude then and continues to do so to this day. So... thinking about all of this... and the great audiences that are a feature of touring in Australia and New Zealand means I can't wait! See you there!" - Jim, 28th September 2016

Both bands played a full set with the The B-52's performing first followed by Simple Minds.

"I know we are in Australia, because I could smell the eucalyptus as soon as we stepped out of the airport last night. Wonderful that was! But other than that, and given that it has pissed down for the last 12 hours. I'd have to say that it looks/ feel more like Perth, Scotland outside. No problem really, after all we are busy preparing for the first - full band gig - since last January in Dubai. And so today's dank weather makes little difference - when you are locked in a rehearsal room. (No skipping off for lunch in pretty Freemantle this time, sadly.) Everybody is naturally feeling a little tired today - after the long journey. But it all sounded perfectly fresh and powerful to my ears at least. Two more run through's tomorrow, and then same again on Wednesday, will sort out any rustiness and I'm sure we will be more than up to speed for the first gig of the tour. And as for the rain, well Simple Minds are more than used to that - are we not?" - Jim, 30th January 2017.

"Rehearsals are sounding good. As usual I take some notes as we are running through the songs, some things to guide and remind me of the various arrangements. I don't need to write a particular instruction, just use an image that comes into my head as the music is playing. That image - no matter how abstract - is enough to remind me. It is kind of "shorthand" I suppose. Looking at today's notes I see some of the the following images that I attached to various songs. Dont expect it to make sense anybody, but it does to me. Ot at least I think it does?" - Jim, 31st January 2017.

Blindfolded - 10 Of Diamonds
See The Lights - Elvis
Waterfront - Northern Lights
Big Music - Sly Stone
Love Song - Hell Fire Club
Let It All Come Down - Dream With A Dream/Edgar Allan Poe

"On really special nights we often say to each other "Wow! Surely that was one of the greatest gigs?" But never "Wow! That was one of the greatest rehearsals?" Sometimes creative, rehearsals are more often a bit of a chore. An exercise that needs to be done thoroughly, particularly if you have not played together for over 12 months - as is the case with Simple Minds currently. There is always the exception though, and throughout these last days in Perth we have had some of our best ever rehearsals. It's been intense, with lots of energy flying around the room. Mel Gaynor, particularly in the greatest form. I reckon we are more than ready for tomorrow night." - Jim, 1st February 2017.

A Day On The Green, Kings Park & Botanic Garden, Perth, Australia
2nd February, 2017
With: The B-52s

"First show of the tour, first show as a full - on live band - in 12 months. It would be an understatement to say that we are raring to go! Simple Minds are going at 8:30pm - temperature at 8:30pm last night was just perfect, so hopefully the same for this evening. I'm going along earlier that usual as I want to see some of the wonderful B-52's set. Once again, huge thanks to everyone who is coming to see the show, thanks for making us feel so welcome." - Jim, 2nd Feb 2017.

"We enjoyed ourselves so much. Felt great to be back playing together after a 12 month gap. We had the perfect welcome from a perfect audience, giving us their energy, it was a boost for us. Course it will get better as we go along, Simple Minds always want to get better. But there was something in the air in Kings Park last night, it definitely felt a wee bit special in that beautiful place. Thanks to everyone of you for making us feel so good. Special mention to those standing on my left hand side, you were a particularly great bunch to perform to. See you next time hopefully!" - Jim, 2nd February 2017.

A Day On The Green, Rochford Wines, Yarra Valley, Australia
4th February, 2017
With: The B-52s
Main Set: Waterfront / Love Song / Blindfolded / Book Of Brilliant Things / Someone Somewhere In Summertime / Hunter And The Hunted / Real Life / Once Upon A Time - All The Things She Said / See The Lights / Promised You A Miracle - Glittering Prize / Don't You (Forget About Me) / Let It All Come Down / Sanctify Yourself
Encore: Big Music / Alive And Kicking / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)

"Great memories from last time, beautiful countryside and a red hot gig. We will be looking to make it even better this time. Thanks to all who are coming to listen to our big music. See you later tonight... after the wonderful B-52's." - Jim, 3rd Feb 2017.

"A lot of of energy came our way from the audience in Yarra Valley. We enjoyed it very much last time - 5 years ago. But tonight we "felt it" so much more. Beautiful evening, among some pretty countryside. It feels great to be touring in Australia - an energising experience. Thanks to all for coming to see the show, we appreciate it. Next up, heading towards Adelaide, expect us to give 100%." - Jim, 4th February 2017.

Many thanks to Otto for the set-list.

A Day On The Green, Leconfield Wines, McLaren Vale, Australia
5th February, 2017
With: The B-52s

"Well yes, it was a wee bit wet, and it got more than slippy on stage - but we have played in much worse. The star of the show? No doubt about it, the audience who came to see us were the real stars - especially for hanging in with us - despite the conditions. The enthusiasm for the music certainly was not dampened - as symbolised by this post below from Darryn MacNamara: "It was a perfect night and for me the rain just evaporated above the hot set and the hot crowd! (I'm sure my wet clothes when I got home were just my imagination." Thanks again to all for coming to the show. Until next time!" - Jim, 5th February 2017.

Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne, Australia
7th February, 2017
With: The B-52s

"Sparkle In The Rain: Released 33 years ago this very day - and very aptly titled. Why so? Because it is the height of summer in Australia and yet today it is p*ssing in Sydney. Poured down on all of us in Adelaide. Bucketed for two days while we were in Perth last week. And the famous Melbourne skies were "gun metal grey" when we arrived yesterday. Got a drought in your country? Get Simple Minds to tour. We'll probably sort it out for you! The family were laughing when they saw me pack two raincoats to tour Australia - during what prior had been crazy hot weather. I should have packed wellingtons also? That said, the sun is out now and we are looking forward to doing a sparkling set later on tonight! See you there." - Jim, 7th February 2017.

"Added emotion in Melbourne last night. Such is the case when, on top of having a great audience in front, you also catch up with old friends backstage before you go on. Ross Stapleton, Frank Gallagher and Molly Meldrum did heaps for our band back in the days before the rest of the world was paying attention. Their belief in us, made us believe more. Hopefully that belief is still apparent during our live shows - we are enjoying this tour of Australia immensely. Was great to see all of them last night, was a pleasure to play for you all. Thanks to all in Melbourne for coming to see us." - Jim, 7th February 2017.

Hordern Pavilion, Sydney, Australia
9th February, 2017
With: The B-52s

"Can't believe that we are already on to our last few Australian gigs. I know we will miss it when it's over, meanwhile intending to enjoy every minute of the next few dates. What can we say about the B-52's? I recall listening to them endlessly on my "Sony Walkman" back in '81, during our first ever tour of these shores. All these years later and it is a blast to share the bill with them at these events. And they sound so good every single night. Definitely a great band, and what joy in those remarkable voices. If you are coming to see Simple Minds at the Hordern Pavillion, do make sure you get there early as you surely don't want to miss any of the B-52's" - Jim, 8th February 2017

"Was a bit of a wild night. Red hot I'd say. Sweaty too - and not just us. Truly it reminded us of so many fantastic gigs that we have had through the years in this wonderful city. Another to add to the memory bank no doubt. Thanks for making us feel so good!" - Jim, 9th February 2017

A Day On The Green, Bimbadgen, Hunter Valley, Australia
11th February, 2017
With: The B-52s
Main Set: Waterfront / Love Song / Blindfolded / Book Of Brilliant Things / Someone Somewhere In Summertime / Hunter And The Hunted / Real Life / Once Upon A Time - All The Things She Said / See The Lights / Promised You A Miracle - Glittering Prize / Don't You (Forget About Me) / Sanctify Yourself
Encore: Big Music / Alive And Kicking / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)

"'Heat records smashed as Sydney temperatures hit 47°C, desperate residents flock to the beach and firefighters battling 53 blazes across New South Wales raise bushfire warnings to CATASTROPHIC level' scream the local headlines! And all true enough and with record breaking temperatures all round, that means it was considered dangerous enough for the authorities to cancel major outdoor sporting events etc. Nevertheless the show at Hunter Valley goes ahead, and with plenty of people there waiting for the B-52's and Simple Minds, of course it is relevant to ask how we will cope performing in that condition? Well, two things are going through my mind. Firstly, I am glad that the show is going ahead and disappointment is avoided. Anyway, can you imagine us going home and telling people that we had to cancel playing a gig to thousands of people - because... er... "It was too sunny outside." Jeez... that would be a first! The other thing I am thinking is that we will cope with it, because we always cope, no matter? After all, as dramatic and serious as some of the warnings have been. Let's remember that we are going on stage to play music for an hour and a half. And it is not like we are doing eight hour shifts, day in day out, year in and year out, at the furnace of a steel mill. Like so many from the communities around us did when we were growing up in Scotland. Now those people could really tell you about HEAT. Looking forward to seeing you all in a couple of hours. Thanks so much for coming and enduring! Huge thanks also to our crew and all associated with the event, it cannot have been fun spending an entire day out there at the site. Well done all of you!" - Jim, 11th February 2017

"We loved every minute. Great venue, beautiful moonlight, and an audience of brave souls putting up with today's heatwave etc. Thanks to all of you for listening to our music - and making us feel so good. An Apology: When I was larking about I said a couple of things - off the cuff - using one or two expletives. I then noticed a few young kids in the audience. I feel bad about that. Really sorry. Classier behaviour in future." - Jim, 11th February 2017

Many thanks to Otto for the set-list.

A Day On The Green, Sirromet Wines, Mount Cotton, Australia
12th February, 2017
With: The B-52s

"So many wonderful memories of past gigs in Brisbane through the decades. Hellbent on making tonight's also one to remember. Then again, that is our attitude with every single gig we play. Our audience deserves it. See you all later...hope you enjoy!" - Jim, 12th February 2017

Vector Arena, Auckland, New Zealand
14th February, 2017
With: The B-52s

"Who knows what part St Valentine played, but it felt that a wall of love was coming our way tonight in Auckland? A truly great audience made us feel like we were playing in front of a home crowd? Christchurch, we are on our way tomorrow! Looking forward to Thursday night's gig - little sad that it will be the last of this fantastic tour." - Jim, 14th February 2017

Horncastle Arena, Christchurch, New Zealand
16th February, 2017
With: The B-52s

The B-52's celebrated their 40th anniversary and so Simple Minds performed their full set first (at 7:30PM) with The B-52's following. Fred Schneider marked the occasion by stating: "From Athens to Auckland, 40 years and the party ainít stopping!".

"Bringing our music to Auckland always feels special. More so this time when we join the B-52's as they themselves celebrate their own special anniversary. We very much look forward to playing our part in what is set to a very memorable evening for fans of both bands, and fans of great live music in general." - Jim, 24th January 2017.

"Last show of the tour and that means last show with the fabulous B-52's, who just celebrated 40 years of playing live. I enjoyed listening to their story as told by singer Kate Pierson. Had me thinking how all bands have their individual stories with some common themes. Possibly including their beginnings, struggles, fortunate successes, break-ups and disappointments, loss of faith and form, and then hopefully... refound inspirations. In someways all of that often mirrors life itself, at least so in my experience. But you certainly don't have to be in a band to experience these things. Almost everybody has experienced something similar within those themes, within their own stories. Nevertheless 40 years after I first heard B-52's music, which made me smile instantly, there I was still smiling as they performed "Planet Claire." I was not the only one, 8,000 others were doing the same. Decades of going on stage and entertaining people nightly is really something of an achievement. It has been both fun and an honour to be around the B-52's. Long may we all continue." - Jim, 16th February 2017.

"And with the last show in Christchurch now over, it is time to move on to the next adventure. We loved every minute of every gig, including of course the warmth of the audiences and the music we heard. The B-52's were really a blast. Above all it was wonderful to be in two countries that we are very attached to. Australia and New Zealand have played a big part in our career, something we will never forget. So from all of us to all of you, thanks from the heart. We will be back and we won't wait too long to do so. A promise." - Jim, 16th February 2017.

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