31st december 2009
new year, rage, discography updates, lostboy! aka
I was going to write something long and insightful about Simple Minds over the last decade. But I was too
busy to compose something... which I think succinctly sums up the previous ten years following the band.
It's never really stopped, so roll on the next decade!
I'm definitely up for it.
For those in Australia... on Saturday, ABC's show Rage are plundering their archive and playing many
old and not-so-old videos on their Countdown segment.
So, if you're still up in the early hours, then you'll see the following:
Sweat In Bullet
Don't You (Forget About Me)
She's A River
See ABC's website for the red-eye times. (It kicks off at 3:00AM so you'll
have to be dedicated!)
Here are some extra San Sebastian pictures from the gig of the 19th November. Many thanks to Alberto for them:
Concert Online launch Simple Minds "Gold Edition" USB Tour Stick
Following Simple Minds recent 'Graffiti Soul' European tour,
Concert Online is pleased to announce the release of the Simple Minds "Gold Edition" USB tour stick.
With 8GB of storage space, the "Gold Edition" USB stick will contain each of Simple Minds'
UK and Irish concerts in their entirety, plus addition tracks recorded during soundchecks, and exclusive backstage
video footage of the band at their recent concert in Basel, Switzerland. The gold USB stick, which comes packaged
in a stylish collector's box, will have a strictly limited print run of 222 copies, with a retail selling price of £99.
Effectively, fans will be able to purchase a single memory stick containing Simple Minds' entire UK and
Irish 'Graffiti Soul' tour, and what's more, every concert will feature a different selection of Simple Minds
songs. No two concerts have the same set list.
The "Gold Edition" USB tour stick will include concerts recorded in the following cities: Newcastle, Birmingham,
Manchester, London, Sheffield, Cardiff, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Belfast and Dublin - over 20 hours of audio performances.
"The Gold Edition USB stick is perfect for those fans who couldn't attend the concerts" says Concert Online founder
Gerrit Schumann, "and no matter where they are based in the world, they can go to Concert-Online.com and
either order the Gold Edition USB concert stick or download the MP3s to any or all of the concerts."
It is fair to say that it has been hard to convince my 17 year old daughter over the years of the
greatness of Simple Minds. Indeed many times she has said to me "Oh Dad, not Simple Minds again."
I lived in hope that one day the light would go on and I would get through to her if only she would actually listen
to them rather than dismissing them as just Don't You (Forget About Me) and
Alive And Kicking, or Dad's music!
Well glory be! When Rockets came out just prior to
Grafitti Soul I had it playing on the computer one day as
she came in. "What's that?" she said to which I responded "Why?" expecting the usual dismissive response.
To my amazement she said "Because it's good". A point I put to Jim on Twitter.
His response: "Thanks for the brainwashing, wish I could get mine to listen."
Then when Grafitti Soul came out I convinced her to give it a listen. She fell in love
with Stars and reluctantly said she liked the whole album. I then got her to agree to
come to a concert with me so I booked Cardiff. She was very impressed and thought that Jim
and the boys were "cool". She spent nearly all the night on her feet dancing away. Afterwards I asked her if she would go again.
"Yes, definitely" she replied. So mission accomplished, a new young Simple Minds fan.
Personally I thought the Cardiff gig was excellent with highlights definitely being the new stuff and the older
songs we don't get to hear live too often, like Sons and Fascination,
Once Upon A Time and
Real Life. I absolutely loved the new working of
In Trance a Mission. The boys were on great form and at the
end you got the impression they would have stayed on longer if time permitted. Thanks guys for a great night
which kept us singing all the way back to North Devon.
12th december 2009
dublin set-list, metro birmingham #1, belfast set-list, metro birmingham #2, belfast pictures, birmingham mail #1, wembley review, birmingham mail #2, aberdeen press and journal
Thanks to Jon for the following pictures from Belfast:
Simple Minds/O.M.D. - Wembley Arena 7th December 2009
Andy McCluskey came on stage and promised the large crowd "If you haven't seen us before
don't worry we will be brilliant", the O.M.D. front man made this bold statement and launched into
their set with Messages. The Wembley crowd were soon on their feet enjoying the sound of one of the most
famous electric based bands of the 80's and 90's, who treat the crowd to an hour of a set that included mostly
hits such as Electricity, Joan of Arc and Talking Loud and Clear to
the delight of the audience. Andy danced his way across the large Wembley stage like a Dad at a
wedding, obviously really enjoying being in front of such a large crowd. The sound was absolutely perfect,
maybe it was the lack of loud guitars, to get the sound right in this old shed is not easy all, so to
many congratulations should go to the bands soundman for getting everything just right. The band ended with the
classic Enola Gay which saw the Wembley crowd singing enthusiastically along, the band left the
stage with massive applause which could have easily got them an encore, however the roadies came on stage to
prepare for the main event.
Just over a year ago Simple Minds played at Wembley Arena in November as part of their 30th Anniversary shows,
this year has seen them release a new album called Graffiti Soul
and take them on a Worldwide tour to promote it. The band take to the stage at around 9pm and the welcome they get is
awesome with everybody getting to their feet cheering right from the start, the set is full of surprises as well
as the hits that you would expect the band to play, some obscure tracks from the early part of their career including
Son and Fascination,
In Trance As Mission and
Someone Up There Likes You which has some of the die hard
fans in their absolute element. In the 80's Simple Minds has a girl singer called
Robin Clark who gave
Jim Kerr some brilliant back up vocals on some of the tracks from the
Once Upon a Time album, this year see the inclusion of a new girl
singer called Sarah Brown who by tonight's performance shows she has an
outstanding voice and along with Jim produce a great vocal combination on
a several tracks including a great medley based around the track
Once Upon a Time. After nearly an hour and a half the band leave
the stage to thundering applause ringing around the arena only to return five minutes later with
O.M.D. to perform a brilliant version of Kraftwerk'sNeon Lights. The evening ended with an extended version of
Ghost-Dancing which included some great audience participation with them
singing along to Van Morrison'sGloria which was cleverly inserted into the song by the band to great effect.
The band leave the stage to more loud applause and the house lights go up, the PA. system starts playing
A Brim Full of Asha by Cornershop which sees
Jim Kerr still onstage trying to thank everybody in the audience, he then like
Andy Mcluskey before him starts Dad dancing on the stage to the music on his own long after the rest of
the band has left the stage for the dressing room, this is hilarious to watch, but so great to know that he still enjoys
performing after all these years.
The Aberdeen Press And Journal published this article on the 10th December (click on the thumbnail for a
larger version). The same article is also available online.
I've followed Simple Minds for over 30 years now and have to say what a performance by
the band.To be truthful you'd think after 30 years on the road any band would start to tone things down
a bit and start to take thing easy, but not Simple Minds. To open the show with such an
upbeat song like Sanctify Yourself was truly amazing
and a great way to get the fans heated up and on their feet. The set list continued to impress with
Real Life and, of course, the rarely heard
Sons and Fascination and
In Trance As Mission.
Jim Kerr was also in great form having a joke with the crowd about the
Celtic Manager coming from this part of the country. And then Jim asking them if they
"wanted him back".
The set list was well put together with most songs begin very upbeat keeping the fans rocking
from start to finish only having a short rest while they performed Neon Lights with
OMD. Altogether this has to go done as one of the greatest Simple Minds gigs I've attended.
Even when the show was over Jim didn't want to leave, as he stayed on the stage dancing
away to Corner Shop's A Brimful Of Asha.
And thanks again to Jon for these pictures from Manchester:
6th december 2009
encores and soundchecks, south wales echo
It appears that the two bonus Birmingham tracks (Kiss And Fly and
Rockin' In The Free World) are only available for the USB and MP3 sticks. (It looks like
Concert-Online have only added these songs to the "download updates" for this concert, whilst the plain download doesn't
This is the South Wales Echo from the 27th November promoting tonight's gig. Click on the thumbnail for the
5th december 2009
encores and soundchecks, birmingham nec, celebrate 12", birmingham nec, mike ogletree competition
The Birmingham NEC recording also features two bonus tracks recorded during the soundcheck: Kiss And Fly
(which hasn't been publically performed yet) and Rockin' In The Free World. These aren't listed
on the Concert-Online site. If other bonus material
is available on the other downloads/sticks then please let me know so I can update this site and make it as accurate and complete as possible.
It also means that Blood Type O is the only main track from the album not to appear in a
live guise yet.
All the song pages have been crossreferenced back to the downloads and the USB sticks. For example, if you look at the Kiss And Fly page
you'll see it's only currently available in the Birmingham recording.
Moscow Underground has been performed at every gig and is represented by an icon for each gig: hover
your mouse over the icon and it'll show the concert date and track length.
The Concert-Online material is mixed at the sound-desk.
Therefore the quality is excellent and isn't dependent on the acoustics of the venue or any technical problems with the PA system. To sample the
quality then check-out the free download from the Sheffield Star (see the news of the 3rd December).
I'm 27 years old so a fairly young fan, I first saw Simple Minds in 2002 at the Birmingham NEC as part of the
Floating World Tour, which was the first world tour the
band had completed for seven years at that time and off the band of the
Cry album this seemed the start of the bands creative re-surgence in
my view. That concert was fantastic and I'm just so disappointed that I hadn't got a ticket for a
Simple Minds gig since then until the recent UK Tour was announced. I decided that I had
to get tickets for this tour and again i got two for the NEC on 02/12/09. I travelled from Coventry with my brother
(this was his Christmas present) and we enjoyed the great atmosphere that was building up in the LG Arena by sinking a
few pints and buying some rather cool looking Simple Minds T-shirts and the tour programme. I spoke to
many fans before the gig kicked off and everyone was so friendly it was all coming together to be a really special evening of music.
We got our seats in the stands at the side of the stage and watched OMD put in a brilliant supporting performance,
if I closed my eyes it was almost like listening to the best of OMD (the black album!) which I often do at home.
When Simple Minds came on I was so exited, this had been seven years too long for me! I can honestly say I think I
sang every lyric to every song with Jim Kerr that evening, and it was
such a buzz to do so. My highlights were Stars Will Lead the Way,
Someone Somewhere (In Summertime),
Don't You (Forget About Me),
Rockets and of course
Alive And Kicking. But everything sounded great to me. What a concert,
two brilliant bands, great atmosphere, brilliant music. I don't think I could have enjoyed this concert anymore than I did!
Well only if they had carried on playing for another two hours! My brother also loved the gig.
We left to get the train home from Birmingham International and Simple Minds fans were on both sides of the
platform, we began singing the "ba da da da's" from Alive And Kicking and the
"La la la la's" from Don't You (Forget About Me) back and forth over the
platform it was hilarious and we soon had most of the people on the train platform who didn't even go to the gig joining in
the mass singalong! I was gutted that my evening had come to an end but so glad I had witnessed one of the best night's
entertainment i have had in my life. I don't ever really feel the need to write letters of thanks to bands telling
them how great they are but after that gig I just felt I had to show my appreciation to Simple Minds
for that evening. I wish I could tell them in person and shake hands with these guys for the inspirational music
however I'll settle for a passed on message but I don't know of anywhere fans can leave messages for them.
Hence why this was the next port of call and as I believe you attended the same gig I thought I would share my evening with you.
If you do know any way to past this message onto the band please do so on my behalf. Thanks again for the brilliant info
you provide on your website, I am a daily visitor! All the best to you, I just wish I had tickets for the London date!!!!!!
Here's a poser for the hardcore collectors out there. I was recently sent pictures of a white sleeve
Celebrate 12"; this features a cropped title sticker and a strange
Simple Minds logo on the back. The record is the standard blue-label 12".
I believe a fan's put this together by sticking the sticker on a white sleeve and stenciling Simple Minds
on the back. But it'll be interesting to know if anyone else has this version and if it is a legitimate Arista
Please get in touch if you know.
Really enjoyed the piece written by you in the tour programe, it took me back to when I first got into the band,
a school mate had lent me New Gold Dream and the following day I walked
from school into Leamigton to buy the album, but the only album they had in there at the time was
Real to Real Cacophony which was a bit of a shock at the time, but I
am pretty sure the next album I got was Sons and Fascination
from Bonel and Curtis in Warwick who were a TV and hi-fi shop with a record section the size of a broom cupboard.
I have counted up I have bought that album four times now, cassette (like you), record, CD and then again when it was
remastered so I must really like it! Great to see so many songs from that period played at Birmingham the other night along
with Street Fighting Years, I have only to gripes from that night had
to miss Rockets and
Ghostdancing so I didn't miss the train and they didnt play as many tracks
off the new album as they have done on the earlier dates on the tour, it's a small gripe though I thought the gig was great
and OMD playing too made it a real good value ticket. Andy Mcluskey is very funny and a really
good frontman. I really hope the new album due for release next year is a return to form as well.
Congratulations to Massimo from Italy who's won the signed Kilmarnock Edition by
Mike Ogletree. The correct answer ("Who was the drummer in Simple Minds before Mike")
was Kenny Hyslop.
4th december 2009
birmingham nec, mp3 players, remixes, manchester men
My first Simple Minds gig was the Birmingham NEC, 24th January 1986, part of the Once Upon A Time tour.
The band were: Jim,
John. I was just a naive wide-eyed teenager. I left the venue thinking it
couldn’t get much better than this.
It was the same venue last night but very different. The band were:
The net was cast wide over the catalogue yielding many forgotten classics,
In Trance As Mission was sublime in its new guise,
hypnotic Sarah Brown took centre stage and filled the highs,
OMD were great, I caught up with many old friends around the arena and took a sonic memento
of the evening home on a stick.
In the two hours of darkness after the lights went down, I became that teenager again. I left the venue thinking
it was much, much better than before. Cheers Simple Minds.
In addition to the downloads and USB sticks, you can also purchase a dedicated MP3 player of each gig.
This is a 2GB MP3 player (complete with a Simple Minds sticker) with a USB connection
(so you can plug it into your computer to download the encores and extras).
They're packaged in a glossy large box and retail at £30.
The Newcastle Chronicle published an interview with Jim in the run-up to the gig.
You can now read it here (click on the thumbnail for a larger picture).
Simple Minds are featured in the January 2010 edition of Uncut Magazine. The two page spread features many archival
shots of the band through the years with Jim offering his thoughts about them and the band's state of
mind at the time. It's very honest and amusing. So if you want to discover about the notorious toothpaste incident or the time the band all
"lost it and bought hats" then it's well worth tracking down.
30th november 2009
hamburg gig, discography, brussels gig, sunday mail
US promos have already started to circulate. The first to appear was a US Promo of the album but
it's the US Promo of Rockets which has caused a real stir amongst collectors: this four track promo
includes the two remixes of Rockets (which have only been available as downloads previously).
More remixes from JohnnyBGood remixer extraordinaire. To get your hands on these mixes first, check out
Johnny's website first.
As Jim's voice was poor, the concert was not recorded.
Unfortunately, Belgrade, Banja Luka, Split, Basel, and Barcelona will not be recorded
We are very sorry to tell you that the shows mentioned above cannot be recorded due to different circumstances:
Belgrade, Banja Luka, and Split: For health reasons Jim Kerr's
voice is not 100% and thus would not reach the expected Simple Minds quality standard. It was therefore
decided not to record these shows.
Barcelona: Might sound funny but the Razzmatazz - the club the Simple Minds are to perform in - and its sourroundings
are too small for the Concert Online recording mobile.
Basel: Simple Minds will perform within the AVO Session programme. As this will be aired by the Swiss TV exclusively
we are not allowed to record this show.
Remember The Eighties are running a competition to win tickets to
see and meet Simple Minds during the UK leg of the tour. The lucky winner will receive two tickets, meet the band and get a signed copy of
Expect a 2 hour show with all the hits and a few surprises, including some fan rarities that the band have not played for a long time.
They then move on to perform at the 3,000 capacity Centre Stage at Butlins, Minehead. This gig is already sold out.
28th November 2009 - Centre Stage, Butlins, Minehead, UK
Also just confirmed for 2010 are some further 'Butlins 80's Adult Big Weekend' arena dates. These are great events
featuring original 80's icons for grown ups 'that should know better'! Highly recomended.
28th November 2010 - Butlins, Bognor Regis, UK
21st November 2010 - Butlins, Bognor Regis, UK
9th October 2010 - Butlins, Skegness, UK
8th October 2010 - Butlins, Bognor Regis, UK
1st October 2010 - Butlins, Minehead, UK
22nd May 2010 - Butlins, Minehead, UK
27th February 2010 - Butlins, Minehead, UK
26th February 2010 - Butlins, Skegness, UK
6th February 2010 - Butlins, Bognor Regis, UK
"It's been a fabulous year," commented frontman Steve. "We've travelled far and wide and had some amazing experiences.
We're very excited about the future."
More tour dates are expected to be announced soon.
11th november 2009
graffiti soul tour: usb sticks, discography
Simple Minds today announced they will issue their forthcoming Graffiti Soul UK tour
entirely on USB sticks directly after each concert.
Each USB stick will come with an individual serial code number. Fans who attend the forthcoming UK tour dates, which kicks off at the
Newcastle Metro Radio Arena on November 30th, will be able to purchase the live recording USB sticks directly after the concerts and
can download the encores once they install the memory stick into their USB port on their computers. To download the encores,
the user can automatically hyperlink to www.concert-online.com and can enter the serial code clearly marked on their USB concert stick.
Effectively, fans will be able to purchase a memory stick for all eight of Simple Minds' UK concerts, and what's more, every
concert will feature a different selection of Simple Minds songs. No two concerts will have the same set list.
The live concert USB stick is the brainchild of Germany's leading online music live recording company Concert Online,
whose policy is to instantly issue fans live concert recordings on customized USB sticks directly after the concerts.
Simple Minds are the latest rock band to participate in Concert Online's live concert USB stick campaign,
following in the footsteps of other name bands that include KISS and Madness.
"In addition to buying the USB stick after the concert at the merchandise stall," says Simple Minds lead singer
Jim Kerr, "no matter where you are in the world, you can go online and download the songs
from that show, or you can have the stick packaged and sent directly to you. It's amazing."
The Graffiti Soul discography continues to expand with an extremely rare
black-cover version of the Stars Will Lead The Way promo doing the rounds, plus
an ultra-rare reference CDR of Rockets has escaped (and I doubt many more of those
can be found).
Simple Minds last performed in Singapore in 2006. How does it feel to be back?
We are very happy to be back. We really enjoyed playing at Fort Canning Park and we'll probably enjoy the venue a
lot more this time because of the Formula One.
How does it feel to be performing for an event like F1 rocks?
We have a lot of experience but we never take it for granted. We've been here a few days but you can guarantee
that on the day of the performance itself, I'll be a different person because I recognise that we have to deliver.
You have a limited time on stage, so this raises everyone's game and you want to make as good an impression as you can.
The band was very politically active in the 1980s, releasing songs such as Mandela Day
and Belfast Child. Is politics still something that greatly influences the band?
Your description of the band is true, we did an album called Street Fighting Years,
and it had songs about a very specific point in history. The political landscape, in some ways, has changed so much. In those days,
you had Russia, the Berlin Wall, apartheid in South Africa, Thatcher, Reagan. The targets were easy
to see when you were an idealist. Nowadays, politics is a lot more centralised. Even things like buying a T-shirt, the kind of
coffee you drink, the decision to take a train and not the plane, you could say all of these things are political
choices and that wasn't the situation back then, but in other ways, you still have war, poverty, the ecological thing.
So when we write, all these things still influence us but not in the same iconic way.
Simple Minds is often associated with U2 [both bands became popular at around the same
time and were politically active in the 1980s]. Is this association something that you get tired of?
Well it's a bit of both. But on the whole, we consider it quite a lovely compliment to be associated with them. There
are a lot of similarities between us, being Irish and Scots. Both the bands are passionate about making music,
and know a lot of the same people. Even before we met them, a lot of people told us that we would really get along
cos of the similarities we shared. U2 played in Glasgow three weeks ago and Bono talked about
the work that [Simple Minds] had done which was lovely.
Do you think you've managed to win over a younger generation of fans with Graffiti Soul?
People seem to be much more aware of Simple Minds these days. My son's 17, and when we last played in London
four years ago, he'd ask for about two or three tickets for his friends. Now he asks for about 25 tickets. I asked him
"Why do your friends want to see us?" and he said, "Well, dad, it's not that they like you but they do like the songs."
So maybe we are changing perceptions and winning over some new fans. Simple Minds was a bit dormant for
awhile and perhaps we're finally waking up again.
With a history spanning 30 years, is it challenging to keep the band's sound fresh and exciting?
Yes, there are periods when things just happen naturally, which is fantastic. But there are also those periods when it's like
squeezing blood out of stone. I keep asking myself, "Where's the sound that I love?" I was reading about the great artists
like Picasso and found that we have very similar working styles! For example, these artists may leave a
project aside for awhile, but come back to it five years later to discover something worth pursuing. These are the
periods that matter but it's not something that comes naturally to anyone all the time. For example, what The Beatles
accomplished was incredible but it's been a long time since [Paul] McCartney has done anything significant.
What do you think contributes to the staying power of the band?
The main thing is the desire. You have to want it badly, first of all, for yourself. Even if you're faced with negativity,
you have to fight for it, like if you think you have a great idea in the recording studio but the others don't think so.
And when we go on stage, we want to challenge ourselves to be better than the last time, and not assume that people are
just going to uncritically accept what we play.
The music business has changed so much since the time when Simple Minds first started out. Has the band
benefited from the rise of the internet as a marketing tool?
Definitely. We are fortunate in that we have a global fanbase. There's this Japanese woman who's been coming to see us
perform for a long time. In the past, she used to come to the UK to see us perform, based on two lines of information that
she read in the newspapers. The schedule could change when she arrived in the UK and she wouldn't know about it. But now,
someone in Brazil could see our performance on YouTube just 10 minutes after we'd finished the gig. So yes, the Internet
has really worked for us.
Simple Minds have so many songs. How did you decide on the setlist for a shorter gig like F1 Rocks?
Honestly, it's not ideal. Simple Minds work best playing like a marathon, rather than a sprint. But we see it as a
challenge to showcase the different parts and sounds of the band. It'll definitely be a mix of the new and the old.
Has Simple Minds managed to retain a loyal fanbase over the years?
There are many people who grew up with the band. There are a lot of people who evolved like the band did, got married, had
children, and perhaps left our music for awhile but eventually come back to it. I hope it doesn't sound arrogant, but I
hope that we were and are one of those bands who have staying power.
Is there a period or album in the band's history that you're particularly fond of?
Well, definitely the albums that people consider our landmark albums, such as New Gold Dream,
when we were going through the political phase. And I hope to look back in five years time at our newest album,
Graffiti Soul, and think that it's a really complete album in and of itself.
Are you an F1 fan yourself?
I have to be honest. Other people in the band are more enthusiastic about it than I am and who were jumping up and down at the
chance to come to Singapore during F1. I'm not big on speed, and I'm not a fan of noise, other than rock music, but I have to say,
it's pretty damned exciting. I wasn't aware how big F1 was till I got here. It seems like it's taken over the whole city! But I
think Singapore is the perfect place for a night race and a city circuit.
There’s also a pile of new merchandise to pick up including new Simple Minds T-shirts and hoodies
(and I believe a retro Sons And Fascination T-shirt is also on offer).
The Graffiti Soul Tour Programme continues the high standards set by the 30 Years Live Tour Programme. It's stuffed full of colourful
Graffiti Soul artwork spreads, dynamic live shots taken during the summer tour (including the spectacular backdrop of Venice) and thoughts
and words by Jim, journalist Pierre Perrone and myself.
There are also archive shots and illustrations from Sons And Fascination,
which is the second featured album of the tour.
The memory sticks are packaged in a collector's box which includes the gig details on the inside of the lid. Not all the tracks make the mix in time and
can be downloaded later; instructions are included with the box.
And keep an eye on the offical site, www.simpleminds.com, for more exclusive offers which tie-in with
(Thanks to Otto and Emanuele for the photos).
31st october 2009
mike ogletree: an acoustic mind, mike ogletree: competition, discography updates, rockets
An Acoustic Mind
While continuing to develop music for Acoustic Burns, my next album, I am working on a project called
An Acoustic Mind wherein I will be acoustically revisiting an album I helped write and record in 1982,
New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84). Just up on my Myspace and Youtube is a rockin' acoustic
version of Promised You A Miracle, one of Simple Minds' most elegant rock/pop songs.
Early in 1982, through a contact with my ex-manager Bruce Findlay, I joined
Mick Macneil and
Derek Forbes in a huge converted barn in Perthshire, Scotland where, among other things,
we wrote the music for what was considered the band's watershed album.
New Gold Dream (81, 82, 83, 84) from Simple Minds will forever mark
a turning point in the carreer of one of rock music's all time great live and studio bands. My part in it as drummer and rhythmatist,
though small, was significant. Mick,
Derek and I quickly developed a musical rapport and conversation which opened the
door to a totally new feel for the band in terms of rhythm and mood. Known for their "dark" sound, my arrival to the band
coincided with new musical excursions into the worlds of soul and rhythm and blues, my forte.
While losing none of the power and mystery of previous years, 1982 was when Simple Minds consolidated their gains,
reached out and, played the riskiest card of their long and illustious carreer. They made the decision to become more consumable
widen the fan-base and make an album that could compete and stand up with the best of the coffee-table commercial music that was
doing the rounds at the time.
The result, now considered "an album to hear before you die", is a multi-faceted master-work of rhythm and melody known as
New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84). Though I ran out of steam during the studio recordings
of the project I worked closely with the great drummer Mel Gaynor to ensure that the drum parts
and feels I had developed in the barn in Perthshire were faithfully duplicated and made it to tape for the final version. One highlight of
the recordings was when Mel and I set up both our kits in the big stone-lined drum booth at the
Townhouse Recording Studio in London and proceeded to record a double drum extravaganza for the album's title track
New Gold Dream. That was some energy and some sound. Unfortunately what made it on the album,
a beautiful mix, paled sound-wise compared to the memory I have of listening to the sound engineer playback a special drummer's only
drum-mix for Mel and I which had the walls and roofs of the Townhouse literally shaking. The
hairs on the back of my neck and arms stand on end just remembering it.
Watch this space for more music and videos from My Acoustic Life.
"It's a rocker, recorded live in my apartment in New York. I am very
pleased with it as it is the first offering from this project I am
working on called An Acoustic Mind where I will be doing similar solo,
live acoustic versions of the entire New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) album. At the risk
of sounding biased it is still my favorite and has some of the best Simple Minds songs ever" - Mike Ogletree
Mike's also given me a signed copy of The Kilmarnock Edition.
To win the CD, you just have to answer the following simple question:
Before uploading the next batch of goodies available from Graffiti Soul, I thought
I'd tidy up a few loose ends. The first is a scarce pairing of the two Eagle albums in one package; nothing to
get too excited about, but of interest to completists.
Simple Minds appeared on Peter Live last night where they performed
Rockets. A video of the performance can be found on
The band are in Belgium rehearsing for the Graffiti Soul Tour
which kicks off on the 3rd November in Austria. Expect Graffiti Soul
and another Simple Minds classic album to feature heavily in the set-list.
Simple Minds were featured across a four page spread in the July issue of the Italian magazine
Sport Week. Click the thumbs below for larger images:
21st october 2009
neon lights, simply minds, derek forbes and brian mcgee ex simple minds
Simple Minds and OMD will appear on stage together for the very first time
when they perform Kraftwerk'sNeon Lights on their
forthcoming UK tour which kicks off at the Newcastle Metro Arena on 30th November.
The news follows OMD's recent appearance in the BBC 4 television documentary Synth Britannia
that chronicled the rise of electronic and industrial pop music in the mid 70s and early 80s.
Neon Lights, originally released on Kraftwerk's 1978 album
The Man Machine, will be performed together by OMD and Simple Minds during
Simple Minds' set on every date of their UK tour. Both bands have previously performed
Neon Lights in their own right.
Says Jim Kerr of Simple Minds,
"Kraftwerk were the link between a whole generation of kids in the UK that
used synthesizers to define some of the 80's most glorious pop music. In our own way we want
to honour their influence by performing Neon Lights."
"Kraftwerk's contribution to music is timeless," says OMD's Andy McCluskey.
"Kraftwerk was the reason why we formed OMD. Simple Minds and
OMD listened to Kraftwerk before we started making music, but eventually our
individual styles of music ventured into different directions. Simple Minds'
early electronic rock albums Empires and Dance and
Real To Real Cacophony defined industrial electronic rock with
I Travel, while OMD explored electronic soundscapes
and minimalism with our early songs Electricity and Messages.
Simple Minds/OMD UK tour dates include Newcastle Arena (Nov 30), Birmingham LG Arena (Dec 2),
Manchester MEN Arena (Dec 3), Sheffield Arena (Dec 5), Cardiff CIA (Dec 6), London Wembley Arena (Dec 7), Glasgow SECC (Dec 11)
and Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre (Dec 12). Ticket Hotline: 0871 424 4444 or book online at
Ireland's Simply Minds (pictured above meeting Simple Minds) will be playing at the
Cyprus Avenue, Cork on Saturday 7th November at 9PM. Admission is 10 euros (or 7 euros with a band concession available at the Cypress Avenue or sister
pub The Old Oak).
The Galashiels gig featuring Derek and
Brian has been postponed. Contact the club if you have bought tickets.
19th october 2009
steve wright show
Jim Kerr is interviewed on BBC Radio 2’s The Steve Wright Show
on Tuesday October 20th between 2 - 5pm. The interview will either be transmitted at 3:40 or 4:40pm.
For those who don't know, Simple Minded are a Scottish tribute band to Simple Minds.
The feedback we have had so far is that Simple Minded are the most authentic tribute band to Simple Minds
and we've not just had excellent feedback from the online SM community but also from Derek Forbes, Bruce Findlay
and the top men at Universal Records.
We have been approached to play pre and after shows for Simple Minds SECC gig on the 11th December at
Glasgow Rockers. The promoters have said these have been very successful gigs for other major headlining acts that
have hit the city.
Stage times are to be confirmed, entry costs are £3 for the pre-show and £5 for the after-show. What better way to
start or carry on the night?
Thanks for reading this and for the excellent support we have had in our debut year.
31st October - Band on the Wall, Falkirk
tbc November - Whistlebinkies, Edinburgh
11th December - Rockers, Glasgow
tbc - tbc Hogmany gig
Jim was recently interviewed by Revu Magazine and the three page interview can be
15th october 2009
steve lamacq's round table
Jim will appear on Steve Lamacq's round table program tonight (Oct 15th) at 6pm
on BBC 6 Music! You can listen live online here: www.bbc.co.uk/6music.
The show will also be available to listen back to on the BBC iPlayer from later on this evening - www.bbc.co.uk/6music.
2nd october 2009
simply minds, edinburgh pictures, f1 rocks!
"I want to let You know that SIMPLY MINDS (Ireland's ONLY Simple Minds tribute band) are
putting together a tour for late October. We are hoping that some fans or clients will contact us to let us know of possible venues etc.
Glad to say after much effort our last gig was a complete sell out with people being turned away at the door because of overcrowding - 300
fans and friends gave us a night not to forget. We did not do anything from Graffiti Soul but
it was Our mistake as some people requested material from the album (great news for Simple Minds). Our e-mail address is
firstname.lastname@example.org - John
The following pictures of the Edinburgh concert were taken by Piper Schofield and used with permission. The entire album of
pictures can be found here.
The documentary has taken an interesting twist. Not only has it been in production longer than the filming of The Breakfast Club (not a good
sign, surely?) but it's morphed into a meta-documentary, with the filmakers turning the cameras on themselves and their search for
Hughes (and, it would seem, the reluctant Molly Ringwald). I'm going to be interested to see how it eventually turns out.
The June edition of the Belgian DM Magazine recently devoted a double page spread to a thorough assessment of Simple Minds'
albums. The article is reproduced here (click on the image for a legible version).
Simple Minds get four stars in this Belgian newspaper review.
SWR3 have put together a microsite featuring live pictures ofh aHa and
The background behind this poster from 1977 has now been cleared up. It had long been assumed John Milarky formed
The Cuban Heels after the split of Johnny And The Self Abusers: so the appearance of both
The Abusers and Cuban Heels on this poster was a mystery.
However, The Cuban Heels were around in 1977 as a three-piece: Laurie Cuffe (guitar, vocals and song-writer);
Paul Armour (bass) and Davy Duncan (drums). They garnered a pretty good reputation during 1977 as a punk-edged R&B band.
The Cubans were looking to add a real lead singer because Laurie was a great guitarist but his singing wasn't the best. So
John Milarky joined the Cuban Heels as lead singer after
the break-up of The Self Abusers. The "New Wave" night at Zhivagos was probably where their paths
(Many thanks to Iain McCorquodale for clearing up the mystery).
"Not only was it a perfect location. Straight by the sea. There were about 20,000 people just to see Simple Minds!
From die-hard fans to families who were enjoying their holidays at the beach in Büsum."
"What impressed me was that everyone was dancing and showing their hands so that the beach host Jim Kerr
didn't have to repeat his set phrase "let me see your hands" too often. But yesterday the hands were aleady in the air,
so that Jim had just to show the right beat."
"In particular the young couples between 14 and 18 seemed to enjoy this kind of beach party very much and so they were
dancing most of the gig. One of our favourite songs last night was of course Moscow Underground.
Perhaps because it isn't an 80s-style stadium hymn. Anyway... Simple Minds won a lot of new fans last night."
"The band was smiling and laughing the during the whole gig like having smoked their best joint in their life. The show was recorded and filmed
by NDR 2 and is to be broadcasted later."
"It feels good to experience the return of 'the lost boys.'" - Torsten Lindner
The show was recorded by NDR and will be broadcast by them on September 25th at
midnight (local time).
The official OMD Myspace are holding a Q&A session with Jim.
Questions are limited to the Graffiti Soul Tour and OMD but if you have any questions on those subjects, it'd be worth sending them in.
12th august 2009
john hughes, koblenz, lokerse
Simple Minds are to appear in a new documentary about the Brat Pack film director,
John Hughes, who died at the age of 59 from a heart attack in New York City last week.
Jim Kerr, lead singer of Simple Minds, today confirmed that on their forthcoming
'Graffiti Soul' world tour; they'll dedicate Don't You (Forget About Me) to the memory of
John Hughes and how his teenage coming-of-age films defined a generation.
The documentary Don't You Forget About Me is named after the Simple Minds song from Hughes' seminal 1985
Brat Pack film The Breakfast Club. The documentary will be distributed worldwide by Montreal-based Alliance Films.
Director Matt Austin-Sadowski flew to Scotland to interview Kerr, and also interviewed
Brat Pack stars Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson, Mia Sara and Andrew McCarthy. The film follows
Sadowski and producers Kari Hollend, Mike Facciolo and Lenny Panzer as they set off
on a road trip to find Hughes.
Says Kerr, "When we perform Don't You (Forget About Me)
on the forthcoming tour, we'll be thinking about John Hughes and how his enthusiasm for the sound of Simple Minds
made us go the extra mile when we recorded it back in 1984. Everyone was hell bent on making a classic piece of pop rock, but little did we know
the kind of longevity the film would have on generations to come. The Breakfast Club helped us kick the door down, and once there, no
one could ever lock us out or tell us again what it felt like to be No.1 in America."
The radio station SWR 3 will also broadcast the concert on the 10th August at 7:00PM
Jim's on BBC Radio 2 all this week as a guest on the
Ken Bruce Show (with stand-in presenter Zoe Ball as ol' Ken's on holiday).
He's picking his Tracks Of My Years; and two tracks are broadcast every day. He's chosen tracks by
David Bowie, The Pretenders, The Rolling Stones and
Grace Jones so far.
You can listen to the show live or via the BBC's iPlayer.
"Classic records lost in time and format, re-emerged as Pelican books. Just for fun."
It turns out the French passage read during Twist-Run-Repulsion isn't
Lolita (as previously thought) but La Perspective Nevski by Nicolas Gogol. See
the song's page for the full story.
I played a gig with Mind2Mode the other week. I was replacing
Martin Sommer for the evening as he couldn't make it. The gig went well and it
was great hanging out with the Mind2Mode guys for the weekend. Fuerth was a great place
to play and the crowd of around 2000 were amazing - especially watching the sea of hands waving in
Never Let Me Down Again and the sort of response we got to
Don't You (Forget About Me) and
Alive and Kicking.
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark will promote their special guest appearance on Simple Minds' "Graffiti Soul" UK Tour
in November and December when they record and film an acoustic session for London's Absolute Radio on Thursday 3rd September.
The session will air on Absolute 105.8 FM on Thursday 17th September between 7-8pm, and on Sky Digital 0107 and DAB. The acoustic session,
as well as an interview with the band, can be accessed on www.absoluteradio.co.uk.
The Simple Minds/OMD Tour includes the following cities - Newcastle Metro FM Arena (Nov 30), Birmingham LG Arena (Dec 2),
Manchester MEN Arena (Dec 3), Sheffield Arena (Dec 5), Cardiff CIA (Dec 6), London Wembley Arena (Dec 7), Glasgow SECC (Dec 11) and Aberdeen
Exhibition and Conference Centre (Dec 12).
The following pictures are by Mark Van Mullem. (And I'm slightly concerned by the sheer amount of ectoplasmic mist surrounding
Eddie 'Update Your Website!' Duffy - the ghost hunters will have a field day!).
But the song gained unexpected play yesterday where it was used as backing for highlights of the Ashes Test.
Simple Minds and a-Ha will be playing Schloss Engers (near Koblenz), Germany on the 6th August.
For more information and how to get tickets (which were available from yesterday), check
SWR3's website. The concert is due to be broadcast by ARTE
on the 22nd August.
And Simple Minds will also play Buesum, Germany on the 22nd August. For more information, check out the
I'm still writing up my iTunes/Edinburgh roadtrip, but here's some recollections of Edinburgh:
Come in, come out of the rain
They came very close to calling the gig off. It was awash backstage.
The rain started as soon as The Silencers took to the stage.
The wind and rain was so bad that it blew out the flambeaux on the castle walls.
The Silencers wished John Ramsey a happy birthday; he responded by shouting
thanks from inside the sound tent, but I doubt anyone else heard.
The Silencers Scottish Rain; Simple MindsWaterfront and
She's A River; and during the interval between bands? The Blue Nile Tinseltown In The Rain
Kit, from simpleminds.com, was rushing around the venue with a video camera and shooting the view to the stage, the audience etc. One guy with a camera doesn't make a Verona, but some footage was shot.
Even during the torrential downpour and the watery hell under the stands, there was a gritty determination that we
were going to hold out no matter what. As the PA announced Simple Minds were due on stage, and everyone
braved the rain, it started to stop.
The set-lists were delivered to the mixing/lighting desk before The Silencers came on. Therefore the selection
of Waterfront and She's A River
as first tracks was inspired.
Edinburgh Castle will go down as one of my most memorable Simple Minds gigs.
From the iTunes LIVE London Festival '09 programme:
SIMPLE MINDS/VAGABOND - iTUNES FESTIVAL, CAMDEN ROUNDHOUSE 16TH JULY 2009
The iTunes Festival is situated at a great atmospheric venue in London called the "Roundhouse" and runs throughout the whole
of July with a different band every night, tickets were given away free to fans in a lottery on the internet. Tonight I have the
fortune of having a pair of these such tickets to see rock super group Simple Minds and being a massive fan since the 80's
things don't get much better than this as the band have no played a small venue of this size in a very long time. Arriving at
the venue everyone is presented with a wristband and a smart itune laminate which gives you access to 10 free tracks on the
i-tunes website. Tonight's support act Vagabond arrived on stage a 8pm and were given a very warm reception by
the audience. Their guitar based rock has a slightly bluesy feel with some very promising tracks such as their new single Don't wanna run no more
and set closer I have been wanting You which included some really great vocal work from lead singer Alex. The
Guardian newspaper reported the Vagabond could be the next "Worlds biggest Band" on this show they do have a lot of work
to do before than can get that tag, however I wouldn't be surprised if I hear their tracks on a music channel or on the radio very soon.
Simple Minds recently played to a massive sell out crowd at the Isle of Wight Festival, as well as many other festivals
in Europe promoting their latest album Graffiti Soul which is probably one of the best albums
since the late 1980's. Arriving on stage with Moscow Underground the opening track from the album,
there is a huge screen that covers the whole of the back of the stage projecting images that tie in with the tracks played.
Jim Kerr covers the whole of the stage effortlessly giving the crowd exactly what they want
calling out his usual catchphrase "let me see your hands" and the audience responds with hundreds of pairs of hands shooting up in the air
applauding along to the music. The unmistakable intro to Waterfront started up and a whole bunch of
30-40 something years old fans like myself got carried away with the excitement of the show, seeing Simple Minds
at such close proximity in a much smaller venue than usual was just such an awesome experience. A stunning version of
New Gold Dream and the ever popular Alive and Kicking
ended their set with the crowd again with their arms in the air waving them from side to side as instructed by
Jim however this was not to be the end as the 3000 strong crowd demanded more and the band obliged with a four song encore ending with Ghostdancing from the 1985 album
Once Upon a Time.
Dave Chinery (Chinners)
From the editorial of the Daily Telegraph (15th July 2009):
15th july 2009
updates, discography, graffiti soul releases, simple minded, daily post interview, remixes, ciney review, daily telegraph interview
I've been on holiday for a couple of weeks hence the lack of updates. I've added various set-lists to the
tour page (many thanks to everyone who's been sending them in) but
I don't have set-lists for Les Déferlantes d'Argeles-sur-Mer, France (10th July) or
the SunSet Festival, Zurich, Switzerland (12th July). If anyone could help then that would be much appreciated.
Thanks to the ongoing support of Simple Minds and the backing of Universal,
Graffiti Soul continues to spawn a host of interesting promotional items to keep collectors happy (or frustrated!).
The latest is an exclusive eight CD box set of the album; unfortuntely this top collectable has been limited to
only thirty copies.
Stars Will Lead The Way is being released as a single on the 20th July (to coincide with the
first moon landing forty years ago). No news of any bonus tracks yet but it's rumoured that a rehearsal take of
Children Of The Revolution will be included.
A reminder and an update of our debut gig at the Saltcoats Festival on the 18th July. Please note anyone thinking of coming
to check us out, we are now going to be on stage at around 12:30pm.
We are fully aware this is the same date as the Simple Minds' Edinburgh Castle gig, and we are by no means trying to go
compete with them lol. But we weren't in control of the dates.
We appreciate many will not be able to make it, but if you are in the area before setting off to Edinburgh or not going
Edinburgh please come and support us.
This is becoming a popular festival, and the best thing it's free.
Simple Minded are a Scottish tribute band to Simple Minds, totally authentic to their early sound and looking
to emulate the great sound and energy of the New Gold Dream and Tour du Monde tours.
We've been blessed with great feedback from the likes of Derek Forbes,
Bruce Findlay, Universal Records and the online Simple Minds community
and are raring to go.
After a very good gig by Machiavel (B), on the pumping bass line of
Waterfront, Simple Minds appeared on stage for what would turn out the be
an amazing gig. Full of power and energy. Great setlist and a good 'running
order'. A great evening in a nice setting. Wonderful music under a tropical
There was a little false start with Waterfront but once started Ciney
Was it the Ciney beer, was het just having a good time? Fact is that Eddie
was playing like a maniac and making funny faces and poses all the time...
Charlie's guitar playing was brilliant as ever... them pumping bass of Eddie,
the big drums by Mel... Jim who was full of energy and enthousiasm...
They keys of Mr. Gillespie...
This was the setlist and scenario for an evening full of energy and rock and
roll (ow yes and sweat and sore throats!)
1. WATERFRONT (Sparkle In The Rain, 1983)
2. I TRAVEL (Empires and Dance,1980)
3. LOVE SONG (Sons And Fascination, 1981)
4. SEE THE LGHTS (Real Life, 1991)
5. BIG SLEEP (New Gold Dream 81 82 83 84, 1982)
6. MOSCOW UNDERGROUND (Graffiti Soul, 2009)
7. STARS WILL LEAD THE WAY (Graffit Soul, 2009)
8. ROCKETS (Graffiti Soul, 2009)
9. DON'T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME
10. GLITTERING PRIZE (New Gold Dream 81 82 83 84, 1982)
11. PROMISED YOU A MIRACLE (New Gold Dream 81 82 83 84, 1982)
12. SOMEONE SOMEWHERE IN SUMMERTIME (New Gold Dream 81 82 83 84, 1982)
13. NEW GOLD DREAM (New Gold Dream 81 82 83 84, 1982)
14. ALIVE AND KICKING (Once Upon A Time, 1985)
Encore # 1
15. SHE'S A RIVER (Good News From The Next World, 1995)
16. BELFAST CHILD (Street Fighting Years, 1989)
17. SANCTIFY YOURSELF (Once Upon A Time, 1985)
Encore # 2
18. THIS IS IT (Graffiti Soul, 2009)
19. GHOST DANCING (Once Upon A Time, 1985)
"GHOST DANCING" was played in it's 'normal' version, so not combined with
Gloria (Them). I think the place in the setlist, at the end, works very
well: after starting the gig with the power beast Waterfront, they end it
with a bang which is Ghostdancing.
I've added some bits and pieces to the discography. The three promo versions of Rockets have now been
added, there's another Graffiti Soul promo to search out, and there's
German version of the album as well.
Record Collector (July issue) includes an interview with Jim and Charlie.
This is five page article is an album-by-album retrospective of their career. Whilst a few new facts have surfaced about the early albums, the interview reduces
Our Secrets Are The Same,
Neon Lights and
Cry to a brief one-sentence mention. There are additional mistakes with the illustrations and no recent
summary of the band's collectables.
It's worth buying but don't get your expectations up.
At time of writing, our confirmed 2009 dates are:
28th November 2009 – Centre Stage, Butlins, Minehead, UK
14th November 2009 - Fulda, Germany
13th November 2009 - Frankfurt, Germany
9th October 2009 – Red Bull Arena, Butlins, Minehead, UK
4th October 2009 – Centre Stage, Butlins, Minehead, UK
30th August 2009 – Mathew Street Festival, Liverpool, UK
21st August 2009 - Metal Mean Festival, Belgium
8th August 2009 – Husumer Hafentage, Germany
25th July 2009 – Sparkssen Waldbühne, Olde, Germany
17th July 2009 - The Ferry, Glasgow, UK
11th July 2009 – Cityfest, Fuerth, Germany
4th July 2009 - Joure, Holland
3rd July 2009 – Festival an der Jade, Wilhelmshaven, Germany
27th June 2009 - NRW-Tag, Hamm , Germany
17th June 2009 - The Limelight, Crewe, UK
16th June 2009 – Kieler Woche, Kiel, Germany
17th june 2009
the stranglers, berlin, tagesspiegel preview, remixes
Following their triumphant performance at this year's Isle of Wight Festival,
Simple Minds are pleased to announce The Stranglers as their very special guests at Norwich Blickling Hall
on Friday July 17th.
Scoring some 23 UK top 40 singles and 17 UK top 40 albums to date in a career spanning four decades,
The Stranglers are the longest-surviving and most continuously successful band to have originated in the UK punk
scene of the mid to late 1970s. Originally formed in 1974, their aggressive sound earned them a confrontational reputation. By 1977,
their notoriety was eventually embraced by the punk rock movement. This led to their debut single Grip and their seminal debut album
Rattus Norvegicus. A slew of hit singles ensued including Peaches, No More Heroes,
5 Minutes, 'Nice 'n' Sleazy, Duchess, Something Better Change, Always the Sun and
For further information and interview opportunities, review tickets and photo passes, please contact - Will Taylor and Peter Noble at Noble PR Consultancy, Tel: 0207 272 7772, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Simple Minds were broadcast live by Absolute Radio (with a pre-show interview broadcast between
Jim and Ben Jones) and highlights (including Don't You (Forget About Me))
appeared on ITV2 later.
And it was the second time the Ghostdancing lyrics were
sung to the tune of I Travel; first verse only. This verson was first sung at Joe FM; if it was
a mistake then they've stuck with it.
Simple Minds will be appearing on Fernsehgarten (Television Garden) broadcast by ZDF on
21st June. Check out the website for
"Ils nous ont promis un miracle"
Simple Minds et leur chanteur charismatique en tête nous l’annonçaient depuis
quelques mois. On allait voir ce qu’on allait voir avec leur prochain album...
La prudence s'imposait face à cet effet d'annonce, car après presque 20 ans d'errements
artistiques (Street Fighting Years, leur dernier grand album remonte à 1989), il fallait
bien un miracle pour redresser la barre du navire. Un ami du groupe, un certain Bono,
qui a compris très tôt les règles du music business, répète d'ailleurs souvent:
"deux mauvais albums à la suite et vous êtes hors jeu".
Pas facile donc pour Simple Minds, auteur d'une série d'albums vite oubliés, de
réaliser un retour en fanfare. Le groupe a tâtonné pendant ces vingt dernières années,
essayé plusieurs formules : guitares en avant sur
Good News From The Next World,
expérimentations sonores sur Neapolis,
pop électronique sur Cry. Toutes ces tentatives
se sont soldées par des échecs commerciaux et artistiques. Le groupe a donc normalement disparu
petit à petit des radars médiatiques, un milieu de la communication où il faut le reconnaître aussi,
il n’y entendait plus grand chose.
Pour autant, un signe annonciateur était timidement apparu avec leur précédent album
Black And White. Album de convalescence, enfin solide et
au final de bonne facture. L’inspiration retrouvée était en bonne voie, le début d’une renaissance?
Sans doute, car ce Graffiti Soul est
la confirmation d’une réelle montée en gamme de nos écossais bientôt quinquagénaires. Avec cet album,
Charlie Burchill et
Jim Kerr semblent avoir enfin réalisé ce qu'ils avaient en
tête depuis quelques années. Le nouvel équilibre recherché avec Black And White
a été le point de départ : même producteur (Jez Coad), mêmes musiciens, même préposé
au mixage (Bob Clearmountain). L’expérience des tournées "live" incessantes
(dont celle du 30eme anniversaire du groupe l’année dernière au Royaume-Uni), a permis de coordonner l’ensemble.
Ce nouveau disque sonne d’une certaine manière comme un "Best Of", mais
composé de chansons originales. Les Minds font preuve d'esprit de synthèse
avec cet album court (8 titres et une chanson "bonus"), calibré, sans
aucune faiblesse ni remplissage inutile. Celui-ci réactualise en quelque
sorte ce qu'ils ont fait de mieux au cours des trois dernières décennies.
Mais ce qui frappe le plus à l'écoute du disque, c'est la confiance enfin retrouvée par Simple Minds, redevenu un vrai groupe de rock. Le bassiste
Eddie Duffy très présent sur ce disque est enfin décomplexé vis à vis de son
aîné, Derek Forbes, qui occupait la même place pendant l'âge d'or du combo
de Glasgow. Leur légendaire batteur, Mel Gaynor, est omniprésent, puissant
et efficace. Charlie Burchill's affirme à la fois en sorcier des claviers
et en "Guitar Hero" au style plus que jamais inimitable, irremplaçable.
Quant à Jim "Luke Skywalker", son chant n'a pas besoin d'effets
particuliers (écho ou reverb), pour prendre toute sa place sur le disque.
Il a d'ailleurs trouvé une nouvelle verve créatrice. Alors que la plupart
de ses contemporains (Morrissey, Robert Smith ou encore Martin Gore)
vivent dans leur tour d'ivoire, lui, porte encore un regard curieux et ouvert sur la société. Ce lyrisme rafraîchissant nous plonge par exemple dans les
galeries du métro moscovite (un étrange conte sur la mafia russe), nous
apprend par exemple que les groupes sanguins (croyances nippones)
influencent nos personnalités ou encore nous fait découvrir à travers les
yeux candides d'un groupe d'ados, quelques fresques et graffitis inspirés
qui ornent les abords londoniens.
Ce n'est pas un hasard si le morceau le plus optimiste clos l'album. This is it synthétise toutes les
promesses enfin tenues : "They call it a new change" chante Jim. Il est là le changement tant attendu par les fans du
groupe. Espérons que le reste du monde saura le remarquer et qu'il donnera enfin à ce groupe "là", le come back qu'il mérite.
**** (4/5) Pascal Spanier XRoads Magazine June 2009
It was a wonderful evening! We arrived in Brussels at 16:30 hrs and walked straight into the building and
the improvised concert hall, which had a capacity of 667 people. (This was written and printed on paper hanging on the studio's door.)
People were walking in and out, all staff and crew, nobody said anything to us to leave the studio - great!
We took a strawl around and took some pictures. Suddenly we saw Eddie Duffy playing some
improvised tunes on the drums and Andy was checking and setting sounds on a table full of
computers. Suddenly he saw us, stood up and walked towards us. My first impression or thought was that we would
be kicked out of the studio, but he kneeled down on stage next to us and shook hands. Great! He remarked that we were
very early indeed, but we said we were "die-hard" fans. He laughed and said he hoped we would enjoy the evening. At that moment,
Eddie came to us and I gave him a DVD with all of my remixes on it. I said it was a little gift
for him and the boys, he told me he was very eager to hear what was on it which was very nice of him.
Once in a while Charlie's guitar tech Hilco Naulaerts came up
to the stage to check and tune Charlie's guitar and Eddie's bass.
When we took a walk later on in the lobby, a staff member from Radio Joe saw us and kicked us out of the building.
That was that.
We ourselves standing in the pouring rain outside at the front door for another 2½ hours. By 18:00, Jim
arrived in a black Mercedes with tinted windows.
We were very early indeed because only five people -including ourselves-
were waiting . Finally when we could access the building (again) the
concert had almost started. I think there were about 400 people
inside the studio.
Little bit after 20:30 hours, the lights went out and spots illuminated the
area when Simple Minds came on stage. There were tremendous cheers from the
crowd and it was as if the walls would fall down. Charlie start playing - a nice cover of
Children of the Revolution. Eddie's pulsating bass and
Mel's thunderstrokes on drums joined in with great lighting completed this wonderful "entree".
They played some old and new ones. The first live versions of the Grafitti Soul tracks
were really overwhelming. It really hit you between the eyes, I can tell you. These songs are meant to be played live.
When Dolphins was sung, Andy sang
along in chorus and this was such a beautiful version, goozebumps all over.
Previously at home, I'd printed a yellow paper with Grafitti Soldier on it and
gave it to Jim when he was sitting on his knees during the outro of
Dolphins. You could see a smile on his face and silently hearing him
repeating what was written on it, and he gave me a wink of an for it. During the concert he shook hands with me three times. Afterwards,
Eddie signed this paper altought I didn't get a chance to get it signed by the others, but it's
When the encores were finished, they came back on stage, and Jim leant on the microphone, and told us
they were very excited to start the tour here in Belgium. He told us he has a warm place in his heart for Belgium, because we make them always feel
welcome and we were very gentle people. He looked tired at that time, saying the last week they rehearsed in Buggenhout. He told this all
in a very relaxed voice, but his face looked very tired. He even made some jokes and took some time to sign CDs and other things. Mel,
Andy and Eddie were in a funny mood, jumping all over the
stage, shaking hands and signing autographes for the people.
So, in conclusion, this was a very succesfull evening. They enjoyed themselves the whole evening and you could feel a truly "friendship"
between the members. All of the songs were very strong and full of feeling. A shame that the concert was over. We returned homewards very fullfilled
with gladness after spending a wonderful evening.
Scottish rockgroup SM plays live for Joe.FM
The past few weeks, Simple Minds were rehearsing in "The Pit" in Buggenhout and yesterday evening
they played an exclusive showcase for the listeners of Joe.FM.
9th june 2009
graffiti soul chart positions, graffiti soul collectables, ashes to ashes, this morning (belgian national paper), absolute radio
Graffiti Soul reached #10 in the UK chart; #41 in France (but hit #17 in their download chart); #9 in the European Top Albums;
#8 in the Swiss charts; #9 in the Belgian charts; #14 in the German charts; #11 in the Italian charts; and #8 in the Swiss charts.
More collectables have started surfacing: there are now three versions of the Rockets promo. The most interesting
is the first, which is housed in a paper sleeve with black text and includes an exclusive edit of the original version of Rockets (not
the Cenzo Townsend remix which was eventually released on the single and album.)
Series two finale Ashes To Ashes (BBC 1) set in 1982 featured Hunter And The Hunted
as backing music in the restaurant scene. Post-show red-button sing-along-to-the-videos included Simple Minds' performance of the song on
The Old Grey Whistle Test.
You can see the video here (with suitable "cheeky" introduction from
"The only way to celebrate your past is the knowledge of still having a future!"
His hair slightly thinner than before, a little wrinkle on the left and right shows the man has lived. But still at the age of 49, Jim remains a boy.
As leader of Simple Minds, he was one of the greatest rockstars in the eighties and still now the group calls
lots of people to festivals. Moreover, Simple Minds have made the best CD in a long time with Grafitti Soul.
"We have been through times of richness and poverty, but in both cases it's the passion for music that kept us standing."
If you see Jim Kerr walking into the lobby of Brussels' Hotel Bloom, you'll notice it's a man from
this world. Hotels are a substantial part of his life, and he has learned to feel at home in them. Even so that the singer ownes one in the neighbourhood
of his home in Taormina. Kerr, dressed in black leather jacket, and jeans of a good Italian quality, looks
very healthy and is very happy with the positive reactions on the new CD. "We found our eagerness again."
Recently, you celebrated 30 years of Simple Minds. How do you look back on what you experienced so far? JK: I'm not at all very good in analysing my own past. Until now, we've always refused to look back. For example, there were no celebrations to highlight
our 10th, 20th or 25th anniversary. Mind you, the Rolling Stones are still a group after 45 years, so what's the big deal? On the other hand,
few bands still form a group as long as we have until now. So, if you can't stop and stand still for a moment on that issue, there's something wrong.
Besides, if you're jumping up and down 'cause you're 30 years in business, after that you really should be energetic. In that should shine through a
youthfulness which doesn't show you're in fact "ancient". And I guess we succeeded.
How is it possible Simple Minds survived this long, you think? Most rock groups fight, split up or just loose their faith in music. JK: I guess the most important thing is my relation with Charlie. We've been friends since we were
schoolboys and hitch-hiked through Europe as teenagers. And now, 30 years later, we still chasing new songs. Music isn't a career anymore, is it? It is a
great deal/part of our lives. Of who we are. Along with Simple Minds, we've been through times of shortage and hunger.
It wasn't always funny, even it never prevented us looking forward.
In what way is your relationship with Charlie different than the one with your wife? I'm just asking this because your friendship already lasts longer
than both of your marriages together. JK: (laughs) Well, I really would like to declare that, unlike the women I've been married to, I've never slept with Charlie...
but I fear it did happen a few times purely because there was no other way in those early days. And I can feel the next question coming up; it never leaded to sex!
(Laughs out loud/Roars) We were once considered as brothers, but even that isn't correct, 'cause I do not know many brothers being so close and being able
to get on so well as good as we do. The main thing is we never got bored of each other. In my opinion that's very exceptional. In all those years I've never
got a piece of music from Charlie of which I thought there was an old idea mixed in. We know each other thoroughly,
but with his music, Charlie always surprises me. I feel - besides a most dear friendship - an utterly respectful
feeling for Charlie.
The topics you write about in your songs are roughly still the same as ever. Travelling, searching, desire and hope. Those subjects meanwhile are the
stepstones of the DNA of Simple Minds. JK: Indeed, those are the fundaments of what we do. That's why we called the new CD Grafitti Soul:
because from the beginning those themes were ingraved in us deepest.
You still discover things about yourself by continiously searching in your subconciousness? Or do you sing the songs by now automatically, without reflections
on the meaning of all those words? JK: In case of Don't You (Forget About Me) , it is. This is due to the fact this is the only hit
we never composed ourselves. But on the other songs it's different. Wanna know something? Sometimes you lose track on some of your own songs, but - in another
phase of your life - you're again confronted with them having another dimension. Besides writing songs, I also started writing blogs the past few years.
Sometimes very superficial, and on other occasions I really felt the need to stand by my thoughts and defend them.
Even if I don't know whom I'm speaking to right now. In that sense blogging and writing songs are very related to each other. For example,
Waterfront , a song I wrote about Glasgow. And some time ago I was mentioning Glasgow once again in a blog.
But the context was very different this time.
By coincidence I've read that blog. You were talking about the contradictions between two scientific investigations that were recently done in Glasgow.
In one of the reports was mentioned that nowhere else in Great Britain were people were so optimistic as in Glasgow while, in the meantime,
there's no other place in Europe where so many people get murdered. JK: Well, please admit those two investigations do not fit, even you try as hard as you can. If it wasn't as tragic, I almost would think it
was funny in a way. But the facts are there, there's nothing to oppose to that. Even so you have to put it in the right context. Just take a walk in Glasgow as
a tourist and the odds you'll be attacked are very small. In the suburbs however, there's lots of drugs, alcohol, people with knives... There you can see poverty.
Not only about money. Poverty on hope, poverty on future perspectives. In spite of that, people do find a reason to get up in the morning on daily bases.
That kind of optimism I know well. It's in our music also. You get up, dust your coat and keep
living your life.
Meanwhile you've lived in Sicily for some years. Do you still feel Scottish? JK: Of course, I do still feel at home in Glasgow. That mentality attracts me. The same as in Liverpool and Manchester; the attitude over
there is a slightly rough, somewhere inbetween the Irish and the Scottish ones. Besides, the one who lives in Glasgow has been through a lot. When way
back in the early seventies factories were closing and unemployment was growing exponentially, everybody was thinking the city was nearly this close
to dying. But on that very moment a very thriving musics cene flowered, along with the upcoming success of Simple Minds.
And now you hear again that this violence will keep the tourists away. But once again, they will survive. Exactly that urge to survive gives the
city a special dimension I think. If only you knew how proud I am my roots are over there !
Something else : last year you had the idea to dive into the studio with the original line-up to celebrate the Minds' 30th
anniversary. How comes it never saw the light of day? JK: Well, I thought, somewhat naively afterwards, we'd just be playing some songs so the pieces of the puzzle would fit automatically.
It happens often. Even so, although tensions may live in a group, the pleasure of making music results in forgetting those troubles. Besides, it occured
to me that if we would celebrate our anniversary of the Minds, the people who took part in the history of the group deserved their places in it.
What went wrong? JK:Charlie and I made a crucial mistake in timing. Not only we were in the middle of the preparations
of the upcoming CD, we were also preparing for the 90th birthday of the Nelson Mandela. In that case, there were only 4 days left to record two
covers with the former Simple Minds bandmembers. A cover of The Call and another of Magazine. Those
would appear on a new compilation. Everybody was in heaven about that concept. But the day before we were about to see each other after some 20 years,
Charlie and I were working on a new track in which we automatically heard the bass of
Derek Forbes and the keyboards of Michael MacNeil. The idea of recording
together a brand new track was received very enthusiastically.
That night we had a fantastic evening. The day before the recordings, a couple of technical issues were put on the table to discuss. It took about 15 minutes
before the arguments started and old discussions surfaced.
Let me guess; it's all about the money! JK: Yep! (Laughs) Indeed. Still I can't say they were wrong by asking how the cake would be divided, but it all had to be arranged so fast
there was no time left. So finally, we never got into the studio. Yet we considered to try it again after a few months, but the momentum disappeared unfortunatly.
So, what was meant to be a reunion of good old friends drove you all further apart? JK: Yes. Mick told me he felt as if he was being tested. It was in a way. I didn't hear or see him
playing a single piece of music for over more than 10 years. Still, he heard me singing but I didn't had a clue whether he thought I still was a good singer or not.
The best way to find out is recording a few tracks together. There was no time at all to gather with our lawyers and let them
define who's getting how much money. Whenever lawyers discuss money issues, it takes months before a solution pops up that suits everybody. And even then
you'll see remains of bitterness.
Does it really happens this way? Negociations are being held by lawyers when it comes to share the money in bands? Once Lindsey Buckingham
told me there wasn't a single meeting being held without the presence of each member's personal lawyer. JK: I would like to tell you Fleetwood Mac is an exception in this case, but I don't wanna lie. Nowadays even smaller bands
act this way. I'm the first to say how much I regret this. And you know, who knows whenever we'll celebrate our 40th anniversary, we'll fall in each others
arms and laugh it away. I refuse to exclude that possibility anyway.
Grafitti Soul has been praised by the foreign media, even though I think the songs are the extension
of your earlier works. How is this so? There was a time journalists weren't very much interested in Simple Minds. JK: (thinks) I know this might sound pompous, but in my opinion Simple Minds are having a renaissance (revival). Our last CD
already was a step in this good direction, and if you compare our new tracks with them, you can't deny we have a more energetic sound. I'm very proud of
Rockets because that track proves we're not interested in recycling the old Simple Minds sound.
That's right, but you can't deny the new tracks sound very familiar? It reminds me of the new-wave period of New Gold Dream. JK: Yes of course, we use our musical heritage, play with it and use our experience whenever it comes to develop a nice melody. And yes,
you got a point by saying there are referring sounds to the past melted in them. We even recorded in the same studio where once
Real to Real Cacophony was recorded in 1979. We were looking for an outlying place, where there's
no room for distraction, where no friends or family pop in to check out how you're doing. If you want to stay focused, you have to get up in the morning
and start working immediately. By doing this, the rest of the world dissapears and you're consumed by your music.
Wasn't it a strange feeling to stand on the very same spot where you once recorded your first music? JK: It certainly was so during the last week, because the Manic Street Preachers hired the big studio and we had to move to
the little one. And suddenly there I was, as you say so, standing on exact the same spot, singing the new songs. It was a wee bit surrealistic. Otherwise,
the magic still was there. Many big bands recorded over there in Rockfield. Led Zeppelin, Queen...you can feel that when you're in the studio !
Once you told me you had a chronic lack of self-confidence. This fascinates me: even a lead singer of a band that belonged for over 10 years to
the greatest bands ever, having problems with that. JK: And yet doubt is something even the greatest have to deal with. Dylan was paralysed because of it,
John Lennon stayed at home to make bread and Peter Gabriel - a good friend of mine -
experienced in his life several depths 'cause he thought his talents vanished. I can't give you a proper explanation for that. Maybe you're getting bored
with yourselve after some time or you suddenly realise you're turning in circles.
Has it someting to do with the fear you realise you'll never gonna be as good as you were before? JK: I've never experienced it this way. I don't consider the past of Simple Minds as an obstacle. And certainly not during
concerts. When performing in concerts, I have the feeling I can't let the fans or the public down. So we always play songs that made us big at the time.
I really would find it terrible if one of our fans would bring a friend along to a concert and this person would be bored the whole evening. That's a
thought I always keep in mind!
Finally, some time ago, I have read an article in which you don't hide your admiration for Bruce Springsteen. Very rare for someone
who's performing himself for more than 30 years and put his own ego aside. JK: Right, but Springsteen really jumps out in his category. I went to see him perform recently and I thought I would see
an old champion who lost his punch. But in the first round, he knocked-out the whole public and this lasted for the coming three hours! Incredible, he's
even better now than he used to be. Very hope giving. Someone who's in business for such a long time, having a certain age and still has the energy to reach
that one exta mile, being already a parameter against other artists are being measured with. You see someone who pales on stage sense him with their
eyes closed. Springsteen doesn't need hits anymore.
Have you ever met him? JK: Yes I did. The first time was one of the highlights in my life. I went to New York to see The Pretenders, Chrissie Hynde's band to whome I was married to. The producer they worked with at the time,
also did Born to Run, and by manner of surprise I was taken apart to a small alley behind the studio. And there he was, Springsteen , waiting me up to take me for a ride in his black Corvette to the studio
where he was recording his new live-lp. By the way, he always acts this way whenever a new lp or cd is coming out. I couldn't bring out one word. At that time, he was the greatest and biggest rockstar
in the world,and yet he was so kind and modest. Afterwards he even offered me to bring me up to the hotel I stayed in. That I will never forget ; even if you're the hottest one in the world, never , ever forget
where you come from.
This Morning Thanks to JohnnyBGood for the translation
Absolute Radio will be broadcasting Simple Minds full set from the Isle Of Wight festival on Sunday
8th june 2009
Wetten dass..?, dutch radio two, isle of wight festival, once upon a time classic album, coventry telegraph, rai, simple minded
Simple Minds will be appearing on the most popular German Saturday night show Wetten Dass..? (You Bet!)
on the 13th June. Hosted by Thomas Gottschalk and broadcast by ZDF, it starts at 20:15 (CET) and the Simple Minds
segment will be broadcast "live" from Mallorca. Apparently Simple Minds will be performing Stars Will Lead The Way and
Don't You (Forget About Me).
This is great promotion for the band as the show regularly attracts between 16-18 million viewers.
It's the second time the band have appeared on the show. Their previous appearance was in spring 1991 where they played
Let There Be Love.
In this great Podcast with Dutch Radio 2, Jim talks about
the recording of Graffiti Soul, the reunion, recording a forthcoming BBC radio documentary and
more. It's well worth a listen.
Simple Minds will be appearing onstage at about 5:00PM on Sunday at the Isle Of Wight festival. Parts of the performance will be broadcast by
ITV2 later in the evening at 8PM: the show includes highlights of Simple Minds, The Script and
The Pigeon Detectives.
Keep checking the TV listings though as there might be changes to the schedule.
Once Upon A Time is the Classic Album on tonight's Ben Jones Show on
Simple Minds appearance on the Italian RAVcan be viewed here
(although you need to install some obscure application called Microsoft Silverlight).
4th june 2009
free music friday, graffiti soul collectables, charlie interview, album review, isle of wight festival, remixes
JUNE 5 IS FREE MUSIC FRIDAY
Customers can download free tracks to mark the launch of unlocked music from Vodafone UK:
Download some of the biggest music releases free on June 5
Music from Vodafone UK is no longer restricted to one device - Vodafone UK customers can now play music on their mobile, MP3 player, iPod or PC
Customers can use their PC to make browsing, buying and listening to music even easier via Vodafone’s Vodafone Music Manager
Eight free tracks from major international artists will be available tomorrow for free to Vodafone customers for a "Free Music Friday".
Marking the introduction of unlocked (Digital Rights Management free) music on Vodafone Music Store, customers can now enjoy their
music on PCs, MP3 players and iPods as well as mobiles. Customers can listen to their favourite music, wherever they want and in the style that suits them best.
Vodafone UK is initially offering 350,000 unlocked tracks from EMI, Sony Music and
Universal Music, as well as independent labels, featuring many of the world’s leading artists.
By the end of the summer, Vodafone UK customers will be able to enjoy more than one million unlocked tracks. From punk to pop,
rock to rap the tracks will be made available over the next two months from 49p per track and £7.99 per album.
Those customers who have already bought tracks or albums from EMI, Sony Music or Universal Music from
Vodafone will be able to upgrade them to unlocked tracks for free simply by downloading them again from Vodafone live!.
In addition, customers who want to easily manage how they browse, buy and listen to their music can now download the ‘Vodafone Music Manager’
from today at vodafone.co.uk/musicstore. Customers can use Vodafone Music Manager by subscribing to a
£7.50 pack on their mobile for unlimited downloads to their PC and mobile. For more information and a video about DRM free music visit
Vodafone customers can download the following tracks for free - Ciara featuring Justin Timberlake -
Love Sex Magic; Daniel Merriweather – Change ; Lady GaGa – Poker Face ;
Lily Allen – Not Fair (Style Of Eye remix); Pixie Lott – Rolling Stone;
Simple Minds – Rockets; Tinchy Stryder feat N-Dubz – Number 1; Clubbers Guide 2009 Mixtape
All the tracks can be found in the Vodafone Music Store at vodafonemusic.co.uk or by going to
music on Vodafone live!. Customers can text 'music' to 97886 for a link that will take them straight to the Vodafone Music Store. To
find out more about Vodafone’s free music Friday customers can go to .
A wide range of 3G mobile phones support music services and more information on how to download music and compatible phones can be found in the music,
news and entertainment section at help.vodafone.co.uk
Celebrating Free Music Friday Pixie Lott will be performing tracks from her album in a Vodafone store on Friday June 5.
Her debut single Mama Do will be released on Sunday 7 June, with an exclusive acoustic version available on Vodafone live! on June 8.
A special slip-sleeve was produced for the standard CD at the HMV signing sessions. Those who purchased the standard CD were
given this exclusive sleeve for Jim, Charlie and
Eddie to sign (as it saved time getting the booklet out of the jewel case).
Featuring the graffiti Claddagh and the date, these sleeves have become an instant collectable.
The Russian edition of the album (apparently the first official Russian release of any kind; everything previously has been unofficial) doesn't include the full booklet
so is packaged with an obi-strip carrying information about the album.
Jim Kerr puts it simply: "We wanted to make a full-blooded record of ballsy pop songs." The result is the band's best
album since the glory days, packed with trademark antemic songs, gorgeous guitar licks and arena-sized ambition. Opening with the brooding and blurred
Moscow Underground, Charlie Burchill's riff helps
Rockets blast off, then aptly repeats the trick with Stars Will Lead The Way,
Light Travels chills out Bowie-style, Kiss And Fly is
a U2-tinted slowburner with an infectious chorus, and This Is It will have fists pumping skyward
at this year's Isle Of Wight festival - The Sunday Mercury
UK channel ITV2 will be broadcasting the Isle Of Wight Festival. Their coverage starts from Friday 12th June.
Belgian radio station, Joe FM will he hosting an exclusive live Simple Minds
showcase on the 10th June. Lucky listeners have a chance to win tickets, which are being offered on various shows every day,
or winning a competition hosted on their website.
"We will play half a dozen or so from Graffiti Soul and
In Search Of The Lost Boys through summer. In winter we will play entire Graffiti Soul" -
Jim on Twitter.
New Simple Minds album to be released in a JakeBox
On May 25 Graffiti Soul, the new double album from 80's icons Simple Minds, was
released worldwide. One feature that makes this limited edition stand out is the eye-catching pop up package, developed and patented by JakeBox in Sweden.
Universal Music, who previously released The Rolling Stones' hit compilation Rolled Gold+ in a JakeBox,
now follows it up by using the concept for Simple Minds new double album.
"Very exciting to have a double JakeBox, which we think is a credible format for the Simple Minds fans." says Charlotte Gaffikin,
product manager at Universal Music in London.
The JakeBox concept is considered to be among the most eco friendly ones in the world, made from 100% FSC certified recyclable board.
But the most distinguishing feature is the eye-catching way it unfolds and presents the disc, which has made it highly acclaimed
for exclusive promotional purposes, like Lamborghini's press kits, invitations for Nokia, promotional music
compilations for Siemens. It is also offered in more basic versions for home users, through Amazon.
"Nowadays you need more than good music to sell discs", says Jakob Skarin, CEO of JakeBox, Sweden. "We offer that little extra
edge that just might make the difference, and Universal is the first major label to realize that..."
31st may 2009
charts, vaxjo rock festival, rockets promo mix, jbremixes
Congratulations to Simple Minds on reaching #10 in the UK charts. It's their best chart performance since
Good News From The Next World in 1995. Fantastic!
Simple Mindsfestival tour kicked off last night with their appearance at
the Vaxjo Rock Festival. As it was a festival it was going to be a shorter set packed with many of the Minds'
favourites. So it was great to see Graffiti Soul tracks appearing live:
This Is It got their live debutes along with
Searching For The Lost Boys cover Rockin' In The Free World.
"Met them both backstage as well at the at breakfast at the hotel, and they said I must be one of the "Graffiti Soldiers." They were in a very good
mood and arrived the day before the festival and rehearsed all Saturday downtown, so this was a really good performance considiering the tight
amount of time before. They launched a amazing version of Belfast Child with a keyboard crescendo
instead of Mel's usual drumming. During Ghostdancing,
Jim got carried away and started to do a unplanned
Rockin' In The Free World and said "Now the band are gonna get pissed." The version was somewhat
stumbling and Jim finished off with a "My bad" to the band.
The other classics was great, but no improvision there, just a really good performance overall.
The two new songs were very tight indeed I think, and especially Eddie's bass playing stood out in
the groovy version they delivered. "This is the first time" Jim said as they started
Rockets and the audience were into it right away.
This Is It ended with a five minute long instrumental with
Mel and company going crazy... amazing! They played twenty minutes more then they was supposed to and were really
During the breakfast I overheard them talking about Dolphins and
Moscow Underground, so expect these to come up in the full concert event, and as
Andy said all the songs in "longer versions" as well.
Next album? I said thanks to Jim for a great album and the quote was
"The next one is even better"
" - Ojje
A review of the song has already appeared on the SMP website (in Swedish).
Answer: a different mix of a track appears on the promo album. In Graffiti Soul's case, a
different mix of Rockets appears with extra keyboards added to the mix. Another one for the completists to
start searching for!
And I'm still trawling through my e-mail... check back tomorrow for more... I'm not finished yet.
29th may 2009
graffiti soul, p-magazine interview, daily mirror review, australian interview, some sweet day 2009
There's a real buzz around the album at the moment and I can't recall such excitment since the late 1980s/early 1990s. Universal should be
congratulated on their push for the album: not only have they put together the best Simple Minds package for over a decade, but adverts have
appeared in key positions in the music press, and there's even been a TV campaign with an advert popping up during ITV's flagship most-watched show (the
soap Coronation Street).
Mid-week chart results placed Simple Minds at #5 in the UK chart. Therefore, if you haven't purchased the album yet, the please do so in the next
couple of days as it will really make a difference.
Belgian magazine P-Magazine recently ran a double-page spread devoted to the band. A translation follows below:
Trip around the world with Jim Kerr
"Most of the Scottish people are patriotic. We aren't. We've always try to go international" says Jim Kerr. Along with
the new CD Graffiti Soul, Simple Minds have a good excuse to travel around the world again.
Before that, Jim Kerr takes us along to locations which are very special to him.
You returned back to the studio in Wales to make Graffiti Soul, where some of the earliest
Minds' records are made. Nostalgia?
JK : Now that almost everyone works with digital equipments, you nearly can't find any authentic studios in England. The studio in Wales
was very important in making the sound quality of Real to Real Cacophony and
Empires and Dance (1979 and 1980). New Gold Dream (Minds' classic back from'82)
was not recorded there, but composed. Not only our history is in between those four walls, also Led Zeppelin, Queen and Bowie worked over there.
To go back into the past, is a risk. Back in the far Wales, if you want to record a new CD or record, one not only record the tracks - you live together
as well. There's no escape. Weekends do not exist. So what do you do? Get up and start working!
After your mother was diagnosed with cancer, you moved the recording of Graffiti Soul towards Glasgow. Does
it remain your home town?
JK : My mother always was a very healthy and dynamic lady. Therefore it was a huge shock when the doctors told her to enjoy the still remaining days
to come. I took a break in the recordings to be with her, but she wanted me to keep on working. Funny, me - being 50 - returning homewards to move
in with my mother, but strangely enough she became stronger mentally and physically because of that. Back at the kitchen table, I had a déja-vu.
Suddenly I realised that back in '81 I composed on that same kitchen table The American,
Love Song and
Sweat in Bullet. Most of the Scottish
people are patriotic. We aren't. We've always knew who we were and where we came from, but we wanted to go international and experiment. Deep down
there's always something which connect us with Glasgow.
Guitar player Charlie Burchill lives already for several years in Rome, you in Sicily. What makes life better in Italy?
JK : As a 14-year old kid , when we travelled with school to Italy , I realised the world existed also in colours. Glasgow was grey. In Italy, from people
to food, everything was so much colourful. Later on, by touring with the band and having holidays over there, we've lost our heart over there. When
Charlie and I found our loved ones, life took over. Now, don't think I consider Italy as my homeland. I do stay an
outsider over there. But yes, I do think and curse in Italian. In fact, I do it in Sicilian - which is so different than Tuscan for example. Back in Sicily,
there's a whole other mentality. Libya is closer (geographically) than Rome. It is an old and patriarchal community. One needs a lot of patience to get
something done. My Sicilian neighbours and friends always tell me: "You understand us, lots of Italians don't."
Opening track on Graffiti Soul is Moscow Underground. What's the thing with Russia?
JK : Have you ever seen pictures of the underground metro stations in Moscow ? Incredible nice, isn't it? Underneath those stations, there's a network
of tunnels, much older. Young Russians have put all those tunnels on a map and even started to live there. Real freaks who turned their backs towards
the world. Authorities know about it, but they just let go. David Greig, a Scottish writer who lives in Moscow, wrote in one of his books
about the people who live in those tunnels and how those people guide him there - being a journalist - throughout a manhole in the street near the Kremlin.
When Charlie came along with a song that combined the rhythm of a train with Eastern orientated sounds of a violins,
the pieces of Moscow Underground fell together. As a band we concerted a few times in Russia. Wonderful experiences,
certainly 'cause it's all pretty formal over there. I remember when we were in Saint Petersburg, throughout the speakers in our dressing room, a strong
voice announced: "Ten minutes!”, "Five minutes!". The Russians didn't obviously lose their past.
Belgium Graffiti Soul was partly written in Antwerp, 'cause you were several times guest on the
Night of the Proms. What does Belgium means to you?
JK : Especially with Antwerp I've got a strong liaison. Because of the Proms, we discovered what kind of wonderful technicians you have over
there. Because of that, our road crew mainly exists of Belgians. Some years ago, as we were looking for places to rehearse, they made it possible
for us to rehearse in Buggenhout. Along with the mayor who was very generous, we made a deal that people could visit us at the studio the last day
of recording. We then played for an audience that varied from kids to seniors.
To a lot of bands, the US is like the promised land. Back in '85 the Minds reached number one, thanks to
Don't You (Forget About Me), but still you guys seem to have a love/hate relationship with that country. Right?
JK : Yeah , you're right. It might sound arrogant, but we didn't fell back then to have a break-through in America. It wasn't an option in the earlier
years, because our first records weren't on the market anyways. After that, we were already too big for the rest of the world to have
a focus on America. Therefore we had to sacrifice Europe, Australia and Japan. Of course, it still is the cradle and it is fantastic to be able
to concert in New York and Los Angeles. After the success of Don't You (Forget About Me), we recorded the
album Once Upon A Time" and things got very easy for us. Until we recorded
Street Fighting Years. The American record company hated that album. They didn't
want us to hear us singing about Belfast Child or
Mandela Day. They rather wanted a Twice Upon a Time!
South-Africa Simple Minds never were really a political orientated band, but last year you did sing on the Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday festival. Why?
JK : When we were writing Mandela Day some 20 years ago, human rights was THE issue in that time. We hated our
government by Thatcher. I just didn't understand why she didn't stand up against apartheid and racism. The first big Mandela concert in 1988 was full of
anger, protest and a big yell for justice. Last year, it really was a birthday party. With a great leap forward, Mandela is by far the most
gentle man on earth; a goodhearted grandfather, dressed in a colourful shirt, who spent 28 years in prison and who carries this without any feeling of
bitterness. I was lucky to meet him a couple of times. He's a great fan of boxing and fishing. When he heard where I came from, he started to tell
stories about Scottish boxers in the early years and how he went fishing on salmon when he visited Scotland.
The UK's Daily Mirror gave the album four-stars in this review:
Thanks to Todd as always for an excellent show. I felt his interview with Jim was the best
yet (it's transcribed below). I've now published the entirely playlist of the show beneath the transcription.
28th may 2009
some sweet day 2009
TR: Lead singer of Simple Minds, lyricist, and all-around great guy Jim Kerr is
joining me on the phone. How are you doing sir?
JK: I’m doing great Todd. How are you?
TR: Very well and it’s always been a great pleasure to catch up with you. It’s been a couple of years since we’ve had you here
on the show as you’ve been so busy.
JK: Well I have been busy and I do apologize for not coming on for the last couple of years. But, at the same time, I think
it worked out pretty well because it gave space. I know, for instance, last year you managed to track down Robin Clark
and I think people appreciate that because there’s a lot more to this thing than the "Jim Kerr Show."
TR: True to form. I’ve become a big fan of the other people who play in the band, off and on, through the years, and their side
projects; it’s been a wonderful treat to get that exposure going on.
TR: One of the things that really fascinated me about last year just happened to be (at least according to the rumour mill) the
last day you were doing vocals on this brand new album Graffiti Soul. [Some Sweet Day 2008 was
broadcast the same day as the final vocals for Graffiti Soul were being recorded – the rumour mill.]
JK: [It] could have been because certainly we were definitely in the thick of it around this time. And God as well would say, the year has flown by.
TR: This record was done by October so you guys have been having this in the back of your mind for a couple of months now.
JK: It was well wrapped up. There was a period where we could’ve mixed the whole thing by October but what happened was in the last
few weeks we really felt we had something that more special on our hands, and we felt that rather than rush to the deadline, we would take a little
more time – only a couple of weeks – and get it right. It was demanding to be got right.
JK: So we took a couple of weeks [extra] and so the idea of having an early release this year was put back. But it’s all panned
out well. While we were doing Graffiti Soul (as many of you will know) we were also coming up with
this In Search Of The Lost Boys thing which has accompanied the release of Graffiti Soul.
(Which, for those who are listening in and don’t know, it’s almost entirely another album, albeit of cover versions, that were recorded somewhat
on the hoof in Rockfield Studios during the weeks we were making Graffiti Soul.) So, all of that
combined, did mean we required a little more time but as you correctly say, by October it was done and dusted.
TR: It was really fascinating when we found out these cover versions were coming alone. I think Eddie
mentioned it when he dialled in last year that we were doing stuff for fun. And I thought that was good to keep that energy going. But when
these titles started coming up I was thinking "That’s some core influence on Simple Minds, their favourite bands." Were some of them by
accident or if we’re going to cover a band, write down a list?
JK: It was pretty much off the cuff initially, the first three or four. What happened was we had written a lot of material – and this
will sound really arrogant but I don’t mean it in that way – there was a lot of stuff not so much left over, there was a lot of stuff we’d written
as well as the songs for Graffiti Soul and the record company and everyone is calling out these days
for added tracks, for instance, for iTunes. (If you do a special for iTunes for your album they want an exclusive track here and there – there’s always stuff).
So people said "You’ll have songs that don’t quite make the album" and in the old days you’d have called them ‘B-sides’ and ‘Bonus Tracks’ and we
just didn’t think we had ideas that were B-sides or bonus tracks! We all thought they had potential to be, perhaps, our next album or the seeds
for our next album.
JK: Sometimes you’ll come up with an idea and part of you will think it’s the best idea, but the timings not right or
it’s just not baked right – something’s missing. So rather than go with this, let’s call it a “half-and-half version” we said we’d put it
to the side – we wouldn’t look at it as B-sides, we just think of it as something for the future.
JK: Meantime, to solve the dilemma, of needing extra tracks, the thing was staring us in the face in the idea of cover
versions. Something we’ve always enjoyed doing, something that’s been very important to us; both as a band learning our trade and every time we play
live, if we don’t do one cover version, we’ll break down a song and do a cover version. So many of the great artists do it.
JK: Amazingly enough when I was telling someone about the idea to release these covers, he had said to me (and this is an industry head): "You’ve
got to watch it with covers." And I said "Really, why is that?" And he said "Well, there’s a stigma against them." And I said "What do you mean?" And he said "There’s
a stigma against cover versions. There’s been so many poor ones done recently, people see it as a stop-gap..." And I said "Hold on. Surely you mean there’s a
stigma against bad cover versions." [Laughs] Because just that morning I’d listened to Johnny Cash’s famous, glorious cover of the Nine Inch Nails' song Hurt.
And Johnny Cash was someone who could write a song or two of his own. There’s a million examples: Springsteen, U2, Patti Smith did a glorious
covers album last year, I thought it was amazing, I never thought I would see the day when Patti Smith covers a Tears For Fears
song and she did it fantastically. It goes on and on. We were brought up with people like Bowie and Bryan Ferry, they all did covers.
Even Bob Dylan himself did the occasional cover.
JK: The only person I can think of really, who has never done a cover, (probably he has), is Lou Reed. But there you go, Lou’s always the exception.
JK: So, we had this thing, we jumped at it, every day after dinner. (And in my experience after dinner in the studio nothing gets done; people
have a glass of wine and it seems something’s getting done but nothing of any substance really gets done). What we’ll do is at dinner every night, someone
will shout out a title, and everyone has ten or fifteen minutes to get their chops together, one or two takes, cut live and that was it.
And that was the mode for the collection of songs we have entitled In Search Of The Lost Boys.
TR: One of the ones that really stood out for me when I first saw the list of bands (not even the song) was The Call. There’s a
couple of Call fan web pages and Yahoo groups and as soon as they heard you were covering Let The Day Begin,
that thing just ignited. They were going crazy waiting to hear this thing. Obviously you have a connection with The Call, going back
to the mid 1980s; was that what drove you [to do the cover] or just the love of the song?
JK: All of those things. First of all, we’re fans, Charlie and I. In our opinion
The Call are one of the great American bands. They may
not have lasted as long as some of the great American bands, they may not be known as much worldwide as the great American bands, but Michael Been
is one of the great American writers. And we were privileged to get to know Michael and get to know his band, The Call,
particularly during the tour we
did to support Once Upon A Time in the States where The Call opened up for us.
Funny enough, our first meeting with The Call was earlier, during the
New Gold Dream tour, where they played a couple of gigs with us. And it wasn’t so amicable when we
first met [laughs]; there was a bit of jousting of
positions between road crews and all that stuff; and we turned up and "Who are these guys The Call?" and we stood at the side of the stage and Michael
was on fire, he was on another planet as he sang; and we knew we were looking at something really special.
JK: So, we are fans, we became friends (although we haven’t been in touch with Michael for a long time – I would like to [get in touch]).
Michael was a big, big fan of music coming out of the UK at that time, he loved Joy Division, he loved
New Order, he loved the Gang Of Four to name but
a few, and he loved Simple Minds as well. And you could hear a lot of these influences in some of The Call songs,
he had a great balance going on where
he’d just stand back and look on the world, but he had this UK love for music made at that time, so the balance of those two things pulling
together was quite special, and in case of the song in question, I hope I’m not wrong but ironically I think it was a Call song that was influenced,
perhaps, by Simple Minds. And now Simple Minds have gone back to cover The Call’s song; if any of that makes sense.
TR: I think it makes perfect sense. I soon as I heard the driving rhythm of Let The Day Begin,
I thought "They could put that together with Waterfront.
JK: Lyrically it’s an incredible song. A few people have covered it. I had a look, and without wishing to be disrespectful,
Rod Stewart covered it but I don’t think he really considered the words that Michael had written.
JK: It popped out. [Laughs] At least, I could imagine Michael grinning.
TR: The first one that came out on the Billy Sloan show, Rockin’ In The Free World,
it was very late night and I’m listening to this thing and it was like the little boy with a flashlight under the covers listening to the radio at night – going
"I can’t believe this is so good." So good for you guys on all those covers and the choice is just awesome and in some ways, and I don’t really want to put it
this way, a lot of us were really excited about Neon Lights and now we have our sequel. It’s very cool.
JK: The point we’d like to push on this is obviously one the one hand it’s about fun. You don’t do those tracks with the same
microscopic attention you do your own tracks, you set the stuff up and you hammer them down; hence the title and I should explain it: In Search Of The Lost Boys.
Because if someone were to ask me "What is it you get from playing a cover version personally?" I can tell you the sense of fun when doing a cover
version really reminds me of when we were kids really learning a song for the first time: there’s an innocence about it. And within that innocence,
there’s a kind of a bravery, because back then you had nothing to lose or you felt you had nothing to lose, and I connect (and I know Charlie and the
guys feel the same) we feel we connect with a spirit when we do these songs. We connect with this kid we left behind as unfortunately, as Peter Pan
found out, we all have to grow up, and that’s what that is all about. But it’s scary in a sense; there’s a few freaky things going on here. When you
mentioned the cover of Neil Young’sRockin’ In The Free World,
I can’t normally sing in that key; that isn’t me singing in that key, I lost
that ability years ago as I got older. [Laughs]. But it’s the Lost Boy singing and it’s amazing. And people ask “How did you get that tone again?
That was the tone you had when you were twenty-two. “ Well, I guess we really connected.
TR: I want to turn back to Graffiti Soul because that’s the driving vehicle
for not only the campaign this year but the tour
and everything else. I don’t know which song you’re showcasing on the road but they all sound incredible. I was thinking how are going to make
this come alive on the stage? Kiss And Fly just takes off; so does
Stars Will Lead The Way.
JK: You know, you’re absolutely right. It’s just going to work perfectly. It’s going to work because you saw the band last
year at Wembley, I think the band’s playing as good as they ever played if not better. So, the band’s playing incredibly anyway. These songs
are begging to be played live. It’s going to be amazing.
TR: One of the songs which came to my mind, and you mentioned the influence of David Bowie, is the song
Now, that’s a song title that’s been floating around since just after the album Cry. And
Cry came out circa 2002ish. And it’s another one of
those from that guy from Wiretrain(sic) whose name escapes me... You did Spaceface with him.
JK: In the early days, or our original days, Charlie and I wrote the songs for the first album
Life In A Day. Charlie and I wrote the songs for the
first demos and we got a deal. But as the band began to come together, and by the time we got to the second
album and the third album, Mick MacNeil and Derek Forbes
were really piling in with writing duties as well. And I would say, probably,
about 40% of it was coming from Charlie and the rest was coming from everyone; drummers themselves would sometimes instigate.
Which was just great because when you look back, we did about six albums in five years and yet we toured non-stop as well: how was
that done? Well the reason it was done was because we had all that firepower creatively.
JK: As the band began to implode [in the] late 80s, early 90s, ironically when it came to Real Life,
which was back
to Charlie and I really again writing, in fairness to Charlie when I
listen to that album, melodically he was there; the melodies were
on his shoulders and the melodies were strong; he was doing it. Which lead us to believe that despite losing the firepower, the guys
going for different reasons, we felt we could see it through. But by the mid 1990s it was getting too much and we were really missing
the firepower. So we thought we’ve got to bring people in here; but how do you bring people in? Because we couldn’t just write with
some hack hired writers. We had to gradually find people who understood Simple Minds; people that understood our culture; people who had
a culture themselves we could relate to. And through the years that has manifested with people like Kevin Hunter,
Jez Coad (who produces
and writes the occasional song with us), Gordie Goudy (who wrote
Home with us and has written Rockets, the lead track from the album, with us)
and Sean Kelly.
JK: When Simple Minds were doing their first tour, just coming together before the first album, we’d tell people we were
the only thing happening in Scotland but that’s not strictly true. [Laughs]. There was a band from Stirling called Those French Girls; there
wasn’t a girl in the band but that’s what they were called. They were sort of glam rock, probably influenced by the New York Dolls,
Bowie, people like that, and they were incredible. They were just the greatest thing. They were, by far, much more together than us
and the lead singer, and writer, was a fellow called Sean Kelly. And
Sean really looked the part, he was every inch the rock star.
It didn’t happen for them obviously; I don’t know why it didn’t happen, but through the years Sean has co-existed where he has his
job in real life, but at the same time, he continues writing under different guises. He plays at the weekend. And if he does one thing,
in my opinion, he does these David Bowie type songs that I love, of a type that Bowie doesn’t do anymore. And therefore whenever we get
the chance to hear what’s going on with Sean, or work with him, we jump at it.
JK: A few years ago he came up with an idea. It was such a short idea; it was one verse looping around which was the basis
of the song Light Travels. And we worked with it. It almost slipped through our fingers; we could never get the
right arrangement, we tried
it three or four times. That’s why you know about it, that’s why you’ve heard about it. Charlie and I would
always argue about it. We knew
there was something great there but we could never settle on an approach that we felt was right. I heard a pop song and Charlie heard
something much more abstract. But finally, on the new album Graffiti Soul, we got the arrangement that suits all of us.
TR: It is classic in the sense of Graffiti Soul because I see here
(and I’m referring to the EPK with all the artwork) all
those fantastic elements from Simple Minds’ heritage: those first six albums. And all those six elements still exist, except it’s
like a new recipe, and there’s a new cookie. There’s something new at the end of it all. Everything fits so naturally.
JK: I agree. The ingredients were all there. Sometimes the ingredients are all there, in the past, the mix just wasn’t right.
I say the mix, I don’t mean the mix of the song, I mean the ingredients were there, but maybe we just weren’t on form, or we weren’t
committed, or we were committed and the ingredients weren’t there. [Laughs]. Sometimes, as it was on this one, it was all right and ready to go.
JK: People ask "The last album was good but this one’s really great. How come?" And I say they’re not separate really, they’re all
part of a journey, they’re part of a process, and this particular process began seven or eight years ago, we got over a period when it was really
like getting blood out of a stone. I don’t know if we thought about it for long but it definitely flickered through our minds the idea that,
you know, perhaps this is it. No more gas in the tank. Evidently, as some point, we decided that was not the case and seven or eight years ago,
we turned the car around, but it remained to be seen how much further we could get it down the road and indeed how much momentum could be had.
JK: We turned it around really with Cry: we made sure the headlights were working. [Laughs].
With Black And White we were definitely
getting a head of steam. But with this one it’s like we hit a hill and here we are: we’re freewheeling. And that’s where we are. There’s no doubt
there was no room for hesitation; it just seemed that everything we try sounds pretty good or sounds great.
TR: The whole record came together very well and sonically is just drop my jaw. I was sitting there going "This is just one thing I
was not expecting." I was expecting it to be good; this was the album that took it one step further for me and I was so anticipating "What’s the next
song going to be like? What are they going to do next?” And before you know it, I’m on track eight or nine going "Wow! That’s a hell of a ride; let’s
start it all over again." So there really is that emphasis.
TR: This is the second time now (during this turning around period) that you’ve gone back to
Bob Clearmountain to master this thing and finalise it all down. Was it good for you to go over to Mix This and have
that kind of feeling. And were you there for that process?
JK: He’s going to listen to this so I’ve got to watch what I say! He’s almost non-human. [Laughs] With humans, no matter how good
they are, there’s always this matter of risk, or they get it wrong, or whatever. Bob doesn’t. Which, on the one hand, which makes it first and foremost
great, because you can just rely on him, but, on the other hand, there’s something in the back of your mind thinking "Are we coasting here? Should we be
looking somewhere else? Are we taking it from granted? Is it really that easy? Is there something missing?" It’s an incredible thing but certainly when
you go out there... I’ll tell you what, and Bob said it himself, Jez Coad
is getting so good that the rough mixes Jez did at Rockfield (the rough mix is
where you finish the recording process, you have these reference mixes which you listen to, which you use to discuss before you eventually take it to the mixers);
the rough mixes were really, really close. So, all in all, in our team, the ones that are strong are really strong and there are ones that are getting stronger,
and it’s a great thing to have.
JK: But in that final strait you need to know you’re in good hands and there’s not a lot better hands to be in than
TR: Kudos to the whole production team. I can’t wait to get my hands on a physical copy; I’m still working from
some downloads sent to me for production purposes. I’m just looking forward to having it and going "wow." Now, going back to the 30th anniversary tour,
which in some parts are going to carry on, because I know you’re going to film a DVD this year over at Edinburgh Castle. Please make sure that’s
available for us in the NTSC (or non-PAL viewing countries) because I can’t wait to see what that looks like. But, let’s talk getting live.
There’s a world tour being formulated: you’re doing festivals in the summer and there’s this rumour of you touring with OMD that took off
like wildfire here in the States which you quickly clarified – hey, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, what about coming here?
JK: Well the desire for that is strong and the agents have got together and they’re talking to the promoters as we speak so there’s
every chance; there’s a great, great chance, that that is going to happen. I’ll tell you what with Simple Minds, especially simpleminds.com; sometimes
we get a lot of flak, the guys running it get a lot of flak. We refuse to put things up unless they’re confirmed; and when we say confirmed, we
mean contracts done, signed, tees crossed; because we just don’t want people running off, especially now with fans who’ll travel from Australia
to see the band playing, we got fans like yourself travelling from America, especially now with cheap flights and stuff, but you’ve got to book
them early, you’ve got to rush to get them done, you rush to get your ticket and suddenly you find “Oh, the gig’s not on, it’s happening elsewhere or
whatever.” Now, I admit that rarely, rarely happens. Usually when there’s a gig in the air and a date, you can usually guarantee it’s going to happen; but
you can’t guarantee. And on simpleminds.com, we refuse to put it up until everything’s in order. However, a lot of the promoters and the ticket agencies,
as soon as they say "Contracts have been exchanged, there’s been verbal agreements" they just stick it up because they want to get first on it. So sometimes
it makes us look like the laggards. And we don’t want it to be the case but as we speak, there’s little we can do about it. But, in terms of clarification,
there’s a greater chance that the OMD package will happen and if not, Simple Minds will be there in any case, although it’ll
be a fewer amount of dates.
That, amongst main reasons, is why we want to hook up with OMD; it’ll be the chance to play to more people and more lucrative to more promoters.
TR: Fair enough, well put. And I’ll be reserving some places in Cleveland for you. ... You still have some of
these songs left over from the sessions and when Black And White 050505 was signed off on the 5th May 2005,
even then you had songs left over, and some of them have become this album. So I’ll reiterate the point once again where you’re going to go back
to this pile of tapes and physical recordings so we have some stuff for Simple Minds album circa 2011 or something.
JK: We certainly do. And this is the amazing thing. Four days after I finished in Rockfield, I demoed some vocals on four new tracks,
or four tracks, pipeline tracks let’s call them; we’ve finished them off in demo form. I’ll tell you why; the world just feels like a better place
when you’ve got a few new songs up your sleeve. It’s so great just now to hear people like yourself express the pleasure you’re getting from
Graffiti Soul, but just wait until you hear the new one. It really leads on.
JK: Just last week we were in London doing a video shoot and some photographs, which is really hard work these days [laughs], but
in the morning Charlie dropped me off a two minute piece of music that I wrote on and we’ve got a new song
called Concrete And Cherry Blossom and it’s just fantastic. It’s really, really something. And it just goes on.
TR: That’s really exciting. The thing that really sums up these two records is the fact that you guys all got together
in the same place and played together. I remember you mentioning that. And a lot of stuff, even going back to Cry, was done over the
Internet and didn’t really come together for the live show until the rehearsals; is this something you want to strive for? Old school,
be in the same room? Four or five guys making a noise.
JK: Yeah, until we get bored with it and then we’ll have to look at something else again [laughs]. But I don’t know if you
can get bored with it if it’s sounding that great. I think there’s a context, a much, much larger context, and I think it’s a
hell of a band once again.
TR: Amen to that. Well, Jim Kerr, thank you so much for taking the time as always. And you’re
one of the big reasons we always do this show every year because it’s always been such great music. Congratulations on thirty plus years now
and we really look forward to not only this album but the live tour coming in the fall, it’s going to be great time and we can’t wait to see you here.
JK: That’ll be great. We always thank you and appreciate what you do every year, and take the opportunity to especially thank the people
we have in America, and Canada, who’ve been sticking with the band through thick and thin and I can only hope when we turn up and play live that
it’ll be really worthwhile.
TR: I always ask you for one request sir. Any classic track or anything from the new album?
JK: I love Moscow Underground. I just do. There was a little debate when we were putting
the album together: Charlie said "It’s dark. Do we want to start with something dark?" and I thought how am I
going to sell Charlie on this? So I said "Yeah, it’s sexy and dark." [Laughs] And he was "Oh yeah, I like that." And
it is. And I hear some Magazine in it, bass line of The Strangers, I hear The Doors, it’s my kind of music.
SOME SWEET DAY 2009: The Simple Minds Marathon Playlist
*= requested material...
When Sprits Rise - Street Fighting Years
Waterfront - Sparkle In The Rain
Rockets - Graffiti Soul
Chelsea Girl (live - Paris Theater, London 8/8/79) - Silver Box (disc 1)
Premonition (live - Hurrah's Club NYC 10/24/79) - Changeling 7"*
Someone Somewhere In Summertime - Glittering Prize
Love Song - The Best Of
All The Things She Said (Extended Mix) - 12"
Spaceface - Cry
Stand By Love - Real Life
Home - Black And White 050505
This Is You Land - This Is Your Land (Theme 17)
Up On The Catwalk (live'06) - Simple Minds Sunday Express Live (disc 1)
Come A Long Way - Once Upon A Time
Great Leap Forward - Good News From The Next World
This Time - Good News From The Next World
This Is It - Graffiti Soul
(Don't You) Forget About Me (HuMate Mix) - Live And Rare
Glitterball - Neapolis
Speed Your Love To Me - Sparkle In The Rain
Goodnight - Let There Be Love CD5*
Special View - Life In A Day 7"
Blood Type O - Graffiti Soul
Stay Visible - Black And White 050505*
And The Band Played On/Real Life (live) - Hypnotized (Box set single)*
See The Lights (live - Barrowlands, 8/13/91) - Silver Box (Disc 3)
Cry - Cry CD Single (Silver Blue)
The American (extended Mix) - 12"
She's A River - Good News From The Next World
Soul Crying Out (live) - See The Lights (Etched 12")
Kiss And Fly - Graffiti Soul
Kiss The Ground - Black And White 050505
In Trance As Mission - Sons And Fascination/Sister Feelings Call
New Gold Dream (81,82,83, 84) - New Gold Dream (DVD-A 2.0 Mix)
11am (Interview with Jim Kerr)
Let The Day Begin
Rockin' In The Free World
(Don't You) Forget About Me (ext mix) - Theme 3 box
Promised You A Miracle - Glittering Prize
Ghostdancing (live) - Live In The City Of Light
Ghostrider (live) - Real Life (CD Single)
Garden Of Hate - Chelsea Girl 7"
The Garden - Cry (Silver Blue CD Single)
Shadows And Light - Graffiti Soul*
Woman - Real Life*
Homosapian - Neon Lights (w/JK Intro)
Alive And Kicking (insturmental/album version)
Celebrate (live) - Promised You A Miracle (live) 12"
Biko - Street Fighting Years
Song For The Tribes - Neapolis
Graffiti Soul - Graffiti Soul*
Pleasently Disturbed - Life In A Day*
New Sunshine Morning - Cry
Let There Be Love (extended Mix) - Let There Be Love CD Single*
League Of Nations (live - Hammersmith Odeon 9/25/81) - Sweat In Bullet 12"*
Book Of Brilliant Things (live) - Live In The City Of Light
She's A River (Duo Mix) - She's A River CD5
Rockets - Graffiti Soul
I Travel (as performed by Derek Forbes) /I Travel -The Best Of
Dolphins - Black And White 050505
Space - Silver Box (Our Secrets Are The Same)
Dirty Old Town - The Bhoys Of Paradise EP (feat. M McNeil)
Sanctify Yourself - Once Upon A Time
Wall Of Love - Street Fighting Years
The Charlie Burchill Suite: When Two Worlds Collide - Real Life/Woman And Ghosts - Hypnotized CD Single/Real Life - Real Life
Mighty Joe Moon - Home CD5
The Kick Inside Of Me - Sparkle In The Rain
Hypnotized (extended mix) - Hypnotized CD 5
Colors Fly (as played by Derek Forbes)/Colours Fly And Cathrine Wheel - NGD 81,82,83,84
See The Lights (Extended Mix) - See The Lights CD5
Stranger (London Mix) - Stranger CD5
One Step Closer - Cry (sampler)
Sign O' The Times - The Amsterdam EP
Someone Somewhere In Summertime - Glittering Prize
War Babies - The Best Of
Waterfront (live) - Simple Minds Sunday Express LIVE (disc 2)
Belfast Child - Street Fighting Years
Christine - Graffiti Soul (In Search Of The Lost Boys)
5pm (Interview with Jim Kerr)
Let The Day Begin - Graffiti Soul (In Search Of The Lost Boys)
Rockin' In The Free World - Graffiti Soul (In Search Of The Lost Boys)
Stars Will Lead The Way - Graffiti Soul
Light Travels - Graffiti Soul
Rockets - Graffiti Soul
Moscow Underground - Graffiti Soul
Love Song (extended mix) - Love Song 12"
She's A River (live) - Hypnotized CD Single (box set)
Someone - Life In A Day*
Saturday Girl - This Is Your Land CD5*
Factory - Celebration
A Song From Under The Floorboards - Graffiti Soul (In Search Of The Lost Boy
The Man Who Sold The World (w/JK Intro) - Live And Rare
New Sunrise - Spaceface CD Single
7 Deadly Sins - Good News From The Next World
Blood Type O - Graffiti Soul
Promised You A Miracle (live) - Live In The CIty Of Light
Stand By Love - Real Life
Sweat In Bullet - Sons And Fascination/Sister Feelings Call
Cry - Cry (Silver Blue CD Single)
Lightning - Neapolis
Graffiti Soul - Graffiti Soul
Sugar - Cry *
Chelsea Girl - Life In A Day
Theme For Great Cities - Sons And Fascination/Sisters Feeling Call
Home - Black And White 050505
White Light/White Heat - Live And Rare
Bird On A Wire - Stranger CD single
Sanctuary - Reconciled (The Call w/JK on Backing Vocals)
Let The Day Begin - Graffiti Soul (In Search Of The Lost Boys)
New Warm Skin - I Travel Flexi Disc
New Gold Dream (live) - SImple Minds Live Sunday Express
Big Sleep (live) - Real Live '91
Hello, I Love You - Neon Lights
Hunter And The Hunted - NGD (DVD-A 2.0)
Too Much Television - Stranger CD Single
Waterfront (Union Jack Remix) - Glitterball CD SIngle*
Light Travels - Graffiti Soul
Changling - Celebration
Ghostdancing (ext mix) - Ghostdancing 12"
Lead The Blind - Cry (Bronze cd single)
NGD - Utah Saints (Utah Saints)
Moscow Underground - Graffiti Soul
Peace, Love and Understanding - Graffiti Soul (In Search Of The Lost Boys)
Speed Your Love To Me (extended Mix) -Theme
When Spirits Rise/Street Fighting Years (live) - Theme 20
Mandela Day (SSD Mix by RTR) - Street Fighting Years (original)
All The Things She Said - Once Upon A Time*
Twist, Run Repulsion - Empires And Dance*
Dirty Old Town - The Bhoys Of Paradise*
Once Upon A Time - Once Upon A Time (DVD-A 2.0) *
Kick It In/Kick It In (Unauthorized Mix) - Kick It In 12"
In Every Heaven - NGD DVD-A*
Sloop John B - Graffiti Soul (In Search Of The Lost Boys)
Night Music - Good News From The Next World
Let There Be Love (live) - Stand By Love CD Single
Sanctify Yourself (live) - Live In The City Of Light
Stars Will Lead The Way - Graffiti Soul*
(Don't You) Forget About Me (Hu Mate Mix) - Live And Rare
Love Song (Ext Mix) - Love Song/Alive And Kicking CD5X2
Hypnotized (live -10/9/95 Glasgow) - Silver Box (disc 4)
Kiss And Fly - Graffiti Soul
Rockets - Graffiti Soul
See The Lights - Real Life
Wish You Were Here - Once Upon A Time
She's A River (Duo Mix) - She's A River CD5
Belfast Child (live) - Real Life CD5
27th may 2009
apologies, graffiti soul packaging, abderdeen concert, that's entertainment magazine, remixes, don't forget some sweet day 2009
I've been on holiday hence the lack of updates during the last week.
Standard CD: Universal 2703208
The picture CD (featuring the 1977 Claddagh logo) is housed in a standard jewelcase with a full-colour
twenty page booklet. This includes sleeve notes from Jim (which give a
different account to the origin of "Graffiti Soul"), lyrics, full album credits and fantastic
artwork interpreting each song title.
Deluxe CD: Universal 2703207
This version of the album comprises a glossy stiff card box containing two Jake packs. (A Jake pack is a glossy
card gatefold sleeve, which opens up and pushes the CD towards you). The Graffiti Soul pack includes
the nine track album, exclusive artwork in the gatefold, and a slightly different twenty-four page booklet.
(This booklet was the original design before being trimmed down for the standard CD). Searching For The Lost Boys
is packaged in the second Jake pack which features exclusive photographs from Rockfield and more exclusive
sleeve notes from Jim.
Limited Edition Double LP: Universal 2707281
The two LPs are packaged in a heavy duty glossy gatefold card sleeve which carries the album credits
on the back cover and a montage of the images from the CD booklet inside the gatefold sleeve along with
Jim’s sleeve notes. The Graffiti Soul LP is contained
within a glossy sleeve which includes all the lyrics whilst the Searching For The Lost Boys
LP is housed another glossy sleeve featuring the exclusive photographs from Rockfield and
Jim’s further sleeve notes.
Only 800 LPs have been pressed up, so if you want a copy, it’s best to order it now.
(And ordering this week will help Simple Minds’ chart position which is currently #5).
To coincide with this week's release of Simple Minds' stunning new studio album Graffiti Soul,
the band is proud to announce the addition of an 8th date to their forthcoming Graffiti Soul UK Tour.
They will now perform their final UK concert at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre on Saturday 12th December. Very special guests on all UK dates will be OMD.
Tickets for the Aberdeen concert, priced £36, will go on sale Friday 29th May at 9am.
Venue Box Office - 08444 77 9000 or book online: http://www.aecc.co.uk/simplemindsgraffitisoul2009.aspx
Simple Minds' "Graffiti Soul" UK Tour Dates -
Newcastle Metro Radio Arena (November 30), Birmingham LG Arena (December 2), Manchester MEN Arena (December 3), Sheffield Arena (December 5), Cardiff International Arena (December 6), London Wembley Arena (December 7), Glasgow SECC (December 11), Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre (December 12).
National Credit Card Hotline 0844 888 9991 / Book Online - www.ticketline.co.uk
For further information please contact Peter Noble & Will Taylor at Noble PR Consultancy Ltd
And don't forget Some Sweet Day 2009 which airs tomorrow and includes an exclusive interview between Todd and
Jim. You can listen on-line via the WBWC 88.3 FM The Sting's website. 18 hours of
Simple Minds music including B-sides, album tracks, rare remixes, live cuts and more.
WBWC's 2009 Summer Marathon Series features Simple Minds for 18 hours this Thurs. (7am - 1am EST) In Cleveland, listen in at 88.3FM,
or online at wbwc.com (real audio 8 and up.) Lots of rare tracks, guests and more. See you on the airwaves! - Todd R. (host)
More to come tomorrow... I've still loads of e-mails to get through...
19th may 2009
Two dates in Brazil have just been announced: Sao Paulo on the 24th September and Rio De Janeiro on the 25th September.
18th may 2009
taormina, vh1, classic 21, google news interview with charlie, jim at the bbc, sky news
The band's long awaited return to Taormina has now been announced for 27th July 2009 (and another gig at the Teatro della Verdura in Palermo the
previous night). An exclusive, special fan-based package has been
put together by www.sicily-concierge.com for great seats at both gigs, hotel, exclusive bars
and other goodies. (Please mention you saw it on Dream Giver
if you decide to book).
Simple Minds are featured on VH1 Classic tonight. A half hour Greatest Hits show kicks off at 19:30 and
a second hits show airs at 23:00.
Jim will be interviewed by Classic 21 (a Belgian radio station) tomorrow (May 19th),
a video of which will be streamed live from 2:00PM (UK time). Fans can send in questions for Jim via
The BBC's iPlayer is proving extremely useful for both tracking down and listening to the various
interviews the band have done over the last week. If you search for Jim Kerr then the following pop up:
The Evening Show - Tue, 12 May 2009 Alan Thompson talks to Jim Kerr of Simple Minds and there's live music with Otis Gibbs.
Alan Simpson - Fri, 15 May 2009 Alan Simpson talks to Simple Minds frontman Jim Kerr about their upcoming Belfast show.
Liz Kershaw - Sat, 16 May 2009 Liz pitches an Ash song, looks at Metallica's Black Album and chats to Jim Kerr.
17th may 2009
rockets, the silencers, arno carstens, bbc breakfast, sky news, soccer am, tribute band: sample minds, tribute band: waterfront, tribute band: simply minds, revolver, talk sport, remixes
Rockets is released tomorrow as a download only. Two versions of the song are available: the radio friendly
Cenzo Townsend remix and the stripped-down, thumping, Stylophone driven Gesamtkunstwerk Mix.
Unfortunately plans for a limited edition 7" never made it to fruition.
And the Rockets video is already available as a download through iTunes.
Your love's like faith,
Your love's spite in your eyes from those battle days.
There's still one way,
Abandoned now no matter what you say.
Just one truth,
Moving up to decide that's your battle move,
No one's here,
Some phantoms realised that's your only fear.
You're sending me rockets,
Fools circle again,
More than I realised.
You're sending me rockets.
Full circle again.
Still sending me rockets.
I could still cut through,
A war machine with its missiles set on you.
I still want you,
Misty eyes clear to find another view.
And still you're sending me rockets.
And I surrender again,
No more will I feel this time.
You're sending me rockets.
Fools circle again.
Still sending me rockets.
Fools circle again.
Home sweet home,
No idea of divides or where the peace has gone.
No words to blame,
Surrender leaves me in the dark again.
You're sending me rockets,
Fools circle again,
No matter how I plead this time.
You're sending me rockets,
Fools circle again,
More than I realised.
You're sending me rockets.
You're sending me rockets.
Keep sending me rockets.
Still sending me rockets.
Fools circle again.
The Silencers have reformed and will be supporting Simple Minds at the Olympia gig on the 8th July and
Edinburgh Castle on the 18th July.
So we will open for Simple Minds at the Olympia 8th of
July and also Edinburgh Castle on the 18th of July.
We will also play our own show at Oran Mor in Glasgow on July 15th.
Billy Sloan has written a piece in the Sunday Mail.
The last time we played with the Minds was at Wembley Stadium 20 years ago.
We did play a show two years ago to raise money for Cha Burns the guitar
player. He was looking to try some specialist treatment for cancer, he
died a few weeks later just as he turned 50.
I enjoyed playing that show and decided to get Joe Donnelly the bass
player and Jimme O'Neill the singer together again this year to just
have a play around. It went so well we will likely record a new album.
Jim heard about us getting together, gave me a call and suggested we
open in Paris and Edinburgh Castle.
We now have www.thesilencers.net on-line. There will be film
of the original band playing Painted Moon from the gig two years ago,
along with a free download of the song. There will also be a link to
buy tickets to the Oran Mor show.
Arno Carsten is the support for gigs in Germany, France and Luxembourg. (Not to be confused with
Arno Hintjens of TC Matic). For more information about Arno
Jim and Charlie will be on BBC Breakfast tomorrow
(18th May: 8:50AM - 9:15AM) promoting the new album and Rockets.
Jim was interviewed on Sky News this morning (does anyone have a copy or link to
the show?) I hope he managed to get a plug in for the album; but I suspect he was probably asked about the expenses crisis rocking the
government. (Can God save us from them?)
Sample Minds will be playing at The Ferry, Glasgow on the 17th July. Not only does this mark their 10th anniversary, and the
location of their great performance at the second Simple Minds Convention, but it was the location of a
Sparkle In The Rain photoshoot. It's also the night *before* Simple Minds take to the
stage at Edinburgh Castle so fans can sample both bands.
French tribute band Waterfront are playing five gigs in Franch during May, July, August and October. For more details,
and information about Waterfront, then check out their website.
Whilst in Ireland, Simply Minds will be playing the Munster Arms Hotel on May 31st as part of the
Bandon Music Festival. (They are currently putting a Myspace website together and will
publish the address soon).
Dutch music magazine Revolver has given Graffiti Soul four stars. It also includes an interview with
Jim and a half page advert for the new album.
Jim Gellatly's interview with Jim is the best I've heard so far. They talk about each track
on the album, touring, the 30th anniversary of Simple Minds, the Lost Boys covers and more. It's a great introduction to
The interview can be heard here (available as both streaming media and
11th may 2009
rockets, new summer gig, scotland on sunday, radio magnetic podcast, sky sports, record collector review
The Rockets single, released next week, will be download only. Two versions of the title track
are included: the Radio Edit (presumably the Cenzo Townsend Remix) and the Gesamtkunstwerk Mix.
Simple Minds will be playing the Civic Arena in Milan on the 3rd July. Check out
www.rockol.it for more
Aiden Smith of Scotland On Sunday recently interviewed Jim and the article
was published in yesterday's paper. The on-line edition can be read on their website and
scans of the article can be seen below.
Jim will be appearing on Soccer AM on Sky1/Sky1 Sports on Saturday 16th May. The show broadcasts from
9:00AM - 12:00 (UK time).
Record Collector have now reviewed the album and have broken their rating system to such an extent that the reviewer himself
had to point out the sheer pointlessness of it all. It's better than the 5-star rated Black And White 050505
so the reviewer give it 3-stars!?!?!??
Simple Minds Graffiti Soul
Almost the miracle they've been promising
The ongoing debate for what has been the best Simple Minds album since 1982's New Gold Dream
has been finally answered - it's here. Though possibily light on to-die-for melodies, the groove and feel of
Graffiti Soul is classic Simple Minds. It's like they've found the word "grace" again
in their dictionary instead of "gigantic".
Graffiti Soul came about after Kerr temporarily relocated
to Glasgow following years living in Sicily, writing at the same kitchen table that he wrote the band's early material, something he hadn't done
since the early 80s. You can almost hear his skin tone turning from tan back to pasty white. Jim Kerr has
talked about his desire to make "a full-bloodied record of ballsy pop songs" and that's exactly what it is - straight into dazzling opener
Moscow Underground, the pace and tension doesn't let up. All the things you expect - shards of twinkling
guitar from Charlie Burchill, oblique yet powerful lyrics from Kerr -
are all here, deftly delivered.
Our august journal gave Black And White 050505 five stars in 2005 and said it was the best since back then.
Well, today Graffiti Soul gets an old-fashioned three and it's better than that.
*** Daryl Easlea
6th may 2009
album sampler online, listening party, album signing, exceptional in the 80's
The band will be appearing at HMV Glasgow on the 25th May and signing copies of
Graffiti Soul. It'll kick off at 3:00PM.
For those who missed it, Exceptional In The 80s can be heard again using the BBC'siPlayer (this is a direct link to the show). The interview with
Jim starts one hour, twenty three minutes into the show.
1st may 2009
exceptional in the 80's (featuring new gold dream), simply minds
Rockets is getting plently of play on Absolute Radio and has been C-listed for
BBC Radio Two. And speaking of BBC Radio Two, Jim will be appearing on
Richard Allinson's show on Monday 4th May. The show, titled Exceptional In The 80s celebrates the
music of the 1980s and the featured classic album is New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84).
Joining Sample Minds and Simple Minded are Simply Minds an Irish tribute Simple Minds
band. They'll be playing the Rob Roy, in Cobh, on May 2nd.
Quite Simply, this rocking cover band are Alive And Kicking
I'm sure there are people out there who have already booked their tickets to see Simple Minds at
The Marquee this summer but no doubt there are those also who are left wondering Simple who?
For hardcore fans, aficionados and novices alike, there is a band to get you in the mood for, or get you up to
speed with, Simple Minds. They are Simply Minds.
Placing more emphasis on sounding rather than lookign the part, their aim is not just to play the music of
Simple Minds as best they can but to concert people into fans of the Scottish band.
Vocalist John McGuire has been a lifelong fan of the iconic group.
"I have a soft spot for them because my father is from Glasgo and I'm half Scottish and I got into the Scottish feel
of it," he explains. "I got really into their music then their early stuff. I was hooked."
Simple Minds reached their hgih point in the mid Eighties with their version of
Don't You (Forget About Me) taken from the teen movie The Breakfast Club and
their massive selling album Once Upon A Time which spawned smash hits such as
Alive And Kicking. Many people would be forgiven for thinking they split up in the
Nineties but while their output decreased McGuire insists the quality of their early work is still evident. He
points out that one of their tracks from their recent album, Black And White 050505
is used in Sky Sports' coverage of Scottish Premier Leauge matches.
The Cork five-piece features another Scottish connection in Dundee-born guitarist Mick Feeney.
He's seen Simple Minds live about 40 times. When he received a call from McGuire to join the
cover artists he thought it was a wind up.
"We're not after an ego trip," insists McGuire. "We've been there and done that with our own original rock bands in
our day. What this is basically is going out there, putting on agood show, having a good old night and just rocking the house."
They will be playing the Rob Roy in Cobh on May 2nd.
Simply Minds Irelands only Simple Minds Tribute Act
SIMPLY MINDS were formed in early 2007 by five musicians with a love for the music of Simple Minds.
Lead vocalist, John McGuire put this project together with his brother Paul (bass), Tim (drums), Larry (keyboards),
and Mick (guitar), a Scot, all the way from Dundee. Simply Minds is a band with a difference. Their goal
is not to look picture perfect like most tribute bands, but to get as near as possible to ‘sound perfect’ for their audience. At present
the band are planning a nationwide tour that kicks off in 2009 in Cork city.
Simply Minds launched to a capacity crowd in the Old Oak Bar in Cork in November 2007 and this was followed in quick
succession by three more sell out gigs in An Crúiscín Lán and Mulligan’s Bar. Due to their realistic Simple Minds sound, the band
has been interviewed several times by radio and print media.
In 2009, the band have plans to play venues in Dublin, Galway, Limerick and throughout Ireland and also intend to travel to Scotland to see
Simple Minds play live in Edinburgh Castle.
Simply Minds takes its inspiration from the Scottish band Simple Minds. Formed in 1977, Simple Minds started
out like most bands, playing pubs, clubs and universities. The punk era was rampant and you can hear this influence in their early material.
Virgin Records signed the band in early 1981 after seeing a worldwide market for their style of music. The album
New Gold Dream is still regarded as one of the all time greats. A string of hits throughout the
1980’s included their first stadium anthem Waterfront and
Promised you a Miracle and resulted in their first US number one hit
Don’t you Forget about Me. Their performance at LIVE AID in ’85 was up there with
U2 and BOWIE. After 30 years they're still pumping the hits out.
29th april 2009
some sweet day 2009, music week, bob clearmountain, simple minded, remixes
Greetings to all the fans of the Minds
"Just a quick note to let you know that it's official - Some Sweet Day 2009 is May 28th! We'll again have a great 18 hours
featuring the great musical history of Simple Minds and the brand new
Graffiti Soul and it's sister album
Searching For The Lost Boys.
SSD09 is part of WBWC's annual Summer Marathon Series (the whole list can be found on
wbwc.com) where every Thursday in summer we feature one band or artist all day. Starting at 7am
and on to 1am (USA EST), we'll dive into the rich history of Minds music, including rare tracks, live recordings, guest
appearances and so much more. Of course, we might even have a phone call from a friend or two :)
Send in your requests (day of show) to email@example.com, or drop us a phone call at 440-826-STING (7846).
All of us at 88.3FM look forward to Some Sweet Day'09 come May 28th!
" - Todd Richards
"These guys just keep crankin' out great albums! This one really sounds like a classic 'Minds LP with simply great songs.
Produced by Jez Coad, it won't let you down!" - Bob Clearmountain writing on
his website about Graffiti Soul
Simple Minds have a fantastic eight page spread in this weeks' Music Week. Alongside the main feature by Adam Woods
are sidebars about the expectations for Graffiti Soul, hit single rundown, Simple Minds' live
presence and a brief album discography.
The piece is illustraed with congratulory adverts from Noble PR, Universal (full page Graffiti Soul advert),
Mojo Concerts, Kennedy Street, EMI, Solo, Regular Music and
Bucks Music Group.
A definite must for any fan.
"Simple Minded are a Scottish tribute band to, yes you've guessed it, Simple Minds.
If you get a few minutes, please check out some audio clips of our last rehearsal uploaded to
uk.myspace.com/simplemindstribute. Please bear in mind that
this is only our 3rd rehearsal, and we are improving all the time. But it would be nice to have
some feedback on how we have progressed so far.
27th april 2009
rockilunden, q magazine, mojo magazine
Simple Minds will be playing Horsens, Denmark on the 14th August. For more information, check out
Veteran Scots Stadium Rockers Regain Credibility
Seeing how The Killers, Editors and White Lies
seemingly have such an in-depth working knowledge of Simple Minds' back catalogue,
maybe it's time for these one-time U2 pretenders to be taken seriously again. Backing
that up is what might well be the best album Jim Kerr and
Charlie Burchill have put together since 1984's
Sparkle In The Rain. Sounding big, powerful and
re-energised, yet shorn of the self-important bombast that effectively torpedoed their career in the '90s,
such tracks as Light Travels, the unrelenting motorik drive of
Moscow underground and hook-laden lead single
Rockets can still show all those young upstarts a thing or two.
Fifteenth studio album successfully recaptures their mid '80s heyday
Without a UK Top 10 single or album for 14 years, Simple Minds have been off the scene, in chart success terms, for longer
than they were on it. Graffiti Soul arrives when newer acts like White Lies are
revealing just how much of the Minds' musical DNA has been passed on. There are glimpses of the antique brilliance of
Jim Kerr and co's art-rocking roots on the propulsive, half-heard quality of
Moscow Underground, and the beguiling melody of Blood Type O, whilst
the first single Rockets and stand-out track Stars Will Lead The Way
have the sort of riffs that would've filled stadiums in the '80s. The music is taut, the vocals, if anything, under-emoted and the overall feeling is that
of a muse rediscovered.
David Buckley, MOJO ****
26th april 2009
music week, q magazine, mojo magazine, rockets promo, radio nora, graffiti soul formats, sample minds, remixes, billy sloan (updated)
Simple Minds are featured artist in this week's Music Week magazine. Included in this tribute issue
are eight glossy colour pages about Simple Minds including supportive messages from their partners,
a profile, new album review and a discography.
Q Magazine have also reviewed the album:
Veteran Scots Stadium Rockers Regain Credibility
Seeing how The Killers, Editors and White Lies
seemingly have such an in-depth working knowledge of Simple Minds' back catalogue,
maybe it's time for these one-time U2 pretenders to be taken seriously again. Backing
that up is what might well be the best album Jim Kerr and
Charlie Burchill have put together since 1984's
Sparkle In The Rain. Sounding big, powerful and
re-energised, yet shorn of the self-important bombast that effectively torpedoed their career in the '90s,
such tracks as Light Travels, the unrelenting motorik drive of
Moscow underground and hook-laden lead single
Rockets can still show all those young upstarts a thing or two.
Mojo have also reviewed the album awarding it four stars out of five. The back cover the magazine
features a full page glossy advert for Graffiti Soul.
The standard CD comprises the album in a jewel case with Graffiti Soul scratched across the plastic cover. The booklet includes a written introduction
by Jim along with Gilbert and George style artwork for each song and the lyrics. The Deluxe CD
includes the bonus CD Searching For The Lost Boys; both CDs are packaged in a Jake Box. The vinyl edition is based on the deluxe
CD and includes two discs in a gatefold sleeve.
A Super Deluxe CD edition was also mentioned in a mail from the official site. This format is still being discussed.
Many thanks to all those who sent me recordings of Billy Sloan's interview with
Jim from last Sunday. A transcription of the introduction for
This Is It is given below:
BS: The next track we’re going to play from Graffiti Soul, is track number eight,
the track which rounds of the album: This Is It. Tee it off for us. JK: I’ll tell you an interesting story about that. It nearly happened last year – when the original members came
together to work on, what was going to be, two cover songs for a mooted 30 Years anniversary compilation. In the end, it didn’t happen...
But at the last minute, we came up with a song. It had been planned that we would do two covers and at the last minute we came up with
this song – the day the guys were getting together called This Is It. JK: And I said "I can hear Derek Forbes playing this, I can hear Mick MacNeil playing this,
they’ll eat it up." We took it to them and there was a good reaction. And the night before we were going to go in Mick
called and said "This has got miles to go, this isn’t finished." And we said "That’s interesting because we think it is [finished] but if you think
you can take it elsewhere then even better." And he was very doubtful about it all. JK: And it was amazing that even though I hadn’t worked with Mick for twenty years I
respected him – and my faith in the song was rocked for a couple of days. But it’s so nice that we’d done it. And it’s pretty much
as the demo was and people giving their reaction to it – why are you laughing? BS: I’m not laughing – I’m just smiling. Here it is, this is Simple Minds from Graffiti Soul and
This Is It.
Jim will be appearing on the German radio station Nora at around 5:00PM (German time)
tomorrow (23rd April). The station have put together a page for the
21st april 2009
graffiti soul world tour
20th april 2009
graffiti soul world tour, new french dates, billy sloan, videos
The first dates for the UK leg of the Graffiti Soul World Tour have been announced. (Which suggests all the previously announced dates are
a continuation of the 30th Years Live concerts).
There will be a pre-sale on the official site in the Free Members Area starting at 10:00 GMT tomorrow.
In a video announcement on the official site (which can be found in the Free Members Area)
Charlie) announce their plans for the tour - which includes trips to
South America (September), North America and Canada (October), Europe (November) and the UK (November and December).
These concerts will include more of Graffiti Soul and some of the Lost Boys
Special guests for the American and UK legs are OMD (who are incidentally my second favourite 80s band so
I'm extremely pleased about that).
Hailed as one of the best "live" rock'n'roll bands in the world, Simple Minds are pleased to announce the UK
leg of their forthcoming Graffiti Soul World Tour. The UK concerts will take
in seven dates, and will dovetail the highly anticipated release of Simple Minds' 15th studio album
Graffiti Soul, released on May 25th. Very special guests will be OMD.
"Particularly in these times it is vitally important for us to give as much value to our audience as possible," says
Jim Kerr, lead singer and founding member of Simple Minds. "Playing a full
set of hits and other surprises, I know that OMD will contribute so much towards making each of these shows into
memorable events!" Between them both, Simple Minds and OMD have sold 75 million albums worldwide
as well as chalking up over 40 hit singles.
Tickets for the UK will go on sale at 9am on Friday April 24th by calling the National Credit Card Hotline: 0871 424 4444, or book
online at www.ticketline.co.uk. Dates include Newcastle Metro Arena (Nov 30), Birmingham LG
Arena (Dec 2), Manchester MEN Arena (Dec 3), Sheffield Arena (Dec 5), Cardiff International Arena (Dec 6), London Wembley Arena (Dec 7)
and Glasgow SECC (Dec 11).
"We are very excited to announce the UK leg of the Graffiti Soul tour," says Kerr. "Graffiti Soul
is one of our most powerful albums to date. The new songs have an undeniable rock and roll edge and immediacy to them and we can't
wait to perform them live!"
For further ticket and tour information, and interview opportunities with Simple Minds and OMD, please contact:
Peter Noble and Will Taylor at Noble PR Consultancy, Tel: 0207 272 7772, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Simple Minds will be playing No 2, Terville, France on July 6th and
Le Palio Arena, Les Nuits d'Istres, France on July 11th.
A pre-recorded interview with Jim was broadcast on Billy Sloan's
show last night along with the first play of This Is It and
the cover of Christine.
I only caught half the interview and missed the segment before This Is It. Apparently
this was one of the tracks to be recorded by the original line-up reunion that never
was - does anyone have a recording of Billy's show so I can verify this?
The standard edition of Graffiti Soul will include two bonus tracks. The first,
Shadows And Light, is a short song which was recorded prior to the album sessions. It's different in
style than the main eight-tracks of the album and is more suited as a B-side - hence it's inclusion as a "bonus" track.
Jim appeared STV's Five Thirty Show yesterday and the video of his interview
can be seen on STV's website.
Back in Glasgow to see his folks and to promote his 15th studio album, Graffiti Soul,
Simple Minds front man Jim Kerr also took the chance to wax philosophical about
life on the road, typing and air conditioning in Italy. Interesting guy.
Out on May 25, the new album has, says Kerr, a zest about it that the band weren’t expecting:
“The new album has gone beyond our beliefs. It has an energy about it that shouldn’t be there for people that have been around the
block as many times as we have.”
The album’s headline single, Rockets, still captures the essence of the Simple Minds
sound, and the video highlights long-lived Jim’s ability to dance around while pointing at the
camera in his own inimitable way. I love that. That’s the way videos should be.
Born and raised in Toryglen in Glasgow (join Jim for a tour), he’s been off touring with the band
for over 30 years now, taking in the highlights that the sparkling world of music has to offer. Now he even runs a hotel in Sicily
where his air conditioning and typing skills come into play. But Jim insists that it’s still
Scotland he that draws him back after all these years.
“It’s home in every sense,” he says. “People who know Simple Minds and know my story know that I’ve lived and travelled
abroad. But I never remember any night where I’ve packed the bag and said Cheerio to Glasgow.
“We kind of went out hitchhiking and ended up in a band and went on tour but always the link has been back here. The bond has
never felt broken in any sense.”
The video of the Absolute Radio interview with Jim and Charlie
can now be seen on YouTube:
12th april 2009
rockets video, graffiti soul epk, pinkpop, discography updates, hollywood, mon amour compilation, remixes, billy sloan
The Rockets video has been exclusively posted online by the official site. It's available on their home page;
alternatively (dodgy) copies can also be found on YouTube.
A complete opposite to the dark Home video,
Rockets is crisp, clear and brightly lit. It features the four piece band in the studio against
a sheer white background with a few special effects thrown in for good measure.
The Graffiti Soul EPK is now available on the official site (in the members section). This 13 minute
video outlines Graffiti Soul: Jim and
producer Jez Coad are interviewed, a segment of each track with background
information is played, and the Gilbert and George style artwork illustrating each song is also
revealed. (Which are slow pans over the artwork and lyrics in the CD booklet).
Topics included the recording of the album (with the additional pressure of it being released on the back of the 30 Years Live Tour),
the temptation to debut the new Graffiti Soul songs during the
30 Years Live Tour, the Rockets remix, selecting
Rockets as the first single, the story of Stars Will Lead The Way
(which has the best chance of being second single), whether Graffiti Soul is for old or new fans,
other bands being influenced by Simple Minds, the so-called eighties revival, the story behind the song
Light Travels, working together for 30 years, the story behind the song
Graffiti Soul, getting opinions of their music and playing the festivals.
The interview is available as a podcast.
Unfortunately, due to legal issues, podcasts don’t feature music so none of the
songs are included. But it’s definitely worth a listen for the banter between Jim,
Charlie and presenter Ben.
I didn’t listen to the broadcast so downloaded the podcast instead (which was available before last night’s broadcast).
Interestingly this appears to be a slightly different edit to the broadcast version and features Jim and
Charlie discussing Light Travels before
the song is played. Therefore I believe they talked about three songs, and intended to play all three, but the final broadcast
only featured two.
Billy Sloan played Rockets early in the show and then,
due to public demand, repeated Let The Day Begin. Fans were kept waiting until the last part of his show
when he exclusively played Simple Minds' version of Whiskey In The Jar (a
traditional Irish song most famously covered by Thin Lizzy).
So, the track listing for Searching For The Lost Boys currently stands at:
Just got back from an afternoon at the Adams Drumfestival in Tessenderlo (Belgium) and saw a brilliant drum demo from
our favorite heavy weight drummer, Mel Gaynor! He was awesome! He gave a demo with his Taye kit
and bashed around like hell. He was a bit late, but made this delay up with a steaming session. He dedicated Smooth Criminal
(the version by Alien Ant Farm) to Michael Jackson who will be touring again. Then he played something funkier
and introduced his kit (Taye) and finished with The Who’s Won't Get Fooled Again with a huge massive drum-solo.
After this demo my mate took me backstage to meet Mel and we had a brief talk. He was
looking forward to the upcoming tour and confirmed that they’ll be playing 30 Years Gigs
(like in the UK) after the summer. He was very pleased with the gigs in the UK and looked forward for the summer gigs. We talked a bit
about the album and he wanted to know where I heard Rockets and
Rockin' In The Free World so I told him about Billy Sloan.
He wanted to hear my reaction on those songs and said he really enjoyed the recording process. He told that recording was great fun and
the new material screams out to be played live. He said to look out for the deluxe version with the covers, the recording sessions were
great fun. Then it was time to go for a brief signing session and we said our goodbyes. He looked very sharp and laughed a lot. He took
his time for everyone there and signed drumsticks, programs and some Simple Minds stuff. After the sessions he went away
after giving me a pat on the back and a brief "see you in summer."
Klaus De Pillecyn
4th april 2009
graffiti soul, graffiti soul collectables
Earlier today a listening party was held at Universal Records in London. Twenty lucky fans were given the opportunity
to hear Graffiti Soul, watch the album’s EPK (Electronic Press Kit) and see an introductory
filmed "hello" from Jim.
This is part of the promotional push for the album. We needed people who could listen to the album, offer feedback
and spread the word over the Internet. So, it was a matter of selecting those who ran websites, mailing lists and forums; and selecting
those who posted frequently, eloquently and positively on those mailing lists and forums. We wanted to get the word out.
An equal number of fans were picked from the Simple Minds Mailing List and sosimpleminded.com forum.
Due to the quick organisation of the event (people were only contacted last week), it was only initially possible to offer
places to those in the UK. And, unfortunately, space was limited to just twenty people.
Graffiti (graffito) is the name for images or lettering scratched, scrawled, painted
or marked in any manner on property. Graffiti is sometimes regarded as a form of art
and other times regarded as unsightly damage or unwanted.
Simple Minds have never been influenced by fashion, never jumped on the bandwagon of the
next big sound nor taken much notice of prevailing trends. Instead the sound of their varied albums has grown
from the situation the two main players find themselves in, the people they’re surrounded by and the sounds and magic
this ensemble can conjure up. In this case, those trying to guess the direction of Graffiti Soul
shouldn’t look towards the pop charts but at the line-up, the producer and the circumstances of its recording: namely Jim,
Eddie, producer Jez Coad and a residential studio.
The similarities between this and the recording of 2005’s predecessor Black And White 050505
should be clear. In consciously repeating the variables that lead to the success of Black And White 050505,
Simple Minds have borne a successor which has caught the previous album’s sound and run boldly forward with it. But the
new album isn’t a simple retelling of Black And White 050505; as Jim
once said the key to a good song is searching for the tunes and in Graffiti Soul’s
case they’ve struck melodic gold.
The album isn’t all skyscraper guitars and euphoric choruses. The album’s opener, Moscow Underground, is
a solid, dark groove, held in place by Eddie Duffy’s propulsive bassline, whilst Jim’s
lyrics tell the tale of the subterranean explorers and dwellers who inhabit lost tunnels under the city’s Metro. Light Travels,
a song spawned from the Black And White 050505 sessions, is a slow "Bowiesque" chill-out, the lyrics
confirming the permanence of the physical world over time. Blood Type O, a nod to an Eastern custom of
grouping traits by blood group instead of zodiac signs, enters an exotic world of dulcimers and alien sounds before tripping into a
cacophony of blood banks and pumping machines.
The two middle tracks, Kiss And Fly and Graffiti Soul, are
not as attention grabbing as their neighbours and could be relegated in status to album filler. But that would be doing them a disservice;
these slow burners take a while to register, but that’s understandable when compared with the strength of the rest of the album.
The album’s sleeve notes give the (ancient) story behind the album’s title buried under piles of Gilbert And George style artwork
(created by Edinburgh design firm Curious) with each song given a visual montage of cartoon images in bright primary colours.
Once you’ve opened the front cover with its scratched graffito carved into the plastic, you’re visually in a completely different
world from previous Simple Minds iconography. Pop art for a rock album.
In short, Graffiti Soul continues Simple Minds singular journey as they
resolutely plough their own furrow, unfettered by the whimsy of the fashionable, the so-called cool and the current trends. It’s the next step
and Graffiti Soul is a firm, resolute and positive move in the right direction. It’s a definite return to form.
Brooding, dark opener, with a visceral Eddie Duffy bassline which relentlessly kicks at the senses.
Multi-textured dense song on nodding terms with Swimming Towards The Sun, sneaking the
guitar riff from the Mind's 2003 retelling of White Light/White Heat. Dark lyrics linger on darkness, loneliness and
a world out of control.
Quirky enigmatic track with exotic overtones thanks to the dulcimers used during the chorus. Only track on the album with
the main melody on keyboards with Charlie’s effects liberally spread over the whole track.
Ends with a bubbly cacophony of blood monitoring machines.
Full bloodied triumphant fist pounding optimistic closure which sees the album out on a high. Another great
Charlie number has he relentlessly cycles through the wonderful riff as the song
builds to a crescendo. This Is It is not the full stop or terminal
statement of the album but a mandate for the future:
There is a game in town,
This is it, this is it,
They call it new change.
Note: we heard the promo version of the album which is only eight tracks. The commerical edition of the album features an additional
Many thanks to Universal Records and Simple Minds for the opportunity to hear the new album, watch
the EPK, take home a goodie bag* and drink all the hospitality beer. (Some sandwiches were left however).
And thanks to those fans who gave up a Friday afternoon to travel to London to listen to the album.
Mike Ogletree here, just been checking out your Dream Giver Redux site
and wow, I have to say that it is impressive. I have been quietly
following the Dream Giver site for the past couple of years and this
recent incarnation is beautiful. My hat's off to you and your loyalty
and dedication to the band is the best I've seen.
If you are interested I'd like to take the opportunity to fill you in
briefly on my activities since 1982 and my current projects and plans.
1983-1984: I worked with Fiction Factory from Perth Scotland on their
hit single Feels Like Heaven and follow up album Throw The Warped Wheel Out.
1984-1989: I moved to Milan Italy where I lived and worked as a
session musician with several Italian musicians and bands.
1989-2006: I went into an extended period of seclusion with the Church
Of Scientology where I worked as a sound engineer and musician in
Italy and ultimately at their Film/Sound Studio called Golden Era
Productions in California.
2006-Present: Moved on from the Scientology experience and located
myself in Brooklyn New York where I now live and work.
Current project: Last year saw the release of my first CD after two
years of research into the life and works of Robert Burns. This CD consists of five of my own
songs and six of Robert Burns'. This project revisits Burns' immortal
memory and universal message in the context of contemporary music
technology and style. As such the sound is a blend of funky reggae
with my own stamp. The production is entirely my own. I composed,
arranged and performed the CD as well as designing the cover art,
mastering the final tracks and financing the replication of the final
product. Apart from being dear to my heart as a native of Ayrshire
(Burns country in Scotland) I am also a big fan of his poetry and
consider his legacy one of the most important cultural contributions
not only in Scotland but the world over. To that end this is an
on-going project for which I am currently writing and producing
material for a second CD.
I am writing to you at this time after a long period of preparation
and production during which I have been readying myself for the
presentation of my work as a solo artist. Living in New York for the
last two and a half years is the touch that awakens a flood of
creative energy in me to the point where I am now producing what I
consider to be my best work ever. I invite you and all interested
Simple Minds fans to visit my artist web-sites, read my blogs, listen
to my music and send me your feedback.
One of the unique aspects of these listings are the links back into the discography, namely official and bootleg releases. Therefore the
following bootlegs have now been documented:
(Radio transcription discs will be linked into the tour listing in the future).
The problem with creating wallpapers from Simple Minds' classic album sleeves is one of aspect ratio i.e. square LP and
CD covers don't sit neatly on a rectangular computer screen. This leaves two options: crop the image or expand it.
I chose the latter. In some cases, I've had to alter the design a little, but I think this gives a fresh, new, "widescreen" feel to many
of the band's older designs.
This is the first batch. (Right-click on the name of the wallpaper you want, and select "Save Target As").
Another date for the tour: Simple Minds will be playing L'Olympia, Paris on the 8th July. Tickets can be purchased
through the Olympia website.
31st march 2009
Jim and Charlie went on the Janice Long show
and basically had a laugh.
The remixed Rockets was played and
Graffiti Soul was mentioned a couple of times but the rest of the interview consisted of
Jim’s forthcoming big birthday, how playing St. Mark’s, Venice was a little bit "Elton John",
their favourite London hotel, the young Charlie trying to smuggle Hawkwind
albums with dodgy gatefold spreads back into his house, meeting The Rolling Stones (with Charlie
forgetting they’d played with them on occasion), getting drinks into Bryan Ferry and talking about Elvis, and
three legged dogs.
You can listen to the interview through the BBC’s Listen Again service.
The Simple Minds interview starts 15 minutes into Janice’s show.
30th march 2009
absolute radio, isle of wight festival
Jim and Charlie have recorded an interview with
Ben Jones of Absolute Radio. This will be broadcast next week – both as audio and video streams.
However, as a taster, some brief excerpts from the interview were aired tonight.
Ben Jones queried the objectives of Graffiti Soul and asked whether
it was for new or old fans. Charlie stated how the album would really work for old fans and
the band were also finding new fans through their tours as parents brought their children to the shows.
Influences were also discussed with Ben citing the Killers, Keane and Snow Patrol
as all influenced by Simple Minds. He joked how Spiralling by Keane should feature a "thank you" to
Simple Minds at its end. Jim mentioned being interviewed by a reporter from the
Dutch Telegraph who pointed out the opening paragraph of an interview with the lead singer of the Kings of Leon: I saw
Simple Minds when I was twelve and I just wanted to be in a band.
Simple Minds’ influences were then mentioned with Jim joking how they’d stolen
many ideas from David Bowie. Both agreed that no specific act had influenced Graffiti Soul
but Jim and Charlie both mentioned MGMT’s
album as a particular favourite.
The interview concluded with a mention of the Isle of Wight festival which had just been formally announced today
(see the press release below).
SIMPLE MINDS / PIGEON DETECTIVES / THE SCRIPT /
GOLDIE LOOKIN CHAIN / JUDY COLLINS AND ARNO CARSTENS
COMPLETE SUNDAY'S EPIC LINE UP AT THE ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL 2009
Simple Minds, The Pigeon Detectives, The Script, Goldie Lookin Chain, Judy Collins and Arno Carstens
join the immense main stage bill for Sunday 14th June at the Isle of Wight Festival 2009. This year's line up is
guaranteed to kick off the festival season in sensational style, also featuring Neil Young, Stereophonics,
Razorlight, The Prodigy and Basement Jaxx to name but a few.
Since forming in 1977 Simple Minds have had 6 UK number one albums making them one of the most
successful Scottish bands. ever! Their astounding live shows have won them huge critical acclaim across the world,
and their first appearance at this year's Isle of Wight Festival is set to be as epic as ever. Renowned for their
number one hits such as Alive and Kicking, they first hit the top spot with the album
Sparkle in the Rain paving the way to rock royalty. Their 15th studio album
Graffiti Soul is due for release in May and will see the band return on fine form.
"We are very excited about playing the Isle of Wight," says Jim Kerr. "This is the first time
Simple Minds have played the festival, so as you can imagine, we're really looking forward to it. We'll be performing
songs from our new Graffiti Soul album and some classics gems."
The Pigeon Detectives, one of the most popular acts of 2008 are due to hit the Isle of Wight Festival's
main stage with full force this year. With the success of their debut album 'Wait For Me', and its follow up 'Emergency',
the Leeds quintet are renowned for their high-energy performances and sing-a-long anthems.
Multi platinum selling rockers The Script, join Sunday's spectacular main stage line up. Having sold 600,000
albums in 2008 alone, securing 3 top ten singles, the Irish three-piece have gone from strength to strength and are set to
bring down the house with their intense blend of rock and pop.
Welsh rappers Goldie Lookin' Chain, never cease to amaze and amuse with their unique take on bling,
riches and rides, so prepare to learn a lesson or two from the outspoken 8 piece at the Isle of Wight
Festival 2009. GLC's new album 'ASBO4LIFE' is due out this summer so expect another selection of culture crushing classics from the
Folk legend Judy Collins completes Sunday's line up and no doubt one of the most eclectic
festival bills to date. The Seattle songstress began her career in 1960 covering songs by the likes of Joni Mitchell and
Bob Dylan with her unique soprano singing style. The Grammy award winner has dabbled in various musical styles
including rock'n'roll and pop so expect something very special at this year's festival.
Now in its eighth year since its reincarnation in 2002, the Isle of Wight Festival brings together 50,000 free spirited,
music loving, friends, families and festival goers in front of one almighty stage, in a simply stunning setting. It is
undoubtedly one of the most distinctive and well-loved festivals on the calendar and the two UK Festival Awards for
'Best Major UK Festival' and 'Outstanding Contribution to Festivals' (awarded to John Giddings) is proof of just that.
The Isle of Wight Festival takes place 12th - 14th June at Seaclose Park, Newport, Isle of Wight. Tickets are on sale now, for
tickets and more information check out - www.isleofwightfestival.com
For further information about Simple Minds and the new Graffiti Soul album, please contact:
Press - Peter Noble at Noble PR Consultancy Ltd - 0207 272 7772, firstname.lastname@example.org
TV - Niki Sanderson / Non Stop - email@example.com
Radio - Joe Bennett / Lucid PR - firstname.lastname@example.org
Regional - Neil Adams / Neil Adams PR - email@example.com
Online - Sarah Thompson / Charm Factory - firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information on the Isle of Wight Festival 2009 please contact:
Jacquie, Katy or Victoria at Amazing Media on 0207 292 8860 - email@example.com
For "Isle of Wight" TV/Radio enquiries, Tony Barker at TX Media
0208 883 4244 - firstname.lastname@example.org
27th march 2009
venice gig, telegraph, billy sloan
Simple Minds will be playing Piazza San Marco, Venice on the 14th July to raise funds
for some of the city's monuments. The official press release can be read
ANSA - VENEZIA, 27 MAR -Simple Minds in concerto a Piazza San Marco a Venezia il 14 luglio per la raccolta
fondi promossa dalla onlus 'Sms Venice'. Il progetto 'Sms Venice' e' partito nel 2008 dall'unione di intenti
del Comune di Venezia, della Soprintendenza e di Fran Tomasi & Associati. Tra gli obiettivi della campagna
2009, il restauro di parti della Chiesa dei Gesuiti, di quella di San Giorgio Maggiore, del Ponte di Rialto,
della Scuola di San Rocco e della Chiesa di San Giuseppe.
Neil McCormick in Simple Minds grovelling apology shocker? Read all
about it here,
where the Telegraph blogger had to issue a 'sorry' after lumping the
Minds in with reforming artists such as Spandau Ballet, The Eagles
and The Police.
Still, McCormick has heard the new album and all is good: "Their forthcoming album, 'Graffiti Soul', is
certainly as good as anything in their classic back catalogue."
Don't forget to listen to Billy Sloan on Sunday night for the next exclusive play of a track from
Searching For The Lost Boys.
24th march 2009
billy sloan, simple minded, absolute radio, remixes
Billy Sloan played Rockets again on his Sunday night show plus the
exclusive first play of Teardrop, a cover of the wonderful song by Massive Attack,
which is part of the Searching For The Lost Boys bonus CD. (Which is only available with the
deluxe version of Graffiti Soul.)
Billy will be playing another exclusive cover next week.
Both CDs feature nine tracks. The track listing so far revealed is:
19th march 2009
simple minds touring with omd, sample minds, mind2mode
Take the following with a pinch of salt as it's not confirmed:
Simple Minds, OMD touring this fall
Simple Minds and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark are
planning a North American tour this fall, according to promoters with the bands.
"The plan is for them to hit South America the first three weeks of September and start
in North America around Sept. 23/24 through the end of October with OMD coming
along for the U.S. tour," says Rick Shoor, who is serving as Simple Minds' U.S.
agent. "They're in discussions with OMD for their European dates as well but so far they've only
confirmed their intent to tour with us in North America."
Both Simple Minds and OMD celebrated their 30th anniversaries in 2008. Simple Minds are
working on a new album -- Graffiti Soul -- set for for a May 25 release. A bonus
album of 10 covers (including Neil Young's Rockin' in the Free World, Thin Lizzy's Whiskey in the Jar and
The Call's Let the Day Begin) will be sold as part of a special edition
of Graffiti Soul.
This 6 part rockumentary follows the band throughout 2008 with live,
rehearsal and backstage footage. Of interest in Part 6 is our attempt to re-create
the legendary 85 Kerr / Bono New Gold Dream moment!
We filmed a lot of stuff during the year + had some fantastic fan
contributions from camera phones etc. What we ended up with is essentially a scrapbook
of our adventures ‘on the road’. We hope you enjoy it!
17th march 2009
More tour dates have started to circulate:
28th June 2009: Tempo Festival, Ciney, Belgium
31st July 2009: Suikerrock Festival, Tienen, Belgium
8th August 2009: Lokerse Festival, Lokeren, Belgium
15th march 2009
And in the great tradition of Simple Minds exclusives, Billy Sloan got first play of the
new single Rockets, the first track from Graffiti Soul
to be aired. Of course, some vintage Minds had to be played to whet the appetite and
Billy chose some "experimental" tracks from their back catalogue.
And if that was not enough, Jim phoned in and joined him on the show.
BS: Does Graffiti Soul see a return to the more experimental Simple Minds sound? JK: Last time I was on the show was during the last week of recording at Rockfield and I was saying it was a pop album but spiky. And I think it’s that you’re picking up on. BS: How is the approach different from Black And White 050505? JK: I just think this the next step. It’s been a decade since we got our "mojo" back again. You could hear it with Cry, the melodies were coming back even though it wasn’t a complete album. And it continued with Black And White 050505. The confidence has gelled on the new album. There’s a band with a real certainty again. BS: You were raving about the contribution made by Charlie. It’s a great Charlie record. JK: It is, but all the keyboards are Charlie as well as all the innovative sounds. One track came out of Charlie and Gordon Goudie (he wrote Home with Charlie) and when they get together there’s a lot of firepower and it’s that you’re hearing. BS: I’m going to play 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall from Sons And Fascination which I think is a long neglected song. What do you remember from that time? JK: It’s interesting as you mention that period within the context of the new album as there are parallels – we came up with new things every day with great force and great hooks.
BS: Where did Rockets come from? JK: It’s really a tune we’ve had lying around for some time, but couldn’t manage to get the right arrangement. It’s got some amazing effects (care of Charlie). The version you’ve got is the album version and the radio version is being done this week. BS: I’ve been playing the new album, I’ll be playing select tracks over the next few months, and would you say Rockets is representative? JK: I’m taking the album around the international record companies as we’re working with Universal who are new to us. There are three or four tracks on the album which could be a new single. But when we played Rockets there were nods of approval. The last time I felt this way was with The American – it was something classic, yet something new. BS: I remember back in the 1980s, you coming on a plane back to Glasgow, getting a taxi to Radio Clyde, and leaving a white label of The American with a note on it: "If you like it, play it – if you don’t like it, bin it!" JK: Not much has changed! If I was in Glasgow, I’d still be in a taxi to the Clyde offices. But I think white labels have gone these days.
BS: There's been a great reaction on the e-mail. Are you looking forward to playing it live? JK: We had a great tour just prior to Christmas and we’ll be able to add the new songs to the set. Rockets, and about all of the tracks on the new album, will transfer to playing live. After the summer, there will be six months of solid touring – we’re really looking forward to it. BS: It must be a big thrill to be heading to Edinburgh Castle. JK: There are quite a few people interested in recording that with us. It’s an amazing place and an honour to play there. BS: Have you ever visited it or walked around it? JK: As a wee boy I remember walking around it. Everybody who lives in Scotland seems to visit. And people from all over the world are coming to see us there. But we’re getting requests to play almost everywhere these days.
BS: There’s a deluxe version of Graffiti Soul with a second disc called In Search Of The Lost Boys. What’s that? JK: When we were doing the album, we were recording in Rockfield, which is a residential studio. This meant there was nothing to do but work! And we did a ton of recording; from the first thing in the morning to last thing at night. As everyone in bands do, we were playing cover versions. We really got into it. And we hit a spark. So we put together nine songs for the deluxe version of the album, and the disc is called In Search Of The Lost Boys and I’ve written some sleeve notes to explain it. Some people say there’s a stigma with cover versions (I don’t know why as I’ve just been listening to a Johnny Cash album which is nothing by covers) – but playing covers you find the fan inside yourself and you revert to little boys – and that’s where the title comes from. But I can see doing a Lost Boys set – do five or more covers – BS: You could support yourselves. JK: We could support ourselves... We wouldn’t go a as far as U2 (dressing up as cowboys) but some of the tracks are getting a great reaction in themselves. BS: The covers include songs by Magazine, The Stranglers, Thin Lizzy, Siouxsie And The Banshees, The Call and The Beach Boys. BS: I’m going to be playing Keep On Rockin' In The Free World by Neil Young. Why cover that song? JK: He’s someone we admire greatly. We covered him on Neon Lights. But it’s all about the riff on this one. Rock and roll is a very simple thing in concept but difficult to play well and make it speak.
Audio: Keep On Rockin' On The Free World
As the interview finished, Billy confirmed he’ll be playing a track from
Graffiti Soul and/or a track from In Search Of The Lost Boys each week for the next months.
14th march 2009
billy sloan, janice long, tour dates
You should listen to Billy Sloan's show tomorrow on Radio Clyde. (Unfortunately on-line streaming is only
available to those in the UK).
Jim will be appearing on Janice Long's show (BBC Radio 2) on the 31st March.
More information about the Blickling Hall gig can be found on
Simple Minds will be undertaking a series of outdoor concerts
and numerous outdoor music festivals during the summer of 2009.
The latest concert to be added to the summer 2009 schedule is Norwich Blickling Hall
on Friday 17th July. Tickets are priced £37.50 and will go on sale from Friday 6th March
at 9am from the
Ticketline Hotline: 0871 424 4444 and the
National Trust: 0844 800 4308.
You can also order tickets online from www.ticketline.co.uk and
Derek's going out on tour with Los Mondo Bongo: "The band consists of myself on bass,
Mike Peters on guitar and vocals, Steve Harris on lead guitar, Pablo Cook on percussion and
Smiley on drums. Also on tour with us is Ray Ganges (Rude Boy) DJ in the Clash film, Pascal,
Steve Kirk and Pat Gilbert (Journalist extraordinaire). The songs are Mescaleros and
Clash classics." - Derek.
Tuesday 3rd March 2009
Cavern Club, Liverpool
Support: The Yalla Yalla's & Linea (Italy)
Please contact venue 0151 236 4041
Wednesday 4th March 2009
The Cellars, Portsmouth
Suppport: Night of Treason
Please contact venue 023 9282 6249 or
Thursday 5th March 2009
The Freebutt, Brighton
Support: Night of Treason
Please contact venue: 01273 603974 or
Friday 6th March 2009
Dirty South, London
Support: The Penny Black Remedy & Night of Treason www.ticketweb.co.uk
Thursday 12th March 2009
Please contact: Tickets available at the Saints box office, all Admission outlets, by calling 514-790-1245 /1-800-361-4595,
at Cheap Thrills, Soundcentral or online at www.admission.com.
Friday 13th March 2009
Zaphod Beeblebrox, Ottawa
Support: NO SUPPORT Los Mondo Bongo only www.ticketweb.ca
Saturday 14th March 2009
Townehouse Tavern, Sudbury
Please contact the venue @ www.thetownehouse.com
Monday 16th March 2009
Casbah Club, Hamilton
Please contact the venue (905) 521-4441
Advance tickets available at:
- Casbah Lounge :: Office Hrs Mon-Wed, Noon-4pm, and also during shows
- Dr.Disc Hamilton :: 905-523-1010
- online at www.casbahlounge.ca via Paypal
Whilst I was writing Who's Doing The Dreaming Now? in the 1990s, John Gilheany contacted me
about a Breakfast Club comic he'd put together. Now, after all those years, he's put it online along with
a whole host of extras (which includes a letter I wrote all those years ago).
International Release: May 25th
The Universal Music Record Label
Hot on the heels of their 30th Anniversary Celebration Tour that
saw them playing to over a quarter of a million people during their sold out 2008 European/UK arena tour,
and their performance at Nelson Mandela’s 90th Birthday
concert in London’s Hyde Park, Simple Minds
are about to enter the most prolific period within their extensive career with the highly anticipated brand
new album Graffiti Soul due for international
release on May 25th by Universal Music Records label.
Produced by Jez Coad and
Simple Minds, the new album was mixed in Los Angeles by the legendary
Bob Clearmountain, who previously mixed Simple Minds'
multi platinum Once Upon a Time album, and who’s mixing
credentials include Bruce Springsteen’s Born In The USA,
David Bowie’s Let’s Dance, and Roxy Music’s Avalon.
"Graffiti Soul is a bold and energetic collection of songs, and
we could not be happier with the result,” says lead singer, Jim Kerr.
“Stylistically, this is a truly vibrant rock’n’roll album that’s bursting at the seams with quite possibly
the most ballsy pop songs we have written in years."
Although the heart and soul of Graffiti Soul is contemporary
in sound, the feel of classic Minds is evident, although the spirit of some of
Simple Minds’ original contemporaries such as Joy Division,
Magazine and the Stranglers, are not far away.
Continues Kerr, "It’s taken us a while, but over the last couple of years
Charlie Burchill and I have put together a great team of individuals to work
with, and that, as well as a revitalised and energetic new commitment has triggered an effect that has
dramatically overhauled Simple Minds. Graffiti Soul is
testament to that."
“It was a great pleasure making the new album,” concludes Kerr. "Sometimes you hit
a period where everything just fits together perfectly and turns out exactly as you hoped it would. Graffiti Soul reflects that very
sentiment, and much more.”
29th january 2009
record collector review, someone somewhere (in summertime), winter proms, remixes
This review of the recent wembley gig appeared in Record Collector:
Collectors will be interested in the Canadian commercial 7" and
promo 7" of
Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) which has just been added to the discography. The promo
is of interest for two reasons: it features an exclusive remix of the title track (which is actually an edit
of the extended version) and it includes the most gushing press release
I've ever read.
15th january 2009
the informers, the players, remixes
Bret Easton Ellis (“Less Than Zero” and “American Psycho”) adapts his
own acclaimed novel for the screen, returning to the Los Angeles of the early 1980’s with
a multi-strand narrative that deftly balances a vast array of characters who represent
both the top of the heap (a Hollywood dream merchant, a dissolute rock star, an aging newscaster)
and the bottom (a voyeuristic doorman, an amoral ex-con). Connecting all his intertwining
strands are the quintessential Ellis protagonists—a group of beautiful, blonde young men
and women who sleep all day and party all night, doing drugs—and one another—with abandon,
never realizing that they are dancing on the edge of a volcano. Filmed with uncommon glamour
and grit by acclaimed Australian director Gregor Jordan
(“Ned Kelly,” “Buffalo Soldiers”), THE INFORMERS is an alternately blistering and chilling
portrait of hedonism run amuck. The film stars Billy Bob Thornton,
Kim Basinger, Mickey Rourke, Winona Ryder,
Jon Foster and Amber Heard.
The Informers hits theaters starting on April 10th 2009.
Why have I mentioned this? Although the trailer is NSFW (Not Safe For Work - features nudity), it
definitely needs to be heard. The unrated trailer can be viewed
the volume up.
Anton Pieete's track The Players features a sample of Promised You A Miracle.
This is available through www.itunes.com on his
(It's a simple repeated sample but very distinctive and instantly recognisable).
Right: A hologram of the Once Upon A Time stage which was sent to band and management by
Light And Sound Limited. Limited to ten copies. Unfortunately holograms are extremely difficult
to photograph but there's definitely one there.
Back in late 1999/early 2000, I was surprised to hear a track played on Radio One
which featured the unmistakable riff from New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84). After a bit of digging
around, it turned out to be Humanistic from Kawala.
Unfortunately the New Gold Dream sample only featured on the Souled Out! Radio Edit version of the track. And because
it didn't chart, it remained somewhat illusive. However, thanks to the power of the Internets, it
can now be heard again.
My local newspaper, The Cambridge Evening News, have celebrated the 25th anniversary
of Now That's What I Call Music Volume One (a long running compilation series which is still
going strong today) by running a poll to find the most popular track on the first compilation.
Apparently the News feels that Kagagoogoo's Too Shy is worthly
of the description "classic" but I think everyone should
VOTE VOTE VOTE
to ensure Waterfront by Simple Minds tops the poll.
The remixes have slowed recently, due to JohnnyBGood being struck down by pneumonia.
But, he's fighting fit again:
On the back of JC Penney's thirty second version of The Breakfast Club
(see news 2008) comes Don't You (Forget About Me The Covers (EP).
So alongside the timeless Simple Minds classic and Hawk Nelson's version
(which was used for the advert) are four other versions by the likes of pacific!,
Son Lux feat. Dayna Kurtz, Soul Mafia and
Mark Share Of The Greenskeepers.
Best approached with caution.
8th january 2009
Simple Minds have been announced as the headliners of Pinkpop Classic which
will be held on the 15th August. Tickets will go on sale on 11th April.