"Anyone studying the sleevenotes/writing credits of our most recent albums may have noticed the name Owen Parker
cropping up fairly regularly. If you to were study closer you might notice that Owen has contributed (hugely) to some of your
most recent favourite Minds songs. From our Big Music album, both
Broken Glass Park and
Spirited Away, are songs that we collaborated on. Then building on our work
relationship, with our recently released album Walk Between Worlds, both
Summer and Sense Of Discovery began
as early sketches of songs that we wrote together."
"I suppose it was leading up to the writing of my solo album Lostboy! AKA
that I initially came across Owen Parker. That was thanks to a close friend called Martin Hanlin,
informing me that I should hook up with this enthusiastic and talented upcoming writer."
"And so, with a nothing ventured and nothing gained attitude? I soon found myself one dank and cold morning, on a train
to a part of London that I had never previously heard of - in order to meet Owen and perhaps try and initiate a song or two.
I recall that Owen picked me up at the station, and after a few minutes wherein nothing much was said, I was sat in his little
garage type studio trying to ignore the cold temperature of his working environment. That was easy enough, or at least it was as soon
as he started to play me some of his instrumental ideas. Each of the handful he played immediately felt kind of special - all with
impressive and clever melodies - it was soon clear that although I knew little of this guy that I had just met, I knew enough to
realise that he had a big musical brain. And I like people with big brains and big hearts."
"My good fortune was in evidence, and after a few days I had written full lyrics to a couple of his tunes. That writing
relationship continues to this day, and just yesterday we were mulling over the early stages of something new and exciting.
Over the years we have probably worked on more than a dozen songs, my own fave being
The Wait Parts One And Two which features on the aforementioned
Lostboy! AKA album."
9th February 2018
"I was born in Redhill Surrey, to two teacher parents. I started piano at 3, then guitar at 6. Unpushed I
was simply drawn towards music. I first saw Simple Minds on the
Real Life tour in 1991 at Wembley Arena, but
strangely missed half of the gig because I passed out (diagnosed later as having a head injury from
when I was 13 by a cranky but believable osteopath now rectified!). I remember we had a geography lesson
in our school once where the teacher simply played us Belfast Child and
we then discussed it. As a teenager I always loved
Sanctify Yourself, as I loved the mixture of global
Glasgow pop/rock with gospel backing vox. I remember a guy at school in the queue for the canteen
showing me that he had a signed (in gold pen) Live in the City of Light
double cassette and having my mind blown that it was even possible to obtain such a thing. My era was
the Mandela concert era - I also loved the
Once Upon A Time album. (I was only 11 years old at the time.)
"As for the songs written with Simple Minds. The music for
Broken Glass Park was written in the living room was
whilst my then 2 year daughter (who sings backing vocals on
Sense Of Discovery and now 10) was watching Cbeebies with her
headphones on - all happening at 6AM"
["All new info to me? I last night informed Owen in
response that I wrote the lyrics to Broken Glass Park in the spare
bedroom of my mother's house. Mum was in the bedroom next door, feeling very poorly as her cancer was very
much taking hold. I suddenly heard her call me. So I rushed in, thinking she was in need of something? She
just smiled weakly and said "Oh I like that 'Fun, fun, fun tune. Is it a new one?'" - Jim]
Sense Of Discovery were both written in the corner of my
bedroom in a two bed flat just after my second child Charlie was born. I had a MacBook, bass and guitar
in the corner with Sense. I felt I wanted Simple Minds to
do a ballad, so I started to piece together a track that I'd love to hear Simple Minds singing and, it
has bloody happened!"
"Summer I recall less about - it was simply an idea with big
energetic appeal for me. But I wanted to give you a more upbeat number. We demoed the vocal to
Sense Of Discovery on the same day in the West End. A good day
that was!" Indeed it has happened. And I suspect much more will happen in future."