"La Ville-Lumière” as it was then called, Paris was the birthplace of the Age of Enlightenment. Famous as a centre of
education, philosophy and learning in the 18th century, no doubt its reknown tag - the "City of Light" was also
because it was one of the first cities to start using street lights during the Great Exhibition of 1889. Having street lights
meant of course that people could now do activities after dark that they could not do before, night time theatres and concert
halls followed on from that."
"When Simple Minds turned up at "Le Zenith" in Paris,
bang in the middle of August 1986, naturally we brought
plenty of our own powerful lighting with us. In keeping with the times, it was two centuries later after all, truck loads
of stageing and sound equipment also accompanied. Additionally we had also brought a mobile recording studio. As was necessary.
Having decided only some weeks earlier that Le Zenith, the multi-purpose, 6,500 capacity indoor arena was where we wanted to
record our first ever live album."
"But why Paris? After all our popularity at that time meant that we were touring non stop and in almost very corner of the
world? Even more pleasing, the audiences we played to each and every night had created a constantly overwhelmingly energetic atmosphere.
Which was precisely the vibe we wanted to set the tone for our live recording.
That said, somehow no two concerts were ever the same, and each show felt like its own unique event and with no exception."
"Nevertheless, I seem to recall that the Simple Minds audiences in certain cities seemed to go above and
beyond within their reaction. Creating an "overload noise" that I am sure I will remember for my entire life. Glasgow, Dublin, Brussels, Rotterdam, Dortmund Toronto, Lyon, Rome, Sydney, certainly did. As did so many others. All mentioned would easily have fitted the bill in guaranteeing to bring out the the best in Simple Minds live.
But Paris, well somehow it was different?"
"Only a year or so earlier we had played in Le Zenith during
our Sparkle In The Rain Tour. And for various reasons had been convinced that
we had given our best ever performance, both band and audience contributing to create - no other word for it - some kind of live "zenith".
It was truly a night where live magic hung heavy in the air, and no doubt that memory had lived on inside us. Being so it was
probably understandable that we might want to try and recreate that same kind of show once more. In doing so giving ourselves
the almost impossible task of capturing that very same magic on our live album."
"And so it was we returned to "The City of Light" more than 12 months later. Fully charged up with the task of trying to
capture the energy and fire that was always part of Simple Minds live.
And perhaps even more ambitiously, trying to recreate some rock n roll history of our own.
Because that after all is what a live recording should surely be all about?"
17th August 2017