Act Of Love single
'Act Of Love'
New single released January 17
The year is 2022. The year is 1978.
On January 17, Simple Minds release Act Of Love as
a one-off single to mark the anniversary of the band's very first performance -
at Glasgow's Satellite City on January 17, 1978.
Mixed by Alan Moulder (Suede, Arctic Monkeys, The Killers),
Act Of Love is a vivid reimagining of one of the first songs
Jim Kerr and guitarist Charlie Burchill
wrote together. It speaks of where Simple Minds have been and where they are heading. Honouring the youthful
passion and belief which sparked the band into life, it pulses with the desire which continues to drive
Burchill to create thrilling new music.
The track is an act of time travel, sweeping across four decades in just a few exhilarating minutes.
Jim Kerr explains: 'Over the years people have asked: When did you think
Simple Minds had the potential to make it? My stock answer was always, Oh, we didn't really think about that.
But I realise now that I wasn't telling the truth. I believed we had something special as soon as I heard
Charlie play the riff on
Act Of Love.'
Act Of Love is synonymous with the beginning of the Simple Minds story.
It was the first song played at the Satellite City show in January 1978,
and the opening track on the demo tape that won the band a record
deal later that year. 'I always loved the song,' says Kerr. 'To all
intents and purposes, it was the first thing anyone heard of Simple Minds. It became our rallying cry, our banner.'
As Simple Minds established themselves as the hottest property on the Scottish post-punk scene,
Act Of Love became a live favourite. 'We believed in it, but would anyone
else?' says Kerr. 'It was so great when they did. It was the oxygen we
needed to continue.'
Life moved fast back then. By the time Simple Minds recorded their debut album,
Life In A Day, early in 1979, the song had
'disappeared into the mist' without ever being properly recorded. 'Through the years, I always wanted to go back to it,' says
Kerr. In 1980 the singer recycled the title phrase as the opening line to
Celebrate, the electro-blues juggernaut from
Simple Minds' extraordinary third album, Empires And Dance.
Meanwhile, bootlegs of the 1978 demos ensured that Act Of Love was
treasured among diehard fans.
Four decades, numerous hit singles and 60m record sales later, Kerr and
Burchill have finally returned to the song. A couple of years ago, while
Burchill was in Thailand on a busman's holiday, he sent
Kerr the outline of an updated version of the track. 'It was
Act Of Love with a new bit, and it sounded great.'
While recording the next Simple Minds album in Hamburg during 2020 and 2021, the follow up to 2018's acclaimed
Walk Between Worlds, periodically they returned to
Act Of Love. 'We tinkered around with it,' says
Kerr. 'When we listened to the original demo, we loved its spirit
and its general form, but it sounded like a youth club band song. How could we do that now, adding extra pieces
without losing the essence?'
Act Of Love takes the 1978 version to new places. The original
rattled along with the youthful energy one would expect from fans of The Velvet Underground,
Magazine and Roxy Music. In 2022, the killer riff and chorus melody remain, bolstered by pulsing
synths and a surging new section in which Kerr sings poignantly to his
younger self: 'A born believer / Head full of plans / Got nothing to lose / So much to reveal.'
'I was thinking about the excitement of what we were setting out to do. We would rehearse in the afternoon
in a derelict building in the Gorbals and I'd walk past Govanhill Library, thinking about the idea of the muse: a
voice within that will appear and provide inspiration. That's what the song was about originally. Now I'm looking back,
reflecting on how the belief was real. When Charlie played that riff, it
made me think we could do this. From that belief becomes your attitude, your body language, the whole
culture of the band.'
A bridge between Simple Minds' glittering past and still-evolving future,
Act Of Love is a reassertion of faith.
The song has again become a 'rallying cry', this time for fans who have waited two years
for the group to re-commence their world tour.
Curtailed in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic, it is due to start again in the spring.
'What a thing: merging the very first Simple Minds song and where we are now,' says
Kerr. 'There's a story there. I think we've managed to tell it well.'
Act Of Love is released via BMG on January 17
Simple Minds 2022 UK Tour Dates
|31 March||The SSE Arena Wembley, London|
|01 April|| International Centre, Bournemouth|
|03 April|| Brighton Centre|
|05 April|| P&J Live, Aberdeen|
|06 April|| OVO Hydro, Glasgow|
|07 April|| Resorts World Arena, Birmingham|
|09 April|| First Direct Arena, Leeds|
|10 April|| Utilita Arena, Newcastle|
|12 April|| Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham|
|14 April|| Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff|
|15 April|| Bonus Arena, Hull|
|16 April|| M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool|
|18 June|| Nocturne Live, Blenheim Palace|
|09 August|| Custon House Square, Belfast|
|12 August|| Summer Sessions, Edinburgh|
|13 August|| Summer Sessions, Edinburgh|