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Jim and Charlie saw the year out in style with the European Proms. There are no surprises as the orchestral versions of these classic songs have all featured before.

Night Of The Proms, D'Coque Arena, Luxembourg
24th November, 2016
Main Set: Waterfront / Belfast Child / Sanctify Yourself / Don't You (Forget About Me)

It was the same set-list every night.

Updates to the discography:

Sanctify Yourself will be released at the end of December as the next single from the Acoustic album. Promos are already circulating which feature the album, edit and instrumental versions of the song.

Simple Minds will perform their acclaimed Acoustic show across the Europe and the UK in 2017. They will be joined by very special guests KT Tunstall on the European dates and by The Anchoress (Catherine AD) on the UK dates.

The whole band appeared on the Strictly Come Dancing results show where they performed the acoustic version of Don't You (Forget About Me) to a enthusiastic audience in the Blacpool Tower.

It was a major coup, the show being one of the BBC's most popular programmes. Even the judges were shown to be dancing and clapping along to the song's coda and La, la, la sing-a-long. "All stunned - by the beauty of the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool - where Simple Minds will perform with the full acoustic [line-up] on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing : The Results on BBC1 at 7.15pm tonight 20th November. (I wish my mother was around to see us on her favourite TV show!) It's located inside the iconic Blackpool Tower, itself an institution. The magical ballroom with its spectacular architecture and unique sprung floor is world-famous and understandably so. But when it comes to sprung floors in dancehalls... is there anywhere to beat the sprung floor of Glasgow's own Barrowland Ballroom - where Simple Minds have experienced some of our greatest ever nights? To this day Barrowlands still remains one of our all time favourite venues, even if the beauty of the Tower Ballroom is fantastically unique." - Jim, November 20th 2016

The Acoustic album reached #16 in the UK charts.

The limited edition double-vinyl and signed CD packages are destined to become the notable formats of this release. And collectors will be kept busy tracking down the various promotional formats of the album which have started appearing, along with a couple of promos of the Promised You A Miracle single.

As a warm up before the Hackney Show, Jim and Charlie appeared on the Ken Bruce Show on BBC Radio Two where they performed Alive And Kicking and Promised You A Miracle. Special guest K T Tunstall joined the duo for the last song. It was recorded at the Hackney Empire where it served as a soundcheck for the evening's performance.

Hackney Empire, London, UK
10th November, 2016
Main Set #1: New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) / See The Lights / Glittering Prize / Stand By Love / Waterfront / Andy Warhol / Chelsea Girl / Someone Somewhere In Summertime / Dancing Barefoot / Speed Your Love To Me / Promised You A Miracle / Don't You (Forget About Me) / Sanctify Yourself
Encore: Long Black Train / Alive And Kicking / Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)

Many thanks to Martin for all the scans.

This was an acoustic show, intended to kick off the release of the Acoustic LP.

It was broadcast by BBC Radio Two's In Concert. Jo Whiley introduced the song and also wrapped up proceedings.

Steve Harley joined the band for the final song, a rousing finale of his Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me).

Simple Minds won this years Radio Forth Award for Best Live Performance. The event was held at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh on the 16th November where Jim, Charlie, Gordy and Sarah performed two acoustic songs.

Everywhere we looked - everybody just seemed to be having a great time. I am talking about our experience over the last couple of days in Edinburgh, firstly at the Forth Awards in the fabulous Usher Hall, then followed by last night's Scottish Business Awards. Both Charlie and I were of course humbled to be recognised for our work, but it was also great fun to spend time, relax, and be among so many who helped "make us". And it has to be said - in the event that anyone does not already know - what a great and beautiful city Edinburgh is." - Jim, 18th November 2016.


On 11th November 2016 Simple Minds release SIMPLE MINDS ACOUSTIC via Caroline International. This follows several years in which the band has gone from strength-to-strength, becoming more relevant than ever; the 2014 album BIG MUSIC received across the board praise:

MOJO Magainze:
"their best album in 30 years."

"Will keep Simple Minds' well-deserved revival rolling on."
Record Collector – 4 Stars

"It's fascinating to hear their biggest hits in such a raw & intimate form."
Vive Le Rock – 7/10M

"An earnest, refined take on many of their classics."
Classic Pop – 3 Stars

SIMPLE MINDS ACOUSTIC continues the band's artistic quest with a one-off album release of stripped down and re-imagined songs spanning their eclectic and illustrious career. On the lead single Promised You A Miracle, the band are joined by fellow Scot KT Tunstall, whose distinctive vocals, acoustic strumming and rolling bass groove transform a piece of music that was the band’s first 'pure pop song' when it arrived in 1982.

On SIMPLE MINDS ACOUSTIC the band have found a way of doing the acoustic thing without losing their essence, and a dozen Simple Minds songs loved by millions now sound more organic and even more likely to leave a lasting imprint. The synths are no more – but the Celtic soul remains.

A limited number of copies pre-ordered of this CD were signed by Jim and Charlie.

CD & Digital Album Tracklist:
01 The American
02 Promised You A Miracle
03 Glittering Prize
04 See The Lights
05 New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
06 Someone Somewhere In Summertime
07 Waterfront
08 Sanctify Yourself
09 Chelsea Girl
10 Alive And Kicking
11 Don't You (Forget About Me)
12 Long Black Train
Released Nov 11th 2016: 0602557157215 Heavyweight Vinyl with Exclusive Extra Tracks

01 The American
02 Promised You A Miracle
03 Glittering Prize
04 See The Lights
05 New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
06 Someone Somewhere In Summertime
07 Waterfront
08 Sanctify Yourself
09 Chelsea Girl
10 Alive And Kicking
11 Don't You (Forget About Me)
12 Long Black Train
13 Stand By Love
14 Speed Your Love To Me
15 Light Travels
Released Nov 25th 2016: 2LP 00602557157277 The vinyl release comes with an access code to download all 15 tracks!

The fact that the album sessions entailed a sentimental return to their Glasgow roots for Jim and guitarist Charlie Burchill helped, with some songs recorded in Gorbals Studio, a former railway workers' social club located a stone's throw from the high-rise estates of the city's South Side where the pair took their first musical steps. It was in this building that Jim and Charlie played their first gig, as teenagers in a school glam-rock band, and emotions were understandably high on their return.

The genesis of Simple Minds Acoustic can be traced back to a rare live session the band recorded for the Chris Evans Breakfast Show in September 2014, promoting their 16th studio album, BIG MUSIC. The reaction, to the band's surprise, was overwhelmingly favourable.

With this in mind, the band began 2016 by putting together an acoustic set for the Zermatt Unplugged Festival in the Swiss Alps. Having spent weeks working on meticulously layered acoustic arrangements of their best-loved songs for that 90-minute performance, they began hatching plans to record them. With Jim and Charlie augmented by regular bassist Ged Grimes, backing vocalist Sarah Brown, acoustic guitarist Gordy Goudie and percussionist Cherisse Osei, they temporarily halted the recording of the forthcoming sequel to BIG MUSIC – an album that is 'anything but acoustic' – and gave their complete commitment to an all-encompassing acoustic project. The recorded versions stick to many of the ideas forged for that Swiss show, with the synthetic sounds of old replaced with warmer effects.

With so much music to choose from, picking a running order wasn't easy. But there were some numbers that had to feature. A quartet of songs from 1982's New Gold Dream album, all still performed live, were among them. For Promised You A Miracle, the band are joined by fellow Scot KT Tunstall, whose distinctive vocals, acoustic strumming and rolling bass groove transform a piece of music that was the band's first ‘pure pop song’ when it arrived in 1982. With regular backing singer Sarah Brown soulfully to the fore, there is also a powerful feminine presence on Glittering Prize, another New Gold Dream song. The two remaining New Gold Dream tracks, Someone Somewhere In Summertime and the title track, add deeper, darker textures while retaining the panoramic ambience of old.

SIMPLE MINDS ACOUSTIC goes back further, too, with Charlie adding Spanish guitar to Chelsea Girl (from 1979 debut album Life In A Day). He also supplies acoustic lines with the feel of Led Zeppelin III on The American, the swaggering song that was the band's first single for Virgin in 1981. There are later highlights, too, with 1984's Waterfront joined by two songs from 1985's Once Upon A TimeAlive And Kicking and a soulful take on Sanctify Yourself. From the following decade, 1991's See The Lights shows just what can be done when an acoustic guitar is treated with special effects.

The album concludes with Don't You (Forget About Me), the enduring Breakfast Club closing song that gave Simple Minds a number one single in America, plus a yearning cover of Richard Hawley's Long Black Train. Jim Kerr discovered the wonderfully moving lament, from the Sheffield singer-songwriter’s 2001 album Late Night Final, when it cropped up on an Alan Yentob BBC documentary about Man Booker Prize winner Richard Flanagan, whose brutal novel The Narrow Road To The Deep North chronicled the experiences of Allied POWs working on the Thailand-Burma Railway in WWII.

As a group who formed in the punk era and found their mojo through a shared love of Bowie, Kraftwerk and electronic dance, Simple Minds are not natural acoustic adventurers, but they have done a remarkable job here, adding fresh nuance to brilliant songs without trampling on sacred memories.

"Our songs mean a lot to people, so we had to be careful," says Jim. "It wasn’t a case of just knocking up some acoustic riffs. We had to show respect to the songs and retain everything that made them good in the first place, and we wanted to create a Simple Minds party album, not a traditional, introspective acoustic album – more something that people will play during goods times. This experience has reinvigorate and excited us about the potential of new songs, which we’ll begin recording soon."

Simple Minds will be touring Australia and New Zealand in February along with The B52s.

"It's been said Simple Minds has a love affair with Australia and I think that's true. It was the first country anywhere in the world to give us success and from our very first tours, we’ve always had a wonderful bond with Australian and New Zealand audiences. We have so many fantastic memories and can’t wait to be playing in both countries again." - Jim, August 2016

The website Simple Minds Gatherers has been around for over a year now, and features a pictorial reference of the band's discography and collectables. Run by Wolfgang and Andreas, it is definitely worth a look.

Updates to the discography:

Mel Gaynor Goes Solo... In Kilt

Mel Gaynor, known as the best drummer in the world and part of the band Simple Minds, is about to kick off his solo career as a singer. During the past years Mel wrote his own songs which you can stipulate between pop and rock music, he has a warm soulful voice and his songs have a large range.

The first release is a Robert Palmer song, "Addicted To Love (with Robert on it) and it was chosen as first release as a tribute to one of his best friends who past away years ago. Next releases will be Mel's own songs.

The showcase to announce Mel’s solo career will find place on Monday, 12th of September at the Hard Rock Café in London at 8:30pm.

For interviews please contact AMA Management : +32 (0)475 87 12 39 or via mail :

Also cool to know, Mel will be performing from now on in a kilt powered by Kilt4U.

AMA Management
9th September 2016

Derek Forbes' new album Echos is now available as a CD. Housed in a digipak, it features the eleven tracks previously available as a download.

"At last the CDs are in my hands and anyone who wants one can get it at or download it from the usual outlets. Thanks everyone who has purchased my album. If this keeps up, I may make another one" - Derek

As part of the promotional push for the album, Bruce Findlay has his take on the early days of Simple Minds and the importance of Derek and Brian in the early lineup:

Derek is also embarking on a US Tour. Dates and venues are given below:

Ruth Rowland may not be immediately familiar with fans but you will know her work. As an artist, she was involved with Peacock Design and Stuart Crouch Creative who've been designing Simple Mind's sleeves since the first Greatest Hits + compilation.

Ruth's speciality is adding the calligraphic elements to the designs and she recently blogged about her work with Simple Minds. If you also browse through her portfolio you'll find many other Simple Minds designs including (Get A) Grip (On Yourself).

The Johnson Somerset Remix EP is now available from iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. So better quality versions are now available and collectors don't have to seek out the extremely rare promo version.

A second acoustic concert at Zermatt Unplugged 2016 has now been announced.

Empires That Dance returned on the 16th July with their third single Boys From Brazil. The band membership has also swelled with Brian McGee and Gordy Goudie appearing on drums and bass respectively.

"Empires That Dance" is a studio project comprised of Andy Inniss, George Porter, Gordy Goudie, Martin Poschinger, Johnny B Good and Gordon Machray."

"We filmed the video during the Easter weekend at Sportsmedia Studios, Livingston, Scotland. We were the first people to use these new studios and as soon as we finished "Churchill" was filmed there and I believe they are also filming "Train Spotting 2" there now. Gordy Goudie (bass), Brian McGee (drums), George Porter (vocals) and Andy Inniss (keyboards) are in our video available on our YouTube page and Facebook page. Getting everyone together was logistically very difficult as we had to travel from England, Germany, Netherlands and of course Scotland."

"The video was directed by Martin Poschinger of Sweet Invader Movies with behind the scenes work by John Provyn (AKA Johnny B Good). Gordon Machray was also invaluable to the production." Michael Baggers Lees also appears in our video as our taxi driver."

"Our new EP features a main mix as well remixes by Johnny B Good and Michael Baggers Lees. In addition our own composition called "Stargazing" has also been included. "Stargazing" was played on a loop through the studio speakers between takes for "Boys From Brazil" so for us it is very special."

"Some very limited T-shirts are also available to anyone who visits our Facebook page and comments on our competition thread."

"The Boys From Brazil" is available from all major download sites and streaming services."

Andy Inniss

After appearing at two Proms dates in the Spring, Jim and Charlie are returning to the Proms this Winter. They'll be playing a longer series of seventeen dates, so it's hoped that other songs will be selected for the full orchestral backing this time.

"Eleven tracks from my time with Simple Minds...The band I never left!"

"This is a Watershed for me, a chance to show what I can do, and a gift to you, the fans, for staying with Simple Minds through all the changes, and giving me your support...I really appreciate it."

"On this album, I play and sing everything. There are no other musicians. It is a true 'solo' effort. drums, Keyboards, guitars, mandolin, banjo, theremin, tablas, stylophone, kitchen sink... all played by me. If there is a demand to tour this album, then I would be delighted to do so, all I ask, is that you spread the word, far and wide, to let fans know, that the album is out there." - Derek Forbes

Derek Forbes has recorded an album of early Simple Minds classics. His reworkings are:

Thirty Frames A Second
This Fear Of Gods
Today I Died Again
League Of Nations
The American
King Is White And In The Crowd
New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Pleasantly Disturbed
Film Theme

Full details about digitally purchasing the album can be found at There are also videos, a song diary (which gives background details about all the songs), a gallery and more. If there's suitable demand, then Derek also mentioned that he'd look into producing a physical copy of the album as well.

Congratuations to Jim, Charlie and Mick who won the Outstanding Song Collection at the 61st Ivor Novello Awards.

"We had a great day yesterday and of course we were chuffed with the award. As with any award that Simple Minds win, we fully recognise all who have played a part. Including everyone who has played live – and everyone who has worked in the studio with us. That adds up to dozens of people, and if we had our way, they would all be present when these statues are handed out."

"But why stop at that? What about all who have helped us immeasurably behind the scenes? Invested time, energy, belief, etc – as they guided as throughout our career, and continue to do so. And what about our road crews over the last almost 40 years? Hundreds of individuals putting their families on hold, as they tour(ed) the world, spending the longest days setting up the show so that we can give our best night after night. Do they not deserve to be up there with us also? Of course they do!"

"And finally, our story would not have happened, and would not be happening still if it was not for the millions who have encouraged us by listening to the music. To encourage is to contribute massively – it gives us the oxygen to do what we do, and continue still into the future. In summary, anyone who has ever cared about Simple Minds deserved to be up on the stage with us yesterday. In my mind you were. So let's celebrate a little." - Jim

The band were also briefly interviewed at the awards (although the background noise makes it difficult to hear what's being said):

Q: What are you doing at the moment?
CB: We're half-way through a new studio record. And we've got another project – but it's early days for that one yet. But there's a couple of projects.

Q: Any idea when it's going to be released?
JK: Not quite yet. It's sounding good already.

Q: What would you say is the key to your longevity as a band?
JK: This is what we wanted to do with our lives. There was never any plan but certainly we wanted to have a life in music and playing and performing. And in our own way, we all still do.

Q: And what does it mean to win?
MM: We won!
[All laugh]
JK: [Pointing to Mick] He said earlier it wasn't before time.
[All laugh]
MM: We're really, really chuffed. It's great to be recognised for our songwriting.

Other interviews include MusicNewsWeb (during which Mick said his favourite song was Belfast Child) and PRSForMusic:

Q: What do the Ivors mean for you?
JK: A great day out. This is the first time for us. Everyone who has been to these awards previously said this is the best one to go to – it's always good fun. So we've been looking forward to it for a long time.

Q: What keeps you writing new music?
JK: It's what we've done all our lives. It just continues. Yesterday we were in the studio. Charlie, and Mick I guess, still play every day – always thinking about new songs. And it's part of your personality I think.

Q: How has the songwriting process changed since the start of your careers?
JK: Writing songs still hasn't really changed – you're still looking for a chorus, you're still looking for a verse, you're still looking for hooks. It's funny: the whole industry's changed but essentially the things we do – trying to write songs and playing them live – it's still the same as from day one.

Q: What's next for you?
CB: We're working on a studio album at the moment. It's early days but it's shaping up great. We've got a few other things but they're very early stages. So it's a work in progress. It's a quiet year touring wise for us – we were busy over the last five years so it's more concentrating on writing and studio work.

Q: Who have been your biggest songwriting inspirations?
MM: Well as I've said earlier, I think John Lennon was a great song writer of our generation but currently there's so many doing different stuff just now. Ed Sheeran is really, really good. I like people who keep it simple and keep it really, really basic. They do it for me every time.

Q: Is there anyone you would rather collaborate with?
CB: We did a song with Lou Reed one time which was probably as good as you're going to get. He was a big influence in terms of songwriting.
JK: We all sang with David Bowie. That was quite something. And Peter Gabriel as well – to all of us he was a big hero and we got to tour with him. So we've been really lucky.

Q: Do you still keep up with the Glasgow Music scene?
CB: We were just talking about Chvrches – you know the band – we've done a couple of songs of theirs actually. We've collaborated with Iain Cook who's one of the three – they're really great and we love their sound. It's great that they're from our neck of the woods.

Q: How important is it to get politics across in your music?
JK: It's just who we were at the time and what the world was at the time. It was our interest. And possibly some of the people who influenced us: Peter Gabriel and writers like that. They had a big scope to their writing and they could involve these subjects. But they were the subjects of the day. I think, at the time, anything Margaret Thatcher said, we would've written a song against. A whole generation was like that. But it felt right. And it wasn't just the songwriters, everyone was getting up in arms at the time. It was amazing for the guys to come up with a tune – because it was an easier thing to say than do, to take these weighty subjects and cram them into three minutes for it not to be clichéd or whatever. But they came up with a great piece of emotional music.

And it was not without some controversy as the NME later eported (see The Happy Mondays).


'NEW GOLD DREAM (81,82,83,84)'


On 29th July 2016 Universal Music release a six-disc box set of what is considered by many to be Simple Minds' finest album, New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84). It will be the first time the entire back catalogue of this era has been collected together.

"My loyalty towards Simple Minds is known to be considerable, yet even I am jarred by the constant beauty of this music. New Gold Dream robs me of my breath." – Paul Morley, NME 1982

Originally released in September 1982, New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) was Simple Minds' fifth studio album and their crossover – the one that took them from revered cult status to a chart band with pop singles, launching their career worldwide. Featuring the number 13 and number 16 singles Promised You A Miracle and Glittering Prize, it turned the band into a major force in pop music, reaching number 3 in the UK Albums Chart and spending a full year there.

New Gold Dream opened doors and forcibly broke down barriers for Simple Minds. Until then, the band – formed in Glasgow in 1977 – had enjoyed considerable success and hard earned critical acclaim. A solid work ethic had produced four impressive albums in a frenetic three-year period. But despite the success of Life In A Day, Real To Real Cacophony in 1979 plus Empires And Dance in 1980 for Arista – followed by Sons And Fascination/Sister Feelings Call in 1981 for Virgin – the best was yet to come. In October, 1981, the band made their first visit to Australia, on the Sons And Fascination tour. The trip had a huge influence on the songs written for New Gold Dream.

Recorded over a five month period at Rockfield Studios, The Townhouse and The Manor – with pre-production taking place at The Old Mill, a pig farm in Fife – in January '82 the band actually laid down musical sketches for what would evolve into King Is White And In The Crowd, Hunter And The Hunted and Promised You A Miracle during a short tour rehearsal. The latter song would prove pivotal in terms of the direction they took next.

The band unveiled Promised You A Miracle during a Kid Jensen session on Radio 1 (included in this box set). Confidence in the song was such they were encouraged to record it as a single. The band hastily booked The Townhouse studio in London and Pete Walsh was recruited as producer on the recommendation of guitarist Charlie Burchill, who'd been impressed by his work on the remix of previous single, Sweat In Bullet.

Released in April 1982, Promised You A Miracle garnered heavy daytime radio play, a first for the band. In the preceding months, frontman Jim Kerr had taken encouragement when contemporaries such as U2, Echo And The Bunnymen, The Associates, The Teardrop Explodes and ABC had breached the UK singles chart. When it entered the Top 30, the band flew to London to pre-record a performance of the single for transmission on Top Of The Pops on BBC1 (included on the DVD component of this release – the first time it's been commercially available). Their debut appearance boosted the single which climbed to number 13 in the charts. The elation of their first hit single was short lived as the band buckled down to the real task in hand – the meticulous pre-production for New Gold Dream.

In May '82, the band arrived at The Townhouse to begin recording. Reputations were on the line – for both musicians and producer Pete Walsh, who only had one production credit to his name at this stage, Heaven 17's impressive debut album, Penthouse And Pavement. But the sheer momentum of a hit single provided an additional adrenalin rush and boost of confidence. The band's creative surge resulted in a plethora of ideas, which resulted in a problem for Walsh. As the backing tracks were laid down it also quickly became evident that drummer Mike Ogletree's playing was not hitting the mark. It forced Walsh to make a snap decision – one which would have unforeseen long-term benefits. He called in Mel Gaynor, a session drummer who had played with top Brit-funk acts Beggar And Co., Central Line and Light Of The World. Early the following year, following Ogletree's departure, Gaynor was quickly recruited, later becoming a full-time member.

The sessions gathered real momentum as Burchill, keyboardist Mick MacNeil and bassist Derek Forbes overflowed with riffs and song ideas. Walsh found himself with such an abundance of new material, the collective skill – from both band and producer – was how best to capitalise on such a creative rush.

Kerr absorbed the music being made at The Townhouse and his keen eye for detail would prove crucial. By his own admission, his songwriting methods are unorthodox. Even so, his drive and passion instilled a confidence in the band and, with their time in The Townhouse completed, they moved on to The Manor in Oxfordshire. Kerr's lyric book was overflowing and he nailed all of his vocals with a relative ease. He was also conscious of a development in his singing style. The timbre of his voice on tracks such as Someone Somewhere In Summertime or Glittering Prize is markedly different from the darker tones of King Is White And In The Crowd or Big Sleep. The varied textures of the material was leading him down a more fertile path and the task of matching the mood of the music proved a real challenge.

With mixing underway at The Townhouse and Utopia Studio in London, attention turned to the record sleeve design. Malcolm Garrett – who'd caught the eye with his work on The Correct Use Of Soap by Magazine – and had worked with the band on The American, Love Song and Sweat In Bullet single sleeves and the striking artwork for Sons And Fascination / Sister Feelings Call, was recruited to design the New Gold Dream sleeve. It was his job to conceptualise the optimism of the music. But few could have anticipated his quasi-religious design of a purple cross, with a book of scripture inside a flaming heart. When he delivered the finished artwork the band were stunned.

In August ‘82, Glittering Prize was released and reached No. 16 in the UK charts. A month later, New Gold Dream was finally unveiled to an eager press and public. The response from both was overwhelming. Smash Hits' writer Mark Ellen – now a successful broadcaster – said: "Personally, I have never cared for Jim Kerr's compositions up until now. But Promised You A Miracle and the other songs are something different. The single is a classic, in fact." While Mark Cooper – now head of music at BBC 4 – wrote in Record Mirror: "They have stunned and impressed me but they have rarely moved me. Suddenly, in New Gold Dream, they've conquered their fear of feeling and come out shining." But the most glowing review of all came from Paul Morley in New Musical Express. He said: "My loyalty towards Simple Minds is known to be considerable, yet even I am jarred by the constant beauty of this music. New Gold Dream robs me of my breath." The band couldn't wait to showcase New Gold Dream and hit the road again for the UK leg of a world tour.

In November, a second and final single – Someone Somewhere In Summertime – was released and reached No. 36. At the turn of the year, the New Gold Dream tour took the band back to Australia and on to New Zealand, Canada, a return to the UK and Ireland, Europe and the US before climaxing in Dublin on August 14. The combined momentum of continual radio play and live gigs helped keep the album in the UK charts for a full year.

Based on Billy Sloan's extensive sleeve notes...

New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) is the sound of a band fully realising the sophisticated, accessible pop sound they were striving for, whilst continuing their quest for experimentation. Whereas previous albums had explored the dark undercurrent of a more monochrome European culture, New Gold Dream is an expansive, cinematic affair, with a generally lighter, more melodic sound, bursting with warmth and colour. Simple Minds' ability to tap into internal emotion is profound on tracks such as Someone, Somewhere In Summertime and the album's title track. The haunted nature of Hunter And The Hunted was led gravitas by guest, the truly legendary US jazz pianist Herbie Hancock, renowned for his work with the Miles Davis' Second Great Quintet, his own hugely influential jazz albums and the Grammy award-winning single ‘Rockit', hailed as the first jazz-hip hop song.

The album's timeless, enduring appeal – including its chronological listing at No.489 in the best selling music reference book, "1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die" – makes it a masterpiece for each new generation to discover.

The New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) super deluxe box consists of six discs. DISC ONE is a re-master of the original album – re-mastered at Abbey Road Studios by Andrew Walter and approved by Charlie Burchill. DISC TWO features extended versions – 12" remixes and instrumentals of the album's singles, some of which are being made available on CD for the first time. DISC THREE features 7" single edits and B-Sides. DISC FOUR features previously unreleased BBC John Peel and Kid Jensen radio sessions, recorded in February, May and August 1982, encompassing songs from New Gold Dream, as well as Love Song and Sons And Fascination. DISC FIVE is made up of alternative mixes and demos. Finally, the box set is completed with a DVD, featuring a 5:1 Mix of the album by Charlie Burchill and Ronald Prent – which received a limited edition 2005 release and is now a rare collectors' item – as well as promo videos and, being made available commercially for the first time, Top Of The Pops performances of Promised You A Miracle and Glittering Prize.

It also includes a 36-page booklet with extensive sleeve notes by journalist and broadcaster, Billy Sloan including new interviews with Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill, as well as extensive rare photos of the band.

The New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) re-master will also be available on digital download, standard CD, a 2CD version (which features an abridged version of the box set's sleeve notes), Blu-ray and LP.


CD 1:
01. Someone Somewhere In Summertime
02. Colours Fly And Catherine Wheel
03. Promised You A Miracle
04. Big Sleep
05. Somebody Up There Likes You
06. New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
07. Glittering Prize
08. Hunter And The Hunted
09. King Is White And In The Crowd

CD 2:
01. Promised You A Miracle [Extended] 12" Single A1
02. Seeing Out The Angel [Instrumental Remix] 12" Single B1
03. Promised You A Miracle [US Remix] 12" Single A1
04. Promised You A Miracle [US Dub] 12" Single B1 FIRST TIME ON CD
05. Promised You A Miracle [US Special Extended Remix] 12" Promo Single A1 FIRST TIME ON CD
06. Glittering Prize [Club Mix] 12" Single A1
07. Glittering Prize [Extended Theme] 12" Single B2
08. Someone Somewhere In Summertime [Extended] 12" Single A1
09. New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) [German 12" Mix] 12" Single A1
10. King Is White And In The Crowd [Instrumental] (Unedited and restored mix originally released with Touch Tape Magazine) FIRST TIME ON CD
11. New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) [German 12" Remix with drums] Outtake
12. In Every Heaven Outtake

CD 3:
01. Promised You A Miracle [Edit] 7" Single A1
02. Theme For Great Cities Single B1
03. Glittering Prize [Edit] 7" Single A1
04. Glittering Prize [Theme] 7" Single B1 FIRST TIME ON CD
05. Someone Somewhere In Summertime 7" Promo Single A1 FIRST TIME ON CD
06. Soundtrack For Every Heaven 12" Single B1
07. New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) [7" Mix] 7" Single A1

CD 4:
Kid Jensen Session. Recorded 11th February 1982
01. Promised You A Miracle [BBC Session]
02. In Trance As Mission [BBC Session]
03. King Is White And In The Crowd [BBC Session]
John Peel Session. Recorded May 1982
03. Promised You A Miracle [BBC Session] FIRST TIME ON CD
04. Love Song [BBC Session] FIRST TIME ON CD
05. Sons And Fascination [BBC Session] FIRST TIME ON CD
06. King Is White And In The Crowd [BBC Session] FIRST TIME ON CD
Kid Jensen Session. Recorded 13th August 1982
07. Someone Somewhere In Summertime [BBC Session]
08. Glittering Prize [BBC Session]
09. Hunter And The Hunted [BBC Session]

CD 5:
01. Someone Somewhere In Summertime [Full Duration] PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
02. Colours Fly And Catherine Wheel [Full Duration Instrumental] PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
03. Promised You A Miracle [Remix For Album: Long] PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
04. Big Sleep [Instrumental] PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
05. In Every Heaven [Full Duration] PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
06. Somebody Up There Likes You [Full Duration Instrumental] PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
07. New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) [Full Duration] PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
08. Hunter And The Hunted [Alternative Take] PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
09. King Is White And In The Crowd [Monitor Mix] PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
10. In Every Heaven [Early Version] PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED

01. Someone Somewhere In Summertime [5.1 Surround Mix]
02. Colours Fly And Catherine Wheel [5.1 Surround Mix]
03. Promised You A Miracle [5.1 Surround Mix]
04. Big Sleep [5.1 Surround Mix]
05. Somebody Up There Likes You [5.1 Surround Mix]
06. New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) [5.1 Surround Mix]
07. Glittering Prize [5.1 Surround Mix]
08. Hunter And The Hunted [5.1 Surround Mix]
09. King Is White And In The Crowd [5.1 Surround Mix]
10. In Every Heaven New Gold Dream – [5.1 Surround Mix]
11. Promised You A Miracle [Promo Video]
12. Glittering Prize [Promo Video]
13. Promised You A Miracle [Top Of The Pops Video] FIRST TIME COMMERCIALLY RELEASED
14. Glittering Prize [Top Of The Pops Video] FIRST TIME COMMERCIALLY RELEASED


CD 1:
01. Someone Somewhere In Summertime
02. Colours Fly And Catherine Wheel
03. Promised You A Miracle
04. Big Sleep
05. Somebody Up There Likes You
06. New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
07. Glittering Prize
08. Hunter And The Hunted
09. King Is White And In The Crowd

CD 2:
01. Promised You A Miracle [Extended] 12" Single A1
02. Seeing Out The Angel [Instrumental Remix] 12" Single B1
03. Promised You A Miracle [US Remix] 12" Single A1
04. Promised You A Miracle [US Dub] 12" Single B1 FIRST TIME ON CD
05. Promised You A Miracle [US Special Extended Remix] 12" Promo Single A1 FIRST TIME ON CD
06. Glittering Prize [Club Mix] 12" Single A1
07. Glittering Prize [Extended Theme] 12" Single B2
08. Someone Somewhere In Summertime [Extended] 12" Single A1
09. New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) [German 12" Mix] 12" Single A1
10. King Is White And In The Crowd [Instrumental] (Unedited and restored mix originally released with Touch Tape Magazine) FIRST TIME ON CD
11. New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) [German 12" Remix with drums] Outtake
12. In Every Heaven Outtake


01. Someone Somewhere In Summertime
02. Colours Fly And Catherine Wheel
03. Promised You A Miracle
04. Big Sleep
05. Somebody Up There Likes You
06. New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
07. Glittering Prize
08. Hunter And The Hunted
09. King Is White And In The Crowd


01. Someone Somewhere In Summertime [5.1 Surround Mix]
02. Colours Fly And Catherine Wheel [5.1 Surround Mix]
03. Promised You A Miracle [5.1 Surround Mix]
04. Big Sleep [5.1 Surround Mix]
05. Somebody Up There Likes You [5.1 Surround Mix]
06. New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) [5.1 Surround Mix]
07. Glittering Prize [5.1 Surround Mix]
08. Hunter And The Hunted [5.1 Surround Mix]
09. King Is White And In The Crowd [5.1 Surround Mix]
10. In Every Heaven New Gold Dream – [5.1 Surround Mix]


A1. Someone Somewhere In Summertime
A2. Colours Fly And Catherine Wheel
A3. Promised You A Miracle
A4. Big Sleep
A5. Somebody Up There Likes You
B1. New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
B2. Glittering Prize
B3. Hunter And The Hunted
B4. King Is White And In The Crowd


A1. Someone Somewhere In Summertime
A2. Colours Fly And Catherine Wheel
A3. Promised You A Miracle
A4. Big Sleep
A5. Somebody Up There Likes You
B1. New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
B2. Glittering Prize
B3. Hunter And The Hunted
B4. King Is White And In The Crowd

"For me Johnson Somerset's recently released remix of Midnight Walking is among the best ever Simple Minds remixes. Last time I was that impressed was Steve Lillywhite's extended mixes from some of the Sparkle In The Rain tunes." - Jim, 23rd April 2016

Johnson Somerset's name was well known within Simple Minds circles as he'd produced one of the best remixes of the Neapolis era, namely his reworking of the War Babies for the second single. (He also worked on Space for the doomed single from Our Secrets Are The Same.)

Therfeore his name was instantly recognised when his remix of Midnight Walking appeared as a download in April 2015. And there was a ripple of excitment through the fan community when his remix of Blindfolded appeared on his YouTube channel the next month.

When asked about the remixes, he revealed that he'd reworked four tracks from Big Music and that they were being considered for a limited edition 12" release on Record Store Day 2016. However, Live Big Music Tour 2015 appeared for that Record Store Day instead.

Johnson's remixes were promoted by the official site throughout April and May 2016. Each was presented as a "remix video" on every Thursday: Blindfolded appeared on the 14th April; Honest Town on the 21st April; Midnight Walking on the 28th April; and Big Music on the 5th May.

Each "remix video" was based on the original video for the song, slowed and/or looped so it covered the extended length of the track.

Promotional CDs of the four tracks appeared in late April 2016. These featured the four remixes pressed up on CD and housed in a brown graphic slip sleeve.

Jim Kerr of Simple Minds to host show on KX 93.5

Jim Kerr of multiplatinum band Simple Minds will host his own radio show starting April 30th, exclusively on KX 93.5 in Laguna Beach, Calif.

Kerr has been interviewed several times on the non-commercial station and has affinity for independent radio, so he wanted to bring his show idea that he’s been tossing around for a few years to KX 93.5, he said.

“I really owed it to [KX 93.5] first,” said Kerr. “I’m a kid from housing estate in Glasgow. If you told me when I was eight years-old that I’d be presenting radio shows in Laguna Beach, I’d ask you what you were on!”

The show, called “Alive and Kickin’ w/ Jim Kerr” will feature whatever music Kerr decides to play from his extensive collection, both new and old, familiar and unfamiliar. He’ll share stories behind why he picks each track.

Simple Minds are best known internationally for their 1985 #1 hit Don’t You (Forget About Me), which was featured in "The Breakfast Club." The band still sells out shows around the globe.

KX 93.5 is a non-profit, independent radio station founded in 2012. It plays “Generational Alt Rock” from the 1960s to today, with a focus on exposing new artists, especially those local to Southern California. The station considers itself part of a movement of non-corporate media to bring radio back to the local people and make a difference for artists who aren’t charting in the “top 40,” according to Station Director Tyler Russell.

“It’s a big deal for us to allow our hosts to play whatever they want, something that is missing from chart-driven corporate radio,” said Russell. "The fact that Jim Kerr wants to bring his show here is a huge win for small radio stations everywhere."

“Alive and Kickin’ w/ Jim Kerr” can be heard Saturdays at 2 p.m. Pacific Time at or on its companion iPhone or Android apps. It will also be Podcast at the same website or available on iTunes.

Laguna Beach, Calif.
April 28, 2016

Alive And Kicking with Jim Kerr: Show #1: May 2nd, 2016
Better Than Love: Hurts
Slave To The Rhythm: Grace Jones
Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues: Bryan Ferry
Tiny Dancer: Elton John
Love Is Noise: The Verve
Protection: Massive Attack
The Crystal Ship: The Doors
The Passenger: Iggy Pop
Wonderful Life: Zucchero
Sometimes: James
From Mars: John Carter
Making Plans For Nigel: XTC
Alive And Kicking Show #1 Podcast

Alive And Kicking with Jim Kerr: Show #2: May 9th, 2016
Alive And Kicking: Simple Minds
She Sells Sanctuary: The Cult
Grounds For Divorce: Elbow
It's A Family Affair: Sly And The Family Stone
Heaven: The Psychedelic Furs
Darkness: The Police
Manchild: Neneh Cherry
Somewhere: Tom Waits
Perfect Skin: Lloyd Cole And The Commotions
Killer Queen: Queen
4th And Vine: Sinead O'Conner
I'm Going Down: Bruce SpringSteen
Alive And Kicking Show #2 Podcast

Alive And Kicking with Jim Kerr: Show #3: May 18th 2016
Quiet Life: Japan
Let The Day Begin: The Call
Sylvia: Focus
Big Yellow Taxi: Joni Mitchell
Letter: The Box Tops
White Flag: Dido
Ian Brown: Stellify
Paradise City: Guns N' Roses
Ruby Lee: Joe Cocker
Thin Line Between Love And Hate: The Pretenders
World Shut Your Mouth: Julian Cope
Gimme Shelter: The Rolling Stones
Alive And Kicking Show #3 Podcast

Alive And Kicking with Jim Kerr: Show #4: May 23rd 2016
Heard It Through The Grapevine: Martin Gaye
Take Me I'm Yours: Squeeze
Unknown Caller: U2
Dual: Propaganda
Personal Jesus: Johnny Cash
Mountains: Prince
Let's Work Together: Canned Heat
This Is the Day: The The
Because The Night: Patti Smith
At Last I Am Free: Robert Wyatt
Let The Good Times Roll: The Cars
Pink Houses: John Mellencamp
Alive And Kicking Show #4 Podcast

Alive And Kicking with Jim Kerr: Show #5: June 6th
Tomorrow Never Knows: The Beatles
The Switch: Planet Funk
Funk My Life Up: Paolo Nutini
Take Me To The River: Talking Heads
Laura: Bat For Lashes
Mr. Jones: Counting Crows
Computer Love: Kraftwerk
Atlantic Avenue: The Average White Band
Missing: Everything But The Girl
After Midnight: JJ Cale
Walking In A Dream: Empires Of The Sun
Sparks: This Town ‘Aint Big Enough For The Both Of Us
Alive And Kicking Show #5 Podcast

Alive And Kicking with Jim Kerr: Show #6: June 27th
Horses: Patti Smith
Natural Blues: Moby
Hand In My Pocket: Alanis Morissette
Middle Of The Road: The Pretenders
Reflections: Diana Ross
I'll Be Your Mirror: The Velvet Underground
Bette Davis Eyes: Kim Carnes
Hound Dog: Willie Mae 'Big Mama' Thornton
Orinoco Flow: Enya
Give Me Back My Man: The B-52s
Wordy Rappinghood: Tom Tom Club
I Feel Love: Donna Summer
Alive And Kicking Show #6 Podcast

"Old school record store days! Check out the hand made foamcore wall display made by the artists at Tower Records Berkley to promote "Once Upon A Time" in 1985. For more on those crazy heavy metal loving Tower Records Berkeley store artists (that helped influence the in-store look of Tower Records stores moving forward in the 80's) check out the documentary "Art Gods" on DVD ( - Zak Wilson

Zermatt Unplugged, Switzerland
7th April, 2016
Main Set #1: See The Lights / Let The Day Begin / Mandela Day / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) / Chat / Death By Chocolate / Chelsea Girl / Glittering Prize / Someone Somewhere In Summertime / Chat / Waterfront / Speed Your Love To Me / Chat / Dancing Barefoot / All The Things She Said / Don't You (Forget About Me) / Sanctify Yourself
Encore #1: Stand By Love / Promised You A Miracle / Alive And Kicking

"We're off up the mountains to get ready for our first ever full-on acoustic gig. It's all sounding pretty inspired too. Or at least it is to my pointy ears!"

"Wish us well - will let you know how it goes. If it goes well that is. And should it not go well? Hmmmm... Might stay silent for a few months in that case." - Jim, 5th April 2016

"Back from Zermatt/Switzerland and feeling pretty good re the first of our Travelling Light shows. Thanks as always to all who came to see us, making us feel so good throughout. Thanks also to Zermatt Unplugged for giving us the opportunity to show that Minds music seemingly can work in just about any format. We may have got off to a great start, but it is only a start. Can't wait to do a whole lot more of these acoustic type shows." - Jim, 8th April 2016

"The 'other guitarist' on stage with us at Zermatt Unplugged was (Glasgow's) Gordy Goudie. Writing, recording, producing, arranging etc. - Gordy has been a part of our team on and off since the Cry album in 2002. The acoustic arrangements of Speed Your Love To Me and Glittering Prize - highlights in Zermatt - are an example of one of Gordy's talents and I am sure he will contribute further. Although not included in Thursday's set, my own fave Gordy contributions to Simple Minds are the acoustic versions of songs from Cry. Cry Again was particularly beautiful, but the sensation of New Sunrise (New Sunshine Morning) gets me every time and is surely calling out to be included in future Travelling Light shows." - Jim, 9th April 2016

Simple Minds released Live Big Music Tour 2015 as a limited edition red vinyl set for Record Store Day 2016. It was released on Saturday April 16th. Full details about the CD release from November 2015 has now been added to the website along with the full breakdown of its vinyl counterpart.

Updates to the discography, all of which were sent in by Rolf:

The Vinyl Collection (79,84) was the first vinyl box set issued for the band. This weighty box-set collected their first seven vinyl albums, newly remastered from the original stereo master tapes and pressed up on 180g vinyl, into a sturdy box. The emphasis was to reproduce the albums as exactly as they were; so the outer sleeves, inner sleeves and any inserts were all recreated from the original records.

Night Of The Proms, Atlas Arena, Lodz, Poland
12th March, 2016
Main Set: Belfast Child / Waterfront / Alive And Kicking / Don't You (Forget About Me)

There has recently been some questioning about the merits of "Half-Speed" transfers; particularly as the New Gold Dream Half Speed Pressing was taken from a digital file and not the master tape playing at half-speed. It was questioned whether a digital stage in the process would be a disadvantage and lead to a lack of clarity.

Abbey Road and Universal have recognised these concerns, and the engineer responsible for the transfer, has taken time to outline the process, and why certain decisions were made - especially the choice of digital files to this release.

New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)

1. What is 'Half-Speed Mastering'?
This is an elaborate process whereby the source is played back at half its normal speed and the turntable on the disc cutting lathe is running at 16 2/3 R.P.M. Because both the source and the cut were running at half their "normal" speeds everything plays back at the right speed when the record is played at home.

2. What are the advantages of Half-Speed Mastering?
The vinyl L.P. is an analogue sound carrier. Therefore the size and shape of the groove carrying the music is directly related to whatever the music is doing at any particular point. By reducing the speed by a factor of two the recording stylus has twice as long to carve the intricate groove into the master lacquer. Also, any difficult to cut high-frequency information becomes fairly easy to cut mid-range. The result is a record that is capable of extremely clean and un-forced high-frequency response as well as a detailed and solid stereo image.

3. Are there any disadvantages?
Only two, having to listen to music at half-speed for hour after hour can be a little difficult at least until I get to hear back the resulting cut when it all becomes worthwhile. The other dis-advantage is an inability to do any de-essing. De-essing is a form of processing the signal whereby the “sss” and “t” sounds from the vocalist are controlled in order to avoid sibilance and distortion on playback. None of the tools I would ordinarily employ on a real-time cut work at half speed as the frequencies are wrong so the offending “sss” does not trigger the limiter and everything is moving so slowly there is no acceleration as such for the de-esser to look out for. This has always been the Achilles heel of half-speed cutting until now (see 6 below).

4. What was the source for this record?
This album was cut from a high-resolution digital transfer from the original ½" analogue masters. The tapes were re-played on an Ampex ATR-102 fitted with custom extended bass response playback heads. Only minimal sympathetic equalisation was applied to the transfer to keep everything as pure as possible. Also, as this was an analogue, vinyl only high quality release, I did not apply any digital limiting. This is added to almost all digital releases to make them appear to be loud and is responsible for “the loudness war” and in almost every case is anything but natural and pure sounding.

5. Why could it not be cut 'all analogue'?
The biggest variable when cutting from tape is the replay machine. Every individual roller in the tape's path will have a direct effect on the quality of the audio emanating from the machine. In addition to this, there is the issue of the sub 30Hz low-frequency roll off on an advance head disc-cutting tape machine which in effect will come into play at 60 Hz when running at half speed. In addition to this, there are also some unpredictable frequency anomalies in the 35-38 Hz region with analogue tape that will double up at half speed. These are all problems if you want to hear as originally intended the lowest register of the bass end on a recording. There is also the lesser potential problem of tape weave that effectively increases at lower speeds and leads to less high frequency stability and the possibility of minor azimuth errors. Even if these problems could be overcome, this is quite a long album and the masters were recorded on ½" tape running at 30 inches per second. The master reels are 14" in diameter and are just too big to fit onto a Studer A80 advance head replay machine. Neither Studer nor anyone else made a machine that could be used to play 14" reels and have an advance head for all analogue disc cutting. Even when this album was originally cut in 1982 it was played on an Ampex ATR-102 feeding into a digital delay. The advantage I have now is that digital converters are greatly improved over what was available 34 years ago. Finally, analogue tape becomes degraded with each pass over the replay heads. These tapes are getting old and it is no longer considered good practice to play and play and play precious old original masters for fear of damage and general wear and tear. Far better, then, to eliminate the variable of the reply machine and to minimise wear of the master by capturing the music digitally at very high resolution using professional converters locked down with stable external word-clocks. I can completely understand the reasons for the concerns that some people have when cutting classic albums from digital sources. Historically, there have been some horrible digital transfers used as a vinyl cutting source. This has absolutely not been the case with this series. Micro-management of the audio and attention to detail has been the order of the day. Abbey Road has striven to eliminate any digital weaknesses from the signal path in all the rooms in the building. Therefore to capture to high resolution digital from a well maintained Ampex ATR-102 with extended bass heads is a far superior working method in my opinion.

6. Are there any advantages to this working method?
Yes, any problems with the tape can be treated far more accurately digitally than they could be by using traditional analogue techniques. For example de-essing. I can, by careful editing, target just the offending “sss” and leave intact the rest of the audio. Therefore high-hats, bright guitars and snare drums are not affected or reduced in impact. Using an analogue scatter-gun de-esser approach would also trigger the limiter in many parts of the audio that do not need to be worked on. The de-esser cannot tell a bright guitar from bright vocal and will smooth everything out leading to dull guitars or soft snare drums and weak hi-hats. Targeting the “sss” sounds in the vocal as I have done in this series is time consuming but is worthwhile in the pursuit of the very best possible sounding record. Also if there was any damage to the analogue tape (drop-outs and clicks for example) this can by and large be restored using modern digital methods in a way that is unobtrusive and this would be impossible using analogue methods. For the record, none of the albums in this series have been de-noised. Only clicks have been removed and drop-outs repaired where possible.

Miles Showell - Mastering Engineer
Abbey Road
December 2015

Night Of The Proms, Friends Arena, Stockholm
19th March, 2016
Main Set: Belfast Child / Waterfront / Alive And Kicking / Don't You (Forget About Me)

"Suffering from a miserable cold - it happens annually at this time for me. Meanwhile all I can do is load up with Vitamin C - plenty of that to be found in the garden in Sicily - but not so much here in icy Sweden. Nevertheless I am sure our fans will help my spirit rise tonight at the Friends Arena. See you there. Sniff." - Jim, 19th March 2016

"All performed with a 60 piece orchestra and additional choir! It is obviously not something we do every night of the week, which is why we always look on our involvement with Night Of The Proms as the special event that it is. Since the first opportunity almost 20 years ago, both Charlie and I have enjoyed every minute sharing the stage with so many talented musicians. That is set to continue tomorrow night in Stockholm. See you there" - Jim, 19th March 2016

"Thanks to all who welcomed us at the Friends Arena. As always our fans lifted us, putting me in a trance, forgetting whatever problems and making us feel better than ever!" - Jim, 19th March 2016

"From the early days right up to the current! Please listen in to my show on Absolute Radio as I play and talk passionately about the music and artists that have entertained and influenced me through the ages." - Jim.

"Not being a visual medium, the great thing about radio is that should you for example choose to listen in to my series of shows beginning next weekend on Absolute Radio - Saturday 13th of February - you will neither have to put up with my ugly mug - or for that matter - need to cope with the sight of the diminutive (but seemingly well proportioned all the same?) figure of Prince posing in his panties while you listen to Little Red Corvette. And Jeez.... what a cracker of a track that is. So listen in please - or I will feel very lonely." - Jim, 4th February 2016.

"In countless conversations the question comes up "So what was your biggest hit?" A far more interesting question I reckon is "So what was your biggest flop?" Tough question. Had many of them and quite proudly so in the case of our album Neapolis. No one except both Charlie and I seemingly have any time for that record and as unfortunate as that may be - we just don't care. Continuing down our merry path all these years later - still liking it, despite its terrible mix and absurd modern weirdness. But you can rest easy. I won't be playing anything from Neapolis tonight during the first of the shows that I present for Absolute Radio. But I might listen to it all the same, on the way back from the studio. Because, well, that is just the kind of mood I am in. Thanks for listening tonight - should you do so!" - Jim, 13th February 2016.

Show #1: Broadcast: 13th February 2016
The Jean Genie: David Bowie
Radio Nowhere: Bruce Springsteen
Woke Up This Morning: Alabama 3
Days: Kirsty MacCol
Pretty Vacant: The Sex Pistols
Scream (Funk My Life Up): Paolo Nutini
Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God): Kate Bush
Real Wild Child (Wild One): Iggy Pop
Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down: Robert Plant
Join Together: The Who
Long Black Train: Richard Hawley

"Better do as Tony says!: Theme tune from Sopranos by Alabama 3 is without doubt a fave of mine and for that reason I included it in the first of the series of shows that I presented for Absolute Radio last Saturday night. Thanks to all who listened, thanks for the feedback also. For those who missed it, you can listen to the podcast here. Better do so straight away or I might have to send the Sopranos round to have "a little word" with you!" - Jim, 15th February 2016.

Show #2: Broadcast: 20th February 2016
Waiting For The Man: The Velvet Underground
A Design For Life: Manic Street Preachers
Nutbush City Limits: Ike And Tina Turner
Love Action (I Believe In Love): Human League
Under Pressure: War On Drugs
I Go To Sleep: The Pretenders
Like A Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan
Steppin' Out: Joe Jackson
Laura: Bat For Lashes
That's Entertainment: The Jam
Whole Lotta Love: Led Zeppelin

"The Beatles - Tomorrow Never Knows: And you might never know what other great music I have chosen to highlight - unless you listen to Absolute Radio tonight at 10pm. The show - No 2 of 4 - can of course be heard in UK on air and on line. A podcast of the show will be available on Mixcloud from Monday 22nd - So listen in from wherever you are in the world - and whenever suits you. "Tune in relax and float down stream." Thank you!" - Jim, 20th February 2016

Show #3: Broadcast: 27th February 2016
Street Life: Roxy Music
Lucky Man: The Verve
Seasons: Future Islands
Golden Brown: The Stranglers
Two Tribes: Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Popular: The Anchoress
A New England: Billy Bragg
Learning To Fly: Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers
Blackbird: The Beatles
The Mother We Share: Chvrches
Arnold Lane: Pink Floyd

"Don't you forget! Surely they can cut Bruce some slack for confusing which city he was in? Being such a big hearted lot in Cleveland - I know that they will. Love it when the greats screw up, shows they are human. Ever forgot what city I am in? I once forgot what continent I was in! That takes some forgetting. I did not forget to include Springsteen in the playlist I put together for Absolute Radio. Third show airs in The UK at 10pm this coming Saturday." - Jim, 25th February 2016

"Creativity and individuality? Well who doesn't want some of that? Precisely why I chose to include The Stranglers on the latest radio show - the 3rd - that I presented for Absolute. Also chose Pink Floyd, Chvrches, Bryan Ferry and Harry Secombe. (Not really!)" - Jim, 29th February 2016

Show #4: Broadcast: 5th March 2016
Gloria: Them
All The Young Dudes: Mott The Hoople
Desire: U2
It's A Family Affair: Sly And The Family Stone
Rockin' In The Free World: Neil Young
Dear Prudence: Siouxsie And The Banshees
Pale Green Ghost: John Grant
A Forest: The Cure
Rebel Yell: Billy Idol
4th And Vine: Sinead O'Conner
Always On My Mind: Elvis
Waterfront: Simple Minds

"With the last of my Absolute Radio shows coming up tomorrow night - Saturday 5th of March - could it be that I forgot to play The Stones? Surely not! Whatever... thanks to all who have listened and encouraged me within the challenge of presenting so much great music. And so for one last time - why not listen in to Absolute Radio on Saturday - in the UK at 10PM." - Jim, 4th March 2016

As part of a behind-the-scenes series of interviews, Shaun Tranter talked to the oft-overlooked caters, who provide all the nourishment for the band and their crew whilst on tour.

Catering Interview

During Simple Minds' UK Spring tour 2013 I was lucky enough to interview some of the people behind the scenes that we never get to see or hear of. In this interview I was talking to the caterers Simi Donald and Jessica Mayer-Jones. The interview took place at the UEA Norwich on the 3rd May 2013.

Shaun Tranter: So, out of you two, who says 'We're having that for the meals today?'
Simi Donald: I choose the main courses and hot food and Jess does the starters and desserts.

ST: So with being on the road, is it a case you top up with food as you go to different towns and cities, or do you carry a lot of food with you?
SD: We get as much fresh food every day as we can for what we are going to cook that day. We are often at the shops at 7:30AM while our equipment is loaded into the venue that we are at that day.

ST: At Lincoln the last I saw of you guys was just after 7PM when everything had been cleared away. So what did you guys do after 7PM?
Jessica Mayer-Jones: It was slightly different at Lincoln only because we were cooking in the back of the hall. Normally we have a separate area backstage like here at Norwich, so we had to be packed and away in Lincoln for when the doors opened at 7PM. Normally we will start to close down the catering as the show goes up at about 8PM and then be done by about 9:30PM but we do prepare some aftershow food for the band if they want it, and then we do The Guardian crossword [SD laughs] and then wait to load out with dressing room once they have left.

ST: So basically you guys are first in-last out. So what sort of time is last out?
JM: Normally about 11:30PM to midnight; it's very civilised on this tour.
ST: So what's uncivilised?
SD: Can be as late as 3AM or 4AM in the morning.
JM: Can be as long as they want to stay in the venue. [Both laugh]
ST: Then you're back out to the shops at 7:30AM - that's some hours in a day.
SD: Yeah we can clock up some hours in a week.
JM: It keeps us busy though.

ST: Do you ask the band you're working with if there are any special dietary requirements for anybody on the tour or is it down to the band to let you know?
SD: Normally the production manager will ask the crew and the band for any dietary requirements which includes allergies, special diets, and likes and dislikes.

ST: So do you then sit down and work out what you can put together? And do you try and vary the menu?
SD: Yeah, we try and vary it every day. It can also depend on where we are. If it's a fishing town we'll probably do fish. For example, we'll probably do four different choices: one say 'homely', one more 'restauranty', something in between and we'll also do a veggie option which may be pasta one day, something else the next, and so on. There's always changes as we try to keep it as varied as possible.

ST: As musicians get writer's block do you get chef's block? [Both laugh]
SD: We just look back over previous menus and pull something out of the hat.
JM: You get to know what crews like. In general crews divide into like what Simmi said: 'homely', 'restauranty' and healthy so you go back to the favourites of what people liked.
SD: We do special requests for the band and crew as well.

ST: So Simmi, what is your speciality?
JM: All tour he's been on pies: he is the pie master.
SD: For the amount of cooking that we do I don't really specialize in one area. Like we said, we try and keep it varied so - excuse the pun - I've got my fingers in a lot of pies, where as if we were in a restaurant we possibly would be more specialised.
ST: So what's your speciality Jess?
JM: I just feed them lots of sugar and fat. It is sweets, biscuits and cakes at lunch time and then the big desserts in the evening. But there is always the healthy option as well, as there is always fruit available. Also I think the pudding thing is very comforting and homely. The simplest dessert like sponge pudding and custard and they all go for it. Mind you saying that this lot do eat really healthily; lots and lots of salads, especially for the evening meal, and it also depends on the time of year and the weather as well.

ST: So today in Norwich, what time did you guys get here to start setting up?
SD: We arrived here on the bus overnight. The runner took us to the local shop at 7:30AM, we got back roughly at 9AM and the truck is unloaded while were shopping.
ST: So you don't do you own roadieing then?
JM: Caterers don't push cases! [Laughs] As our gear is first off the lorries it means it's the last thing to go onto the lorries at night, so unless I've got a very unhelpful stage manager that says caterers have to load and unload their own stuff, it means you're not hanging around until 2AM or 3AM waiting for the lorries to be loaded. But if they want their breakfast cooking they have to be nice to us!
SD: So if everything goes to plan and we've got electricity, the breakfast is about 10AM, lunch about 12:30AM and dinner for just after 5PM.
ST: So it's not just a case of roll up, do afternoon and evening meal - it's a full day?
SD: Yeah. It's definitely a full day.
JM: I swear some people have this vision that we just turn up and do an evening meal for the band and crew, and then go.
SD: Yeah, people think we have the entire morning and afternoon off!

ST: With this being as such a small tour, that is the venue size and not so many crew, if you were doing an arena tour with more crew do you staff up on your numbers as well?
SD: Yeah as such with say up to thirty people to cater for there will be two caterers.
JM: You can roughly say approx one caterer to fifteen crew.
SD: For an arena tour, you can say you would have four caterers, and for a stadium tour eight, or possibly ten, caterers.

ST: So if the band were doing a string of festivals around Europe this summer, would they use the caterers that are supplied by the festival or would they take you guys?
SD: They would use the caterers supplied by the festival. Our company, for example, will do T In The Park and V Festival caterering for the bands.
ST: Going back to the hours that you do they can be really long days.
JM: Most of us come from a hospitality background so short 9 to 5 hours we've as such never done which means we are all used to, I suppose, the obscure hours that we can end up working. Its good fun and it's a slight different way of working in hospitality.
SD: The good thing about it is that it changes every day, where as if I was working in a restaurant, I'd be working to basically the same menu, day in, day out, apart from if you put specials on.

ST: How does the catering change from being in Britain to going over to Europe? Do you have to do a lot of forward planning in case you can't get this or that? Do your menus change that much?
SD: As long as you take a couple of thousand tea bags your normally OK! Brown Sauce and Red Sauce - can't forget those!
JM: Custard power as well! [Laughs]
SD: You try and cook the food of the region you're in for that show, but we also include the home comforts as well, so again the variety is there and people seem to like that as well.

ST: Are there ever any venues when you turn up and think 'How the hell are we going get our stuff set up in this place?'
JM: I've only been doing this for a couple of years so I don't know a lot of the venues. So you can turn up and it becomes a challenge straight away, but Simmi has done a lot of the venues before so that helps.
SD: Like last night we were in Oxford and we were basically cooking in a cupboard! [Laughs] It becomes like a big jigsaw looking at where and what we can fit in with what the venue has to offer. You get used to the pitfalls of cooking in a cupboard. The two main things we need are the electricity and water. We basically set up the same way every day just some days are easier than others.

ST: So it's not like venues have specific rooms or areas for catering?
SD: Most venues it's just a room or sometimes behind, or to the side, of the stage. The arenas are better as you get a larger room.

ST: So who washes all the dishes and cutlery? Do you have a mobile dishwasher?
JM: No we use a catering assistant who's local.

ST: How do you go on with transporting glass jars of sauces etc?
JM: Very carefully! [Laughs] We pack everything carefully and you just have to remember you can't tip things over same with the cookers, fridges etc. that are packed away in their own flight cases. And the crew know that if they treat the gear nicely as such, and don't break it when loading, then they will get fed the next day. Caterers are very popular with the crew as they know we feed them so they do really look after us.

ST: Having watch you guys work at Lincoln it seems to work like clockwork.
SD: It's organised chaos! [Laughs] No, it's like any job, you switch into work mode. The problem with Lincoln was we had the time restraint for the doors opening as we were cooking at the back of the hall, so it's not normally that manic. But the crew are good if you change eating times, they'll respond as they don't like it when they miss a meal, but we make sure there is always something cooked for them if they are running late due to technical problems (like Steve was at Lincoln having to re-programme the lights.)

ST: The food must be good as at Lincoln there didn't seem to be anything left on anyone's plate.
JM: I don't think we've had a complaint yet on this tour. Mind you, I don't think they dare! [Laughs]

ST: Do you notice in your tour itinerary that like Lincoln things will have to run a bit different?
JM: Yeah, but we've got a great production manager on this tour, James, he's very organised. Once our day starts it doesn't stop, which helps as the time can fly by, and you're on tour so you get into that daily routine which I like. I'd be a lot worse off if I had to sit around for say four hours and twiddle my thumbs. From the second we start in the morning its straight through to the end.

ST: Do you get the chance to watch the band or is that totally out of the question?
JM: This is different as there is no support. Sometimes, if there is support, you can get the chance to see some of the show, or you can get out of these four walls and go for a walk outside and see some daylight. [Laughs]

ST: So how do you get on travelling on the tour buses?
SD: You get used to it. That's another thing that we as caterers look after: the food and drink on the buses.

ST: It is one massive team effort starting with you guys, as you feed the crew who put up the stage for the band to play on.
JM: Yeah that's true and the band acknowledge that as well which is really great.
SD: We've had Ged as a guest chef on this tour as well. He cooked some Spanish food as he used to live in Spain and it was delicious.
ST: So role reversal at some point then - Ged doing the cooking and Simmi on bass?
SD: No chance! I can only play the flute. [Laughs]
ST: So, as well as being a top bass player, Ged is a top chef?
JM: Yeah, he really is a good chef especially Spanish food.
SD: Right looks like some of the crew need feeding - great to talk to you.
JM: Likewise great to talk to you but we must go and feed the crew otherwise they won't be happy! [Laughs]
ST: No problem thanks for finding some time in your hectic day to talk to me.

Shaun Tranter

Confirmation about the set-list of this early gig:

Town Hall, Grangemouth, UK
9th November 1978
Supporting: Squeeze
Main Set: Intro (1978) / Sweet Things / Take Me To The Angels / Chelsea Girl / Someone / Murder Story / Cocteau Twins / Rosemary's Baby / Pleasantly Disturbed
Many thanks to Lindsay Hutton for the set-list.

One of the best bootlegs from this era, this recording is particuarly notable for the inclusion of the "clocks" Intro (1978) and the only known live recording of Rosemary's Baby.

Recent research has cleared up some of the mystery surrounding the band's last John Peel session. Long missing from various listings and books, more details - including its true recording date - can be found in the sessions section.

Updates to the discography:

Jim was interviewed on the eve of the concert in Dubai by The National. The interview is reproduced here and what is particularly interesting are his comments about working on the new album.

Jim Kerr of Simple Minds on working on a new album,
performing in the UAE, and David Bowie

Simple Minds formed in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1977 around frontman Jim Kerr and guitarist Charlie Burchill.

Their early, atmospheric post-punk albums peaked with 1982's New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84), home to their first hit single, Promised You a Miracle.

However it was the stand-alone single Don't You (Forget About Me), which featured in the cult teen movie The Breakfast Club, and their 1985 album Once Upon a Time, with its hit single Alive and Kicking, that cemented the band's global success as a stadium act adored by MTV.

We caught up with Kerr ahead of the band's show at the Tennis Stadium in Dubai on Thursday.

What can fans expect from your show in the UAE?
A band that's on form. We'll put together a set that has something for the people who want to hear the big hits from the peak MTV years, but also for the Simple Minds fans who know everything from our very first album onwards. We'll probably do a David Bowie cover, too...

Of course. Bowie, who died this month, was a huge influence on Simple Minds. How would you sum up his importance?
The way his career unfolded and everything that went with it – the look, the fashion, the video experiments, the acting... he did 14 albums in 14 years, and not one of them was remotely the same. When you look at it like that you could argue he gave The Beatles a run for their money.

But what made us love him was that he was completely fringe, mad as a hatter. Charlie Burchill called me on the day Bowie died and he was very emotional. I said to him: 'Bowie's only gone about eight hours, but I already feel more inspired by him.' He was an artist right to the end.

2014's Big Music was widely seen as a return to form. How did you get the band firing on all cylinders again?
It's been a gradual process, which began with Black And White in 2005, then Graffiti Soul in 2009.

Black And White was pivotal, because it was the album where we said: 'OK, if we're going to do this we have to commit like we did when we were young.' And when you're older, and you have responsibilities and children, that's a tough call. Plus, who has the same hunger in their bellies when they've been rewarded as we have? But we kept writing songs through the good, the bad and the indifferent – and we got strong and confident again.

With Big Music, meeting [record producer] Andy Wright at the right time was a big thing, and our manager Ian Grenfell is a bright guy, too. We strapped a lot of brains on to us.

You live in Taormina, a hilltop town on the east coast of Sicily. Why does the lifestyle there appeal to you?
The first time I ever went abroad was on a school trip to Rimini on the Adriatic Coast. I'd grown up in a high-rise flat in Glasgow but when I went to Italy, I discovered that the world was in colour – and I've been drawn to the place ever since. I recently discovered that when my grandfather was in Italy during the war, he was stationed here, in Taormina. Without even knowing that, I was drawn here somehow. How about that?

Are you working on a new album?
We're writing it and recording it, yes. Before we'd even finished Big Music, I was adamant that it wasn't going to be a flash in the pan, some little purple patch. I think that to get 15 really good songs, you've got to be messing with about 30 to 40 pieces of music. We're motoring again.

Some people feel that, deliberately or not, you never capitalised on the stadium years in the way that, say, U2 did.
Well, it's the truth. But I think what people don't understand is that every band is a different organism. Unfortunately for us, in the 1990s – which was when we needed to prove ourselves to the next generation – the wheels were coming off. The irony, though, is that those years in the wilderness were probably what refreshed Simple Minds in the long run.

And a lot of those bands who never went away – I won't name names – are just treading water now.

What's left to achieve?
We're only just starting out! (laughs). As we've seen, even David Bowie doesn't defy gravity but, hopefully, there's plenty more to come from us.

A lot of people in the music business today say: 'Oh, you can't sell records any more, what's the point?' But this is who we are – this is what Charlie Burchill and myself have been doing since we were 14. You can't switch that off.

James McNair
The National
25th January 2016

A second interview with Gulf News reveals more about the band's future plans. The emphasis will switch from touring to writing so 2016 will be a relatively quiet year; and the band will celebrate their 40th anniversary in 2017.

I fret for rock as we knew it:
Jim Kerr in Dubai

The year 2017 will mark the big four-zero for Scottish rock band Simple Minds, which makes 2016 the calm before the storm. Or at least that's what frontman Jim Kerr announced in Dubai this week, chatting to the press before the band's Thursday night performance at the Dubai Tennis Stadium.

“Next year is our 40th anniversary, so there was a quandary; it's like, do you keep quiet about that or do you make a fuss? And we decided to make a fuss. But in the meantime, we're working on what seems to be two new records, which I can't quite believe,” said Kerr.

The two records would be their 17th and 18th studio releases, following 2014's Big Music. And though they haven't been on top of the charts, Kerr says they've been getting some of the “best reviews of our lives”. One of their inspirations since the beginning has been David Bowie, who died earlier this year.

“It was a profound sadness. The second gig I ever saw was David. He shaped a world. As a band, we looked at him as a kind of accomplice. He's still in the ether, that's for sure. I can't see that ever diminishing,” said Kerr.

He recalled one time when he was 19, and a chance encounter with Iggy Pop led to another chance encounter with Bowie himself.

Bowie and Iggy Pop were partners in crime. We were lucky enough to be recording, in 1979, in a studio in the Welsh countryside [and Pop was there], and we couldn't believe it. What would Iggy Pop be doing in the same studio as us? What would he be doing in the Welsh countryside?” he shared.

Pop started coming around the studio just to hang out, much to Kerr's befuddlement. One day, he told the boys, “Oh, David's coming up tomorrow.”

“We were all hoping that David was David. And indeed, it was David,” laughed Kerr.

Bowie came in during one late-night session and gathered the troops around for a “football chant chorus” on a new song he'd been working on.

“Everyone was on the mic, the whole band, girlfriends, everybody. After a few takes, Bowie diplomatically said, 'Everyone who doesn't do this as a professional, can you stand back from the mic?' Which just left me, Iggy Pop and Bowie. No one had a camera. But I got credits, and it's there in history. I got to sing with my two heroes at the same time.”

Another life-changing moment for Kerr and the band was getting their first — and only — US number one hit, Don't You (Forget About Me). It became famous as the anthem of 1985 cult classic film, The Breakfast Club. It's the band's magnum opus, for better or worse.

How does Kerr feel about that?

“There's two months in a year where I really love it,” he said. “March and September. That's when the royalties come in. It's just the greatest thing ever.”

On a more serious note, he added, “It's such a special song to people. It will always be an outsider to us, not just because we didn't write it, but we just never expected it to do what it did. We saw the rough cut of the movie, and we thought, 'Big deal. No one's going to like this.' We just never saw it coming, but we're very grateful that it did [get big].

“We always want to play it as though our life depends on it. It's a strange relationship with that song, but there is a saying, 'never look a gift horse in the mouth'.”

Kerr has been in the music business long enough to see a couple of generations of new artists come up, and he's been, in turns, underwhelmed and impressed. He likes Chvrches, War on Drugs and Future Islands, but he's not a fan of the Ed Sheeran prototype. And while Rolling Stone magazine recently carried boy band 5 Seconds of Summer on their cover, calling them the “world's hottest band”, Kerr is of the opinion that the golden era of rock might very well be over.

“I do fret a bit for rock bands as we knew them. I think the traditional rock bands, and we were one of them coming up, were usually four or five guys in a smelly transit van going 'round the country for years learning the trade and all that, which you had to do — playing universities, playing pubs,” he said.

None of that exists today, or as he puts it, “the economics are not there anymore”.

“There's no more pub gigs, there's no more uni gigs. That's why you get a solo guy with his acoustic and all that, which is okay, but doesn't really get me jumping up and down. I think there is a chance that we might be seeing the end of the rock band, in that sense. It will be interesting to see if that's the case,” he said.

As for the band's Dubai gig — their first in the city since they played a decade ago — fans can expect a set list that spans the band's entire career. Once the lights go down, the band will be focusing on writing and recording, instead.

“This show on Thursday night is going to be our first and last of this year,” said Kerr. “We're determined to have a great time.”

Marwa Hamad
Gulf News
27th January 2016

Jim has recorded four shows for Absolute Radio. The first will be broadcast on Saturday 13th February at 10:00PM.

Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, UAE
28th January, 2016
Main Set #1: Waterfront / I Travel / See The Lights / Real Life / The American / Promised You A Miracle - Glittering Prize / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) / Rivers Of Ice - Dolphins / Don't You (Forget About Me) / Book Of Brilliant Things - Five To One / Honest Town / Banging On The Door / Someone Somewhere In Summertime / Once Upon A Time / All The Things She Said / Let There Be Love / Midnight Walking
Encore #1: Big Music / Love Song / Alive And Kicking / Sanctify Yourself

"Looking forward to playing Dubai. It has been a long time since we last played there, hoping therefore to make up for our absence by putting on a great show. Thanks to all who plan on coming to see Simple Minds next week. See you there." - Jim, 21st January 2016

"Who's idea was it to send us to Dubai in January? Having to deal with non stop blue skies and fabulous weather? Who ever it was - I want to kiss you! We definitely lucked out this time. Certainly a bit different from January '14 when we kicked off our tour in Riga. (Temperature around 14 below.)"

"Not only a holiday, we are also here to mean business and look forward to giving our all this coming Thursday at Dubai Tennis Stadium, for what looks like being our first and last gig of this year. (I know we have the acoustic show coming up in April - but that is obviously different.)"

"Thanks to all who attended today's press conference, thanks to everyone for making us feel special. We appreciate the welcome." - Jim, 25th January 2016

"Band and crew arrived. I'm sure they will enjoy the next few days in Dubai as much as I have over this last week. The highlight of course will be tomorrow night at the Tennis Stadium - our only full - on show for this year. We can't wait." - Jim, 27th January 2016

"Gig day: 58 days since our last gig - and who knows how long it'll be to our next? Also nearly 14 years since we last played in Dubai - according to Andy Gillespie! Simple Minds never need any added incentive when it comes to playing gigs, but additional factors like these mean that we will want to do as good a show as possible at the Dubai Tennis stadium tonight. Plus, being the last gig for a while - we'll feel the need to go out strong. It does feel like the end of an era. But the good news is that we already feel a new era about to begin - from tomorrow! Hope everyone enjoys tonight. Thanks for coming to see us. And thanks for all who have come to see us on this Big Music Tour." - Jim, 28th January 2016

I was at the EMI Archives on Wendesday where the majority of Simple Minds' back catalogue is kept. This includes all the master tapes from Zoom, Arista, Virgin and Chrysalis; paper archives and all the photographs from the period.

My task was to go through all the photo folders and catalogue what was there. They were stuffed with negatives, colour slides, transparancies, glossy black and white promos and colour pictures; some of familiar photo sessions, some of not so-familiar shots and one entire session which was rejected entirely. And there were many alternative and unpublished shots.

A goldmine for future projects.

And there was a surprise fifth release of Celebrate - Live At The SSE Hydro Glasgow which some collectors may not be aware of. In July 2015, the set was reissued as a limited edition, but this time pressed on black vinyl. The only differences - given the vinyl - were the catalogue numbers and the sticker on the front.

The fourth release of Celebrate - Live At The SSE Hydro Glasgow was for Record Store Day 2015. This smartly packaged LP set included 17 songs from the live concert and was pressed up on transparent vinyl.

Billy Sloan has recently talked about his career in music with the The Herald. Thankfully, music fans will be pleased to hear that he's now broadcasting from BBC Scotland after leaving Radio Clyde - so hopefully those exclusive sessions can continue.

Simple Minds are currently working on their next album with work continuing in London. So far, a new song called A Silent Kiss has been mentioned. All details about the new release - which is expected in 2017 - can be found on in new album page.

While in London, Jim is going to present four shows for Absolute Radio. Keep an eye on the station's schedules for an announcement of the shows which will be about the music and artists that influenced and enterained Simple Minds throughout the years.

Just for fun... Create your own lyrics and graphics for Once Upon A Time.

The third issue of Celebrate - Live At The SSE Hydro Glasgow was also Simple Minds' first release on BluRay. This shared the same tracks as the slightly stripped down Celebrate - Live At The SSE Hydro Glasgow DVD which was released at the same time.

Högskolerestaurangen, Orebro, Sweden
November 1st, 1979
Main Set: ... Premonition / Life In A Day / Destiny / Factory / Wasteland / Scar / Here Comes The Fool / White Light/White Heat / Changeling / Chelsea Girl / Pleasantly Disturbed / Someone / Pablo Picasso

"I attended that concert but it was not at Magasinet. It was a long time ago but I don't recall that it was a concert at Magasinet at all. The location was Högskolerestaurangen (Örebro University restaurant) as you can see from the attached pictures of the poster. Even though it was the Real To Real Cacophony Tour the poster said Life In A Day as the new record wasn't released yet. I'm still a bit crossed that Derek Forbes left the party before signing the poster…" - Stellan

Set-lists, pictures and tour memorabilia have been added for the Big Music European Tour 2015, Big Music Summer Tour 2015 and the Big Music Winter Tour 2015.

New tour dates have been added for the forthcoming Big Music Tour 2016 Part One, Night Of The Proms 2016 and the Big Music Tour 2016 Part Two.

Another release from two years ago which needed updating was the second issue of Celebrate - Live At The SSE Hydro Glasgow. Released in July 2014, this was a (slightly) stripped down version of the original release. This was the second time the concert was issued, albeit the first true commerical release.

The January 2016 issue of Record Collector has reviewed the Once Upon A Time Box Set, and it earns four stars out of five.

It also includes Kilty Pleasures, a review of Scotland's post-punk scene, and the emergence of independents. Peppered through the article are quotes from Bruce Findlay and Jim Kerr as Bruce recalls the history of Zoom Records whilst Jim recounts the early days of Simple Minds. "I can remember walking up the stair's to Bruce's office in Shandwick Place in Edinburgh with our demo," says Kerr, "He sat down, rolled a huge spliff, closed his eyes, listened to every note and said... 'Where are you playing next? I'm coming.'"

I'm back.

Thank you for your patience over the last six months. All updates ceased for a while as I had to concentrate on various Universal releases; and as I was doing that, Simple Minds played concert-after-concert and released record-after-record.

Now there's a lull in the preceedings, I can concentrate on getting Dream Giver back up and running.

The next few updates will offer something from the previous years which I've just finished; and start to offer insights into what's coming for 2016. Hence Something Old, Something New.

You'll also notice lots of dead links and dead images for a while - these will be corrected over the coming weeks as all the gaps get filled in.

The Celebrate - Live At The SSE Hydro Glasgow limited edition DVD was such a huge release that it took a long time to fully document it. This has now been done, but did you know that parts of it have been reissued four times in various formats over the last two years? More on that for future updates.

The first physical release of 2016 is going to be Half-Speed Remastered LP of New Gold Dream. Scheduled for March, this limited edition release features the last-word in vinyl remastering - read about the half-speed process and the other albums being issued, and you can pre-order a copy of the album from the Universal store.

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