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simple minds score a hat trick in montreal

New Gold Tour

"Simple Minds are a sweaty, passionate band, and Jim Kerr a sweaty, kinetic frontman. Once he seized hold of the song Wednesday, once he caught the tempo of the crowd straining at his feet and the band leashed behind him, control became something other people practised. Which isn't to say that things became completely unhinged or that Kerr foamed at the mouth as he roamed the stage in soaking T-shirt and trousers and lunged to the anthemic strains of the music surrounding him. Simply that almost every song, after a measured beginning, rose inexorably in tempo, volume and passion to dramatic, one might even suggest cathartic, climax. All of which buries forever the notion of Simple Minds as wimpsters and implants instead the desire to have them return against at the soonest possible opportunity.John Griffin, The Gazette (Montreal), May 13, 1983

That review was written following the second Montreal performance by Simple Minds in a six-month period, the first at Le Spectrum, back in early November, and the second as the first act to play Montreal's newest rock venue, Le Paladium. Someone, somewhere, obviously felt that the wish that they return to this city should be fulfilled, because Simple Minds are in fact coming back, for yet another first: they will be the first act on stage at the Olympic Amphitheatre on August 3rd, when The Police come to Montreal during their North American tour. Montrealers who can't get enough of this Scottish band - and it's clear that there are plenty of them - will be delighted by the news that the Minds are heading back for the third time in ten months ... jsut as tehy were so enthusiastic about the group's most recent album, New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84), that it became a Top Five seller city-wide, and climbed to #2 on the CHOM-FM album chart!

The November visit to Canada - a trip plagued by what appeared to be a malign fate, which led to this country's being visually represented in the Simple Minds world tour program by a wrecked truck beside a highway on the prairies - wound up on a happier note in Montreal and Toronto, with the performance at Le Spectrum acclaimed by the band themselves as well as everyone who saw it as the best of the lot. As a result, when the Minds returned to North America for dates in the U.S. to support the release of New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) down there, they agreed to the addition of a couple of Canadian dates if they could be fit into the schedule. Response to the announcement of the show in Toronto was so overwhelming that the promoter was forced to add a second gig, the following night, with the result that Simple Minds arrived in Montreal only hours prior to their performance at Le Paladium. But even though lead vocalist Jim Kerr had a broken nose, even though the entire band were obviously exhausted, once they got on stage they offered their fans the kind of show they are rapidly becomign famous for: passionate, intense, exciting, and, quite simply, spectacular.

Having completed the 1983 U.S. jaunt, Simple Minds returned to the U.K., partly to work on new material for their next album, and partly, finally, to take a much needed vacation. Some vacation: it includes not only major festival dates in Belgium and Denmark, but a mini-tour of five shows in Italy and three in France ... but for this band performing is a holiday, one which they will be continuing on this side of the Atlantic this summer. In addtion to the Toronto and Montreal performances with The Police, Simple Minds will be appearing as special guests on a numebr of U.S> gigs as well, spreading even further the word that, as Jonathan Gross of the Toronto Sun said last month, soon "it will no longer be hip to drop Simple Minds into your conversation. It will be essential." The invitation from The Police to the band to join their North American tour as special guests on a number of the dates is confirmation of something Kerr expressed to James Marck of Now magazine last month when he said, "I feel there's something at our fingertips right now - I don't know exactly why but I really think it's beginning to come together." For Jim Kerr, bassist Derek Forbes, Charlie Burchill (guitar), Michale MacNeil (keyboards), and drummer Mel Gaynor, it is indeed coming together - as this world-class act finally gains the worldwide recognition they have long deserved.