news
discography
songs
tours
videos
people
family tree
timeline
press releases
reviews
faq
mailing list
fanzines
site map
links
about
contact

news 2012

archives: news 1995 | news 1996 | news 1997 | news 1998 | news 1999 | news 2000 | news 2001 | news 2002 | news 2003 | news 2004 |
news 2005 | news 2006 | news 2007 | news 2008 | news 2009 | news 2010 | news 2011 | news 2012 | news 2013 | news 2014
summary: timeline

Entertainment Centre, Wollongong, Australia
12th December, 2012
5x5 + Hits
Main Set: Waterfront / Love Song / Celebrate / The American / See The Lights / Sanctify Yourself / Don't You (Forget About Me) / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Encore: Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / Alive And Kicking / Ghostdancing - Gloria

"Last gig and planning on going out with a bang. On leaving OZ then, I have to say thanks. First and foremost to everyone who came to see us, and for making us feel as good as we seemingly made them. Playing live for Simple Minds is always a two-way thing and the more an audience encourages, the more energy we have to give back. That is simply how it works!" - Jim, 12th December 2012

"In the excitement of it all last night, I forgot to introduce Mel Gaynor to the audience. Everyone on stage got a mention except him and I have no idea what made me forget? Luckily he spared me a whack on the back of the head from one of his flying drumsticks. A great drummer? No doubt about it!" - Jim, 13th December 2012




A Day On The Green, Villa Maria Estate, Auckland, New Zealand
15th December, 2012
5x5 + Hits
Main Set: Waterfront / Love Song / Celebrate / All The Things She Said / The American / This Fear Of Gods / See The Lights / Sanctify Yourself / Don't You (Forget About Me) / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Encore: Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / Promised You A Miracle / Glittering Prize / Alive And Kicking / Ghostdancing - Gloria


Thanks to Ben for the set-list and pictures.

"Arrived earlier this evening, forgot to pick up one of my bags, airline still trying to trace it. Bummer! Could be worse though, 22 degrees and beautiful, perfect for hanging on the terrace and staring at the sea. Perhaps better not to go on too much about the weather especially when friends and family back in the UK are freezing their tootsies off! Anyway, great to be back in beautiful New Zealand, determined to make the most and of course put on a strong performance here on Saturday." - Jim, 13th December 2012

"Last concert of this tour, in 24 hours everyone will be homeward bound. Well almost everyone, as I decided to stay on a few more days to take in some more of this beautiful part of the world. Hoping that the tremendous energy that has featured in the recent gigs will surface tonight, the weather is perfect and the outdoor venue is stunning. All set!" - Jim, 13th December 2012

"Tour ended and had the chance to bid band and crew farewell yesterday. Everyone seemed to be heading home albeit in different directions, that is just the way it is. Instead I jumped on a small propellor plane and landed in a much quieter part of New Zealand. It's time to forget about music, performing, being in Simple Minds etc, least for a couple of weeks. Time to unplug totally, get out and go for some very beautiful walks." - Jim, 17th December 2012



A beautiful lunchtime at a Queensland winery was further enhanced as a Sean Kelly lead Models brought their various musical styles, including the Caribbean feel of Barbados, to Mt. Cotton. An easy introduction to the day's line up, they pleasantly entertained the growing crowd.

The Church arrived early with the promise of a longer set, which kept the congregation happy for this mass. As a frontman, Steve Kilbey puts in great effort to help lure you away with his gothic vocals to the dark corners where the music lives. The band create an almost epic wall of sound, mostly due to the interplay of Peter Koppes' six-string with Marty Willson-Piper's extra-ordinary psychedelic fret work. The monolithic Reptile lead the way and a feedback laden You Took closed the set from these Australian legends.

Devo look like a mixture of dental hygienists, aging Thunderbirds and party cruise pensioners via their frequent costume changes, as they delivered their unique, spiky, discordant pop. The co-ordinated stage moves and visual smack is evidence of their on going popularity and relevance, their sonic blitz frying some already sun-affected brains. These art rockers have loyal fans, but the message was spreading as it wasn’t just the power domes that were nodding through this enjoyable set. The dazzling computer graphics behind them stating "Are we not men? We are Devo!" getting the teatime audience fully involved, showing these two sets of brothers can still command a crowd, along with an old age pension.

Simple Minds are not so easily described these days. Much of the public have forgotten the early electronic sound influenced by Bowie, Roxy Music and Neu! When pushed, they’ll probably recall the flag waving politicos of the mid eighties. So what do Simple Minds do to stay relevant and, if you’re being generous, so popular? They create an amalgam of all you believe them to be, and become an electro rock juggernaut.

Earlier this year the band toured on the back of a five album box set, X5, which contained their first 5 records. The tour was based on 25 songs per night, five from each album. Hardcore fans rejoiced! Fans of the global hits were bemused. But the tour proved a success with fantastic reviews as Simple Minds gained some critical rehabilitation.

The success of this tour, aside from its uniqueness, was due to the incredible work of keyboard player Andy Gillespie and guitar hero and founding member Charlie Burchill, who reconfigured the back catalogue to inject fresh sonic blood as new flesh was applied to old bones.

The dramatic intro music plus dimming lights prepared the scene for Simple Minds to launch into Waterfront, the never tiring classic is a call to arms. Its pounding bassline and chiming guitar a green light for the crowd to clap and jump in unison. The throbbing bass becomes a funky groove as Love Song brings back the memories. In 1981, on their first visit to Australia, it was Love Song that set them on the way to their first gold disc, audiences lapping up the bass and rhythmic style so often found in Australia’s domestic rock scene.

Kerr’s stage presence has changed over time too, from the tip toeing, precise movements through to stadium kicks and legs apart singing, he’s warped the two, creating both subtlety and dynamism for his front man credentials. Even at one point considering swinging the mike by its lead. Perhaps the close proximity of backing singer Sarah Brown kept him in check.

The band move between the songs very easily, this seamless flow showcases the consideration of how the show has been put together. This Fear Of Gods, a track of towering menace from Empires and Dance, does side step a few people but those who know the catalogue, and the 5×5 ethos, cheer and sing even louder. It’s a true highlight, with a response suggesting fans don’t wish to wait too long to hear it again.

See The Lights, with its two guitar breaks, nestles surprisingly well between This Fear and Sanctify Yourself, as the band head back into their stadium glory and crowd singalongs. Kerr encouragingly offers the mike to the participating crowd showing a band at their most persuasive as the audience gathers in their collective hands.

Not only does the music finely interweave, so does the band as a whole. Both Burchill and bass player Ged Grimes know how to work the stage, Charlie Burchill has enough solos and riffs to take the spotlight while Grimes stalks behind the front pair throwing quiet rock poses. Sarah Brown's powerful back up vocals, and some female glamour, occasionally steps forward to show her prowess. It’s only poor Mel Gaynor, stuck behind the drum kit, who doesn’t get a moment to share with the fans bar his ‘best rock n roll drummer in the world’ introduction.

As the la la las from Don't You (Forget About Me) fade, the piston-like intro of New Gold Dream powers into life, a stone cold classic that bridges those early electro years to when the band strode into the stadiums. In its full blown ethereal beauty on a hot summer’s night, arms are raised to the heavens praising the trance like swirl.

Someone, Somewhere (In Summertime) opens up the encore of the show, which leans heavily on the New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84) album. It’s perfectly themed for an Antipodean summer night, as Kerr’s warm, welcoming voice is delivered over a deep, lush soundtrack. This must be what maroon velvet sounds like.

With its big chorus and towering motif, Alive and Kicking gets Jim trading vocals with Sarah up to a fever pitch, the crowd have no choice but to join in. Ghostdancing, with its frenetic opening guitar riff and rapid-fire vocals revs up the crowd again, and the mid-song inclusion of Gloria gets them singing. But it does, however, slow momentum of the main song, weakening its natural climax. But Simple Minds know how to end a performance, each band member in sync riffing, hitting the keys or drums in true stadium style leading to one big ‘pow,’ a blaze of lights and then the band taking a bow to raucous applause.

The positive relationship with the crowd is acknowledgment of Simple Minds who, not only having a loyal following, but have the ability to reign in new fans at the offer of a mike or a searing solo. As the band file off to Roxy Music, Jim stays to take in the view, a sea of the delirious and sunburnt flowing up the hillside. The hot, the sweaty and the hoarse at the front look at each other eyes wide at an energetic finale to a cracking day.

Alexander Tate
Alexander Tale Writes Blog
14th December 2012






Bob Lefsetz explains why Good News From The Next World is far better than the entire contents of a music shop strapped to an Imperial Star Destroyer.




This picture was taken of the TV Guide from The Sun shortly before the Christmas period. It shows the cast from the show Lapland.



A German 5X5 Live poster has been added to the discography.



Entertainment Centre, Sydney, Australia
7th December, 2012
5x5 + Hits
Main Set: Waterfront / Love Song / Moscow Underground / All The Things She Said / The American / In Trance As Mission / See The Lights / Sanctify Yourself / Don't You (Forget About Me) / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Encore: Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / Promised You A Miracle / Glittering Prize / Alive And Kicking / Ghostdancing - Gloria







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

"Thanks to all in Oz who have come to see us and posted/sent complimentary messages. If you think the band don't get encouraged by such positive responses, you are mistaken. It drives us on, even more. Been busy in Sydney, doing promo etc. Managed to fit in a "Bridge Climb" over Sydney Harbour Bridge. Quite an experience, especially when you are bleary eyed through staying up all night to watch events live from Celtic Park, Glasgow. What a beautiful day! " - Jim, 7th December 2012




A Day On The Green, Bimbadgen Winery, Hunter Valley New South Wales, Australia
8th December, 2012
5x5 + Hits

"Seems like we got well into our stride in these two gigs. For the record, Aussie audiences are as good as anywhere in the world. Great energy from band and crowd together. We won't forget these nights, already well looking forward to coming back! " - Jim, 8th December 2012




A Day On The Green, Sirromet Wines, Mt Cotton, Australia
9th December, 2012
5x5 + Hits
Main Set: Waterfront / Love Song / Celebrate / All The Things She Said / The American / This Fear Of Gods / See The Lights / Sanctify Yourself / Don't You (Forget About Me) / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Encore: Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / Promised You A Miracle / Glittering Prize / Alive And Kicking / Ghostdancing - Gloria





Thanks to Alex for the set-list and pictures.

"Best of the tour so far? Quite possibly! Wild audience,big energy, unforgettable really!" - - Jim, 11th December 2012



Two reviews from the January edition of Mojo (note the incorrect artwork for The Dark Flowers).

Keep an eye on next month's Uncut for a Simple Minds feature.



What if Simple Minds weren't Simple Minds but a Japanese girl band called Houkago Tea Time? Fans of Manga will enjoy this just-for-fun reimagining the band's classic album sleeves.

Palais Theatre, Melbourne, Australia
30th November, 2012
5x5 + Hits
Main Set: I Travel / Thirty Frames A Second / Love Song / Celebrate / Waterfront / In Trance As Mission / The American / This Fear Of Gods / See The Lights / Don't You (Forget About Me) / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Encore: Sanctify Yourself / Promised You A Miracle / Glittering Prize / Alive And Kicking

Thanks to Fred for the set-list.

"Firstly thanks to those who welcomed us to Melbourne last night. It was a pleasure to be back in Australia and now that we are started we are so looking forward to the rest of the tour. Secondly, despite the very positive reaction both in the hall and from the crowd of fans who we spoke to in the street outside afterwards, it has been brought to our attention that a number of people complained about the sound from where they were sitting, in particular that they could not hear the voice. This was obviously very disappointing for them, for that we apologise. It is disappointing for us to hear when anyone is not happy, as we put in a lot of work as well as take great pride in the production of our shows. Let's face it, you don't get a 35 year career and the sort of great live reputation, of the type that Simple Minds enjoy, if you don't offer a consistent quality to your audience. We do! But tonight it seems we did not come up to the technical level that we demand. Once again I apologise to anybody feeling let down."

"It is now in the early hours here in Melbourne, in five hours the crew will depart to begin setting up for tonight's show. Nevertheless, discussions have taken place and I am fully confident that all will be in place for a great set tomorrow night. Thanks again to everyone who came, thank you for your kindness towards us." - Jim, 30th November 2012




Rochford Wines, Yarra Valley Vic, Australia
1st December, 2012
5x5 + Hits

"Got our technical nightmares sorted out, we are back in the saddle. Ready to give our very best tonight in Yarra Valley. Looking forward to seeing everyone!" - Jim, 1st December 2012

"I loved Devo. What an amazing, unique and uplifting band they are. Made me laugh, but also so much to admire in their music. As for Simple Minds? We enjoyed ourselves immensely, everyone said we would like this venue and the audience and we certainly did. The tour is up and running now. No more hiccups! Looking forward to Adelaide later on tonight." - Jim, 1st December 2012




Entertainment Centre, Adelaide, Australia
2nd December, 2012
5x5 + Hits
Main Set: Waterfront / Love Song / All The Things She Said / The American / Hunter And The Hunted / See The Lights / Sanctify Yourself / Don't You (Forget About Me) / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Encore: Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / Promised You A Miracle / Glittering Prize / Alive And Kicking / Ghostdancing - Gloria

"Last of 3 in a row and the best yet. Nice venue, great crowd, everybody seemingly raving about the sound and lights. All is as should be... good! Thanks of course for the great welcome, seemed a lot of very happy people, least from where I stood. Many great memories of Adelaide from our early days, tonight lived up to any of those early shows we feel. Surpassed even? Travel day tomorrow, heading to Perth and meeting up with friends and family, got the night off - heading to an Italian restaurant that has had great recommendations. Maybe we will invite Devo? The Perth gig on Tuesday is shaping up to be a belter! I hope so" - Jim, 2nd December 2012


Dragon Inn 3 have covered Don't You (Forget About Me) on their Ghoul Shool EP. The cover was premiered on Well All Want someone To Shout For on the 20th November (so scroll down a bit).



Updates to the discography:



More mixes from JohnnyBGood which are now on SoundCloud so you can just stream-and-play:



Dutch record label Now Music and management agency CAT International are proud to present the release of The American, the first single of the extraordinary duo Orlando Wire and Derek Forbes (Simple Minds).

The American is an original song by Simple Minds (1981), which has been completely re-recorded and re-arranged in the studio. With the stunning bass lines of Derek Forbes, the energetic new vocals of Owen Paul and the house sound of Orlando Wire, it resulted in a massive dance song. This unique combination of sounds creates a footprint for the music of tomorrow, but honors the original song and vibe of the 80's.

The single The American is available for download on all major download portals from October 24th 2012.

Derek Forbes is best known as a band member (bass player) of the world famous Simple Minds & the German band Propaganda. Derek played on and wrote songs for many number one albums and singles, including Don't You (Forget About Me) from the Hollywood blockbuster The Breakfast Club. It was this and many other songs like Alive and Kicking that became number one hits all over the World for Simple Minds.

Orlando Wire has been present in the house scene from 1995 as composer & DJ and wrote many dance tracks for acts that made it to the international dance & single charts. With his own acts Floor Control, Santen & Young and Re-Phonic, he also produced for major dance labels Blue Records, Digidance, Massive Drive and Mo-Bizz among others.

Owen Paul is best known as the singer, co-writer and producer of the 1980's worldwide smash hit You're my favourite waste of time. He is also a former member of Mike and the Mechanics with Paul Carrack and Mike Rutherford. He has produced two solo albums, and also has the production credit for the multi-million selling Japanese band Buck-Tick.

It all started when Orlando met Derek during a "legends" concert in the Netherlands, where Derek performed with his band XSM (Ex Simple Minds). They started talking and their shared passion of music created mutual respect.

Although their genres of music are totally different, they found many parallels in the way they think about music. The time was there to combine forces that resulted in their new founded project:

Orlando Wire & Derek Forbes.
A Musical genre, that joins generations (New-Age & House)

www.facebook.com/OrlandoWireDerekForbes

And finally, on the eve of its release, full details of the commercial version of 5X5 Live... enjoy!

It's been worth the wait!

Some copies of 5X5 Live have now been released and the lucky few who already have them will know what a great package it is.

The band were captured perfectly at the top of their game. Those old songs have never sounded so vibrant and fresh. Virgin have also pulled out the stops, packing all tracks onto 2CDs, and releasing them as great little box-set.

It's a superb conclusion to the 5X5 era of the band and a worthy release to add to the collection.

You'll find more information about the release (now including the promos and the recording details of each song) on its page in the discography.

CONCERT IN THE GARDENS

Celebrating The First 20 Years of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay
Simple Minds to Headline Concert in the Gardens
and a New Look to the World Famous Street Party

The City of Edinburgh Council and Unique Events today announced a sparkling line-up to celebrate the first 20 years of Edinburgh's Hogmanay. Within the new look Street Party and the ever-popular Concert in the Gardens, some of Scotland’s top bands will be rocking the world’s greatest New Year Party.

Headlining Concert in the Gardens are one of the most successful Scottish bands of all time – Simple Minds - who will be performing a set of their greatest hits in West Princes Street Gardens before they embark on a UK tour in the spring.

Jim Kerr said "We've played some iconic venues around the world – and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is right up there with the best of them. We are so excited to be coming home to Scotland, and Edinburgh, for this great celebration of the first 20 years of Hogmanay. It’s going to be a fantastic experience for us, and for the audience."




EMI Australia released this multi-album box-set in October 2012 to whet the appetite of those going to the forthcoming tour.

It's nothing to get excited about as it's just the remastered albums packaged in one box. However, rather than just put five standard jewel-cased albums into a large box, EMI Australia packaged each album in a sturdy card sleeve and released the set in a slim card box.

Unfortunately the artwork was also based on the remastered editions so it's not as good as it could've been.

We are happy to announce that the forthcoming live shows in Australia are to be recorded and made available immediately on the night to fans! These recordings will also be available to order worldwide.

These super exclusive, limited edition double CD sets feature fully mixed and mastered recordings, delivered in high quality digipaks, and individually numbered to make them TRUE collectibles! Best of all, if you are going to the show, you can WALK OUT of the venue with your CDs in hand! DiscLive will capture *every note* including the encore for your listening enjoyment!

In addition, Simple Minds are offering a special DELUXE edition, which features a brand new exclusive "rockumentary" style audio interview with Jim Kerr, conducted by famed U.S. radio personality Redbeard.

Special discounts are available right now if you purchase in advance of the tour!

These special Simple Minds recordings can be reserved right now here.

www.simpleminds.com
10th November 2012




5X5Live is now available through Amazon (with the slightly earlier release date of 16th November).

Live samples can be heard on the German Amazon site. You'll now be able to judge the sound quality for yourselves. I've had the promos for a while now and it sounds fantasic.


The recent annoucements of 5X5 Live and the Greatest Hits + Tour have overshadowed some other recent releases. So it's time to catch up.

The Hampton Court gig was released (yet again) by Concert Live. As part of their seventh anniversary in October, they issued some of their concert CDs as numbered limited edition sets. So the Hampton Court concert was released again, but this time as a double CD set with a unique number printed on the back.

See its page in the discography for more information.

Jim will appear on Breakfast (the BBC's cosy early-morning breakfast show) this Friday 26th October.


"Uber fan Andy Inniss is the catalyst behind this brilliant re-work of the Simple Minds song Room. Originally released in 1980 on the Empires And Dance album the recent Simple Minds 5x5 Tour really opened our ears to how current some of these early songs sound."

"This was my inspiration" Andy said, "I didn't want to replicate Room nor did I want to tinker with it that much... I'm really happy with the outcome".

Hope you all like Another Room.....

facebook.com/EmpiresThatDance
twitter.com/empiresdance
empiresthatdance@gmail.com


Empires That Dance: Andy Inniss. Vocals by George Porter who has worked with XSM, Derek Forbes and Simple Minded (UK tribute band). Produced by Gordy Goudie who has worked on the Simple Minds albums: Neon Lights, Cry, Black And White 050505 and Graffiti Soul.



The analogue television signal was switched off in the UK yesterday as the nation completed its move to digital. One of the causalities was Teletext, the revolutionary text-based information system which was incredibly futuristic in the late 1970s, but had become an anachronism in today’s Internet-based world.

I interviewed Malcolm Garrett on Saturday and he mentioned a hitherto unknown connection between the jazzy "Pages From Ceefax" and the art of Simple Minds.

A mistuned television – another loss in today's digital world – would not only produce a visual snowstorm but would also scramble the Teletext. He photographed the resulting pot-pourri of mashed-up characters and blocky pixels and used them as overlays. So, if you’ve ever wondered what the 8-bit graphics were on the rear of the Promised You A Miracle sleeve, then it was a 1980s television desperately trying to decode a random Teletext signal.

(Or, in some cases, perhaps not so random...)

GREATEST HITS + TOUR

Following a summer of festival appearances and their hugely acclaimed 5X5 tour, Simple Minds will be performing their greatest hits live near year on a huge 28 date tour of the UK.

Tickets will go on general sale at 10.00AM 26th October 2012 but there will be a special ticket pre-sale beforehand for subscribers of the official site starting on the 24th October.

Simple Minds are one of the UK's most successful rock groups to date. Having topped America's Billboard chart, the Glasgow band have achieved five No.1 albums in the UK as well hitting the top spot in countless other territories including Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.

Simple Minds are also arguably one of the best live bands in the world and over a thirty year career have been responsible for some of the most innovative and enduring anthems in rock music. Expect to hear songs from their extensive back catalogue including Alive and Kicking, Don’t You (Forget About Me), Waterfront and more. The show will be in two halves with an interval and no support - a whole evening of Simple Minds, who will be releasing their greatest hits collection Celebrate: The Greatest Hits + in March to coincide with the tour (and which will include two new tracks).

"When we started Simple Minds our objective was to be considered as one of the great live bands. A band that had the desire to go all around the world - playing everywhere and anywhere. That challenge is ongoing and we will relish touring all over the UK next Spring, getting up close to so many who have supported us over the last three decades and more." - Jim

Simple Minds are Jim Kerr, Charlie Burchill, Mel Gaynor, Andy Gillespie and Ged Grimes.



5X5 Live, a comprehensive and well-packaged box-set of Simple Minds' acclaimed X5 Tour, will be released by Virgin Records on the 19th November.

It features 31 tracks spread across two CDs, a twenty-four page booklet and a reproduction of a concert tour poster in a picture clam-shell box.

Futher information about the set will be added to its page in the discography over the next few weeks.


A live album based on the 5x5 tour will be released soon.

"Spent last night listening to GG's [Olivier Gerard's] final mixes, what a fine job he did. Anyone who liked the 5x5 shows is bound to appreciate this soon to be released collection. For those who could catch not the shows, this collection taken from various shows in a handful of cities will let you hear what went on. Hope you like it." - Jim, 26th September 2012.


EMI International are releasing a new multi-album box-set on the 2nd October. The box contains Sons And Fascination, New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84), Sparkle In The Rain, Once Upon A Time and Street Fighting Years.

It's difficult to see who this aimed at and, more importantly, who would want it? It also sits uneasily on its Amazon page where other 80s artists are releasing super deluxe and deluxe editions of their classic albums - some celebrating their 30th anniversaries. (The Gift by The Jam and Running In The Family by Level 42 have been given the mouth-watering deluxe treatment).


Chill out to the following blissed out beats... nice!


Simple Minds get a good profile in this new compilation from Universal but you have to question if this really is the "darker, cooler, alternative side of the decade" as the blurb suggests.


Sometimes it's the little things that stand out.

Like the security guy at Basel airport excitedly telling his (much younger) colleague all about Simple Minds after spotting my T-shirt before 7 in the morning - while I am trying to stay awake after driving through the night back to the airport and sleeping in the car to be back home in time for breakfast...

Or meeting people in the flesh you only 'know' through the miracle of Facebook down the front - or meeting people who have heard of you from there but you don't know them (very weird!)

I'm writing this on the train from London to Nottingham. It's 10.16am, Saturday September 8. Last night I was very lucky to bag the best view in the house at the Chant du Gros festival in Le Noirmont, Switzerland - right at the front barrier, right in front of Jim.

I've had about 90 minutes sleep. Precisely 14 hours and 23 minutes on Swiss ground cost me more than £200 and will no doubt wipe me out for the weekend now.

And if there was another show, somewhere within relatively easy travel time in Europe tonight, then I'd be doing it again in a heartbeat.

Why do we do it? Because it's not just me.... Because we love the music. Not just because that's a nice melody or a good rhythm or whatever.... For some of us it speaks to us on a level we cannot and dare not try to comprehend.

Of course it helps that it's very good fun! But this is about far more than just mere music for me.

Partly it's the sense of freedom. Going halfway across a continent, meeting people you already know, being allowed to not only hire a car but just drive out of the airport to wherever you want - including last night a return journey through the French mountains and a quick trip into Germany just because I could - nobody tried to stop me. In fact the border was nothing more than bridge over a river.

We take all that so much for granted - but it really is incredible when you stop to think about it.

Three countries visited in the space of one night. Amazing! And all to hear a collection of songs mostly written at a time when Europe was a broken continent - east and west, borders, passport controls and secret police. That was very much in my lifetime. Back in February, after the Berlin 5X5 gig, I stood with one foot in what was East Germany and one in the west. A little over 20 years ago, that would have got me killed. Now it's a tourist attraction.

Ever been asked what was the most important moment in your life? I always answer that it was when one boy met another in a Glasgow sandpit. It's two years before I will be born - but everything has already changed forever.

It would change again when I first heard Waterfront in 1983. And again on 12 March 1984. Five people I could only consider to be Gods among men took the stage - and as I walked away from De Montfort Hall, Leicester I knew what my life had to become - a musician, a writer (so you can blame the band if you think this is all very pretentious!)

The music would literally save my life in 2005. And again in 2006.

That's another story maybe - but the memory of those desperate but ultimately amazing days was with me last night. It felt like the end of a process that began with another mad dash across a European country - Denmark - on my birthday in 2006, to see Simple Minds light up a forest clearing above the tiny village of Nibe.

Driving home the next day, I realised I was crying my heart out to Alive and Kicking (not the best of ideas on the Dartford bridge) as the lyrics finally connected...

Who gonna come and turn the tide?
What's it going to take to make a dream survive?
Who's got the touch to calm the storm inside?
Don't say goodbye - in the final seconds who's going to save you?

When we got to that point last night I just felt overwhelmed to be there - in totally different circumstances personally.

Last night was my 66th show. It will not be my last. I've racked up 10 gigs this year - and I'm annoyed that I couldn't get it together to do more this summer (although we did go to Alicante only to find the show cancelled!)

Because when you're confronted by the incredible life force that is 70 Cities or This Fear Of Gods or a revitalised Love Song... Or just the sheer joy of everyone jumping around to the end of Don't You (Forget ABout Me) or Ghostdancing... Then you know you're truly blessed to be in that space, at that moment, with these people.

Only then does it seem like the most level headed, sensible thing in the world to do this.

It feels odd to describe a gig as an act of absolution. Of salvation and deliverance. As something that defines you so completely. But that is what a Simple Minds show is - for me at any rate.

One day, surely, it must and will come to an end. I'll settle for that being a million years from today, if that's ok with you Jim and Charlie!

For now, let's sign off for this summer by giving thanks to all involved with Simple Minds, past, present (and future) - band, crew and fans, for the truly wondrous thing this is.

But never forget that, for the love we're feeling for the old stuff this year - as Jim said in an interview a couple of years ago, for Simple Minds the best is yet to come...

Martin Valentine


Calella de Palafrugell, Cap-Roig, Spain
12th August, 2012
5x5 + Hits Set
Main Set: I Travel / Love Song / Celebrate / Waterfront / This Fear Of Gods / Hunter And The Hunted / The American / Big Sleep / See The Lights / Don't You (Forget About Me) / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Encore: Theme For Great Cities / Sanctify Yourself / Glittering Prize / Alive And Kicking / Ghostdancing - Gloria

Thanks to Lele for the set-list and Emanuele and Cristina for the pictures and to Cristina for the ticket scan.




Stadtpark, Hamburg, Germany
17th August, 2012
5x5 + Hits Set
Main Set: I Travel / Love Song / Celebrate / Waterfront / In Trance As Mission / This Fear Of Gods / Hunter And The Hunted / The American / Big Sleep / See The Lights / Don't You (Forget About Me) / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Encore: Theme For Great Cities / Sanctify Yourself / Glittering Prize / Alive And Kicking / Ghostdancing - Gloria

There was initially some confusion about this gig. The official site stated "The acclaimed 5X5 LIVE! show in it's entirety!" which was taken to mean a 5x5 Full Set format. However, it turned out to be the hits set instead.

Thanks to Matthias, Torsten, Sabine and Jens for the set-list and to Matthias and Sabine for the pictures. See binepix.jimdo.com/konzertfotos for more pictures from Sabine.




RS2 Sommer Fest, Berlin, Germany
18th August, 2012
5x5 Festival Set




E-Werk, Koln, Germany
19th August, 2012
5x5 Full Set Main Set Part #1: I Travel / 30 Frames A Second / Today I Died Again / Life In A Day / Calling Your Name / Hunter And The Hunted / Premonition / Wasteland / Love Song / Pleasantly Disturbed / Room
Main Set Part #2: The American / In Trance As Mission / 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall / Celebrate / Changeling / Factory / This Fear Of Gods / Promised You A Miracle / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)
Encore: Theme For Great Cities / Someone / Chelsea Girl / Glittering Prize / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)

Many thanks to Martin for the set-list and the photos.




Theaterfabrik, Munich, Germany
21st August, 2012
5x5 Full Set
Originally the gig was going to take place at the Tonahalle but the venue changed.

Many thanks to Guido for the picture.




Amphitheatre, Hanau, Germany
22nd August, 2012
5x5 Full Set
Main Set Part #1: I Travel / 30 Frames A Second / Today I Died Again / Life In A Day / Calling Your Name / Hunter And The Hunted / Premonition / Wasteland / Love Song / Pleasantly Disturbed / Room
Main Set Part #2: The American / In Trance As Mission / 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall / Celebrate / Changeling / Factory / This Fear Of Gods / Promised You A Miracle / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)
Encore: Theme For Great Cities / Someone / Chelsea Girl / Glittering Prize / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)

Thanks to Reimut for the set-list and Raf for the set-list picture.




Alter Schlachthof, Dresden, Germany
23rd August, 2012
5x5 Full Set

This concert was cancelled due to construction work both at the Alter Schlachthof site and on Gothaer Strasse which would cause major problems for access and production on the day of the show.




Brabant Open Air Festival, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
25th August, 2012
5x5 Festival Set
Main Set: I Travel / Love Song / Celebrate / Waterfront / In Trance As Mission / This Fear Of Gods / The American / See The Lights / 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall / Don't You (Forget About Me) / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Encore: Alive And Kicking

Many thanks to Paul for the set-list. Pictures of the gig can be found on Paul's Flickr website.

I've been on holiday and I've got some catching up to do. Many thanks to everyone who's sent in set-lists and pictures from the recent gigs. I'll get them on-line soon.


XSM announce that they will no longer use the term (Ex Simple Minds) in their name, and will only ever be referred to as XSM. We feel we are a band in our own right, and with the new album almost complete, this means a new and exciting chapter in the life of XSM. We are enjoying glowing revues of our new material from the cream of the music industry Worldwide, and hope to capitalize on these magnificent responses. I hope you love the new single, and promise you that there will be more of the same, including the trademark instrumentals of Forbes, MacNeil and McGee, for you all to enjoy. We believe that this is a New Platinim Dream for us, and it has been a real priviledge to be involved with my old partners in crime once again. I hope you listen to my show tonight to hear the first of many tracks from the album from XSM

Derek 'Big Dan' Forbes
31st August 2012


XSM have just released the first track from their forthcoming debut album. Outsider was first premiered on the 31st August by LA Talk Radio on Derek Forbes' May The Forbes Be With You show.

It was the first track played - and the second... and the third... - and can be heard here.

It was written by Mick MacNeil, Derek Forbes and Brian McGee with Eddie Beggan on vocals, and was mainly produced by Mick MacNeil.

It will also be available through the iTunes Store soon.

"My radio show goes out to 1.6 million listeners every week. I played it three times on my show last night, so the answer to radio play is "Yes." We are delighted with the result, and I don't know if Jim and the rest have listened to it, but I have a sneaky suspicion that they have." - Derek Forbes

Derek also talked about the song on the show with co-host Ethan.

Nine tracks are currently being worked on for the album. It will be finished in November for a release in January/February 2013.


This September marks the thirtieth anniversary of New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84).

Simple Minds are in full retro mode and continue to tour X5 throughout Europe and the album did finally receive an expanded release as part of the X5 Box Set. However, it’s a pity that Virgin couldn’t mark the anniversary of this classic album with something more substantial.

However, all is not lost. Phunk Investigation, either though utter coincidence or careful planning, are releasing a remix of the title track this month. Entitled Gold Vision and with Dino on vocals, it’s a cover of the classic track with all the remix tricks expected from Phunk Investigation. (This includes a sly sample of Usura's Open You Mind to boot).

Several remixes have been produced and can be found on YouTube. The track gets its official release through Skinflint Records later this month.


The discography update has concentrated on Disky, a record comapany from The Netherlands, who've reissued several Simple Minds CDs:

I believe this is the complete Simple Minds Disky discography. If you know of any other releases then please let me know.

Unfortunately no set-lists, pictures or even concert reviews, have appeared yet for Vienne, Antibes, Rome or Catania. If you can help out then please get in touch.


Theatre Antique, Arles, France
21st July, 2012
5x5 + Hits Set
Main Set: Moscow Underground / I Travel / Love Song / Celebrate / Waterfront / This Fear Of Gods / Hunter And The Hunted / The American / Big Sleep / See The Lights / 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall / Don't You (Forget About Me) / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / Glittering Prize / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Encore: Theme For Great Cities / Sanctify Yourself / Alive And Kicking / Ghostdancing

Thanks to Damien for the set-list.


Theatre Antique, Vienne, France
23rd July, 2012
5x5 + Hits Set

"Loving these current French shows. The audiences are a delight and the venues in both Nimes and Viene were out of this world. Thanks to all who came. Now looking forward to the Amp It Up - Riviera Rock Festival tomorrow night in Juan Les Pins. I saw Bowie play there many years ago and thought it was an amazing place to see a show" - Jim, 24th July 2012


Piazza Grande, Modena, Italy
26th July, 2012
5x5 + Hits Set
Main Set: I Travel / Love Song / Celebrate / Waterfront / In Trance As Mission / This Fear Of Gods / Hunter And The Hunted / The American / Big Sleep / See The Lights / 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall / Don't You (Forget About Me) / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Encore: Themes For Great Cities / Sanctify Yourself / Glittering Prize / Alive And Kicking / Ghostdancing - Gloria

Thanks to Edgardo and José for the set-list.

Also thanks to Paola, Guido and Lionello for the photos. More of Paola's photos can be found here.


Diga Nazario Sauro, Grado, Italy
28th July, 2012
5x5 + Hits Set
Main Set: I Travel / Love Song / Celebrate / Waterfront / In Trance As Mission / This Fear Of Gods / Hunter And The Hunted / The American / Big Sleep / See The Lights / 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall / Don't You (Forget About Me) / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Encore: Sanctify Yourself / Alive And Kicking

Glittering Prize was cut from the set-list and there was a power cut during Themes For Great Cities.

Thanks to Jernej for the set-list and photographs and to Paola for additional photos. More shots here.

"Busy on tour, but maybe not so busy after all as we still had time to see friends, families, and even the little doggies. That said, being in France and Italy in summertime reminded us once more just why many consider those countries as being among the most beautiful in the world. Any doubts try visiting, as we just have Arles, Camargue, Lyon, Vienne, Cote D'Azure, Modena, Rome and Grado... the doubts may well disappear" - Jim, 29th July 2012


BBC Radio Four are currently broadcasting a series by Paul Morley in which he traces the history of several, famous recording studios. The first Making Tracks programme concentrated on Rockfield Studios and Simple Minds were mentioned several times during the show (as Real To Real Cacophony, Empires And Dance and Graffiti Soul were all recorded at Rockfield).

The second programme moved from rural Wales to heart of the London and featured the world famous Abbey Road. Both programmes can be heard via the iPlayer service.



The doors of a grimy anonymous lock-up garage were recently opened in Glasgow. Within its anonymous walls, and smelling of damp (despite the efforts of an electric bar fire), was some of the Simple Minds archive: boxes of old tapes, forgotten instruments and all manner of paperwork and memorabilia. Buried deep within this treasure trove was a small box containing a selection of colour slides: closer inspection revealed these to be the studio shots taken for the inner bag of Real To Real Cacophony. However, the set included alternative shots, and various portraits of band members posing by the mixing console. It’s assumed these were taken at Rockfield.

It would’ve been wonderful to use some of these photographs when we were putting together the 5x5 tour brochure. But we couldn’t shots of all the band, so settled for just the single one of Jim instead.


The Best Of was recently given away free with Italian newspaper Donna Moderna to promote the band's Italian gigs.

Full details about the release can be found here.


Copies of When Stars Fall have now been dispatched. This limited edition is the first physical release by The Dark Flowers and features two tracks with vocals by Jim. Each of the 200 copies has been signed and numbered by Paul Stahtam.

For more information, then check out its page in the discography.


Collector Christian Sinn has a Good News From The Next World tour poster for sale. It has been fully signed by Jim, Charlie, Malcolm, Mark and Mark. It's framed and measures 32cm x 86.5cm. Contact Christian if interested.


Updates to the discography:


The following posters have appeared in Mexico. Are the band going to visit?


In this inteview, Derek Forbes talks about the forthcoming XSM album, the band line-up, and also the origin of a line in Today I Died Again:

And whilst on the subject of XSM, Mick MacNeil has also been working on the new Visage album.


And Jim recently met up with the Mayor of Catania as reported here.


And this newspaper article was published just prior to the Moderna gig. Click the image for a larger version:


Mind2Mode ruled the Ghent Festival

The annual Ghent Festival contains lots of events, going from street animations through street singers, cabaretiers to any kind of level of music performances. Half of the city is made car-free and people can walk through the streets where normally traffic is passing by, but in this case people walk, sit and enjoy the street positioned events. One of the squares is equipped for late-night concerts, and on the eve of July 19th, Mind2Mode made their appearance. First time here, so the eyes and ears of the public were hungry to see this band that was new for the Ghent Festival.

At 21:30PM they came on stage with the tunes of Theme For Great Cities, that soon switched over into Sanctify Yourself from the Simple Minds. The set contained one part of covers from Simple Minds, followed by a set of Depeche Mode and finished by a rocking one of U2. It was a rather rainy evening, but people were very surprised to see these youngsters giving a beautiful set. Umbrellas came and went, and on the tune of Waterfront, it started raining cats and dogs.

As I was frontstage positionned, from time to time I took a look backwards and saw the whole square was filled up with enthusiastic people, who at first were standing but who by now were jumping up and down all along with the songs. Singer Steve flirted with the microphone and guitarist Martin squeezed the hell out of his guitar. Drummer Thorsten banged his drumkit with amazing force. By the time Don't You (Forget About Me) started, the rain stopped and the public went wild, singing along the chorus "a capella", to great satisfaction of the band.

When the Depeche Mode set began, bassist Jacky popped up in a DM-like dresscode and took over the guitar parts during this set. Mighty good looking stagelights highlighted Simon Hayward playing his synths and genuinly enjoying the gig. People began to drum by closer and closer on the square where a very energetic gig was going on. No rain could stop any of us now, we all had a very good time enjoying the gig and singing along. Don't Go from "Yazoo went into a medley along with Welcome To The Pleasure Dome from Frankie Goes To Hollywood, the public went crazy!

When the U2-part was going on I noticed behind me some youngsters and (lots) of not-so-youngsters were screaming their tongues out of their throats. Singer Steve pretented rolling a bowling-ball into the public a few times, getting the "ball" back from the audience. interaction all over!

By now, the boys had been singing for 3 hours and almost half an hour of "encores" closed this beautiful triptych. A very enthusiastic public showed their appreciation to the band, showing them their passage to the Ghent Festival was oh so great! Mind2Mode came, ruled and even forced the weathergods to their knees! Surely a night to remember, as all do who came and see them.

JohnnyBGood


Friendtipper have launched a competition to win a meet-and-greet with Simple Minds at the Brabant Open Air Festival, Eindhoven in The Netherlands on the 25th August.

Jim's also recorded a short promotional video for the competition:

So click here for a chance to win one of three tickets to meet the band.


An Italian magazine is offering The Best Of as its free cover disc. I don't know which magazine it is, but the offer is running this week, so those in Italy should scan the sales racks.


Whilst on the subject of Italian publications, Il Piccolo published a page-sized spread on the band in anticipation of the forthcoming gig in Grado.

Click the image for a larger version.

Many thanks to Paola for the scan.


Updates to the discography:

Academy, Newcastle, UK
8th July, 2012
5x5 Full Set
Main Set Part #1: I Travel / 30 Frames A Second / Today I Died Again / Life In A Day / Calling Your Name / Hunter And The Hunted / Premonition / Wasteland / Love Song / Pleasantly Disturbed / Room
Main Set Part #2: The American / In Trance As Mission / 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall / Celebrate / Changeling / Factory / This Fear Of Gods / Promised You A Miracle / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)
Encore: Theme For Great Cities / Someone / Chelsea Girl / Glittering Prize / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)

"A couple of weeks in now and our summer tour of festivals (mostly) is shaping up rather well with some great reactions from both audiences and media. Audiences in general, have always welcomed us, showing the kind of appreciation that many acts would die for and making us feel that we want to give more of ourselves in return. Getting many positive reviews in the media as we have been recently, is taking a little time to get used to."

"The reason for that is frankly for the longest time it seemed that no one in print had anything good to say about us whatsoever. Was that a hurtful experience? Hmmm, it was certainly a confusing experience, but it was even possible to get used to disappointments and the Pariah role was just something we needed to deal with somehow."

"Not that we are or were ever above criticism, then again who is? And I can clearly recall a period where looking back now I would shamefully concede that we might not have been doing all necessary to engage in ways that are necessary, particularly if you want to stay on top of your game as a live act. They were blips however, least in my view. And again, it is perhaps expecting too much that you could just glide through a career that has lasted for 35 years without periods of stagnation."

"Stagnation is a term that hopefully was the last thing to spring up in anyone’s mind that came to see us in Newcastle on Sunday night. What a great atmosphere in the venue, both band and crowd feeding off an energy that reminded me of shows that we did in Newcastle way back in the early ‘80’s. No mere flashback however, the set may have consisted of songs that belie their age, but again in my view, and indeed some of the fans I spoke with afterwards and on the train to London the next morning, there is something altogether fresh in what is coming across from Simple Minds on stage currently."

"Long may it continue, please!" - Jim 10th July 2012

Thanks to Claudia for the photos.


Train, Aarhus, Denmark
11th July, 2012
5x5 Full Set
Main Set Part #1: I Travel / 30 Frames A Second / Today I Died Again / Life In A Day / Calling Your Name / Hunter And The Hunted / Premonition / Wasteland / Love Song / Pleasantly Disturbed / Room
Main Set Part #2: The American / In Trance As Mission / 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall / Celebrate / Changeling / Factory / This Fear Of Gods / Promised You A Miracle / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)
Encore: Theme For Great Cities / Someone / Chelsea Girl / Glittering Prize / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)


Dalhalla, Rattvik, Sweden
13th July, 2012
5x5 Festival Set
Main Set: Moscow Underground / I Travel / Love Song / Celebrate / This Fear Of Gods / Waterfront / The American / Big Sleep / See The Lights / Don't You (Forget About Me) / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / Sanctify Yourself / Glittering Prize / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Encore: Theme For Great Cities / Alive And Kicking / Ghostdancing - Gloria

"Dalhalla in Sweden is possibly the most amazing venue I have ever seen. Ranks alongside Teatro Greco in Sicily and even Red Rocks in Denver. Words escape as to how magic the place is. What other venue affords you the opportunity to go play in the heart of a quarry full of ancient stone and afterwards go skinny dipping in the most amazing little emerald coloured lake - as I did last night. Unforgettable - thanks to those you came and made it so memorable for us." - Jim, 14th July 2012


Latitude, Southwold, UK
15th July, 2012
5x5 Festival Set
Main Set: Waterfront / I Travel / Love Song / Celebrate / This Fear Of Gods / The American / See The Lights / Don't You (Forget About Me) / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) / Alive And Kicking

The When Stars Fall EP is now available as a vinyl style CD. Featuring four tracks,the title track When Stars Fall has vocals from Shelly Poole (Red Sky July and Alisha's Attic). Jim Kerr contributes This Boys Life and Night Is The New Day and the final track is the beautiful No Trains Stop Here featuring Catherine A.D..

This is a limited edition of 200 and comes with numbered artwork.

It's available from thedarkflowers.bandcamp.com/album/when-stars-fall-e-p.



Academy, Newscastle, UK
8th July, 2012
5x5 Full Set
Main Set Part #1: I Travel / 30 Frames A Second / Today I Died Again / Life In A Day / Calling Your Name / Hunter And The Hunted / Premonition / Wasteland / Love Song / Pleasantly Disturbed / Room
Main Set Part #2: The American / In Trance As Mission / 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall / Celebrate / Changeling / Factory / This Fear Of Gods / Promised You A Miracle / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)
Encore: Theme For Great Cities / Someone / Chelsea Girl / Glittering Prize / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)


Updates to the discography:

The band were surprise special guests at the White Nights of Saint Petersburg in Russia. It looks like they performed to studio playbacks of Alive And Kicking, Don't You (Forget About Me) and Sanctify Yourself (with Sarah on backing vocals).




T In The Park, Balado, UK
7th July, 2012
5x5 Festival Set
Main Set: Waterfront / Love Song / Celebrate / Don't You (Forget About Me) / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) / Alive And Kicking

"Arrived in late last night from a baking hot St. Petersburg to a vey wet and very "dreich" Edinburgh. With the weather not set to change my heart goes out to the 85,000 who will be at T in The Park Festival. Without doubt we are also set for a soaking - I definitely am - but I could not care less. Its an honour to play for people. We will give all that we have, then it its on the tour bus and direct to Newcastle for tomorrows 5x5 gig. That one is in doors thankfully. - Jim 7th July 2012

"Another festival we can tick off as done. How do we feel? Great bands should be able to do it regardless of the conditions, somehow I feel the weather snatched away what could have been a glorious one. Ah well! Good points? The audience who could put up with those conditions and still have a good time are the real stars. Downside? I can't help it, but for me I dislike being so far from the crowd. Walkways etc would have brought us much closer and we need that contact. Thanks to everybody for the reception and of course the chance to play at T In The Park." - Jim 8th July 2012

The rain-soddened gig can be seen on the BBC's iPlayer.


Goodbye Dreamtime. I liked his remixes - he had the spirit of the 1970s/1980s remixer: this is, someone who wanted to emphasise the music with a new arrangement, rather than the 1990s/2000s remixer, who wanted to remove most of the music and stamp their own limited ideas all over it.

He was a regular remixer of Simple Minds' material and his last e-mail to me was about a new version of Sanctify Yourself he'd been working on.

I still have a copy of his remix of This Is Not America by Bowie which was great - so search it out.


FAC 51 THE HAÇIENDA have uploaded videos of many of the first acts to play at the now legendary venue. This now includes Simple Minds performing Promised You A Miracle to a saturated primary-coloured 1980s light show.


Updates to the discography include:


Those in the UK who can't make a Simple Minds gig, or an XSM gig, can always look out for one of the excellent Simple Minds tribute bands out there.

Alive And Kicking UK are touring throughout the midlands and northern England and have gigs booked for almost every month. Well worth checking out.

And that's not forgetting the Dutch tribute band 1984 who have a number of gigs lined up in Belgium.

Main Square Festival, Arras, France
29th June, 2012
5x5 Festival Set
Main Set: Moscow Underground / I Travel / Love Song / Celebrate / This Fear Of Gods / Waterfront / The American / See The Lights / Don't You (Forget About Me) / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / Promised You A Miracle / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)

Thanks to Paola for the photos. Many more here.

Rock Werchter, Werchter, Belgium
30th June, 2012
5x5 Festival Set
Main Set: Moscow Underground / I Travel / Love Song / Celebrate / This Fear Of Gods / Waterfront / The American / Don't You (Forget About Me) / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Encore: Alive And Kicking

Thanks to Peter for the photos.

There's also a great video of most of the performance:


Updates to the discography:

The Gideon Coe 6 Music Show featured three tracks from the increasingly popular Paris Theatre Gig from January 9th, 1980 (not 1979 as the BBC's site suggests).

Thankfully available via Listen Again.


(Now with pictures...)

Danube Island Festival, Vienna, Austria
23rd June, 2012
5x5 + Hits Set
Main Set: Moscow Underground / I Travel / Love Song / Celebrate / This Fear Of Gods / Waterfront / Hunter And The Hunted / The American / Big Sleep / See The Lights / Don't You (Forget About Me) / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / Promised You A Miracle / Glittering Prize / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Encore: Alive And Kicking

This was a free concert and was delay-broadcast by Austrian channel ORF3.

"It's all a bit of a blur!"

"Some give 100% even in rehearsals, playing each song as though lives depended on it. Mel, Andy and Ged are in that category. Charlie and I are... uh... not quite the same types. Learning and knowing the arrangements is quite enough in our case, plus it genuinely seems we would rather hold back until an audience is in front of us. We can afford to be a little bit casual of course, especially when the others are sounding so on it!"

"There will be an audience in front of us in Vienna on Saturday when we start the first of the summer outdoor shows. Forecast to be hot and sweaty also. Has a year really passed so quick since last summer's shows? I guess so. But it is all a blur." - Jim

Thanks to Lionello for the pictures and set-list.

"The new songs always take over me. Utopia - not even finished written yet but feels so powerful. I reckon we should play it when we turn up in Vienna in a few days. Who cares if it's not perfect - especially when it feels like it is?" - Jim, 19th June 2012


Comedian John Bishop selected Don’t You (Forget About Me) as one of his top-ten records on this Sunday's Desert Island Discs (broadcast on BBC Radio Four). Then he excelled himself by selecting the Minds' song as the one song he would save if his collection was going to be swept away.

Tonight's Danube Island Festival in Vienna will be broadcast by ORF3 - albeit delayed by a couple of hours. Check this link for more information.

These shots of XSM were taken at the Good Heavens Festival in Oldenzaal by Jan Mak.

For more information about XSM and future touring plans then check out their website.


Updates to the discography:


BBC Radio 4 programme Meeting Myself Coming Back is being trailed extensively and the first programme features Richard Branson. The trail includes the instrumental of Alive And Kicking as the backing.

This isn't the first time Richard Branson (the former managing director of Virgin Records) has been featured using Simple Minds' music. The various documentaries of his ocean-hopping-ballooning-adventures have featured tracks from New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84).


Jim recently appeared on Punk Britannia (BBC Four) talking about Johnny And The Self Abusers and how they were influenced by Eddie And The Hot Rods.

The programme is still available to view on The BBc iPlayer.


The Dark Flowers release their first EP When Stars Fall on the 2nd July 2012.

Featuring Shelly Poole (Alisha's Attic & Red Sky July) on the title track, Catherine A.D. with the beautiful No Train Stop Here and Simple Minds' frontman Jim Kerr with This Boy's Life and Night Is The New Day.

You can pre order this now from iTunes at itunes.apple.com/gb/preorder/when-stars-fall-ep/id535939828.

Please come and visit the Facebook page www.facebook.com/theflowersdark and click "like".

Your support is greatly appreciated in getting this amazing project up and running.

All the best,
Paul Statham


An archive performance from Simple Minds featured on BBC Radio 6 Music's The Music Hour this week. Recorded on the 9th January 1980 at the Paris Theatre by the BBC, the show was originally broadcast as part of the network's In Concert series.

Tracks include Here Comes The Fool, Calling Your Name, Factory, Changeling and an early performance of Room.

It will be available on the BBC's iPlayer for the next week.


The Dark Flowers have released an exclusive new track, No Trains Stop Here, on YouTube. Featuring Catherine A.D., it's part of the forthcoming 3-track EP When Stars Fall.

When Stars Fall EP will be released digitally on the 18th June 2012 and also features When Stars Fall by Shelly Poole and This Boy's Life with Jim.


Updates to discography:

A three hour wait in the freezing air on a damp Saturday morning in London was worth it - many thanks to Jim and Charlie for signing my copy.

Full details about the single has now been entered into the discography.


Manic's front-man James Dean Bradfield has been continuing his praise of early Simple Minds. Whilst guest DJ on BBC Radio Wales back in March, he selected Empires And Dance as one of the "albums to hear before you die."

The show is now unavailable but details are still online.

Sister Ray Records Announces Record Store Day

Sister Ray Records, based in Berwick Street, Soho, London, is proud to be taking part in this year's Record Store Day; the event is on Saturday April 21st from 8am-8pm.

After the huge success of last year’s Record Store Day, which was their busiest day ever, the world renowned independent record shop will be stocking the vast majority of over 400 limited edition titles, which have been manufactured for this special event. These include releases by Kate Bush, Arcade Fire, Bruce Springsteen, PIL, Coldplay, Elbow, Metallica, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Arctic Monkeys, Black Keys, Vaccines, amongst many others.

Customers started queuing outside the shop the night before last year to be the first to buy these limited records; they are expecting it to be even busier this year.

There will be in-store signing sessions with Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill from Simple Minds, an appearance from Billy Bragg and various other guests will be visiting the shop throughout the day.

St Etienne’s Bob Stanley and respected music critic Pete Paphides have both agreed to work behind the record counter for a few hours, so customers will be able to discuss the whereabouts of that extremely rare 7" single from an obscure all-female 60’s pop group!

All customers that purchase a Record Store Day release in the shop will be entered into a special draw to win an exclusive Jack White "white label" vinyl copy of his forthcoming album Blunderbuss.

Record Store Day is now in its fifth year and has been instrumental in helping independent record shops in these challenging times. For more information: www.recordstoreday.co.uk.

www.sisterray.co.uk


Jim and Charlie will be at Sister Ray for the record signing session between 9:00AM and 10:30AM.


The Intro Reel of the 5x5 Gigs was recently made available through the official site. Arranged by Charlie, this montage features a collection of riffs from many of the tracks on the band's first five albums.


As part of their rediscovery of Simple Minds, Q Magazine have run a double-page feature of the Roundhouse concert in their May issue. It includes a review of the gig, some great live pictures, some quotes from Jim and awards the band four stars (out of five) for their performance.

(It's the one with "The Real Best Of" on the cover and a picture of Morrissey on every other page.)


Classic Rock spin-off magazine Prog Rock have also featured Simple Minds in their latest issue. It isn’t currently known how much of the article is based on Simple Minds, or is a through debate of why they should be included in a "prog" magazine, but it's probably worth tracking down.


Italian tribute band Reminds have a new website. It includes information about the band, gallery and most importantly a media section, details of live appearances and a download section.

The Dark Flowers, a project by Paul Statham and which includes Jim, will shortly be offically released.

The first song, Night Is The New Day featuring Jim is now available as a free download in exchange for your e-mail address. You can either register through thedarkflowers.believeband.com or via this form:


The video can be seen here:


Night Is The New Day will also be getting its first radio play on Billy Sloan's show tonight (1st April) on Radio Clyde.

A three-track EP will be available in June which includes This Boy's Life (another collaboration with Jim) along with songs featuring Shelly Poole and Catherine AD. A thirty second preview of the EP is available at thedarkflowers.believeband.com.


The X5 box-set pages have been completed with more information about the box-set itself, a breakdown of the commercial version, a listing of some Abbey Road reference CDs and finally the final-proof cromalins of the artwork.

Two tracks are exclusive to the box-set. The German 12" Remix of New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) appears for the first time with the drumming intro (which is present on the album and DVD-Audio versions of the track); whilst In Every Heaven is the original 1982 recording of the song (and not the reworked extended version found on the DVD-Audio).


Simple Minds are participating in Record Store Day by releasing a limited edition 12" of two new remixes.

Those who’ve read the 5X5 Tour Brochure will already know that John Leckie has remixed I Travel for the release: "I'm currently mixing a new version of I Travel which the band will release on vinyl for Record Store Day in April. It still sounds a fantastic song more than 30 years on."

Simple Minds fan Moby has remixed Theme For Great Cities as the title track.

Unfortunately the artwork isn’t particularly adventurous with Virgin simply reusing the sleeve from the first I Travel release. Luckily there’s an instore signing session planned so you could get Jim and Charlie to spice it up a bit.

(The retrospective constructivism a la Malcolm Garrett on the splash page is simply something I put together. It's not official.)

The 12" will only be available through select record shops on the 21st April.


Dognvill Festival, Skarphallen, Norway
30th March, 2012
5x5 Festival Set
Main Set: I Travel / Love Song / Factory / Wasteland / This Fear Of Gods / Hunter And The Hunted / Waterfront / The American / Big Sleep / See The Lights / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) / Promised You A Miracle / Glittering Prize / Pleasantly Disturbed / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Encore: Don't You (Forget About Me) / Sanctify Yourself / Alive And Kicking

"And just as we had settled into recording mode, tomorrow we will hightail it to the Arctic Circle for a one – off show in Tromso and we are looking forward to it immensely as well."

"It is always particularly good to go play somewhere for the first time; it is even more so to go to a place that is particularly of note. Tromso after all, and despite it’s Italian sounding name, is situated some 350 kilometres (217 mi) inside the Arctic Circle. This "Paris of The North" and has an impressive history, and is currently home to some of the musicians from the legendary Rokysopp. That is all pretty cool, and well, considering it might be a few degrees below zero, perhaps cool is an understatement."

"More personally, since we arrive the night before our set, I hope to see the mysterious Aurora Borealis - Tromso by all accounts should be the kind of place where we get more than a glimpse. I do hope to get lucky with that."

"But enough of what we are looking forward to, what can people expect who come along to see us take part in this festival of music, what can they look forward to from us? Well, the band has been on great form over the last months and I expect that will continue as we play a set that will highlight songs from our entire history. Plus, this is a one – off as already said, it is also a first time as stated."

"That all means we will most probably attack it with full force, summoning up the positive energy with us, and play with our fullest enthusiasm."

"When that happens it can quite impressive – or so it has been said." - Jim


"Over and out! Thanks to all who made our first ever set In Tromso a success. Great venue, great crowd, fine organisation from Siggi and all the promoters team. I did not get to see the Northern Lights unfortunately, but once again I got to feel the thrill of being in the middle of it all when the band is playing so good. There is a level of energy about Simple Minds presently that is more evident than ever before and I am already looking forward to the summer shows - we want to improve always."

"At one point tonight, when the crowd was making a lot of noise, I encouraged them further by holding out the microphone and saying "Go on then - let them hear you in Oslo" (More than 1000km away?) Unfortunately a few people only heard the Oslo word and I guess thought that I had lost my bearings. Well no actually, or at least not this time. Tromso was special, uniquely so, and we will back for sure." - Jim



Updates to the discography:

Olympia Theatre, Dublin, Ireland
4th March, 2012
Main Set Part #1: I Travel / 30 Frames A Second / Today I Died Again / Calling Your Name / Scar / Life In A Day / Hunter And The Hunted / Premonition / Wasteland / Love Song / Pleasantly Disturbed / Room
Main Set Part #2: The American / In Trance As Mission / 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall / Celebrate / Changeling / Factory / This Fear Of Gods / Promised You A Miracle / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)
Encore: Theme For Great Cities / Someone / Chelsea Girl / Glittering Prize / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)

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


"In the end it all passed in a blink of an eye. And all of which is probably understandable, given the way we were traipsing round Europe, criss crossing from east to west and sprinting up and down from south to north and then more often than not - straight back again. In fact, been so dizzying these last weeks, it is more than little wonder that we never crossed paths with versions of ourselves, wandering like ghosts as we did, moving on a daily basis from city to city."

"The very image of that leads me to ponder on what the young version of myself, the version that co-wrote all of those songs featured in the 5x5 tour, would have thought could he have glimpsed into the future and observed what we have been getting up to within the recently completed concert tour. Of course I have no idea, but if he evenly remotely felt as positive about it all as many of us have, then I am sure he would have been a happy young fellow."

"Cannot say thanks enough to our crew, management, and agent, for making it happen. Similarly, great compliments should go to our PR, the coverage has been extensive and somewhat relentlessly positive. (That helps!) More than all of this though, it is our gratitude to all who came to support us that I want to convey. And so to all who made it to the shows, investing not only their money, but also their belief in the continuation of Simple Minds. It is a big and heartfelt thanks that we send to you. You deserve it!" - Jim, Official Website, 6th March 2012

New dates are being announced almost daily for the forthcoming festival tour...

Komplex 457, Zurich, Switzerland
29th February, 2012
Main Set Part #1: I Travel / 30 Frames A Second / Today I Died Again / Celebrate / Scar / Life In A Day / Hunter And The Hunted / Premonition / Wasteland / Love Song / Pleasantly Disturbed / Room
Main Set Part #2: The American / In Trance As Mission / 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall / Calling Your Name / Changeling / Factory / This Fear Of Gods / Promised You A Miracle / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)
Encore: Theme For Great Cities / Someone / Chelsea Girl / Glittering Prize / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)


Roundhouse, London, UK
2nd March, 2012
Main Set Part #1: I Travel / 30 Frames A Second / Today I Died Again / Calling Your Name / Scar / Life In A Day / Hunter And The Hunted / Premonition / Wasteland / Love Song / Pleasantly Disturbed / Room
Main Set Part #2: The American / In Trance As Mission / 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall / Celebrate / Changeling / Factory / This Fear Of Gods / Promised You A Miracle / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)
Encore: Theme For Great Cities / Someone / Chelsea Girl / Glittering Prize / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)

Many thanks to Johnnieboy, Paola Marocco and Graeme for the photos and Paola Marocco for the set-list.


Ritz, Manchester, UK
3rd March, 2012
Main Set Part #1: I Travel / 30 Frames A Second / Today I Died Again / Calling Your Name / Scar / Life In A Day / Hunter And The Hunted / Premonition / Wasteland / Love Song / Pleasantly Disturbed / Room
Main Set Part #2: The American / In Trance As Mission / 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall / Celebrate / Changeling / Factory / This Fear Of Gods / Promised You A Miracle / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)
Encore: Theme For Great Cities / Someone / Chelsea Girl / Glittering Prize / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)

Many thanks to Gary Stafford and Claudia for the pictures and to Clive for the set-list.

Ritz Manchester 03/03/12

Who needs the Eurovision Song Contest when you can have a singsong with Simple Minds? Contingents from Germany, Italy, Hungary (and possibly a few more other Countries) interspersed with their die-hard British counterparts and no sign of favouritism or rivalries. After all we were all there for the same thing: having a good time. And we surely did!

No change to the set list, bit late in the tour for that, but at least we knew what was coming. As the guys belted out song after song with such great enthusiasm it was impossible not to dance, clap or sing along. Deafeningly! I’m surprised Jim could hear himself as he darted across the stage, asking the audience to sing even louder. Clearly back on form and having the time of his life. Charlie, Ged and Andy couldn’t stop smiling either. Mel probably was grinning as well, but I couldn’t see him that clearly through all the dry ice fog. Apparently the venue had a sprung floor, slightly sticky, but it didn’t stop the crowd bouncing up and down during the faster songs.

The evening was over and gone far too quickly, even more so than in Birmingham. But nobody seemed to want to leave, much to the annoyance of the security people.

I eventually returned to the hotel around midnight, after making a few new friends, happily holding Ged and Andy's autograph (Thanks guys for taking the time, appreciated). Could have had the set list as well, but as I was standing with Hungarian fan who had missed out on getting anything, I gave it to her instead. After all we all had shared a brilliant night with Simple Minds, why not share the spoils as well. See you all again sometime to have more fun.

Claudia



The 5X5 Tour may be over, but dates are already starting to appear for a series of Summer Festivals. T In The Park and Latitude have been the first of many to be announced.


Those who've carefully read the new tour programme will have a very good idea of what's going to be on the next Simple Minds single and when it's going to be released...

Jim was interviewed by RAI prior to the Milano concert.


Jim and Charlie will be interviewed this afternoon on the Radcliffe And Maconie Show (BBC Radio 6).



Academy, Birmingham, UK
24th February, 2012
Main Set Part #1: I Travel / 30 Frames A Second / Today I Died Again / Celebrate / Scar / Life In A Day / Hunter And The Hunted / Premonition / Wasteland / Love Song / Pleasantly Disturbed / Room
Main Set Part #2: The American / In Trance As Mission / 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall / Calling Your Name / Changeling / Factory / This Fear Of Gods / Promised You A Miracle / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)
Encore: Theme For Great Cities / Someone / Chelsea Girl / Glittering Prize / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)

"Thanks for giving us great nights in Bruxelles and Birmingham - really magic. I have been looking and listening to some recordings of the 5x5 shows and they are pretty much everything we had hoped for. Still room for improvements though - I think we will hit a nice peak by time we arrive at the Roundhouse in London - where we plan on doing some recording and filming of the set. Meanwhile tonight in Barrowland - if any venue could be termed our spiritual home it is the Barrowland. I expect an emotional high. Can't wait!" - Jim, Facebook

Many thanks to Claudia for the pictures.


O2 Academy Birmingham 24/2/12

Where shall I start? Seeing that I hadn’t heard of Simple Minds until late ’83 I had my work cut out to catch up with the back catalogue which thankfully only took a couple of years. Did I like what I heard? You bet I did! Did I have the chance to hear those songs in all their glory in the last 28 years? No. Well, I had heard some of the usual suspects at previous gigs, but about 80? was ‘new’ to my ears till tonight.

Even as joined I the queue three hours before the doors opened I had the feeling that history was going to repeat itself. Why? Because it started raining! Only slightly, but it did. Though this time round there was a roof over our heads. The warm-up music covered nearly every original covered by the Minds over the years setting the mood nicely. By 7:15 time I strained my ears trying to discern the intro into the first part of the main set, thinking "please, don’t make me wait any longer".

The guys eventually came on stage and without further ado kick-started the evening with I Travel (yep, been there, done that, will do a lot more of it this year), followed by 30 Frames A Second (going through that feeling right now, thanks to my dad for reminding me how it feels to be over 40). And the songs kept coming. I can’t for my life remember which order they came in as I mentally ticked each one off my wish list and tried to take it all in: the lighting, the music and the all-round good atmosphere permeating the venue, while at the same time trying to remember the lyrics and sing along. Not easy. Finally the moment everyone had been waiting for arrived in the shape of Pleasantly Disturbed and the appearance of Charlie’s violin. Short but sweet, those few minutes are certainly worth looking out for and store in your memory, if you’re lucky to be at the forthcoming gigs. Room, one of my favs, ended the first part to great applause. Time for a break.

Oh great, the organisers did anticipate the crowd’s need for refreshment, handing out free cups of water to the fans in the first couple of rows and we got a costume change! Gone is Jim’s black & white retro Empires & Dance T-shirt, having been replaced by the white & black version of the same. The American started the second half off, with the whole venue singing along whole-heartedly, following through with In Trance As Mission, another tick on my wish list. More favourites followed in rapid succession (again, can’t recall the order, where is the set list?) but by now I was floating well above Cloud 9. Bring on the possible (?) future release of the 5x5 repertoire! Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) did finish this part though, that much I do remember. Throughout Jim was giving his best showman impression, darting as usual from one side of the stage to the other, mouthing ‘thank you’s’ to everyone in the audience, at one point tangling the mike cable around Ged’s mike stand, sending it flying. How it managed to miss Ged I’ve got no idea, but no harm was done and the band played on.

Encore time and another T-shirt change for Jim: back to plain back, looking good! But before us girls in the crowd got an eyeful of that, there was only Charlie, Andy, Mel and Ged ploughing through Themes For Great Cities. I hadn’t been sure how an instrumental would work live; I stand corrected; it was brilliant. Following on we got Someone and Chelsea Girl (again a great sing along between Jim and the crowd and then my No1 fav Glittering Prize, it still makes my heart jump twenty-eight years on from first hearing it. New Gold Dream closed the evening with the most fantastic lighting display. Steve Pollard deserves a pint for that, if not a medal!

Not only does he deserve praise, EVERY ONE of Simple Minds does. If they had a ball so far, I certainly did and most likely the rest of the audience as well from what I gathered from talking to handful of people afterwards, who all had their own stories to tell of how long they’d been Simple Minds fans. And it wasn’t just a small sized ball; I’m talking one of those balls you roll down the hill in. Just to climb out at the end of the experience completely dizzy but exhilarated. And I’m going to it all again next Saturday in Manchester. I must be mad! But it feels great.

Claudia



Barrowland, Glasgow, UK
25th February, 2012

Many thanks to www.fishbonesphotography.com for the photos.

Simple Minds' forthcoming appearance at T In The Park was lyrically announced during Someone Somewhere (In Summertime).

"The venue was as good as ever - likewise the audience - overwhelming - made us feel so good. Little wonder bands from all over the world enjoy playing there. Nice to know that old time friends and family were there with us. Missed seeing my mother's smiling face, but felt the presence anywhere. Paris next!" - Jim, Facebook





Casino De Paris, France
27th February, 2012
Main Set Part #1: I Travel / 30 Frames A Second / Today I Died Again / Celebrate / Scar / Life In A Day / Hunter And The Hunted / Premonition / Wasteland / Love Song / Pleasantly Disturbed / Room
Main Set Part #2: The American / In Trance As Mission / 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall / Calling Your Name / Changeling / Factory / This Fear Of Gods / Promised You A Miracle / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)
Encore: Theme For Great Cities / Someone / Chelsea Girl / Glittering Prize / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)

Many thanks to Marc for the photograph.

"It was Paris in springtime. (Well, almost.) And all was going even better than we had hoped for inside the charming venue that we had looked forward to playing so much. "

"The sold-out audience seemed intent on having more than a good time and although only 4 songs into the set, I could already tell that the band would be improving yet again on the previous night’s show. I guess that is just a sense you develop among other things through years and years of touring."

"Anyway, it was right then that it happened, it hurt like hell and it still does more than 36 hours later. What was it that happened? Well, rather embarrassingly I am talking about the hamstring muscle that I might have torn in a moment of far too much exuberance, all caused while careering around the stage at the Casino de Paris."

"But y’know maybe it is not all bad news. After all a hamstring injury is something common to professional footballers, and in my still childish dreams I still envisage being one of those at some point. (I know I may be nearly 53 but in my dreams I am still in my early 20’s) But of course, reality is something different and for me that is where the appealing football comparison had to end. Because although the reaction was painfully bringing a little tear to my eye, there would be no glancing over at the substitute bench and asking for someone to replace me in my moment of great need. No chance of that! In fact we still had another two hours to play before I could consider soaking in hot baths or strapping ice cubes to the tender part. Being so I knew that I had a very long night in front of me."

"In the end it was just another unforeseen incident, not one I would have wished for, but touring comes loaded with moments like this. And guess what? You just have to get on with it. Back in ’82 while touring America with New Gold Dream we even continued playing shows the night after I had broken my nose. Not the best vocal sound as you can imagine – but we had no insurance and needed the money so the gigs had to go on. More than that we would have hated cancelling for any reason and in doing so letting people down."

"I also learned something very useful and interesting back then, something I knew would see me through the rest of the set in Paris. Fact is, natural adrenalin is a wonderful painkiller and thankfully there was no lack of adrenalin during the set on Monday night."

"We live and fight another day!" - Jim, www.simpleminds.com





Alcatraz, Milan, Italy
28th February, 2012
Main Set Part #1: I Travel / 30 Frames A Second / Today I Died Again / Celebrate / Scar / Life In A Day / Hunter And The Hunted / Premonition / Wasteland / Love Song / Pleasantly Disturbed / Room
Main Set Part #2: The American / In Trance As Mission / 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall / Calling Your Name / Changeling / Factory / This Fear Of Gods / Promised You A Miracle / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)
Encore: Theme For Great Cities / Someone / Chelsea Girl / Glittering Prize / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)

Many thanks to Francesco for the photographs.

"Blink and it's almost gone. Only two more Euro shows to go - Milan tonight and Zurich tomorrow - before we head back to UK and then Ireland where we will wrap up the 5x5 tour. A lot of people saying positive things re the shows, we appreciate it but credit also to our crew/management who have performed as well as anyone on stage. Simon Hayward has done a lot of behind the scene work on our behalf over the last months, was great to see him in Glasgow." - Jim, Facebook


The Barrowland gig was positively reviewed by The Guardian in anticpation of their Roundhouse appearance later this week. Fishbone Photography were also at the gig and have collected pictures from the gig on their website.


German fans will be interested in 111 Gruende Hamburg Zu Lieben (111 Reasons To Love Hamburg). Co-author Torsten is a fan of the band and so the page entitled You Don't Need A Stadium For A Great Concert Here includes a description of the Lostboy! AKA gig at the Knust.


The X5 Box Set reached number 28 in the UK charts. Not bad at all! (Particularly when it's only six positions lower than Brit-winners currently-high-profile Blur).


"Sheeee's a Rivvvarhh - not played at 5x5 but featured here in full CD glory :


The first gig of the Summer Festival Tour was announced during Someome Somewhere (In Summertime) at the Glasgow Barrowland. Simple Minds will (finally) play the Scottish festival T In The Park on the 7th July.

Note the weird coincidence : David Guetta plays the same day and sampled Someome Somewhere (In Summertime) on his single The World Is Mine.


Mojo have published a six page spread in the April 2012 edition devoted to early Simple Minds. It is not only quantity but quality: journalist Keith Cameron not only talked to Jim and Charlie about the early days, but also spoke to Brian, Derek and Mick. This has lead to one of the most informative, and honest, reappraisals of the seminal Simple Minds with opinions and facts from all the original members.

The icing on the cake is a lengthy side-piece by James Dean Bradfield on the genius of Simple Minds.

It will appear on-line but the original magazine is well-worth tracking down for all the archival photographs.


One of the best interviews surrounding the box-set and tour has just been published in the Quietus. This covers the early years of the band and the recording of the first five albums. Salient points include the ten year stand off with EMI (which lead to the all-too-obvious neglect of the back catalogue) and one of Arista's barmy ideas for rejuvinating the Simple Minds brand by ditching the band and keeping Jim.


Another good interview appeared in yesterday's Guardian.


And another good interview will be on Billy Sloan's show this Sunday. Billy's been a fan of the band since the Johnny And The Self Abusers days so expect a lot of history to be rediscovered during the show. (Billy also wrote most of the 5x5 Tour Brochure and interviewed the three producers).



And another positive X5 review (which they all have been) can be found on Contact Music.


Sentrum Scene, Oslo, Norway
21st February, 2012

"Oslo is done and dusted and with it we say goodbye to 7 gigs in 8 days - travelling all the way from the southern tip of Europe to the very north - all of them memorable too. Tonight I am knackered - but I am happy - and I definitely wont be tired come Thursday and the Cirque Royale in Bruxelles. Thanks to everybody who has come so far." - Jim Kerr


Cirque Royal, Brussels, Belgium
23rd February, 2012
Main Set Part #1: I Travel / 30 Frames A Second / Today I Died Again / Celebrate / Scar / Life In A Day / Hunter And The Hunted / Premonition / Wasteland / Love Song / Pleasantly Disturbed
Main Set Part #2: The American / In Trance As Mission / 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall / Calling Your Name / Changeling / Factory / This Fear Of Gods / Promised You A Miracle / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)
Encore: Theme For Great Cities / Someone / Chelsea Girl / Glittering Prize / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)

Many thanks to JohnnyBGood for the photos.

Admiralpalast, Berlin, Germany
19th February, 2012
Main Set Part #1: I Travel / 30 Frames A Second / Today I Died Again / Life In A Day / Hunter And The Hunted / Premonition / Wasteland / This Fear Of Gods / Love Song / Pleasantly Disturbed / Room
Main Set Part #2: The American / 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall / Sons And Fascination / Calling Your Name / Changeling / Factory / Scar / Promised You A Miracle / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)
Encore: Theme For Great Cities / King Is White And In The Crowd / Someone / Chelsea Girl / Glittering Prize / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)

Many thanks to Matthias for the photos.


Vega, Copenhagen, Denmark
20th February, 2012
Main Set Part #1: I Travel / 30 Frames A Second / Today I Died Again / Life In A Day / Hunter And The Hunted / Premonition / Wasteland / This Fear Of Gods / Love Song / Pleasantly Disturbed / Room
Main Set Part #2: The American / 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall / Sons And Fascination / Calling Your Name / Changeling / Factory / Scar / Promised You A Miracle / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)
Encore: Theme For Great Cities / Celebrate / Someone / Chelsea Girl / Glittering Prize / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)

Admiralpalast, Berlin, Germany
19th February, 2012
Main Set Part #1: I Travel / 30 Frames A Second / Today I Died Again / Life In A Day / Hunter And The Hunted / Premonition / Wasteland / This Fear Of Gods / Love Song / Pleasantly Disturbed / Room
Main Set Part #2: The American / 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall / Sons And Fascination / Calling Your Name / Changeling / Factory / Scar / Promised You A Miracle / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)
Encore: Theme For Great Cities / King Is White And In The Crowd / Someone / Chelsea Girl / Glittering Prize / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)

Razzamatazz, Barcelona, Spain
16th February, 2012
Main Set Part #1: I Travel / 30 Frames A Second / Celebrate / Life In A Day / Hunter And The Hunted / Wasteland / This Fear Of Gods / Love Song / Pleasantly Disturbed / Room
Main Set Part #2: The American / Calling Your Name / Sons And Fascination / 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall / Changeling / Factory / Premonition / Scar / Promised You A Miracle / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)
Encore: Theme For Great Cities / Chelsea Girl / Someone / Glittering Prize / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)


Paradiso, Amsterdam, Netherlands
18th February, 2012
Main Set Part #1: I Travel / 30 Frames A Second / Today I Died Again / Life In A Day / Hunter And The Hunted / Wasteland / This Fear Of Gods / Love Song / Pleasantly Disturbed / Room
Main Set Part #2: The American / 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall / Sons And Fascination / Calling Your Name / Changeling / Factory / Premonition / Scar / Promised You A Miracle / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)
Encore: Theme For Great Cities / Celebrate / Glittering Prize / Someone / Chelsea Girl / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)

Many thanks to Jan Mak and Rob for the photos, and to Otto for the set-list.

X5 is BBC 6 Music's album of the day and they're playing a track from the box-set every hour.


There have been several questions about the tour which I've answered below.



There is no support act. Simple Minds are on stage for two-and-a-half hours with a brief intermission between the two main sets.



There’s a new range of tour merchandise for sale at the gigs. There are 5x5 T-shirts and a "new" retro Empires And Dance T-shirt for sale. (This was based on the original T-shirt which was available at gigs back in 1980).

There's also a 28-page colour tour brochure which features loads of old pictures of Simple Minds from 1979 through to 1983, alongside new interviews with John Leckie, Steve Hillage and Pete Walsh, with a retrospective by Billy Sloan.



The concerts are being recorded for a future release. There won't be any live CDs or USB sticks at the gigs themselves.



Sarah Brown isn't involved with this tour. It's just Jim, Charlie, Mel, Andy and Ged.



And does Charlie pick up the violin for Pleasantly Disturbed?



Many thanks to Nacho for the pictures which were taken at Madrid.

Riviera, Madrid, Spain
15th February, 2012
Main Set Part #1: I Travel / Life In A Day / Today I Died Again / 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall / Hunter And The Hunted / Wasteland / This Fear Of Gods / Love Song / Pleasantly Disturbed / Room
Main Set Part #2: The American / Calling Your Name / Sons And Fascination / Sweat In Bullet / Changeling / Factory / Premonition / Scar / Promised You A Miracle / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)
Encore: Theme For Great Cities / Glittering Prize / Someone / Chelsea Girl / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)

Photographs: David Guerrero - Rockphoto.ES ©2012

Coliseum, Lisbon, Portugal
14th February, 2012
Main Set Part #1: I Travel / Today I Died Again / 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall / Scar / Wasteland / This Fear Of Gods / Love Song / Life In A Day / Pleasantly Disturbed / Room
Main Set Part #2: The American / Celebrate / Sweat In Bullet / Calling Your Name / Changeling / Factory / Premonition / King Is White And In The Crowd / Promised You A Miracle / Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)
Encore: Theme For Great Cities / Glittering Prize / Someone / Chelsea Girl / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)

"I'll let you in on a secret of mine. As much as I love touring, and I really do. And as much as I feel the excitement as every new tour begins. I really rarely enjoy the first nights of any concert tour. Don’t get me wrong please; last night in Lisbon made me a happy guy both afterwards and during the show. However, there is just something about first nights that make it difficult to relax in the way that I feel it takes to put over an inspired set. I guess it is because with everything becoming so new again for the band, the tech crew, the lighting etc. The effect of that causes everyone involved to be thinking just a little too intensely throughout."

"And so what is wrong with that you may be asking? Well, in my opinion music – or in fact anything - always works much better when it is done as though it is flowing of its own accord and seemingly without thought. In our case, that kind of performance usually happens after a few shows, when everyone is that bit more familiar with the new set and although still excited, much more at ease with the challenge."

"And this 5x5 tour is a challenge make no doubt. Not many are out there touring - without playing their mega hits. Not many are out there playing anywhere between 2:15 and 2:30 hours, as we will be during this tour. Likewise, not many find that they are still as passionate now about playing live music as they were when they were kids – but we are, and very much so. Then again and in putting things in perspective, not everyone has had the great level of support and enthusiasm that has been given to Simple Minds at various stages of our career and for this we show our appreciation and thank our lucky stars."

"And so with that, I say thanks to all who gave us good times in Lisbon - but especially those who came to the concert and made us feel so a wee bit special. It was a fine start to a tour, that is for sure."

"Okay, Madrid next!" - Jim, simpleminds.com, 15th February 2012


"Thanks to all for the last few pleasurable days In Lisbon. It was a fine start to the tour and we appreciate all who came to support us and indeed show their love for our "early music" - which as everyone even remotely interested should know by this stage - is what this tour is all about. Bonus for us was the little sightseeing we made yesterday morning - among others it was a thrill to visit the old Stadio Nacional which is a "holy place" to all supporters of Celtic Football Club. Even bigger thrill to get on to the grass and have a kick about! Celtic fans might also like to know that the great Jorge Cadete and his girl came to say hello. The sun was shining and all in all we had a ball in Lisbon!" - Jim, FaceBook, 15th February 2012


A new Simple Minds Shop has opened. It includes CD albums, the DVD, tour merchandise and personalised awards.

The first 100 customers will receive a free 5x5 tour poster (A3 size).

More will be added to the shop so it's always worth keeping an eye on it.

Jim was featured last night's How The Brits Rocked America which was shown on BBC4. He was interviewed a couple of time (at 2:50 and 19:30 minutes into the show) and footage was shown of the band's appearance at Hurrah's in 1979 with a clip of Premonition.

Those in the UK can watch the show on the BBC's iPlayer.


JohnnyBGood has been remixing again:


Just when you thought the Lostboy! discography was complete...

A great "geeky" interview was broadcast yesterday on Dublin's Phantom 105.2 FM. John Caddell quizzed Jim about the forthcoming X5 Box Set and 5X5 Tour.

Great interview and don't worry that you missed it as it's available on podcast. You'll find it on media.phantom.ie/podcasts under the "Finest Worksongs" option.

There's a great exclusive interview with Jim and Charlie in today's The Sun. They're featured in a quater-page advert, the cover of Something For The Weekend and there's a one-and-a-half page spread for the interview itself.

Plus there's a great new photograph of Jim, Charlie and Mel.

This is the start of several high-profile appearances in the print media.

You can also read it on The Sun's website.


Extra tickets have gone on sale for the previously sold out London Roundhouse show on the 2nd of March.

You can book tickets through www.gigsandtours.com

My apologies for the delayed first update of 2012. I’ve been quietly working on some official projects for the band, the fruits of which will be revealed soon.

2012 will be a packed year for Simple Minds. Whist this doesn’t include the new album (which will appear in 2013), it does include touring and lots of exciting new releases. It all commences with the 5X5 Tour and the X5 Box Set.


The X5 Box Set release had been put back to the 20th February 2012 (for exceptionally good reasons). Collectors have their work cut out for them as seven different CD promos are already starting to circulate.

Virgin have done a great job with the promos as the CDs are housed in full colour sleeves. There's an exclusive Box-Set Sampler and then one promo for each album in the box-set.


Rehearsals have kicked off for the forthcoming 5X5 tour in London. An exclusive photo of band preparing for the tour has been posted to the band's official Facebook page. (It only shows Andy, Ged and Mel; Jim and Charlie are there but have also been doing various interviews for the media, which will start appearing soon).


A new, offical Simple Minds YouTube Channel has now launched. This includes a sampler of material from the X5 Box Set, most of the band's official videos and a selection of material from Verona.


Italian music website rockol.it recently interviewed Jim about the tour. Their picture editor needs a word though - the piece is illustrated with a shot of Simple Minds at Rockpalast in 1997.


Sky Sports have been promoting the upcoming England cricket session with the instrumental version of This Earth That You Walk Upon.


The Queen forgot to include me in the New Years Honours (again); but for those who like to keep their album credits up-to-date, then you'll have to pull out your copies of Sparkle In The Rain and append "CBE" to Mr Lillywhite’s name – honoured for his services to the music industry.

A service which includes such greats as U2, Gabriel, The Stones, Morissey, Siouxsie and Simple Minds; yet the Telegraph's picture editor could only find a stock photo of him with Toyah. It's a mystery.


And, finally, a correction. Phil Bodger remixed Jeweller To The Stars for a proposed single - not Gary Wilkinson. This has been corrected.

(And Phil even notes the unreleased mix on his site).


Updates to the press releases include:

Updates to the discography include:

archives: news 1995 | news 1996 | news 1997 | news 1998 | news 1999 | news 2000 | news 2001 | news 2002 | news 2003 | news 2004 |
news 2005 | news 2006 | news 2007 | news 2008 | news 2009 | news 2010 | news 2011 | news 2012 | news 2013 | news 2014
summary: timeline