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The track listing for the forthcoming X5 box-set has now appeared on various on-line retail sites. The five album box-set includes the full albums and new bonus material, some debuting on CD for the first time, and is offered for around £16 – which is a great bargain.

The standard LP tracks are taken from the 2002 remasters whilst the bonus material is being remastered for release in 2012.

The bonus songs are grouped with their parent albums rather than chronologically with their single releases. This explains why Kaleidscope and Film Theme Dub - as Real To Real Cacophony outtakes - are grouped with that album and not Empires And Dance - where they were released as single B-sides.

Each album is housed in a wallet sleeve (with the exception of Sons and Fascination and Sister Feelings Call which are packaged as two separate CDs in a gatefold) in a clam-shell box. There are no inner sleeves nor any extra sleeve notes and/or packaging.

However, a great deal of attention has been given to the artwork and the original Zoom-Arista/Virgin sleeves and labels were used to create the new wallets and CD designs. This means that the albums in X5 will be far better looking, and accurate, than the 2002 remasters.

x5: 6cd box-set: quick reference
virgin smbox2

CD       Life In A Day Virgin 50999 956474 2 5
1. Someone(3:40)
2. Life In A Day(4:00)
3. Sad Affair(2:45)
4. All For You(2:50)
5. Pleasantly Disturbed(8:00)
6. No Cure(3:38)
7. Chelsea Girl(4:33)
8. Wasteland(3:44)
9. Destiny(3:36)
10. Murder Story(6:18)
11. Special View(4:00)
12. Garden Of Hate(4:27)

CD       Real To Real Cacophony Virgin 50999 956474 2 4
1. Real To Real(2:47)
2. Naked Eye(2:21)
3. Citizen (Dance Of Youth)(2:53)
4. Carnival (Shelter In A Suitcase)(2:49)
5. Factory(4:13)
6. Cacophony(1:40)
7. Veldt(3:29)
8. Premonition(5:29)
9. Changeling(4:11)
10. Film Theme(2:27)
11. Calling Your Name(5:05)
12. Scar(3:31)
13. Kaleidoscope(4:15)
14. Film Theme Dub(1:26)
15. Premontion[Live](5:45)

CD       Empires And Dance Virgin 50999 956474 2 3
1. I Travel(3:56)
2. Today I Died Again(4:39)
3. Celebrate(5:03)
4. This Fear Of Gods(7:00)
5. Capital City(6:14)
6. Constantinople Line(4:44)
7. Twist/Run/Repulsion(4:38)
8. Thirty Frames A Second(5:14)
9. Kant-Kino(1:50)
10. Room(2:30)
11. New Warm Skin(4:35)
12. I Travel[Extended](6:13)
13. Celebrate[Extended](6:48)

CD       Sons And Fascination Virgin 50999 956474 2 2
1. In Trance As Mission(6:50)
2. Sweat In Bullet(4:30)
3. 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall(4:48)
4. Boys From Brazil(5:30)
5. Love Song(5:03)
6. This Earth That You Walk Upon(5:26)
7. Sons And Fascination(5:23)
8. Seeing Out The Angel(6:11)
9. Sweat In Bullet[Extended Remix](7:22)
10. In Trance As Mission[Live](7:17)
11. This Earth That You Walk Upon[Instrumental](6:11)

CD       Sister Feelings Call Virgin 50999 956474 2 1
1. Theme For Great Cities(5:50)
2. The American(3:49)
3. 20th Century Promised Land(4:53)
4. Wonderful In Young Life(5:20)
5. League Of Nations(4:55)
6. Careful In Career(5:08)
7. Sound In 70 Cities(5:01)
8. The American[Extended](6:55)
9. League Of Nations[Live](6:14)

CD       New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) Virgin 50999 956474 2 0
1. Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)(4:37)
2. Colours Fly And Catherine Wheel (3:48)
3. Promised You A Miracle(4:25)
4. Big Sleep(4:58)
5. Somebody Up There Likes You(4:56)
6. New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)(5:56)
7. Glittering Prize(4:33)
8. Hunter And The Hunted(5:53)
9. King Is White And In The Crowd(6:59)
10. Promised You A Miracle[Extended Version](4:49)
11. Glittering Prize[Club Mix](4:57)
12. Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)[Extended](6:02)
13. Soundtrack For Every Heaven(4:55)
14. New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)[German 12" Remix](6:52)
15. In Every Heaven(4:55)

Chelsea Girl appears on the new compilation London: Songs That Defined A City which has been put together by Time Out.

Click the image below for more info and the Chelsea Girl video.

Derek Forbes has been presenting a show on LA Talk Radio. Called MayTheForbesBeWithYou - can you see what they've done there! - the hour long show includes music, talk and a dodgy Skype connection.

Simple Minds anecodes obviously feature. In the first show, Derek recalls how Iggy Pop was front-row at their first US gig at Hurrahs back in 1979.

Definitely worth tuning in for. And previous shows are available as downloads.

I was contacted by Ian Goodyer who designed the sleeve for All The Things She Said. The artwork turned out to be a compromise; and as Ian pointed out, it illustrated the way in which the design process could be (mis)directed by office politics and a clash of personalities.

The story can be found on the single's page.

Updates to the discography include:

Artwork details include :

Tour adverts have started to appear in the media. This advert, with the UK tour dates, was published in the Review section of The Telegraph. What makes it interesting is the tiny graphic in the bottom right corner: this is the artwork for the X5 Box Set.

Jim joined the John Murray Show (Radio One in Ireland) to discuss "the present versus the past". Although this tied in with a book review, it allowed Jim to talk about the band's past, his first meeting with U2 and the forthcoming tour.

It can be downloaded as a podcast.

5 X 5 LIVE

Simple Minds to perform a never-before-played set
dedicated solely to their highly acclaimed
and hugely influential early albums

Simple Minds are pleased to announce a very rare and exciting opportunity to see them perform material from their first five albums at four intimate UK venues, in February and March 2012. These landmark shows, lasting over two and half hours, will be part of a 16-date European tour beginning in Portugal on 14th February with the first UK shows taking place at Birmingham Academy and in the band’s hometown of Glasgow, at Barrowland, on 24th and 25th February respectively, with the final two shows at London’s Roundhouse (3rd March) and the Manchester Ritz the following evening.

The band will exclusively play five songs from each of their first five albums – Life In A Day, Real To Real Cacophony, Empires and Dance, Sons and Fascination / Sister Feelings Call and New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84), which celebrates its 30th anniversary next year – which were released in a prolific period from 1979 to 1982. These five albums have had a massive cultural impact from the time of their release during the birth of the new wave electro scene in the late 1970s, through the dance revolution of the '80s and '90s, to the music of the Manic Street Preachers and the recent sound of The Horrors' Skying album, making them five of the most vital albums of the post-punk period and the last 35 years.

"This is the set that so many who appreciate Simple Minds have been begging us to play and finally this is that one-off chance to see it." Jim Kerr.


14th Coliseum, Lisbon, Portugal
15th Riviera, Madrid, Spain
16th Razzamatazz, Barcelona, Spain
18th Paradiso, Amsterdam, Netherlands
19th Admiralpalast, Berlin, Germany
20th Vega, Copenhagen, Denmark
21st Sentrum Scene, Oslo, Norway
23rd Cirque Royal, Brussels, Belgium
24th Birmingham Academy
25th Glasgow Barrowland
27th Casino De Paris, France
28th Alcatraz, Milan, Italy
29th Komplex 457, Zurich, Switzerland

2nd London Roundhouse
3rd Manchester Ritz
4th Olympia Theatre, Dublin

Tickets will go on sale at 9am on 25th November

To coincide with 5x5 Live, on 13th February, EMI Music will release the box set Simple Minds X5. The box will feature all five of the albums over six discs - with Sons and Fascination and Sister Feelings Call as separate discs in a gatefold sleeve – as well as bonus material on each disc including rare and previously unavailable b-sides and remixes.

EMI Press Release

Stuck In The 80s recently interviewed Jim on all manner of subjects. The interview can be downloaded as a podcast and included discussions about Celtic, the Once Upon A Time Tour, touring attitudes, early influences, Lostboy! AKA and the relationship with Simple Minds, Planet Zero and the new album, Live Aid, politics, Don’t You (Forget About Me) and the band’s changing attitude to it and why Simple Minds haven't recently toured the USA.

The interview is highly recommended.

Two parts particularly stood out for me:

Int: I understand you're planning to record a new song called Planet Zero? What's that like and when will we get a chance to hear it?
JK: Well it’s actually done and dusted. It’s very upbeat, very space-rock, really cosmic sounding with a lot of synthesisers, but a real rock riff down the bottom. A really pulsating piece, really catchy. It could be something from a mid 1970s Bowie record but done with a Simple Minds heartbeat.
Int: Will it be on a future album we can hear soon?
JK: Yeah. What we do is – we don’t really do an album where you do twelve tracks over three months and by the end of it everyone’s burnt. What we kind of do is that we do three or four songs on the run, and another three or four songs, and so we’re starting to record that – this was the first batch of songs for a new album that I would think would come, perhaps, this time next year.

So, new album in late 2012.

Int: I get asked this by fans all the time. They always want to know why Simple Minds don’t tour the US anymore. I imagine it’s a situation of economics but I’d love to know what your take on it is.
JK: Well, we’ve been really close twice. My take on it is this – we did an ill-advised tour mid last decade. It will ill-advised and it didn’t do well and a few promoters got their fingers burned. And word travels there. You’d got to be invited, and the promoters have got to be asking you. And I’d be lying to say that they’d been queuing up and knocking at our door. They haven’t. However, there have been opportunities to come now. We could come and we could do a bunch of casinos and a few real gigs – I don’t want to do that. I don’t mind doing the odd one or two casinos but an even better idea [would be for us] to be part of a good bill. And we’re hoping the chances of that happening will happen next year. We need another really good headliner, at least one or two, to make it a great night. And you’re right –the finances have to add up. We could just come and do a New York and an LA on our way to Australia or Japan where the band does well but we’re holding out for something more than that and I’m sorry that it’s taken so long. But the band’s been growing and the band’s better now than it ever was and it’ll be worthwhile for the wait.
Int: Last month I flew out to LA to see a great gig. It had The Human League and B-52s and Berlin and The Fixx all together on one bill.
JK: Great. Where did they play?
Int: Hollywood Bowl.
JK: How many? So, six or seven thousand people?
Int: No, twenty thousand.
JK: Oh! There you go! I mean, I tried to get something going with Tears For Fears and at the end they pulled out. That would’ve been a great bill.

Hear the whole interview on Stuck In The 80s.

The following pictures and review of Mind2Mode's gig at Gutersloh on the 19th November were by JohnnyBGood:

Throughout the past years I have met lots of fellow-minded fans of Simple Minds on Facebook and my website. One thing what's really in common is the passion and interest in our favorite group. As it is for the "solo-project" of Jim called Lostboy. We could admire this work of the electro-gigs when they visited our country and the comments of all who went to see them. Seeing Lostboy was the opportunity to meet a "new" member: Simon Hayward. The beautiful melodic sounds he produced fed our hunger for more. Making some research on this Electro-Mozart showed us the man is also very active in his group making covers from Simple Minds through U2 and Depeche Mode: from Minds to Mode or Mind2Mode.

With great interest I have been following these guys over the last few years and finally I got the opportunity to attend a gig. My Facebook-buddy Martin Poschinger invited me and I went, took my car and drove to Germany. It was the final gig of their tour and my God, was I glad to see that gig! First time ever I went abroad and I'll never regret the effort. The gig was due to take place in a venue called 'Die Weberei", a nicely restauranted weaving-mill. I recognized lots of Facebook friends and was introduced to many more. We all gathered frontstage of course when the gig kicked off. Needless to say the boys were welcomed by a huge applause from the audience. Kicking off with Simple Minds repertoire, the first tunes of New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) set the tune for the rest of the evening: action! Some 8 songs of the Minds were performed by a very energetic group. We all danced and sang along on Love Song, Someone Somewhere (In Summertime), Sanctify Yourself, Waterfront, Don't You (Forget About Me) and Alive And Kicking. What a response from the audience!

After a short break, the guys came back on stage, dress-code : Depeche Mode! About 9 songs of Depeche Mode's repertoire were played with a very colourful lightset, bassplayer Jacky Biermann felt like a fish in the water with his beautiful outfit. Singer Steve Hempton transformed into Martin Gore as he brought us Depeche Mode's songs. Interaction with the public was spontanious and all of the members were having a good time. Simon Hayward caressing his synths... worthwile seeing! And no, dear friends, this time we "Just couldn't get Enough"! Hit those drums ...

Time for the third set: U2! The riff of I Will Follow kicked off this set full of emotion and energy, leading us through some 15 songs of U2. Steve, now dressed up in leather, looking like Bono, set the night on fire all along with the enthusiastic guitar player who could very good bring Edge's guitar riffs. At the end of this set, Steve thanked the public for their support all along their way. An 11-year old (better should say "young") girl was taken on stage to thank also their younger public. A nice word was said to all the Facebook friends who took all of the front-row and I couldn't believe my ears when Steve thanked "the guy who even came from Belgium" to come over and see them. The earth was trembling under my feet!

I can only say this group has since today one big fan more on their list! Next time they come to Belgium, I will be there! Thanks for the great music, dear Mind2Mode! Keep on rockin'...


And the mystery behind the "2+0+1+2" splash graphic? Very simply: in 2012, the number five (2+0+1+2) will be significant. Plus, the only albums featured in the graphic were Life In A Day, Real To Real Cacophony, Empires and Dance, Sons and Fascination / Sister Feelings Call and New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84).

Just in case you were wondering!

Winterthurer Musikfestwochen, Steinberggasse, Switzerland
28th August, 2011
Main Set: Waterfront / Once Upon A Time / All The Things She Said / Sanctify Yourself / Love Song / Celebrate / Broken Glass Park / Mandela Day / Belfast Child / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / Don't You (Forget About Me) / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Encore: Alive And Kicking

"It's gone! The summer tour is, or it will be after tonight last gig in "sunny" Zurich. Its been good, will get better, wait till next time, see if I am wrong. Will we have a party tonight, make a toast to the future, lock arms and sing "Auld Langs Syne"? Unlikely, I will be in bed an hour after the gig, up early tomorrow. Simple Minds have a future to be getting on with!" - Jim, 28th August 2011

"Zurich... I hung on for a bit while everyone else left for home this morning. Went for a walk around the lake, it is a great city in all weather but particularly when it is nice like today. Heading for London now or should that be Planet Zero since we start recording that song this week? Summer is over... thanks to everyone who came to see us over these months - you really made us feel good!" - Jim, 29th August 2011

Many thanks to Lionello for the set-list and pictures.

JohnnyBGood is back behind the mixing desk:

You can also check out previous remixes on his website.

The provenance of an obscure Simple Minds acetate has now been clarified; and turns out to be a lone relic from a proposed single.

The great "lost" album, Our Secrets Are The Same, was recorded between July and August 1999. Chrysalis were initially enthusiastic about the project and quickly selected Jeweller To The Stars and Space as potential single material. But the financial concerns with the company, and of its parent EMI, put the album and single on hold until the next year.

So it wasn’t until March 2000 when Gary Wilkinson, producer of Badly Drawn Boy and Sophie Ellis Bextor, booked time at Sarm Studios in London to work on a new mix of Space. This was followed up by another session in April 2000, this time remixing Jeweller To The Stars at Whitfield Street Studios.

These new single remixes were never released and remain buried in the vaults. But Wilkinson's work at Whitfield Street does tie in with a mysterious 12” acetate, bearing Whitfield labels, which surfaced in 2000. Labelled "Simple Minds", this single-sided acetate featured a radical remix of Alive And Kicking. It felt that it belonged to the Neapolis era, but both the date and the recording studio didn’t match (as Chrysalis booked Metropolis Studios for their Neapolis work); therefore it remained an enigma until now.

So maybe the mystery has been solved. Perhaps Chrysalis were planning a single campaign along the lines of the previous Neapolis singles, by pairing up new Simple Minds material with contemporary remixes of old classics. And this acetate is the only part of the aborted single to ever surface.

space/jeweller to the stars: quick reference
      Space/Jeweller To The Stars Chrysalis
     Space[Gary Wilkinson Single Mix]      (5:43)
     Jeweller To The Stars[Gary Wilkinson Single Mix]      (3:30)
     Alive And Kicking[Acetate Remix]      (8:32)

Lee Philips continues to sell his collection. In his latest batch of eBay goodies, he's offering a in-store promotional Verona T-shirt and the promotional Neapolis fleece.

The teaser campaign for the new tour has just kicked off on the official site...

"Kyoto: I dreamed about Kyoto years before I was able to visit. Strangely, although I have now been to the city so many times, I still feel that I only know it through those dreams. I also sang about this almost mythical city in Hunter and The Hunted which is one of Simple Minds' prettiest songs and one that we resolve to play live much more often next year." - Jim, 2nd November 2011

"Confession time! I am pretty poor when it comes to recalling birthdays and anniversaries etc. Not sure why that it is so but it is the way it is. Nevertheless I always recall that it was the month of November when we entered rehearsal room for the first time and decided to call ourselves Simple Minds. Situated in the south side of Glasgow only minutes from where we lived, we were ecstatic to finally have found a workspace - albeit it was within a freezing cold and mostly disused factory - and the owner very kindly let us use it for free. Pleasantly Disturbed was the first song we wrote and it felt kind of special. Walking past that same place today, some 34 years later, I had the strongest feeling that we should start playing that song again." - Jim, 7th November 2011

"In Glasgow I always try to get to the Gorbals and the Citizen's Theatre. During my teenage years I was almost as passionate about the "The Citz" as I was about going to rock concerts. Good to see that the great work continues and the present "A Day In The Death Of Joe Egg" is testimony to that. The building has much charm and an atmosphere of the type that I miss. Small venues? Hmmm. Now there is a thought?" - Jim, 12th November 2011

Movement – BBC Radio 1 Peel Sessions 1977–1979

Following last year’s popular release of downloads from the famous Peel Sessions, EMI is pleased to announce the release of ‘Movement – BBC Radio 1 Peel Sessions 1977–1979’, the first in a series of compilations of BBC Radio 1 Peel Sessions, in partnership with the BBC, a partnership which enables us to make available for the first time some incredible live performances from distinguished artists.

Movement features 41 different artists/songs, covering the hugely musically fertile, and influential, period from 1977–1979. From the ‘year zero’ birth of Punk, Movement includes session tracks from such era-defining and esteemed artists such as Buzzcocks, The Adverts, The Slits, The Skids, Wire and John Cooper Clark, as well as those who transcended the pub rock scene and influenced the punk generation – Dr Feelgood and Ian Dury & The Blockheads – and post-punk, electronica-influenced artists such as The Monochrome Set, Magazine, Joy Division, OMD and PiL, and a selection of reggae and Two Tone artists – Steel Pulse, UB40, The Specials, Madness and The Beat.

Many of these sessions were recorded at the BBC’s famous Maida Vale Studios, for John Peel’s invaluable and hugely influential radio show. All of these tracks are very rare – having only previously appeared on Peel Sessions/Strange Fruit vinyl releases – with many of them being previously unreleased in any format.

This is a unique project between EMI and the BBC, making available material that both parties commonly control, from the BBC archives.

For more information, and a track listing, check out

The band only recorded one session for the legendary John Peel, popping into Maida Vale after a couple of nights at the equally legendary Marquee in London. The set was heavily skewed towards Real To Real Cacophony, the album they were touring at the time, and naturally included the forthcoming new single Changeling.

However, the band really got into the spirit of the session, and also performed Room, a song which had only recently appeared in their live set and had yet to be formally recorded. The Peel Session of Room was much, much darker than the eventual studio recording.

Whilst Movement – BBC Radio 1 Peel Sessions 1977–1979 would be of interest to fans of the period (and includes Premonition fomr the session), it's only for Simple Minds completists as the entire session can be found on Silver Box.

bbc radio one: john peel
Recorded: 19th December 1979
Broadcast: 7th January 1980
Producer: Trevor Dan
Engineer: Nick Gomm
Changeling / Room / Premonition / Citizen (Dance Of Youth)

In new book We Are Celtic Supports, Jim describes how he smuggled a disguised Bono into a Celtic match at Ibrox. It's also revealed that you should never, ever let Bono drive. Both stories are retold in this recent article in the The Scottish Sun.

Classic timing: The Malcolm Garrett interview was moved as soon as I linked to it. You can now find the interview here. I've also updated Malcolm's page with all the work he did for Simple Minds along with some information about New Sounds New Styles.

Troubled EMI Records has been purchased by Universal. This means that the band's entire EMI catalogue (from Life In A Day through to Neapolis) and Sanctuary-Universal records (Black And White 050505 and Graffiti Soul) are owned by one company.

The Old Grey Whistle Test was the BBC’s "serious" music show, eschewing the charts which were the domain of the noisier, brasher "Top Of The Pops", and concentrating on established rock acts. The late night show was initially fronted by "Whispering" Bob Harris, but he left the show when its emphasis changed to showcase upcoming new wave bands after punk swept the nation.

Therefore it was the perfect show for an emerging Simple Minds. Their first television appearance was recorded in the Whistle Test’s cramped BBC studio on the eve of their first nationwide tour. It would’ve introduced Simple Minds, previously only a Scottish sensation, to the rest of the UK, and whetted appetites for the forthcoming tour and their debut album.

The band’s manager, Bruce Findlay, was anxious to repeat the successful formula later the same year, when the band had another album and tour to promote. However, the Whistle Test crew was camped in New York filming the city’s vibrant music scene, but were sympathetic and suggested that Simple Minds could be featured if they could get Stateside. So Bruce contacted promoter Ruth Polesky, who booked the band into the tiny Hurrah’s club, and Simple Minds simultaneously got their first American gig and second Whistle Test appearance.

Their final appearance on the show was part of the whirl of promotions, sessions, radio spots and interviews surrounding the release of New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84). By the mid 1980s, new music shows had sprung up, and Simple Minds committed to several different shows (most importantly The Tube). The Whistle Test had lost its dominance and the last broadcast was in 1987.

Old Grey Whistle Test: 27th March 1979
Life In A Day / Cheslea Girl
Presenter: Anne Nightingale
Band filmed at the Old Grey Whistle Test studios at the BBC.
Seen The Lights - A Visual History Promo DVD Seen The Lights - A Visual History DVD

Old Grey Whistle Test: 27th November 1979
Factory / Changeling / Premonition
Presenter: Bob Harris
Band filmed at Hurrahs, New York.
Seen The Lights - A Visual History Promo DVD Seen The Lights - A Visual History DVD

Old Grey Whistle Test: 17th September 1982
Hunter And The Hunted / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)
Presenter: Mark Ellen
Band filmed at the Old Grey Whistle Test studios at the BBC.

Yet it was always Bob Harris who was associated most closely with the show, and therefore the perfect choice to host the radio series Old Grey Whistle Test 40, to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the first shows. The most recent programme (broadcast last Wednesday, but available on the BBC’s iPlayer) had a distinct Scottish feel as Edwyn Collins and Midge Ure played new live sessions whilst Jim joined Bob to reminisce about Simple Minds’ appearances on the programme.

Yet it seems that Bob wasn’t suitably briefed before the interview. He seemed to think Simple Minds’ New York jaunt was their first appearance on the show; probably understandable given that Anne Nightingale had taken over the presenting duties for Simple Minds’ first show and Bob wasn’t there. This was further confused by Jim talking about all the band’s appearances on the Whistle Test, drawing emphasis on how nervous they were for their first performance. So, it was a little difficult at times to follow.

The programme can be heard on the BBC’s iPlayer (with the interview with Jim starting at about twenty minutes in). There’s a transcription below for those who can’t stream BBC output.

BH: Whistle Test Series #12 began on the 17th September 1982 with Mark Ellen replacing Anne Nightingale as the new co-presenter with David Hepworth. One of the band's who played live on Mark's first programme was Simple Minds, although it wasn't the first time we'd seen them on Whistle Test. They'd first appeared performing in a hot little venue in New York City at a showcase held to mark the American release of their debut album Life In A Day in 1979. I was there actually, with the Whistle Test film crew, and it was an amazing, heady time for the band in the early days of their career. This was one of the songs they played that night.


BH: Well that was Premonition, Simple Minds on Whistle Test in 1979, and Jim Kerr is with me in the studio here. And I have great memories of that moment because we recorded that song in New York.
JK: We certainly did and, equally, I have great memories - well, we all do, everyone connected with Simple Minds. It was rather overwhelming because I think it was not only our first ever trip to New York which being from a housing estate in Glasgow and having all these dreams and growing up with New York in your mind from the movies and such - and here we were in the centre of it - but also there was the relevance of New York musically on us with Lou Reed and Iggy Pop and, of course, the Ramones and Talking Heads - and here it was all very much tangible - and then, on top of that, the Whistle Test as well!
BH: Cameras arriving...
JK: Well, exactly. To say that it was overwhelming was exciting, but I mean, we were like a little "deer in the headlights", it was perhaps too overwhelming.
BH: One of the things I remember about the venue, Jim, was it was called Hurrahs and they'd completely reproduced the Harrods logo, so it looked like Harrods and it seemed to me that it was kind of a little bit of Britain in the middle of New York.
JK: Yeah, now that you mention it, I think the girl who used to book the bands there, Ruth Polsky, she was very much an Anglophile and especially a fan of a lot of the English punk bands and English new wave bands. So I could see why there would be a connection there.
BH: So, how come New York? How come you were there at that stage in the band's career because this was really, really early days. It was the first TV you'd done wasn't it?
JK: Yes it was. I can't remember if our second album, Real To Real, had just come out, but it was just on the eve of that, that Ian felt he could get us some gigs [there] - only the key places in America then you would play: New York, San Francisco, LA, and if you got a bit of a reaction going, you could perhaps spread out the next time. So I'm sure that would've played a part in it.
BH: Because American radio was propelling careers in those days in a really big way as well, wasn't it? Rock Radio in the States in the late 1970s was hugely powerful.
JK: It was hugely powerful but one of the things that was still different from here in the UK - whereas you could say that with the arrival of punk, and the whole new wave thing, it seemed to put the death knell on all the classic bands. It didn't but it seemed to for a few months. That didn't quite happen in America. The big bands in the 1970s that we all grew up with, the Zepplins and the Jethro Tulls and he Genesis and the Yeses were still all getting played. But there was this other thing coming through called College Radio and we were starting to get an audience through that. So that also contributed. To get on the classic radio in America you needed big bucks and the record companies really - you really had to earn your stripes you weren't going to go on the second album, you had to go out and tour and really win it. But, certainly for us at that period, we were starting to get the chance to see if we could work there and succeed.
BH: Then, of course, you came back onto Whistle Test in 1982 and I think, still, this is such a great performance on the show that day. I'm trying to think of who else was on with you. I know Kate Bush was the interviewee that night talking to David Hepworth and Mark Ellen then you came in and played your set, and it was terrific, it was absolutely terrific.
JK: Thank you very much.
BH: Where you had been a little bit nervous in 1979, you'd now got the self assurance.
JK: Yeah. To put it in perspective, in 1979 we owed so much to the break we got on The Whistle Test but looking at it now, perhaps it was a little too early. We'd played a lot in Scotland but I don't even think we'd crossed the border yet. We were just about to embark on a tour supporting Magazine, who was a band we owed a lot to. I remember the music press getting - because it was a much coveted spot to get on the Whistle Test and I think the music press was just starting to talk about us but it was like "How did they get that spot? Is there some hype going on here?" The band was on the eve of a really commercial breakthrough album New Gold Dream, some would say perhaps our landmark album, and by that time we probably had a thousand gigs under our belt so I think we were much more adept at playing and not quite as traumatized.
JK: But when you say Kate Bush, it's funny there - what an honour to be on the same show as her - but for the first show we were on, you had none other than a film of Bruce Springsteen who went on to become legendary. So they were great shows to be part of.
BH: The song that we're going to feature is Someone Somewhere (In Summertime). Just tell us about that song and the background of the song itself.
JK: It's the first track on the album New Gold Dream. I think New Gold Dream, even for the band, was where it all came together. The first few albums - you're working through your influences, you're starting to merge your own sound, but I think the whole alchemy of Simple Minds came together best in New Gold Dream and we received not only great critical acclaim then but very good commercial acclaim and it's amazing to think now - that it was our fifth album, we were allowed to make three or four albums before we got that breakthrough whereas that would not be allowed now - you wouldn't be allowed to make two if the first one doesn't work. And thank God it turned out that way.
JK: When I think of Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) it was not only the first song in the sequence, the opening song, but I think it was also the first song we also wrote for the album. So for me it will always emanate of a new and very confident, new beginning.

[Someone Somewhere In Summertime]

The recording of part of the Hurrah show also provided Simple Minds with some choice live cuts to use as B-sides. Of the three songs, Premonition was selected as the strongest, and was pressed up as the B-side of Changeling. Although no mention of the Whistle Test was made on the sleeve, the artwork featured the skyline of New York, and Ruth Polesky received a credit. The other two tracks remained in the vault, until eventually seeing the light of day on the Seen The Lights DVD, on which the first two Whistle Test performances were included.

"I am feeling so excited about how the members of Anacoustic Mind are playing the songs of Simple Minds and Robert Burns at our rehearsals that I urge you to come to one of our gigs in New York in November or December."

"Next Monday 8pm will be Theater For The New City at 155 1st Ave, then Sunday December 18th at Dixon Place theater on Chrystie St, #161A. Proceeds from both events will benefit Ghar Sita Mutu, an orphanage in Nepal for abandoned children. Be part of the first Anacoustic Mind band shows and support a very worthy cause at the same time."

"I look forward to seeing you." - Mike Ogletree

Check out Mike's Anacoustic Mind page for more information.

Simple Mimes (a Simple Minds tribute band) are playing a charity gig to raise money for Cash For Kids at the Argosy in Cardonald on the evening of Friday 2nd December 2011. Admission is £5. Folk can pay at the door or buy tickets from the venue. The support is Mod Life Crisis.

"Posting here now [on the Simple Minds Official Facebook Page] - as I said I would - and picking up where we left off! Recording two more songs with Steve Hillage prior to heading down to Australia in two weeks' time. Charlie Burchill is "on fire" as he keeps coming up with yet more inspiring ideas. Ged Grimes has also contributed a very seductive tune that I will work on today and possibly look set to demo next week. It's all good, really good, could not be happier with the progress in fact!" - Jim Kerr 4th October 2011.

The BBC's Classic Concert on Live Music Hour (see September 20th news) kicked in straight away with the audience chanting Simple Minds. There then followed a hit-friendly selection of tracks taken from the Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow recorded on the 10th September 1995.

Belfast Child / Roadhouse Blues - On The Road Again - Waterfront / Don't You (Forget About Me) / Alive And Kicking

The tracks were all mixed together to give the impression of a seamless concert performance, even through the songs weren't broadcast in the correct order. That said, it was a good program for the dead hours as no-one said a word - it was just the music.

And it was great to hear the Roadhouse Blues - On The Road Again - Waterfront medly again which was a unique feature of the later part of the Good News From The Next World tour.

Updates to the discography:

The return of Steve Hillage to the producer's chair bodes well for the forthcoming new studio album. He was the band's second producer, taking on a revitalised Simple Minds who'd just signed to Virgin, and who were bursting with ideas and energy. The result was the sprawling Sons And Fascination / Sister Feelings Call double-set, which included The American, Love Song and Theme For Great Cities amongst its strong selection of tracks.

Therefore it would seem that Simple Minds returned to Steve three decades later – and he's just produced Planet Zero and Liasons – but evidence in the tape vault suggests he was back behind the mixing desk for Simple Minds in 1992 as they were preparing the Glittering Prize 81/92 album.

As part of the work for this compilation, Charlie Burchill and Gregg Jackman dusted off the master tapes for Love Song and subtly remixed the track for the accompanying Love Song / Alive And Kicking single. It was named the Bright Mix but this was never revealed on the single's artwork.

Then, in August 1992, Steve Hillage spent a day at Sarm Studios in London reworking the Bright Mix and produced the Warm Mix. But for some reason it was never used; so the Bright Mix was used for all formats of the single and the Warm Mix was left in Virgin's vaults.

600 Sounds Festival, Broadwater Parklands, Gold Coast, Australia
22nd October, 2011

"I thought Mel Gaynor was "Man Of The Match" tonight at our gig in Gold Coast. Performing in a band means that you have to trust each other as you go through the set, knowing that everyone will play their part just as they should. Mel was a "Giant" tonight! But the real stars of course were the people who came to support us. Tonight was the last show for this year - but plenty to come next year. Look out for us all around the world!" - Jim Kerr 23rd October 2011

This gig marks the end of Simple Minds' touring committments for 2011. Expect news of the first tour of 2012 very soon...

It felt appropriate to link to this today: Simple Minds Apple Macintosh Advert 1995.

Following on from the Alive And Kicking tribute band, there's also Reminds who hail from Italy. Their website includes pictures, live shot, audio files and the all-important booking information. They also have a Facebook page.

To celebrate their 6th Birthday, Concert Online are offering various live performances for only £6 only. Simple Minds' recent live recordings are being included in the deal, so it's definitely worth a look.

The Live Music Hour (which is on at the completely antisocial hour of 4:00 - 5:00 in the morning) will be broadcasting a Simple minds concert on Wednesday 28th September. See the BBC's website for slightly more information.

As it's only an hour, and there are also sessions from Colin Blunstone and Roger Chapman, then it won't be the full concert. In fact, I think it's probably a repeat of the Thetford gig, but it's worth checking out on the BBC's iPlayer at a more reasonable hour.

Talking of the BBC's iPlayer, Jim was mystery guest on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show this morning. You'll find it here.

The Dreamtime Blog (home to classic remixes of all types of music including Simple Minds) has now moved to a new home.

The freebie download of Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) – which is now available on the official site – gives a representative taster of the sound quality of the recent Concert Online CDs. These are still available via Concert Online’s website and through other sellers including Amazon.

Details of the sets can be found here.

I was impressed by the small army Concert Online put together to sell these packages at the gigs and a problem with one of my CDs was quickly resolved. It’s a pity that no extra bits-and-pieces could be added (such as the soundcheck recordings and pictures on some of the USB sticks from the Graffiti Soul tour) but if you want a straight-forward no-nonsense record of the gig then they’re a great souvenir of the night.

The final dates of the Greatest Hits Forest Tour are looking rather sparse. Does anyone have the set-lists for Gibralter onwards?

I've been on holiday hence the lack of updates... Anyway, there's lots to report/update so here's the first wave of news...

"Planet Zero is the title of the new song that we will record next week in London studio. Planet Zero has been so much fun to work on to date, a thundering "space - rock" track with music written by Charlie Burchill and featuring arguably one of his best ever guitar melodies. Our tour finishes this weekend in Zurich - but we never stop!" - Jim, 23rd August 2011

"The Duo: Charlie Burchill and myself have been in a songwriting partnership for 36 years. We continue that next week when we return to the studio to work on new songs. We will stretch ourselves once again as writers to try and come up with something that we feel is good enough to be added to the catalogue of music that we have already created. We will support each other, encourage and inspire. Will we challenge, dispute, piss each other off to the point of near screaming matches? Yes! Most probably we will!" - Jim, 24th August 2011

"Zurich... I hung on for a bit while everyone else left for home this morning. Went for a walk around the lake, it is a great city in all weather but particularly when it is nice like today. Heading for London now or should that be Planet Zero since we start recording that song this week? Summer is over... thanks to everyone who came to see us over these months - you really made us feel good!" - Jim, 29th August 2011

Rock The Rock Festival, Gibralter
6th August, 2011

"Not that enjoyable for us. Main reason being that for some inexplicable reason (to us) the promotor(s) decided to put what seemed to be a huge VIP area in front of the stage meaning that the rest of the public were crushed up against a barrier that was so far away. It was like bulk of the audience were being treated as uninvited onlookers at a private party! Abysmal way to stage a concert. Sorry Mr Promoter, wont be working with you again!" - Jim

"VIPS...sometimes the VIPS are fans to be honest. But mostly they either paid for expensive packages or even more commonly they are "guests of the sponsors" and therefore given the passes free. Nowt wrong there, but if so then give them a little area off to the side or something and leave the front for those dedicated enough to turn up early and merit that place. Saturday afternoon around 4PM I saw one fan with Simple Minds T-shirt making his way to the venue which was close by. He must have stood for hours to queue and then finds that he cannot get anywhere near the stage. Really I wanted to "lambast' the promoter afterwards on Saturday but I was so enraged I knew better to walk away. Better to let our agent deal with it today." - Jim

"If it is not good for the fans, [then] it's not good for anyone! Recap. Without the fans who pay and turn - up loyally there is no live music business? Sure sponsors contribute to costs and media tie ins also help to promote along with the efforts of the concert promoters - who I repeat - do not have an easy task and do so put their money on the line when they underwrite a show. However it does seem increasingly to me that many in the industry forget the "regular fan" who buys a ticket. Well treat peoplere like crap and eventually many will stop going to shows as has happened particularly in the States where many previous regular concert goers have just about given up going to shows - due the amount of extra charges for even decent seats, booking fees, costly food and beverages. I dont want people who come to see Simple Minds feel they have been ripped off, or treated shabbily. It might not be our fault but it still reflects on us and for that I apologise to those who were treated like they did not matter on Saturday night." - Jim

Check out for news of a Simple Minds tribute band hailing from the Midlands in England. Their website includes pictures and obligatory videos of their performances, plus the all-important news of up-and-coming gigs.

They've been around for just under a year and have already performed at Glastonbudget - I don't know how we've missed them.

Stars@NDR2, Bad Harzburg, Germany
27th August, 2011
Main Set: Waterfront / Once Upon A Time / All The Things She Said / Sanctify Yourself / Stars Will Lead The Way / Broken Glass Park / Moscow Underground / Mandela Day / Belfast Child / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / Don't You (Forget About Me) / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Encore: Alive And Kicking / Ghostdancing - Gloria

Stagefright was originally going to be played after Alive And Kicking but was dropped from the performance.

This was a free concert and 25,000 people were there.

A review of the gig can be found on NDR's website whilst additional pictures can be found here.

Many thanks to Marion for the flyer and pictures and Sabine for additional pictures.

Click here for a great interview with Simple Minds' sleve guru Malcolm Garrett. Malcolm designed the artwork for Sons And Fascination, Sister Feelings Call, New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84), Sparkle In The Rain, Live In The City Of Light, Street Fighting Years, Verona and The Themes Volumes thus founding .... .

The picture is also telling: he's sporting a Promised You A Miracle T-shirt and posing with one of his American cars, several of which were parked around New Covent Garden Flower Market for the Sons And Fascination photo shoot.

The waiting game continues for Greatest Hits +. The release of the compilation has been pushed into 2012.

Updates to the discography:

Krombacher are the sponsors of F1 Grand Prix coverage in Germany and use Stars Will Lead The Way as their theme tune.

"The Old Grey Whistle Test: Did an interview for the programme this afternoon at the BBC Studios. (Broadcasting next month BBC Radio Two). Presenter Bob Harris was in fine form as we discussed all Simple Minds performances... going all the way back to our Life In A Day television debut!" - Jim, 7th September.

Taormina is the place to be tomorrow. Jim is being honoured with a prize from the Hotels Association for spreading the popularity of Taormina. He will also be selling memorabilia with proceeds going towards the local hospital in Taormina.

See for further info.

INEC, Killarney, Ireland
30th July, 2011
Main Set: Waterfront / Once Upon A Time / All The Things She Said / Sanctify Yourself / Broken Glass Park / Moscow Underground / Celebrate / Love Song / Up On The Catwalk / Hunter And The Hunted / Hypnotised / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / Promised You A Miracle / Glittering Prize / Don't You (Forget About Me) / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Encore: The American / Alive And Kicking / Ghostdancing - Gloria

Long term fan Lee Philips is selling his collection through eBay. Keep an eye on his auctions for lots of rare Simple Minds goodies which will be added over the next few weeks. The current auctions include the ultra rare House Of Blues CDR and a rare set of promotional videos.

The current UK dates may be over, but according to Jim on Twitter: "No [more] Minds gigs UK this year but lookout for early next year!"

Simple Minds to headline "600 Sounds" in Australia

Legendary Scottish band Simple Minds will headline the 600 Sounds On The Gold Coast music festival on the Broadwater Parklands as part of this year’s Armor All Gold Coast 600, October 21-23.

In their only Australian appearance this year, Simple Minds will play some of their biggest hits including their #1 worldwide smash – Don’t You (Forget About Me).

The band is currently on a Greatest Hits Tour of Europe where they are receiving rave reviews for their shows, which have included other hits such as Waterfront, Promised You a Miracle, Alive and Kicking and Belfast Child.

In a 34 year career, Simple Minds have played some of the biggest venues in the world. They were a part of Band Aid in 1985 and headlined the Freedomfest concerts for the then imprisoned Nelson Mandela in 1988.

Simple Minds will close the Saturday Night portion [22nd October] of the two-night festival, which is part of the Armor All Gold Coast 600, which will this year incorporate 28 international drivers with local heroes in a round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series on the streets of Surfers Paradise.

The festival will open on Friday with some of Australia’s best hip-hop and dance artists, including DJ Shannon, Drapht, Illy and the Potbelleez. Legendary Australia rock acts Masters Apprentices, Hoodoo Gurus and Eskimo Joe will blast out some homegrown hits before Simple Minds close the show the following night.

A three-day general admission ticket to the Armor All Gold Coast 600 gives you three days of racing action and admission to both nights of the 600 Sounds Festival – individual concert tickets cannot be purchased.

Simple Minds' front man Jim Kerr is a motor racing fan and knows several of the former Formula One drivers who will be competing at this year’s event. “I think the whole rock and race format is great and we cannot wait to get down there in October,” said Kerr. “We hope many of our Australian fans will head to the Gold Coast to be a part of the whole weekend which has an enormous reputation around the world”. While the Saturday night audience is set to be a more “mature” crowd, Friday’s list is aimed directly at a younger generation and a whole new audience of V8 Supercar fans.

The Potbelleez are tearing up the dance scene with hits such as Hello and Don’t Hold Back. Regulars on the live music scene, they have crowds all over Australia dancing to their unique style of music.

Heating up the growing Australian hip-hop scene is West Australian artist, Drapht. His catchy and entertaining lyrics have caught the attention of not just the hip-hop audience,but the mainstream market.

His distinctive track Rapunzel is a witty commentary on society, filled with clever Australian puns; he is forging his own voice and pushing Australian hip-hop further.

Also putting his stamp on the Australian hip-hop scene is Illy, his current track It Can Wait (ft. Owl Eyes) has also launched into the mainstream music scene, after breaking through in the ‘Triple J’s Hottest 100 List’.

The Melbourne artist is known for his live stage presence, and has gained a core following at his live shows, another voice growing the Australian hip-hop audience.

V8 Supercars Chairman, Tony Cochrane said that the $136 three-day general admission ticket again provided one of the best value for money buys in Australian entertainment.

“Fans will get three days of fantastic V8 Supercar action and two nights of some of Australia’s and the world’s biggest acts – I am not sure where you can get all that for $136 bucks,” said Cochrane.

"Simple Minds are a huge international act and we are delighted that they have accepted our invitation to come down and play a one-off show for us."

“So many of their hits are timeless and their headlining of the Saturday night show will be something pretty special.”

The Hoodoo Gurus are Australian rock royalty since they formed in 1981, hit’s such as What’s My Scene still resonates with a new audience, What’s My Scene undertook a revamp for the National Rugby League ‘That’s My Team’ campaign.

They were given Australian music’s highest honor in 2007 when they were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame; they continue to perform to sell out crowds entertaining audiences with their classic hits and new music.

Masters Apprentices are an Australian sensation; Legendary Melbourne DJ Stan Rofe once proclaimed that they were Australia’s answer to the Rolling Stones.

They are a chameleon like band who moved through psychedelia and "bubblegum” pop, finally became one the first and best progressive hard rock groups of the early 70s and continue to have an impact on the landscape of Australian rock.

Eskimo Joe has exploded from its Indie Rock roots into one of Australia’s foremost bands; their 2006 album Black Fingernails, Red Wine went four-times platinum.

They are credited as one of the most innovative bands in the country with their single Foreign Land becoming the most played Australian song on radio in 2009.

Music fans and race fans alike will be guaranteed a host of exceptional racing and superb musical talent when racing and rock unite.

The Armor All Gold Coast 600 will be from October 21-23 on the streets of the Gold Coast and features a strong line up of International racecar drivers representing Formula 1, IndyCar, Touring Car, Sportscar and NASCAR categories from all over the world.

Tickets: and
Event website: 600 Sounds On The Gold Coast

Zeltspektakel Festival, Winterbach, Germany
21st July, 2011

"Hey it must be time to go on stage soon. How do I know? Not because I am in the dressing room gargling lemon and ginger. I know cause heavens have opened and rivers of rain are flowing outside my door! Just like it has for the last three shows!" - Jim

Burgtheater Dinslaken, Dinslaken, Germany
23rd July, 2011
Main Set: Moscow Underground / Waterfront / Once Upon A Time / All The Things She Said / Sanctify Yourself / Broken Glass Park / Stars Will Lead The Way / Celebrate / Love Song / Up On The Catwalk / Hunter And The Hunted / Hypnotised / Mandela Day / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / Promised You A Miracle / Glittering Prize / Don't You (Forget About Me) / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Encore: Home / Alive And Kicking / Belfast Child / Ghostdancing - Gloria - Take Me To The River

"If all the gigs are special then how can any of them be? I dont know the answer to that but the German shows have all been very good and each in its own way. Good audiences as always and guess what? The rain even kept away while we were on stage on that cute little amphitheatre in Dinslaken - near Dusseldorf!" - Jim

Many thanks to Stefan for the set-list and pictures.

Dortmunder Music Festival, Westfalenhalle, Germany
26th July, 2011
Support: Kensington Road
Main Set: Waterfront / Once Upon A Time / All The Things She Said / Sanctify Yourself / Broken Glass Park / Moscow Underground / Stars Will Lead The Way / Celebrate / Love Song / Hypnotised / Hunter And The Hunted / Up On The Catwalk / Mandela Day / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / Promised You A Miracle / Glittering Prize / Don't You (Forget About Me) / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Encore: Home / Alive And Kicking / Belfast Child / Ghostdancing - Gloria - Take Me To The River

Many thanks to Marion for the ticket scan, Stefan for the set-list and Sabine for the pictures.

Is it wrong to like this sort of thing?

City Rocks, Inverness, Scotland, UK
16th July, 2011
Support: Big Country
Main Set: Waterfront / Once Upon A Time / All The Things She Said / Sanctify Yourself / Broken Glass Park / Celebrate / Sons And Fascination / This Earth That You Walk Upon / Love Song / Hypnotised / Up On The Catwalk / Mandela Day / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / Promised You A Miracle / Glittering Prize / Don't You (Forget About Me) / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Encore: The American / Alive And Kicking / Ghostdancing - Gloria - Take Me To The River

"Great set from Big Country last night, always were a great live band. And as for Mike Peters who is singing with Big Country currently, it was so inspiring to see him give his all. This guy has endured serious illness a number of times, nevertheless he was immense last night, a true inspiration. As are all of those who struggle with their illnesses on a daily basis. My respect to all who endure illness knows no end!" - Jim

"They said a hard rain was a gonna fall and it certainly did, unfortunately! And it fell for hours and hours. Did it piss me off? No, it didn't - because the crowd at Inverness last night - were as good as any we have come across in our many years of playing. How they could stand for hours in that monsoon and yet seemingly enjoy every beat of our two hour set is just beyond me. I adored my time in Inverness and was sad to get on the plane this morning. We will be back that is for sure. Thanks to everyone in Inverness and special thanks to all those who traveled from far to be with us in the capital of the Scottish Highlands!" - Jim

Many thanks to Stef for the pictures and Claudia for the ticket scan.

Inverness Review

Hey now, here we are, in a place called Inverness. Came all the way from Stafford in a rusty (but thankfully reliable) car, singing nearly the whole back catalogue of the Minds inbetween eating chocolate bars. Arrived the day before the gig in beautiful, warm sunshine that stayed until Saturday lunchtime. In fact, the weather was so nice I went for a long hike up the hills. I knew it wasn’t going to last trying to beat the rain clouds on the way back to town, but I kept on hoping it wouldn’t be as bad as the forecast predicted. Boy were we wrong!

Among the first hundred people into the park (more of a field, really), I headed firstly for the merchandise tent then straight to the stage being lucky to bag myself the prime spot of first row, middle of stage. YeHaa! Unfortunately (no disrespect) I was flanked by a diehard Big Country fan on my left and a dyed in the wool Alarm supporter on the right, who as expected got a bit overexcited as soon as Big Country came on stage. Thankfully, they quietened down when the Minds came on. But getting to the point.

Coming onto the stage to the sound of Bodhran drumming, the first words out of Jim’s mouth was "we’ve got rain". NO KIDDING! It pelted it down. But the torrential rain had no chance of extinguishing the 6000 thousand strong crowds' enthusiasm counting in Waterfront. Once Upon A Time and All The Things She Said swiftly followed with Sarah’s voice as strong and crystal clear as ever and Jim dashing from one side of the stage to the other. Sanctify Yourself got the crowd jumping up and down, and the first row got an up close and personal treat of Jim coming off stage to shake hands and getting as soaked as we were.

Broken Glass Park started with Jim quipping that they were just warming up. As was the front of the crowd as the heat of the stage lighting turned the wet air into sauna conditions.

Sons And Fascination and Celebrate sounded even better than they did at the Cannock Chase gig; maybe the closeness of the buildings around the park added an extra dimension to the full on sound coming from the stage. Love Song and Up On The Catwalk followed leading into the hauntingly beautiful This Earth That You Walk Upon and Hypnotised, punctuated by Ged’s faultless bass and Charlie’s soaring guitar. How on earth he remembers all those riffs is beyond me, but it’s pure genius.

Mandela Day was as always a crowd pleaser with the crowd hardly needing Jim’s encouragement for a show of hands leading into Someone Somewhere (In Summertime), and possibly an even better rendition than the Cannock Chase version, with everyone singing along in defiance of the rain which was still hammering down. Promised You A Miracle and Glittering Prize kept the momentum going, culminating in one of the best sing-a-longs of Don’t You (Forget About Me) I had the pleasure to be part of since ’86. New Gold Dream rounded the main set off nicely, thank you very much.

No Stagefright this time round. Instead we got another blast from the past in the shape of The American quickly followed by the ever popular Alive And Kicking and closing with the most energetic rendition of GhostdancingGloria.

As in Cannock everyone was reluctant to leave, including Jim and Charlie, who just stood glued to the floor at the front of the stage sporting the happiest smiles. You done yourself proud, guys and speaking for myself (and everyone else in the crowd) I was proud to be part of this glorious night! Hopefully, they’ll have better weather for the rest of the tour.

Pictures and review by Claudia

Full details of the second Simple Minds Live 2011 CD set recorded at Hampton Court by Concert Online can be found here. (And see the "Track Listings and Commercial Formats" for comments specfic to each set).

Updates to the discography include:

Mike's been busy preparing for his visit to the UK. You can keep up with the gigs, and his project, by following the Anacoustic Mind Facebook Page.

The pictures here show some of the goodies he's put together including the CD of his acoustic version of New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84).

Zottegem Review

The thing about festivals is there's a certain amount of choice of bands or groups that day and it's open air. On this lovely weekend in Zottegem, some seven bands were playing. It was a lovely being not too big and not too small. For every band their fans, there were youngsters and "not so young", enjoying the good weather, food and drinks at the festival. I met a lot of people whom I just knew from Facebook and this was great! Flemish talking people and French talking people all together, no political barriers to be seen here.

A huge marquee-tent was set up in which the artists performed, inside of which were two big video-screens, and one at the outside, next to the Studio Brussels-studio (National Radio in Belgium), airing fragments of the live-performances.

As the day passed by, people were gathering nearby the big tent, waiting to see their favourite artist. So it was with the last band, just before Simple Minds, called Channel Zero. Pretty dangerous looking guys, the drummer wore an electronic anklet, all the black-dressed guys having mulitcoloured tattoos from wrist to shoulder (and further on I bet), hair hanging between shoulder and butt, triangle-shaped guitars, but most of all: noise, so much noise! The drumming and beats set your clothes vibrating. Youngsters at the front of the stage were crowdsurfing and going nuts.. call me old fashioned , but this isn't my cup of tea. At certain moments, the lead singer resembled just Sylvester Stalone, but in this case with black long greased hair, which he swept around just like a mill. Now I understand why physiotherapists are invented. Their set ended and we said goodbye to their background curtain with its huge skulls and flames.

Finally, our time had come on stage, and the crew were busy installing the Mind's gear: Mel's drumkit, Andy's synths and Charlie and Ged's guitar gear. The crew tested the sound: Derek hitting Mel's drums, Hilko playing a little guitar and bass riffs. The background music played one of the originals of the Minds' covers: Siouxsie And The Banshees, Patti Smith, The Stranglers etc. Nice warm up! And by 00:40AM, the Minds' intro started, and some people - including me - started singing "Happy Birthday" as we saw the band gathering by the side of the curtain, ready to come on stage.

And then the band appeared: Andy first, followed by Charlie, Sarah, Ged and Mel. Last in line came Jim and huge applause started. "Happy Birthday" I shouted as loud as I could and immediatly Waterfront started and people were exited.

Once Up On A Time followed and Sarah did great work, also on All The Things She Said. What a positive flair this lady has! Such a strong voice. "Happy Birthday" sang the crowd again and Sanctify Yourself went airborn.

"Everything ok?" asked Jim and everyone cheered. "There's someone's birthday today" Jim said while the tunes of Broken Glass Park started. He pointed to Andy and the music stopped. "It's our lighting-engineer Steven Pollard's birthday today and he worked with Simple Minds for thirty years, let's dedicate this song to Steve , all right?" "Let him see your hands!". A magical Broken Glass Park started again and together with the colourful lighting and sweeping guitar of Charlie this was a hit. "We had fun, fun, fun, fun, fun - fun!" , everybody sang along. Yes indeed, you could feel the nice welcome to the crowd and their response towards the band. Celebrate kicked off with the steady bass of Ged, the quiet one in the band but doing his very best and fitting in so well. The distortion sound at the end of the track was engineered by Ged, sitting on his knees in front of his "pedals", turning the knobs round and round.

Mel was in top form as he hit his drumkit, with the force we all know of him. Way to go, Mel!

A very nice version of Belfast Child was followed up by Don't You (Forget About Me), which is of course a big crowd pleaser! Someone, Somewhere (In Summertime) just put gasoline to the fire, and the immense applause was only silenced by Alive and Kicking.

"Can we play one more?" asked Jim, needless to ask of course. New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) started and Mel hit his drums like never before. Charlie was having a good time too, singing along to the songs and moving on stage from left to right. He tortured his guitar on the following encore Ghostdancing and Ged did a splendid bass line on that too.

"What a great welcome this is" said Jim, "earlier on the evening we played for some 50,000 people but we feel we play here for more!" Indeed, the Minds played two gigs in one evening, after doing Werchter Festival, they hurried to Zottegem and gave again the best of themselves. They were so present here, had a really good time and of course we had a great time as well.

I drove home, more than satisfied and still feeling the adrenaline. I met a lot of people having the same "Simple Minds-vibe". The next day on national TV: "This weekend two festivals took place , with big names such as Texas and Bryan Adams but it was Simple Minds who set the night on fire!" If this isn't making us proud !Thank you Simple Minds for the great music and the wonderful evening. So excited for more to come, now waiting for the coming-up new album!

Pictures and review by JohnnyBGood

Festival Terres Blanches, Guérande, France
10th July, 2011

"Okay I will admit it... I felt drained during last night's gig. I think it was our seventh show in nine days with plenty of flying and a couple of overnight journeys. Being so it is probably understandable that fatigue set in. The other guys did not feel it so much but then again I am the "old guy". Going on near midnight on the last day of the weekend event was not in our favour either meaning that we did not play to as many as we could have. Gave it our best though and I think it would have been a memorable evening for those who waited all day to see Simple Minds. I hope so!" - Jim

Many thanks to Stef for the pictures.

Many thanks to Claudia for all the pictures and scans.

The question "if you could go back to being eighteen years old, knowing what you know now...", has been asked of all of us. Just been there, got the T-shirt and CD! Let me explain. For a start, it’s been 25 years since I’ve seen Simple Minds playing live (why there’s a gap, I’m still trying to figure out myself; suppose real life just got in the way). Having been fortunate to catch the BBC’s Thetford Gig broadcast increased the anticipation, though nothing could have prepared me for what was in store. Neither was my husband, being an utter Simple Minds virgin, who over the last six months steadfastly refused to listen to their music let alone was prepared to come to the gig. Nevertheless, he did go in the end.

The air was loaded with good cheer from the start, everyone just waiting for Jim’s starting gun words "Let me see your hands", kicking off Moscow Underground. As the "E’oh’s" from the crowd shook the pinecones from the trees the weather, which until then appeared to be on our side, turned into a fine but incessant drizzle by the time Waterfront arrived. So much for my theory that whenever it rains playing this song coaxes a chink of sunlight out of nowhere.

But the rain had no chance of dampening down spirits as the increasing pace of Mel’s drumming propelled the set through Once Upon A Time, All The Things She Said and Sanctify Yourself, with Jim leaving no inch of the stage uncovered, Charlie grinning like the proverbial cat finding not just a dish but a swimming pool full of cream and Sarah’s backing vocals on par with Robin Clark’s. Broken Glass Park slotted extremely well into its new place, promising more glorious things to come. Not many people singing along to this one, but I’m sure they soon will. After all, as Jim pointed out, it’s easy to sing "We had Fun Fun Fun".

Sons and Fascination and Celebrate (driven along by Ged’s thumping bass and Mel’s sharp drums) were a revelation. Though enduring favourites of mine, I hadn’t heard them played live before; and they sounded as fresh as if written only recently, not thirty years ago. Back on familiar ground, Love Song, Up On The Catwalk and Hunter And The Hunted (the last one only seen "live" on the Seen In Lights DVD), jolted me back to being 16 again, especially with Jim quipping at the beginning of "Hunter" “You’re not getting wet, are you? It’s good for the skin! Moisture!” Will I have to carry ID again after this gig? No chance! Hypnotised somehow wasn’t getting the reception I expected. The crowd involvement seemed a bit on the insipid side compared to the Glasgow ’95 version on Silver Box. For me Charlie’s riffs were sending shivers down my spine.

Mandela Day marking the halfway point, brought back memories again, when Mandela was a mysterious figure, and seeing those memories carried through to the handful of the next generation of Minds fans brought along by their parents is great. Hopefully they will remember this night; there certainly was no chance of nodding off.

Highlight? For me it has to be Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) as it was the first Minds song that entrenched itself into my memory in late ’82 and on this evening it proved its merit again with the crowd taking turns with Jim singing the chorus line with growing enthusiasm. And listening with closed eyes (not that you would’ve wanted to), you could well imagine Mick and Derek being on stage, though Andy and Ged are filling their shoes admirably.

Promised You A Miracle and Glittering Prize kept the momentum going, leading into Don’t You which required no introduction as the "Hey! Hey! Hey!’s" were filling the air before the first chords hit the air. Even though it was still raining, at that point everyone was past caring of being slightly damp. New Gold Dream rounded the main set off nicely but this evening wasn’t over by a long shot.

After a short breather another look to the future with Stagefright followed by a rousing rendition of Alive And Kicking and finishing with the triple whammy of Ghostdancing / Gloria / Take Me To The River going on forever as the guys were seemingly enjoying themselves so much not wanting to stop as much as the crowd didn’t want to stop listening, singing along or wanting to go home.

Eventually the evening ended, leaving me with a big smile on my face! And the rain had also stopped, giving way to the hottest day this year. What more could we ask for? As for the other half? After being left to fending for himself in the fourth row, he found himself unable not to tap his feet and even join in the applause. There is hope yet! Thanks very much Jim, Charlie, Mel, Andy, Ged and not forgetting Sarah for a brilliant night!! Also, a big thanks to Liz, Kev and a handful of regular customers of our local big supermarket (which I won’t name), who also enjoyed the gig immensely. I promise not to leave it as long again to the next gig. Can’t make it to Delamere, but will be in Inverness. Can’t wait.

Pictures and review by Claudia

Bono included a brief snippet of Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) when they played Mysterious Ways in Toronto on the 7th July. The event was filmed and put on YouTube:

The set-list for Kestenholz, Werchter and Guerande haven't yet surfaced - does anyone have a copy?

TW Classic Festival, Werchter, Belgium
9th July, 2011

"Nostalgia hit strongly as we drove in to the backstage area of this festival. The first time we arrived here was in 1983 and I recall turning up petrified as it would be the first time we would play to so many people. Yesterday I turned up knowing that we would "set the place on fire" - and I think we did. Nevertheless, I felt sad initially. Sad that nearly 30 years of my life had passed so quickly and never to be regained. Sad through missing Mick MacNeil, Derek Forbes, Bruce Findlay, Paul Kerr and so many others who are no longer with us but played such colossal roles in creating this proud band. For them, I wanted to be brilliant yesterday even if they might be unaware. They laid the tracks for this train, a train that cannot help but keep moving forward. I hope we were brilliant!" - Jim

Rock Zottegem, Belgium
9th July, 2011
Main Set: Waterfront / Once Upon A Time / All The Things She Said / Sanctify Yourself / Broken Glass Park / Celebrate / Love Song / Belfast Child / Don't You (Forget About Me) / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / Alive And Kicking / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Encore: Ghostdancing - Gloria - Take Me To The River

"I was sure that we had played here before, would have sworn, could even visualise it in my mind. But no! This was the first time and it kind of threw me being much smaler than I thought, packed, intense, difficult to breathe, more a party than a gig perhaps due to the partisan vibe coming from the crowd. I did not feel physically tired despite going on stage at 12:30AM and having played another festival set a few hours earlier, but I was somewhat emotionally drained after the Werchter set. Demolished the birthday cake afterwards of course. Thank you to all the organisers and their young team. It would be great to go back one day!" - Jim

Many thanks to JohnnyBGood for the set-list and the pictures.

Hard Rock Cafe, Piazza Della Repubblica, Firenze, Italy
4th July, 2011
Main Set: Moscow Underground / Waterfront / Once Upon A Time / All The Things She Said / Love Song / Celebrate / Up On The Catwalk / Mandela Day / Hypnotised / Sanctify Yourself / Broken Glass Park / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / Don't You (Forget About Me) / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Encore: Alive And Kicking / Ghostdancing - Gloria - Take Me To The River

Many thanks to Edgardo and Lionello for the set-list and Andrea for the set-list scan. Although Stagefright was included on the set-list, it wasn't played on the night.

St. Peter's At Sunset, Kestenholz, Switzerland
7th July, 2011

"With a pop of 1,662 Kestenholz in Switzerland is the smallest town we've ever played. En route from Italy to Belgium we decided to break the journey and take the offer of playing this sweet little festival that they call "St. Peter's At Sunset". A tiny amphitheatre purposely built in the middle of a field surrounded by the sound of church bells and the ..ahem... smell of cows - another storming set took place, bringing both Belfast Child and The American back. The (mostly amateur) organisation did a wonderful job in providing great condition and a 2,000 strong crowd lost themselves in the music, as we did too!" - Jim.

Does anyone have set-lists for The Hard Rock Cafe, Firenze or St. Peter's At Sunset, Kestenholz? If so, please send them in.

Full details of the first Simple Minds Live 2011 CD set recorded at Bedgebury Pinetum by Concert Online can be found here. (And see the "Track Listings and Commercial Formats" for comments specfic to each set).

This montage of pictures was taken by Charles at the Westonbirt gig. Click on the image for the full sized version:

"Whispering" Bob Harris is to host The Old Grey Whistle Test once again in a radio revival of the classic BBC music show."

"Artists who performed on the original series, including Sir Elton John, Robert Plant and Paul Weller, will return for the Radio 2 series, which marks the programme's 40th anniversary."

"Whistle Test is credited with giving early exposure to acts such as Bob Marley, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and Steely Dan. The BBC Two programme ran from 1971 to 1987 and was a showcase for the "serious" rock acts beloved by Harris."

"Starting in August, the 16-part radio series, Old Grey Whistle Test 40, will feature classic archive, new performances recorded at the famous Maida Vale studios, and interviews with artists who appeared on the original series. The line-up will include Roger Daltrey, Mark Knopfler, Yusuf Islam, Emmylou Harris and Simple Minds."

"Harris, 65, described the new show as "a massive reunion, featuring superstars of British and American music."

The Independent

The band were first featured on The Old Grey Whistle Test in March 1979, gaining them their first national TV exposure on the eve of the release of Life In A Day and their first UK tour.

Bruce Findlay then arranged for a second appearance on the show whilst Whispering Bob and the team were working in New York. This prompted the band's first first trip to America where they were interviewed and filmed at Hurrahs. A live version of Premonition was issued at the time (found on the flip of Changeling) but it wasn't until 2003's Seen The Lights DVD the the film was officially released.

Delamere Forest, Delamere, Cheshire, UK
3rd July, 2011
Support: The Rainband
Main Set: Moscow Underground / Waterfront / Once Upon A Time / All The Things She Said / Sanctify Yourself / Broken Glass Park / Celebrate / Sons And Fascination / This Earth That You Walk Upon / Love Song / Hypnotised / Up On The Catwalk / Mandela Day / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / Promised You A Miracle / Glittering Prize / Don't You (Forget About Me) / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Encore: Stagefright / Alive And Kicking / Ghostdancing - Gloria - Take Me To The River

"We don't fit! Tonight we play the last of our eight English shows. Up and down the country we have played to many thousands, enjoying every moment every bit as those who came and have showered us with full on appreciation. Will not forget these Forest shows and hope to be back for more at some point in the future."

"Meanwhile it is true that these days Simple Minds exist somewhere out on our own - once again a cult band. How else can you explain the success of these shows that by and large have gone unmentioned anywhere within the national media? (BBC Radio2 apart.) Hmmmm!"

"Seems that we just don't fit. But if you look at the stage tonight as we give our all in front of a sold out audience - you might also realise that we just don't care! Thank you for being such great audiences." - Jim

"Wow! Am I imagining it, or was tonight's gig in the top five ever? You tell me? Something special happened in this beautiful spot. Everything clicked and went onto another level altogether. I don't care how many times I repeat it but we truly have incredible audiences, their encouragement knows no end, all we want to do is reciprocate. Goodbye to England for the meantime. Thanks to each and everyone, especially those who traveled from far and wide!" - Jim

Is it wrong to like this sort of thing?

Stadwerkefest, Lustgarten, Potsdam, Germany
2nd July, 2011
Main Set: Moscow Underground / Waterfront / Love Song / All The Things She Said / Celebrate / Up On The Catwalk / Mandela Day / Hypnotised / Sanctify Yourself / Broken Glass Park / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / Don't You (Forget About Me) / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Encore: Alive And Kicking / Ghostdancing - Gloria - Take Me To The River

"One day when this is over and done we might look back and reflect on so many glorious shows -last night in the outdoors in Potsdam might not be one of them however. Not because the people were not great - they were! Not because the band did not play with great energy and enthusiasm - we did! But because it rained and it rained and it rained and well... all through the day and most of the night it continued. Sure, I got soaked, probably more than anyone as everyone else had umbrellas or hats or whatever. But so what! It was a fine rain, warm and with no wind, a summer rain. Moisture! Good for the skin... right?" - Jim

Despite being on the set-list, Stagefright wasn't played (probably due to a slightly late start at 22:25 instaed of 22:15).

Many thanks to Michael for the pictures.

Further pictures of the Potsdam concert can be found in this Flickr set.

A German interview with Jim can be found in Markische Allgemeine along with a review of the gig.

Simple Minds' appearance at the opening of the Hard Rock Cafe is duly noted by La Repubblica.

We regret to inform you that the Simple Minds shows planned for Munich on 20th July and Kiel on 24th July have had to be cancelled due to unforeseen scheduling difficulties. Anyone who bought a ticket can ether swap it for another German show with availability (currently Winterbach on 21st July, Dinslaken on 23rd July and Dortmund on 26th July) or can apply for a full refund.

If you would prefer a refund please contact the place where you purchased your ticket and follow their procedure.

If you have any problems getting your tickets swapped or your refund please contact Lars Berndt Events on

"Very disappointed about the cancellation of the two German gigs. I hear one more German show is soon to be added for August however. (A free one possibly!) Meanwhile if there is anyone who is taking up the option of using their cancelled tickets for other German shows, please send me a message as I would like to arrange a face to face apology! So sorry once again on behalf of Simple Minds." - Jim

WARNING AND PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD: This is an advert for an Italian gig that Simple Minds know nothing about. We are completely unaware of this booking. Do not buy tickets for this!

"Continued with Dalby and Cannock over the weekend and it keeps getting better. It even felt warm on stage at Cannock and that was a first. The audiences throughout this series of gigs have been on fire... Cannock outdoing them all in my opinion. Band gets better and better, tell me I am not the only one who thinks this? More cohesion than ever and every bit as much energy as before. Played for two hours but I would happily have played for three. Thanks to all who come to see us, you make our lives a joy!" - Jim

Bob Thacker, a professional photographer who's taken many shots of the Minds (particularly during the Black And White 050505 Tour) is involved with RegionalMag, a unique multimedia magazine based in Nottingham.

The site now includes pictures of Simple Minds and fans taken at the Sherwood Pines Gig.

(Click on Issue 7, click on the "Music" icon, and skip past the chart breakdown pages).

Belgrade Beer Fest, Belgrade, Serbia
18th August, 2011

"With over 900,000 visitors in five days, Belgrade Beer Fest™ has grown into one of the most recognizable events that Serbia's capital city has to offer. Belgrade Cultural Network is trying each year to improve all the aspects of the festival, while retaining its trademark – entrance free of charge etc."

"We are proud since this year we will surprise the audience with even better music program, where among other headliners we will have the opportunity to see famous Scottish band Simple Minds. They will, as part of their European tour, perform at Belgrade Beer Fest on August 18th 2011!"

See for more information.

Many thanks to Davor for the scoop.

The Horrors have recently been causing a buzz around their forthcoming third album Skying. Lead track, and Zane Lowe's "Hotted Record In The World" (for that week anyway) was Still Life which has spawned several Simple Minds references.

The NME hit the nail on the head with their track-by-track review of the album: "The first single, which you can hear now at Psychedelic samples give way to a very 1982 synth riff, which leads to a chorus that has much of the "big music" bombast of Simple Minds, delivered with Faris’s own brand of langour."

But don't take their word for it. You can listen to the track on YouTube.

Sea Within A Sea from their previous album Primary Colours is also worth a listen.

Many thanks to Barry for all the info.

Sherwood Pine Forest, Near Edwinstowe, Nottinghamshire, UK
18th June, 2011
Support: James Walsh
Main Set: Moscow Underground / Waterfront / Once Upon A Time / All The Things She Said / Sanctify Yourself / Broken Glass Park / Sons And Fascination / Celebrate / Love Song / Up On The Catwalk / Hunter And The Hunted / Hypnotised / Mandela Day / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / Promised You A Miracle / Glittering Prize / Don't You (Forget About Me) / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Encore: Stagefright / Alive And Kicking / Ghostdancing - Gloria - Take Me To The River

Set in a bowl right in the middle of Sherwood Pines Forest, the stage lighting illuminated the trees so beautifully, this truly was a fantastic night.

All the classic "Greatest Hits" were in, how many other bands can have one of their biggest Waterfront as the second song rather than having to keep it back for a rousing conclusion? Brilliant to see some older songs re-enter the set such as Celebrate which was brilliantly done with a huge bass line from Ged. The two new songs fit seamlessly into the set. Broken Glass Park with all its beauty and atmosphere, and Stagefright already showing signs of becoming a live anthem. The "it's you" tag line has the crowd involved as part of the song . Finishing the night with Ghostdancing/Gloria has the crowd singing the "Gloria" line well before the band start the conclusion .

The band are so on the game right now its amazing. The sound quality was absolutely perfect and the huge crowd lapped it up. How good is it to see more and more younger fans here and enjoying the masterclass.

Jim was on fine form commanding the stage as usual but throwing in some great lines as well. When the crowd sang the "La la las" to Don't You (Forget About Me) he complimented them saying "It's a difficult song but you're doing it so well" adding "And you're singing it in French too." Also he adlibbed lines into Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) adding "Someone, somewhere in Sherwood Pines" amongst others. Charlie was spot on as usual getting through a huge array of guitars. Andy's keyboards add such atmosphere especially to the two new songs. Ged really seems to have settled in now and his bass line absolutely cut through the set so well. Mel as ever, so loud so perfect, how does this man hit the drums so hard? Simply the best there is.

Surely two hours never went so fast. Simple Minds on top form, going from strength to strength. We thank them!

Mark Hagley

Dalby Forest, Near Pickering, North Yorks, UK
24th June, 2011
Support: James Walsh
Main Set: Moscow Underground / Waterfront / Once Upon A Time / All The Things She Said / Sanctify Yourself / Broken Glass Park / Sons And Fascination / Celebrate / Love Song / Up On The Catwalk / This Earth That You Walk Upon / Hypnotised / Mandela Day / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / Promised You A Miracle / Don't You (Forget About Me) / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Encore: Stagefright / Alive And Kicking / Ghostdancing - Gloria - Take Me To The River

Cannock Chase Forest, Near Rugeley, Staffordshire, UK
26th June, 2011
Support: James Walsh
Main Set: Moscow Underground / Waterfront / Once Upon A Time / All The Things She Said / Sanctify Yourself / Broken Glass Park / Sons And Fascination / Celebrate / Love Song / Up On The Catwalk / Hunter And The Hunted / Hypnotised / Mandela Day / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / Promised You A Miracle / Glittering Prize / Don't You (Forget About Me) / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Encore: Stagefright / Alive And Kicking / Ghostdancing - Gloria - Take Me To The River

Some new concerts have recently been added to the tour schedule:

Stadwerkefest, Lustgarten, Postdam, Germany
2nd July, 2011

Hard Rock Cafe, Piazza Della Repubblica, Firenze, Italy
4th July, 2011
This is a free concert - see the next section.

St. Peter At Sunset, Kestenholz, Switzerland
7th July, 2011

INEC, Killarney, Ireland
30th July, 2011

Rock The Rock Festival, Gibralter
6th August, 2011

Belgrade Beer Fest, Belgrade, Serbia
18th August, 2011

Simple Minds to Open Hard Rock Florence

It was today announced that the world famous Piazza della Repubblica in Florence will be the location of a huge free concert by Simple Minds to celebrate the formal opening of the spectacular Fuse-designed Hard Rock Cafe which opens to the public this week. The concert will take place alongside the VIP party to celebrate the formal inauguration of the venue on Monday July 4th.

Simple Minds' front man Jim Kerr will perform the traditional 'Guitar Smash' that marks the opening of all Hard Rock’s venues around the globe then the band who have sold over 40 million albums worldwide will perform their catalogue of classics including Alive And Kicking, Don't You (Forget About Me) and Belfast Child in front of tens of thousands of Italian fans (and, of course, Scott and David who were responsible for the design of the venue).

David commented: "I'm delighted that Simple Minds were chosen. I saw them on the Street Fighting Years tour and they were brilliant."

Scott, who is somewhat younger than David, commented: "Never heard of them."

Oh well, you can't win 'em all!

Taken from Fuse Studios

For more information about An Acoustic Mind and Mike's reworking of New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) then check out his new Facebook Page.

Is it wrong to like this sort of thing?

Westonbirt Arboretum, Near Tetbury, Gloucestershire, UK
17th June, 2011
Support: James Walsh

"Westonbirt! Continous drizzle failed to dampen the enthusiasm of what was probably the most enthusiastic crowd so far on this tour. Ged Grimes on bass really slotting in well, he is on a different level now and people are starting to notice how talented he is. Back to full power after the frustration of the sound restrictions at Hampton Court. Increasingly more of the outdoor venues have very conservative sound limitations. Never want to kill with volume, but the Simple Minds sound relies on a "ballsiness" and a certain volume is needed to conjure that up. Back to Westonbirt though: Brought Love Song and Hunter And The Hunted in to freshen things up a little, moved Broken Glass Park to an earlier position that suited. Moving on to Sherwood... I would easily settle for as good a night as we had in Gloucester... Thanks so much to all who came from far and wide to see us!" - Jim

Radio 2 In Concert
Interview with Johnnie Walker

16th June 2011

JW: Jim is on the line I think. Hello?
JK: Well I’ve been listening in and I’ve just heard Magazine live, one of my favourite bands Johnnie so I’ve had a better beginning to the evening than you did than you did last year.
JW: Do you remember opening for them in about 1979?
JK: I really do. It was our first experience of touring anywhere really, but touring the UK. And at that time they were my favourite band and so I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. Fortunately we didn’t die on stage [laughs] and it ended up being a really good tour. We came off the back of that tour with a good opening for our debut album. But they were an amazing band and I think I watched them every single night.

JW: Who’d have thought what lay ahead over the next thirty-odd years, Jim? It’s been a good run!
JK: It certainly has and we’ve been blessed. We’ve just been talking about that. It’s been a fantastic life and here we are tonight in Hampton Court and really looking forward to it. We had some great gigs at the weekend; I think you’re about to play some of them if I understand right. And, of course, we have these great audiences who come and see us and encourage us and as long as that continues, we can’t complain.

JW: I was looking at your website just earlier on and you were just talking about how you played all sorts of gigs: little places and huge arenas but summertime is a great time to play a gig. What’s so great about summertime for a band?
JK: I’m not knocking the arena gigs because we’ve had some great ones and I’ve certainly seen some fantastic shows in arenas but there’s something about being outside in the summertime – it’s more than just the band, it’s the atmosphere, everyone’s in a different mood, I think we all like to get out into the air and – although it can be a wee bit of an endurance test with the weather sometimes. There’s just something about it. The gigs are just a wee bit more memorable.
JK: We go all over the world. We’re going all over Europe with this summer. We’ve got Scandinavia, Germany, France, Italy and it’s not a bad life.
JW: It’s obviously an extremely good life!

JW: So what’s it about the Forestry Commission Gigs that caught your attention? Why would it be good to play there? Why?
JK: Well, they’d asked us to do it and when we checked up on them over the last few years, they’d been getting a great reaction and audiences really seem to love them. Weller did a tour with them a couple of years ago I think, last year Simply Red did it, and again just looking at the comments on line people like the circumstances. And they also like the fact that it’s tied in with the Forestry and it benefits [them] as well. It’s a just all-round good vibe.

JW: I was listening to Stagefright which is a new song that you made made available via your Facebook page, which is a free download. So you’re still making new music and there’s a new song we’ll hear in the Thetford show tonight Broken Glass Park. So is there a new album around the corner?
JK: Well we’ve continued writing. We’ve had a great, great story but we’re always want to be adding new pages to that, new chapters even. And what we’re loving about this set is that we’re playing songs – the other night we played a song that we haven’t played for thirty-one years – back-to-back with a song we’ve written a couple of months ago, or let’s say the start of the year. As long as we do that – you know when I look at the real greats, the Dylans, and the Lou Reeds and the Neil Youngs, and so-on and so-forth, they keep adding chapters, they don’t just become museum pieces although people talk about their peaks and all that stuff, they keep adding chapters and I think as an artist that’s what you really want to be doing.

JW: Is that the way to survive because you’ve been through so many musical trends and changes and yet still you’re around?
JK: I think it is. We’re really lucky we have these great fans. Within those fans there are people from different periods and I think when you write new songs, new songs that excite your hardcore, they then go and spread the word. There’s people who come and they want to hear the greatest hits and there’s certainly enough of them in the set to keep them happy as the casual fan, but I think you have to keep the thing alive, and to keep adding songs which is a great, great challenge as well, because it sounds easier than it is. Well, we’ll just put in a couple of new songs. But if you’re playing a set that’s primarily your own classics, it’s not easy for new songs to hold their own but I’m confident that these new songs like Stagefright and Broken Glass Park that you mentioned, we’ve still got to play them in a bit, but by the end of the summer I think they’ll easily hold their place in the set.

JW: What time are you on stage tonight?
JK: I think we’re on at nine o’clock.
JW: And what’s your normal thing before a gig? I mean are you on your own or with the rest of the guys? So are you focusing, as they say? Cracking jokes?
JK: Nah, the guys are all stuffing their faces to be honest. Catering at these gigs Johnnie, it’s just something else. It’s good grub. But, unfortunately, I can’t jump around with a belly of it. There’s two rooms: there’s a quiet room which is basically me sitting with a cup of tea waiting to go on. And the rest of the guys have a bit of a laugh and stuff. I wouldn’t like to tempt fate but the crew and the band – everyone works so hard in advance and so it just happens. So there’s nothing to get worried about – famous last words!

JW: Hampton Court Place. That’s probably the nearest you’ll get to royalty, Jim. That’s an amazing looking place isn’t it?
JK: I can’t believe they’d let a bunch of Scotsmen in here. [Laughs] I’m sure Henry would’ve had a word about that.
JW: And the weather looks OK?
JK: Yeah, it’s going to be good.

JW: And what are your memories of last night at Thetford Forest? You got some great reviews.
JK: We did, yeah. It was lovely. The first time there and the crowd were just up for it from the word "go" which is always great encouragement. I don’t know how many gigs we’ve done now, but there’s a guy called Javier, he’s probably listening in tonight, and he can tell you exactly, but it’s something like three thousand. And every night we walk on stage, we want this one to be the one. And there was a couple of real moments of magic in Thetford that night – I think so anyway.

JW: Have a good show tonight and thanks for your time.
JK: Thanks to you and thanks to everyone listening in and thanks to everyone coming to see us over the next few weeks and months. Thanks a lot Johnnie.

A selection of songs from the Thetford gig were broadcast in the last half of the show. Those in the UK can hear the broadcast of the gig (and the interview) using the BBC iPlayer. The tracks broadcast were:

Hampton Court Palace Festival, London, UK
16th June, 2011
Main Set: Moscow Underground / Waterfront / Once Upon A Time / All The Things She Said / Sanctify Yourself / Sons And Fascination / Celebrate / Speed Your Love To Me / Up On The Catwalk / This Earth That You Walk Upon / Hypnotised / Mandela Day / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / Promised You A Miracle / Glittering Prize / Don't You (Forget About Me) / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Encore: Stagefright / Alive And Kicking / Broken Glass Park / Ghostdancing - Gloria - Take Me To The River

"Hampton Court home of Henry the 8th becomes home of Simple Minds tonight. Not sure how Henry would have felt about us Scots taking over his palace but tonight we will do that. Weather has been lousy but seems to be clearing up, aim to give 100% tonight and no less. For those who cannot be there, you can listen to a recording from Saturday's show at Thetford. BBC Radio 2 with Johhny Walker this evening."

"Thanks Again!: To everyone who come to Hampton Court. The weather did not do us any favours but the band and audience worked together regardless to create a very warm atmosphere. No matter how many times I have already said it, our audiences are truly a joy to play to - in the way they encourage us. Special mention to people who traveled from France and Italy to be there last night. Re Hampton Court. A beautiful venue, regretfully they have a very strict limit on the sound and in my opinion a rock show needs to be a bit louder. We will be back to full power tonight in Westonbirt!" - Jim

"I’m surprised they let us in here," quipped Jim as the band took the stage in the stately confines of Hampton Court Palace. But I’m sure Henry VIII would’ve given them the benefit of the doubt; the monarch (in his spritely, earlier days) would’ve joined his nobles in the mosh pit, merrily thrown around flagons of mead, roared with approval at the end of the set and then, and only then, dispatched the errant Scotsmen straight to the tower for having the tenacity of trespassing on his royal estate. Or perhaps he definitely didn’t approve of the proceedings and it was his troubled spirit who unleashed the torrential rain, and hail, which clattered onto the audience as the band took to the stage.

(Amusingly a bust of Hadrian starred out from a wall with his stone head tilted slightly towards the stage area. The Emperor, famous for erecting the wall to keep the Scots from interloping into the Roman Empire, didn’t look best pleased either).

Simple Minds arrived in trademark black except for Jim, suited in a grey jacket and blue jeans which soon became soaked in the downpour. "This is like a summer’s evening in Scotland," he mused as the rain turned to ice. It also gave many their first glimpse of new bassist Ged Grimes, promoted from the ranks of Lostboy! AKA, propelled into position by the sudden departure of Eddie Duffy. I was impressed by his presence at the Lostboy gigs and was similarly impressed tonight.

Would Henry’s delicate candy-cane chimneys survive the sonic thud of Waterfront, the pulsating grove of Moscow Underground, or the clinical pulse of Celebrate? Luckily none of these tracks hit an architectural resonance but they certainly resonated with the sodden crowd. Moscow Underground tested the water (literally) before Waterfront arrived and heralded the end of the rain. A rainbow emerged over the red-brick crenelated turrets and chimneys signalling the end of the downpour – this was not going to be another Edinburgh.

The band jumped back to the mid 1980s, belting out a trio of songs from Once Upon A Time, and this was where Sarah Brown was able to step into the long-empty shoes of Robin Clark, and remind everyone of the missing backing vocals which these songs had lacked for many years.

The surprises of the night, much to the delight of the hardcore, was the occasional dip into the more obscure back-catalogue. Crowd favourites, and perhaps the over-exposed The American and Love Song, were expunged in favour of the less obvious Sons And Fascination and This Earth That You Walk Upon. The "Greatest Hits" theme was also pushed slightly adrift as Simple Minds also dusted off the long forgetten Celebrate, the slightly sinister call-to-arms from Empires And Dance. The selection of songs did have something for everyone, although it did veer into 1980s territory, concentrating mainly on the band’s earlier output.

The band were playing lean, keeping well within the bounds of the original album analogues, obviously wanting to fit as many songs into the concert as possible – with the obvious exception being the Ghostdancing finale. I’ve never heard Simple Minds so tight: Mel Gaynor and Ged Grimes formed a formidable new drum and bass unit, with Ged fitting into the band perfectly. And there was a moment in Don’t You (Forget About Me) where Andy sounded exactly like Mick MacNeil – the keyboard programming was spot on. The sound mix and volume was also perfect; whether it was the confines of Henry’s beautiful courtyard or a new person behind the mixing desk, it was a huge improvement on previous gigs.

The best was left until last. Don’t You (Forget About Me) kicked the crowd further into frenzy, which was maintained through the climax of New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84). After a brief pause, the band returned with Stagefright, now a definite crowd pleaser, with its stop-start tempo and pointed lyrics allowing lots of interaction: “It’s you, you, YOU... who give me Stagefright.” The Minds' interpretation of Broken Glass Park was surprisingly slower than its LostBoy! debut; the "We had fun, fun, fun" translating from a resounding stomp into a wistful nod to halcyon days. Charlie's added his signature to the song, giving it an extra push into the Simple Minds canon, but it’s left me intrigued as to the shape of the final studio cut.

The house lights came up after a final sing-a-long medley of Ghostdancing, Gloria and Take Me To The River. I suspect many, like myself, had temporarily forgotten their Tudor surroundings, being swept away in the moment of the gig.

Henry VIII was the grand old patriarch of the Tudor line, the father of Elizabeth Ist, who left the country with a constitutional headache after dying childless. Genealogical digging suggested that the Scottish king, James VI, had as much of a claim to the English crown as anyone, and it tidily, and finally, united the crowns of England and Scotland. So the grand old pile of Hampton Court did eventually come under part-Scottish rule; and perhaps it was the more benign spirit of James who swept the rain away, and left the (steaming) audience a dry evening in which to dance away.

There’s a new selection of merchandise and goodies on sale including lots of new T-shirts based on the popular 2008 design (the red Claddagh with rays) and mugs bearing the new album artwork. Concert Online were also extremely prevalent with many vendors working the crowd and showing off the impressive CD packs. I’ve pre-ordered all four but won’t be reviewing them until they turn up.

Thetford Forest, Near Brandon, Suffolk, UK
11th June, 2011
Support: James Walsh
Main Set: Moscow Underground / Waterfront / Once Upon A Time / All The Things She Said / Sanctify Yourself / Sons And Fascination / Celebrate / Speed Your Love To Me / Up On The Catwalk / This Earth That You Walk Upon / Hypnotised / Mandela Day / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / Promised You A Miracle / Glittering Prize / Don't You (Forget About Me) / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Encore: Stagefright / Alive And Kicking / Broken Glass Park / Ghostdancing - Gloria

"Another great night in the Forest. Seems even over the course of just one day it was possible to make a considerable improvement on the previous night. All nervousness had disappeared plus we managed to squeeze another song in with Broken Glass Park making its debut as a Simple Minds song. Audience was with us throughout the two hours and all in all I think we have made a very good start to the summer tour." Jim

Bedgebury Pinetum And Forest, Gouldhurst, Kent, UK
10th June, 2011
Support: Slapjaw Johnson
Main Set: Moscow Underground / Waterfront / Once Upon A Time / All The Things She Said / Sanctify Yourself / Sons And Fascination / Celebrate / Speed Your Love To Me / Up On The Catwalk / This Earth That You Walk Upon / Hypnotised / Mandela Day / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / Promised You A Miracle / Glittering Prize / Don't You (Forget About Me) / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Encore: Stagefright / Alive And Kicking / Ghostdancing - Gloria

"First gig. I would say that it went well. We had clear skies, fresh air, and as always a very welcoming audience - thanks so much to them! Played almost 2 hours, would have played longer but there was a curfew. Set flowed well, but we do have a problem in that we have too many songs and therefore cannot even play half the ones we would like to! That is a good problem though, right? Great to be able to play a tune from thirty years ago alongside a brand new one like Stagefright! We will vary a few more songs here and there over the next weeks. Don't tell them I said so... but I am so lucky to play with these musicians. Not only are they extremely talented, but they along with our roadcrew work so hard in advance rehearsals, this just guarantees that the quality of Simple Minds live is always improving. I hope you agree with me on that!" - Jim

BBC Radio 2 will be broadcasting tonight's gig next Thursday on Radio Two In Concert. Hosted by Johnnie Walker, the two hour show will start at 10:00PM. See the BBC's website for more information.

"Concert Live is excited to announce that we will be teaming up with Simple Minds to produce Exclusive Live CDs for their Greatest Hits + Tour 2011.

The Scottish rock band, who have been responsible for some of the most innovative and enduring anthems in rock music, will be playing in scenic locations around the UK this summer.

You can now pre-order your exclusive live CD which will be ready to pick up IMMEDIATELY after the gig finishes, or, if for some unimaginable reason you can’t make the gig, don’t you worry; Concert Live can again come to your rescue. We will be able to deliver straight to your doorstep, giving you the chance to visit a scenic location, put on the CD and pretend that you were, in fact, there for the real thing."

Visit Concert Online's website for pre-order details. The following four gigs will be recorded:

Bedgebury Pinetum And Forest, Gouldhurst, Kent, UK
10th June, 2011

Hampton Court Palace Festival, London, UK
16th June, 2011

Cannock Chase Forest, Near Rugeley, Staffordshire, UK
25th June, 2011

City Rocks, Inverness, Scotland, UK
16th July, 2011

Stagefright is out!

It has been released as an exclusive Facebook download.

It's a fantastic new track, overflowing with energy, particularly with the high-speed melody flowing through the song. Forget the poor quality YouTube bootlegs of Bataclan where it received its debut; instead think of a get-up-and-go combination of Simple Minds and K C And The Sunshine Band and you wouldn't go far wrong. (But don't start thinking of 1970s disco because it most definitely isn't.)

But don't trust my ramblings, download it and check it out for yourself.

Stagefright will be available on all formats of Greatest Hits +.

"Hope everybody enjoys the brand new Simple Minds song... Free on Facebook... It's a gift to everybody but particularly those who are coming to see us play live through the summer!" - Jim

"Children Of The Revolution was recorded in Belgium June '09, during the rehearsals for the Summer shows that followed on from the May release of Graffiti Soul. At rather short notice Universal - the German record company - had pushed for us to give them an exclusive track in return for some additional profile for Graffiti Soul on Amazon German site.

Charlie Burchill suggested we do Children Of The Revolution as it was was always a fave of his. Everyone knows how much Bowie meant to us as teenagers, in truth Marc Bolan was probably our first musical hero.

During rehearsals we always ask the sound engineer to record all that we do. Although the recordings are of a fairly basic standard it gives us an idea of what is going on with the balances of the songs "out front".

I think we played it 3 times and decided that the second take was best." - Jim

Unfortunately as it was an exclusive for Amazon Germany, then it's only available for those with a credit card issued in that country.

The discography continues to slowly grow:

JohnnyBGood has dusted down his mixing desk:

Mike Ogletree continues his odyssey through New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) and wonders what Somebody Up There Likes You would've sounded with lyrics...

"I am calling this Somebody Up There 2011. It uses the original instrumental track from the New Gold Dream 81-82-83-84 album to which I have added an original melody and words, borrowing a from Jim's style of writing and singing for the rest of the album at the time. The intention was to create a song out of the instrumental that sounded authentic to the original recordings which could then be used as the basis to write a version for inclusion in my new Anacoustic Mind CD which covers the songs from NGD. For copyright reasons this version will never be available for sale and could only exist were the same arrangement to be newly performed and recorded and made available on CD or for download. This is purely for research and fun. The Anacoustic Mind version has been written and will be included on the new CD due for release." - Mike.

You can hear this version on

The forthcoming Simple Minds compilation Greatest Hits + has been spotted appearing on various EMI release schedules. It was originally pencilled in for late May but looks like being released in June.

It is definitely on the way.

However, time to lay a rumour to rest. The The Daily Record interview (which was the first to mention Greatest Hits +) isn't entirely correct. The sentence "We'll be putting a new compilation together which will include some tracks from early in our career. We unearthed songs which didn't make it on to albums like Empires And Dance or Sparkle In The Rain" is taken out of context or was slipped in from another interview. Greatest Hits + will be the definitive greatest hits package with several exclusive new songs - there are no unreleased demos from earlier albums.

Lovers of New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) will be extremely interested in Mike Ogletree's reworking of the classic album. He's recording a reinterpretation of the set which he likens to an acoustic prequel. He talks about the project and previews some of the tracks in this video:

Mike will be returning to the UK in July to play some festival gigs with Fiction Factory. He hopes to have a CD of this new material out by then.

Simple Minds opened their JoeFM Showcase and several of their 2009 shows with T Rex's classic Children Of The Revolution. A live version was also released on the Sentrum Scene, Oslo (24th November 2009) memory stick and USB player where it was played as an encore.

Which makes download a bit of a mystery. Although slightly shorter than the live version, this is either a studio take, rehearsal or soundcheck as no audience can be heard at all.

Whatever its source, it's well worth the download.

Updates to the discography (and this almost completes the 12"s - just a few more to do):

Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw - check.
Pixie Geldof - check.
Street Fightings Years era Simple Minds T-shirt - huh?

See for yourself. Enjoy the comments.

Simple Minds: The Early Days
by Eddie Cairns

I was working with semi-pro bands when I first met the two DougiesWee Dougie (Dougie Wragg) and Big Dougie (Dougie Cowan). They both gave me a lot of advice and help: what with buying PAs for some bands, how to set up a desk etc., and general information on gear. I had been working with semi pro bands for years – since I was 16 – just another frustrated drummer!

I started working full time with Rosetta Stone and at that time moved to Edinburgh and started to share a flat with Wee Dougie. He was doing various things around town and I managed to fit in a few of the gigs with him – usually non paying!

One was in 1978 in Tiffany’s in Edinburgh for a band I had already seen in the "Mars Bar" and loved – Simple Minds – and I also did a few other gigs helping out that year but mainly I was working with Rosetta Stone.

In 1979 I finished with Rosetta Stone and was working as resident sound engineer in a bar in Edinburgh – Eric Brown's – when Dougie asked me to help out at a rehearsal for Simple Minds in The Odeon in Edinburgh and, after that, I joined the crew starting in University of Stirling (15th November 1979) doing, if I remember correctly, monitor mix (which Big Dougie made his speciality later).

I did the next few gigs – up to Keele University as I recall (if I remember rightly once we had finished that gig we got back to the hotel which was right next to the motorway and the band decided that they all wanted to go home – there and then – so I had to drive them – God knows how I made it and who I stayed with when we arrived but I was completely knackered – got them home safe though!) and then back to the day job – Eric’s. I was then basically on call as one of their roadies. I cannot remember any London gigs (Marquee etc) but I might have just forgotten.

Mick MacNeil with Dougie Cowan and Billy Worton

As far as I can remember the next gig was the Stirling University one (15th February 1980) and, after that, my job was back line, drums and driver for the band. I remember I got the train through to Glasgow and was met by Brian and we set off to pick up the band and go to London for the YMCA gig and then on to Europe. The band had very kindly got together in between the last gig and when I picked them up to make a nice little welcome tape for me!

As we were heading down the A74, Jim asked me to put on a tape – they were all in the back of the minibus and were having a chat and the tape had some Beatles tracks on it and, all of a sudden, there was this conversation over the music which started off along the lines of "Who is that baldy bastard that’s driving anyway?" with a reply of "I don’t know but if he doesn’t watch out he’ll be getting a clip round the ear" (or words to that effect) and so it continued for at least a good few minutes with many insults and threats. Now, I knew them but I honestly didn’t know where to put my face that day – until I got up the courage to look in the rear view mirror – to find the lot of them almost pissing themselves with laughter at the look on my face – bastards one and all – but it certainly broke the ice! And so it carried on!

When we got to London we checked into the hotel and some of us went out for a bite to eat – Jim, Charlie, Mick and I think Big D was there as well. On the way back we were walking towards the hotel and a couple of lads were coming the other way – all dressed up for a good night out when all of a sudden two buckets of water hit them right between the eyes – an absolute bull's eye. I had seen something out of the corner of my eye and looked up – guess who? – Brian and Derek – there is certainly something about them and water, especially when drunk! The poor guys were soaking wet and were as mad as hell and wanted to kill – of course muggins here had to say that it couldn’t have been our crowd as the window they thought the water had come from was mine and I couldn’t have done it because I was watching it happen – must have been some other rotters – anyway, they left and, needless to say, we found Brian and Dan almost pissing themselves with laughter.

Europe went well even although we had to get another minibus as that one had broken down, if memory serves in Paris, and we continued with a left hand drive unit – that was weird – first time for me! They then put us into a holiday camp in Holland for the duration of the Dutch leg of the tour which was an education – that lot couped up in a camp. We had two houses and it was chaos all the time! We played some very strange places that leg of the tour and I remember in Groningen that we were told to help ourselves to some new beer to us – Grolsch – so we filled the sleeper cab of the truck. Stupid people saying to help ourselves – we took it literally!

I think we were meant to be coming home after that little jaunt but we were told to go and supporet Gary Numan on his European tour – that was different but there was one really funny part right at the start. When we were in Amsterdam Derek had met this young lady and they had become good friends – when we got to Hamburg for the first Numan gig, the first person Derek sees is this young lady so he goes over to her – thinking she had come to see her – no chance – she had met Numan in Amsterdam after we had left and he had brought her along as his friend for the rest of the tour – poor Derek – didn’t know where to look so he got pissed!

(On the website you have the Real to Real Tour continuing after Gary Numan into France which is right, but I cannot remember coming back to do the Nite Club in Edinburgh and then going back to Holland to do Utrecht – then back to the Lyceum. As far as I remember we went directly to the Lyceum and didn’t go back to Holland for one gig? I also think that we did more than three gigs supperting Gary Numan but I might be wrong there.)

After that time there was rehearsal and recordings – down in Wales as far as I remember – mad time there with doors getting bashed in and other wild times – mainly with Brian it has to be said! Nothing new there then!

Billy Worton

We then started with the Peter Gabriel Tour and it most certainly didn’t start in Sweden, we joined it in Hamburg, I remember the journey from Harwich very well, as will the ladies and security guard we led astray that night – madness ruled! The Gabriel Tour was brilliant – the band, Big D, Billy and I all in the one minibus – me doing all the driving – great time – I have been on many tours but this one was special, and the beginning of the end for Brian (and me for that matter, I was looking after him and Derek in the main and when Brian left then there was no room for me!). I could tell Brian was getting very frustrated and it came to a head when we were heading from Cascais to Porto for the last gig on the Peter Gabriel Tour. We had stopped at a café for some lunch and an argument broke out between Brian and Billy – something about money and Brian let loose at Billy and gave him a slap or two – I dragged him off and took him to one side where he just cried – frustration and fatigue – simple as that and I cannot say I am surprised. If anyone put 100%+ into each and every show, it was Brian – he hits the drums as hard as anyone I know and he put himself through the ringer a lot during my time with the band!

There are tales and I will get to the individual bits later but I do remember that we went straight from the end of Peter Gabriel Tour in Porto back to London – we didn’t go to Holland again after that. They did a session in the Maida Vale Studios because I had to drive the truck. We then set off on the last tour I did with them througout Bitain – starting with Kidderminster – the only time I have seem Charlie lose it – completely and utterly. Some guys doing the spitting thing and I had asked the security to stop them – they had done nothing about it and I had just climbed back up onto the side of the stage when I turned round and saw Charlie ripping his guitar off and leaping into the crowd – guess who had to sort it out and take the punches? – from the idiots and the security. I managed to drag Charlie to the dressing room before being told that the security wanted a part of me for pushing one of them over – I went out to the hall and they all backed down – arseholes! It certainly was a different start to the tour though!

Extreme close-up: Derek Forbes

I did a couple of more gigs and took them and their gear to some rehearsal studios but, sadly, Brian left and the replacement had their own roadie who he wanted to come along so I moved to London and started work with a PA hire company, got some record company work and was on tour in Europe with another band when, as far as I was told afterwards, a call for me to join Simple Minds again came through. Too late for me to do so but Big D carried on with them until his death.

Wee Dougie moved on and Billy was getting beyond control at the end and I was pleased that he had been removed because he was becoming a threat to himself and the band – when we were on the Peter Gabriel Tour it wasn’t just a few occassions that he took a full bottle of Brandy with him to the mixing desk for the show and it didn’t come back – he was losing it big time. Last time I saw him he had gotten himself together somewhat and was either married or living with a lady but I assume it was drink, drugs or both that contributed to his death – but I do not know – only conjecture. Johnny Ramsay took over after that and seemed to do a good job but I was never with him when he did the sound!

I am so proud to have been there at the beginning and seeing them through some difficult times and times where they were learning about their music and themselves – pity it couldn’t carry on but there are some wonderful memories that nobody can take away of some really great guys that were so inspirational to me and others around them.

Moments that you might like to ask about:

"The Offenbach Arab(s)." This surly pair appeared a few times on tour and consisted of two pissed band members – I will let you guess who – with towels over their heads and their underpants keeping the towels on – with buckets of water! (Told you, water and pissed band members make a terrible concoction!). The first time they appeared – and how they got the name – was when they decided to drench me and came and knocked on the door – throwing the two buckets of water when it was opened – stupid buggers got the wrong door and some poor German got soaked – all he could report was that there were two naked Arabs (he could tell they were Arabs because of the headdress they were wearing) had knocked his door and when he answered they soaked him. Total mystery as there were no Arabs staying in the hotel that night – wonder who it could have been?

The second time was when the band and crew (during the Peter Gabriel Tour) were taken out by the record company but I had stayed behind to keep the fan club secretary company. We were in my room and they didn’t need to knock the door that time – Big D let them in and they soaked her and my bed! Bastards!

Ask some of them if they remember the booze bus? When we were on the Peter Gabriel Tour we were in a hotel in Paris when some of the band – guess who, went on the hunt for me and, again, got the wrong room – in point of fact got the wrong floor. They found that the doors were open with nobody in them – seemingly the floor had been set aside for a delegation or something – and they decided to help themselves to the contents of the mini bars of most of the rooms. They found a cleaner's cupboard and filled plastic bags then came and found me to open the minibus so they could put their ill gotten booty in the storage space under the front seats – when we handed the minibus back it still had some minatures in the storage trays but we did drink well on that tour!

Ask any of them if they remember the night the truck (driven by Wee D) was chased by a chap on roller skates! We were coming away from a gig in Europe somewhere - Holland springs to mind but we were heading back to a hotel and not to the "base" so it might not have been - and Wee D was in the lead and we were following him. He took a tight corner and clipped a car mirror and managed to damage it – he probably didn’t even know he had done it to be honest – anyway, this guy on roller skates saw what had happened and started shouting at the truck and, when it didn’t stop, he set off in hot pursuit with us in the minibus at the back of him killing ourselves laughing. He followed us all the way to the hotel and was serious about calling the Police – should have seen him, doubled over out of breath trying to tell the management of the hotel what had happened – he must have chased the truck for about 5 miles!

One night I had to take Jim back to the previous hotel as he had left his notebook with his lyrics there and we wanted to make sure he got it – called the hotel and made sure it was there before we set off and were just about to leave when I looked out of the window towards the street and the MacDonalds beyond – and there was Derek Forbes wandering about amongst the flag poles on the balcony – not a real balcony – he had just decided to open the window and climb out and go for a stroll – he denies it but it was him! Madman!

The author himself: Eddie Carins

Words and pictures: Eddie Cairns

Bidding was fast and furious for a day out with Simple Minds but, at the final second, the auction was won at an extremely impressive £4,215.00 with 64 bidders trying their luck.

Congratulations to the winner, but more importantly, it's £4,215 towards the fund to help the victims of the disaster in Japan.

Night Of The Proms, Frederikshavn, Denmark
2nd April, 2011
Main Set: Sanctify Yourself / Alive And Kicking / Belfast Child / Don't You (Forget About Me)

Some extra mainland European dates have been added to the tour:

Festival Terres Blanches, Guérande, France
10th July, 2011

Honberger Festival, Festivalzelt in der Ruine, Tuttlingen, Germany
19th July, 2011

TonHalle, Munich, Germany
20th July, 2011

Les Nuits Musicales De Maîche, Maîche, France
11th August, 2011

Festival du Chant de Marin, Paimpol, France
12th August, 2011

Fête du Bruit dans Landerneau, Landerneau, France
13th August, 2011

Artists and songwriters from across the EMI family have been supporting the Red Cross to raise funds for the people affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Over the next three weeks, incredible auction items from more than 60 of the world’s biggest stars will be available to bid on to help this important cause.

Artists supporting the appeal include: Coldplay, David Bowie, The Chemical Brothers, Corinne Bailey-Rae, Sting, Duffy, Keith Urban, 30 Seconds to Mars, The Beastie Boys, Michael Franti, Queen, Tiziano Ferro, Juan Luis Guerra, Herbert Gronemeyer, Raphael, Norah Jones, Katy Perry, Iron Maiden, Jane Birkin, Pink Floyd, Gorillaz, the Beach Boys, Depeche Mode, Good Charlotte, 30 Seconds To Mars, Jeff Bridges, Tinie Tempah and Deadmau5.

More items will be added over the coming weeks.

EMI will match all funds raised from the auction up to a maximum of one million euros, so please do check out all the auctions.

Simple Minds are supporting the cause and have donated a Day On Tour with Simple Minds. This includes:

  • A backstage tour
  • Attending the sound check
  • Dinner in catering backstage
  • Two tickets for the show (exact seat locations TBD)
  • Two Simple Minds goody bags
  • Meet and greet with the band and a chance for photos and autographs
It's currently standing at £307 £671.99 with nine eight days to go. Good luck!

"Looking forward to completing the vocal on Indian Summer... the last of the songs for Paul Statham's Dark Flowers project" - Jim via Facebook.

Fancy a holiday in Scotland? This lochside property looks suitably excellent with the added bonus of being able to recreate the See The Lights video.

(It's Simple Minds' old Bonnie Wee Studios where Street Fighting Years through to Neapolis were recorded).

JohnnyBGood's remix site is back online after a brief hiatus. New re-interpretations of the Minds' work include:

JohnnyBGood also tracked down a new remix of Simple Minds and Phunk Investigation (this time a reworking of New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84). Are there more remixes on the way?

Updates to the discography include:

New live dates for 2011:

Hampton Court Palace Festival, London, UK
16th June, 2011

Sparkassen Arena, Kiel, Germany
24th July, 2011

Many years ago I shot some footage for a TV pilot. It was just me, a cameraman and several deserted and derelict locations in East Anglia. We soon discovered we both loved 80s music and talk turned to Simple Minds. "Yeah, I was a cameraman on one of their videos," he said. "We did a shoot in some derelict place in London. It was See The Lights."

That didn't make sense. The See The Lights video was shot in the Scottish highlands, in and around their studio in Lochearnhead. I told him but he was adamant that it was See The Lights. "Who was the director?" "Oh, that was Steve Barron."

Now it made sense. The Steve Barron version of the video was never approved and was probably rejected the minute the band saw the first bits to make it through post-production. They grabbed Andy Morahan (who'd previously sat in the director's chair for many of the band's previous promo videos) and fled to Scotland to record a new black and white version. The Barron video was subsequently thrown down a pit in Yorkshire (according to Jim).

I told the cameraman the story. "That's interesting," he said, "because I shot some footage of it."

It took a few years to eventually come to light (and the cameraman has just found it in his loft) but here's the behind-the-scenes footage of the-video-that-never-was.

He also turned out to be mates with Malcolm Garrett. "Do you know where the Sons And Fascination photo session was?" I asked. "Sure," he replied, "New Covent Garden Flower Market." Which inspired me to go and and take some photographs.

It's a small world.

Do you want a continuous streaming of Simple Minds’ songs over the Internet? Do you want this service all day, seven days a week? Do you want it to include the hits, album tracks, B-sides, live cuts and rare demos? In short, do you want the whole back catalogue on a random shuffle available at the click of a mouse?

If so, look no further than Radio Simple Minds ( This Australian streaming radio station is back and offers a continuous backdrop of Simple Minds' music.

As it says: 24/7 Nonstop -- Radio Simple Minds.

A BBC news report couldn't resist a reference to Simple Minds when looking at the current live music scene. (See the Glasgow entry).

From the press release:

Three massive fans of Simple Minds have been working on one of their favourite tracks recently and come up with an alternative take on the 1989 Street Fighting Years' track Let It All Come Down.

Pete Simcoe said "We all really love this song and I grew up learning my slide guitar skills by playing to Burchill's classic riffs on this track and others. We started work on the cover when Chris sent me the audio file from France after playing around with the arrangement in his spare time and I then put some guitars over the top. I've never met the guy but its a sort of European 'collaboration to show our appreciation'. Iain, who I recently met at an open mic night came along and sorted the vocal in a couple of takes so its a curious meeting of similar minds as it were."

Pete went onto say, "The whole project is for fun and for the fans of this track! We're hoping the band give it a listen and wonder what their take on it might be."

You can download the cover from

Items added to the discography include:

New press releases have been added to the site including:

Updates have been made to:

The NME saw in the new year with musicians nominating their favourite "lost" albums. The Manics were there in style and given a double page spread: James Dean Bradfield selected Thomas Dobly's The Flat Earth, ABC's Beauty Stab, Jeffrey Lee's Wildweek, The Bodines' Played and Simple Minds' Real To Real Cacophony:

"The change that Simple Minds went through from their first album to this is a sstartling a change as any band has gone through. The Life In A Day version of Simple Minds was a really acceptable version of post-punk, these snotty kids from Glasgow. But this album is utterly embroiled in Neu!, Faust, Cluster, Kraftwerk, Station To Station... and yet it sounds completely natural and unselfconscious. They never get the credit for being one of hte most inventive British bands ever, and this album always gets overlooked. People nowadays see them as just this rock behemoth, but they were much more than that" - James Dean Bradfield, NME 1/1/2011

(Many thanks to Barry Wink for the scans).

Lots of good stuff for the collectors out there:

Top Gear's producers have continued listening to Sons And Fascination whilst thinking up new wizard japes for Clarkson, Hamster and May whilst auditioning drivers for the role of the new Stig. This week, Clarkson was witnessed sliding a car around the track (it was a red one) to the backing track of Theme For Great Cities.

Speaking of Theme For Great Cities, Naum Gabo have honoured Glasgow's musical pedigree by covering the song on their forthcoming Songs From A Great City 12". The B-side is a reworking of Wet Job by Fingerprintz. See for more info.

Three new German dates have been added this year's summer tour:

Zeltspektakel Festival, Winterbach, Germany
21st July, 2011

Burgtheater Dinslaken, Dinslaken, Germany
23rd July, 2011

Dortmunder Music Festival, Westfalenhalle, Germany
26th July, 2011

JohnnyBGood wrote this review of the Lostboy! Brussels gig over a year ago. Unfortunately I didn't have time to publish it at the time, but hopefully it'll whet the appetite for more Lostboy! material and touring soon.

The Orangerie, Brussels, Belgium

Since the beginning of the Lostboy! Tour I was daily on Facebook following the praise and reactions of the fellowminded fans... and my curiosity only grew day by day as I read the wonderful reactions for each gig. Soon it would be my turn to be amongst the lucky ones and lots of Facebook friends were pretty buzzed to meet up in Brussels. So, on Sunday, May 30th my fellowminded friend Piet and I drove to the Orangerie. (A majestic neo-classic, beautiful building constructed between 1824 and 1829 for the "Société Royale d'Horticulture" for the preservation for exotic plants. Since 1984, the French Society of Belgium reside in that building and organises as a multidisciplinary organisation several cultural and musical events. The Orangerie was built in a beautiful big and open park and is an eye-catcher itself, as it is situated within the Metropolitan city as Brussels.)

We arrived at 5PM and waited in the bar where some friends were present already. As time passed by, we queued at the entrance as we could hear the band warming up. People were starting to get nervous because the doors hadn't opened at 8PM (maybe due to the fact staff were setting/checking all the gear because this night would be recorded.) When the doors finally opened, we all ran in and took place in this little venue. It was hot inside and the temperature rose as the intro of Refugee started... a very nice glooming bass-beat as the artists came on stage. People started screaming and Refugee set the pace for the nights gig. Jim - alive and kicking - was in an outstanding form, so were all of the Lostboys on stage. It was as if everybody knew Lostboy's new album by heart, as the crowd cheered at the first chords of She Fell In Love With Silence.

A very beautiful lightspectacle coloured the night whilst Andy - wearing a Lostboy! T-shirt - caressed his synths. Jet Black The Night did very well just as the preceeding Remember Asia, which in my eyes has lots of remix potential. Hearing Cynical Heart live was very strange, because this song has never been played live. Drummer Gordon Wilson didn't spare his efforts knocking the drums down and bass player on-duty Ged Grimes proved to be an excellent rhythm player. The Return Of The King, Lostboy and Soloman Solohead went live and it seemed as all songs of the playlist were destined to be live numbers.

The piano-riff of the intro of Lostboy, which is so recognizable, made the people jump on their feet. "Let me see your hands" said Jim, but he didn't need to ask. Jim swapped the stage from left to right and touched hands as never before. In the 28 years I'm fan of Simple Minds, I never got so many handshakes as I did tonight! Meanwhile, the temperature was rising and everyone was sweating like hell. Gordon started a very determined This Earth You Walk Upon, whilst the snaring guitar of Jez followed. This song went airborn with all the approval of the audience.

Jez tortured his guitar and we all liked it so much. He was omnipresent on stage and was everywhere to be seen; at Ged's side , standing next Andy, in the arms of Jim and everywhere. It was during Broken Glass Park that Jez broke a string on his guitar, but very professionaly switched guitars as nothing happened. Derek, roadie on duty, looked as if he was eating his flash-light whilst reparing Jez's guitar.

Spirit Catcher, Bulletproof Heart were brought as they never did anything else, until we recognized the intro to Shadowland. Amazing live-edition! Everybody sang along. Jez started tearing his guitar strings on Today I Died Again, using his iPhone to produce this special distortion sound... wonderful. By this time, had Jim had introduced the band twice and it was time for the "encores". The long expected The Wait went air bourne followed by Red Letter Day. Mr. Silversmith sounds very fresh and when Someone was introduced the crowd really went bananas... this song ROCKS! Everybody shouted and cheered. Instant success. Jim introduced Broken Glass Park as a new song and when the refrain started everybody sang with Jim. "We had fun, fun, fun" as the mike was pointed to the audience and we all jumped up. Finally, What Goes On was started and Jim introduced for the third time his band, mentionning Andy as the mighty engineer. Maybe I have used too many superlatives to describe my wonderful evening, but what else can I say? My expectations were more than fullfilled and so do I think lots of other people I spoke to after the gig. Yes indeed, we had "fun, fun, fun!!" If this is Lostboy 1, then it promises for Lostboy 2!

Respect Lostboy!

Simply Minds

Sunday 6th March at Old Oak sees Cork and Ireland's only Simply Minds play again their favourite venue. Entry is free on the night which always is great news. Doors are open early with a support act TBC so get in around 8ish for good seating.

Due to the economic slowdown it is not possible to put on a large scale gig as Simply Minds often do, so I hope all Our fans can make this one.

We hope you can make it,
John (Kerr) McGuire

It has been announced today that last year's Lostboy! A.K.A. Electroset shows which had previously been postponed, have now, after discussion with live booking agent Solo, been cancelled. The shows will not be rescheduled as previously hoped.

Anyone who has not already done so should contact their ticket supplier for a full refund.

We apologise sincerely for any inconvenience caused and hope to have news of brand new Lostboy! activity very soon.

Best wishes,

As it's relatively quiet with both Simple Minds and Lostboy! AKA at the moment, it makes sense to start filling in the gaps and adding bits-and-pieces to Dream Giver which were previously missed. The first section to fully completed is the eponymous Lostboy album with the addition of transcripts of the Generic Interview (which hasn't been previously published to my knowledge) and the EPK.

Further additions have also been made to the Lostboy! press release section and I believe it's complete now.

There’s no such thing as a quiet year now. Given Jim’s desire to fill in the gaps in Simple Minds’ studio-album-tour cycle with Lostboy! work then it seems there’s always going to be something to look forward to in forthcoming months. And despite no new studio album by Simple Minds, it still looks like a busy year for 2011.

The Simple Minds Greatest Hits collection (due May) is the first compilation I’ve looked forward to for years. With the promise of exclusive new material (and perhaps something unearthed from the archives) then it looks potentially very exciting. The benchmark release is Glittering Prize 81/92 which set the bar high for Simple Minds compilations and has yet to be exceeded for song selection, graphic design, sleeve notes or packaging. I hope Greatest Hits will deliver.

Simple Minds will embark on another summer tour although this one kicks off with a twist. The Forest Tour offers a green alternative to the sweaty mosh pits or echoing arenas of previous tours. And, expectations are again high that new material, perhaps from 2012’s forthcoming studio album, will be unveiled.

And Lostboy! will return. Further extensive touring and a second album is expected from Jim’s new project, building on the debut album, full-band and Electroset tours of last year.

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