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Sons And Fascination Tour 1981

The vinyl had hardly set for the the new album when Virgin packed the band off onto their most extensive tour yet. Warming up with a series of gigs across the UK, culminating at Hammersmith (where the band was recorded), they jetted off to the USA and Canada before flitting across to the other side of the world for their first visit to Australia. Then, the first leg of the tour was wrapped off with the usual Christmas/New Year shows in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

It was an incredibly successful tour, opening up new territories, and earning the band their first silver album awards (in Canada and Australia). New deals were brokered in America (with a one off album for Stiff) and signing to Virgin in Australia.

It was also their first, and only tour, with Kenny Hyslop. The new drummer didn't fit in with the others, so a new drummer was required for the second leg of the tour.

"In Australia, people were screaming for us to play encores. We thought maybe we could achieve a level of commercial success above most of the people we looked up to: Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and Patti Smith."



"Been thinking of Australia a lot. Mostly that is due to having had Ross Stapleton - our dear Aussie friend and great Simple Minds ally - around on tour with us over the last weekend. Our relationship with Ross goes back to the very early '80's when he was press officer at Virgin Records. In fact it was his relentless championing of Simple Minds, that drew the company to eventually sign Simple Minds, in doing so beginning a most successful relationship. Separately from that, it was through Ross's connections in Australia that we had the opportunity to first visit Australia and New Zealand back in 1981.

"Even though we had not yet had any hits or broken through with success anywhere, Ross had unswerving belief in the power of Simple Minds live. Convincing us to accept an offer to tour with local band Icehouse, who were immensely popular in Oz at that time. And to then follow that up with our own tour of pubs and clubs, playing repeated gigs in the major Austalian cities, also getting to Auckland for our first visit.

"I cannot tell you how much fun we had during that 6 week period. Going from nobodies to overnight success due to our appearance on Countdown the national TV music show in Australia. It was of course Ross, no less, who also played a huge part in making that happen." - Jim, 13th August 2018


Odeon Theatre, Edinburgh, UK
August 28th, 1981
Support: Icehouse
Main Set: Sons And Fascination / Changeling / Thirty Frames A Second / This Earth That You Walk Upon / Premonition / Sweat In Bullet / Factory / I Travel / Celebrate / Love Song / Seeing Out The Angel
Encore: The American / I Travel / Changeling / Sons And Fascination
All the UK gigs cost around £3. This was the band's first gig at the Odeon (it was billed as a Warm Up gig for the forthcoming tour) and their first with Kenny Hyslop.




Bingley Hall, Stafford, UK
September 6th, 1981
Support: Icehouse
Main Set: Sons And Fascination / Changeling / Thirty Frames A Second / Premonition / Sweat In Bullet / League Of Nations / Love Song / I Travel / Celebrate / The American
This was the Futurama 3 Festival with Simple Minds as the headliners. It has been stated that Jim was unwell near the end of the gig, and the last song may be been played as an instrumental but this isn't confirmed by the bootlegs. The festival started on the 5th with Simple Minds as headliners on the 6th.

The concert was recorded by Virgin. Nothing has been released yet.




Rock City, Nottingham, UK
September 17th, 1981
Support: Icehouse
Main Set: Sons And Fascination / Changeling / Thirty Frames A Second / Premonition / Sweat In Bullet / League Of Nations / Love Song / I Travel / Celebrate / The American / In Trance As Mission / I Travel / Wonderful In Young Life
Tickets cost £3.00




Apollo, Glasgow, UK
September 19th, 1981
Support: Icehouse
Main Set: In Trance As Mission / Changeling / Thirty Frames A Second / Premonition / Sweat In Bullet / League Of Nations / Love Song / I Travel / Celebrate / The American / Seeing Out The Angel
Encore: Sons And Fascination
Encore: I Travel / Celebrate
This gig was recorded by Virgin. Nothing has been officially released.

At the start of the second encore, Jim explained that they'd not had enough time to rehearse more songs. So they reprised I Travel and a much longer version of Celebrate.





Apollo, Manchester, UK
September 20th, 1981
Support: Icehouse



City Hall, Newcastle, UK
September 21st, 1981
Support: Icehouse



Royal Court, Liverpool, UK
September 22nd, 1981
Support: Icehouse
Main Set: Sons And Fascination / Changeling / Thirty Frames A Second / Premonition / Sweat In Bullet / League Of Nations / Love Song / I Travel / Celebrate / The American / Seeing Out The Angel




Odeon, Birmingham, UK
September 24th, 1981
Support: Icehouse

Many thanks to Clive for the picture of the poster.




Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK
September 25th, 1981
Support: Icehouse
Main Set: Sons And Fascination / Changeling / Thirty Frames A Second / Premonition / Sweat In Bullet / League Of Nations / Love Song / I Travel / Celebrate / The American / Seeing Out The Angel / I Travel / Sweat In Bullet
Sweat In Bullet single I Travel single Theme 4 X5

This gig was recorded by Virgin, but only some selected tracks have appeared as B-side material. The lack of releases could be down to the appalling sound that night, which lead to the instant sacking of sound engineer Billy Worton.

"Wee Dougie moved on and Billy was getting beyond control at the end and I was pleased that he had been removed because he was becoming a threat to himself and the band - when we were on the Peter Gabriel Tour it wasn't just a few occassions that he took a full bottle of Brandy with him to the mixing desk for the show and it didn't come back - he was losing it big time. Last time I saw him he had gotten himself together somewhat and was either married or living with a lady but I assume it was drink, drugs or both that contributed to his death - but I do not know - only conjecture. Johnny Ramsay took over after that and seemed to do a good job but I was never with him when he did the sound!" - Eddie Cairns




East Side Club, Philadelphia, USA
October 16th, 1981
Main Set: Sons And Fascination / Changeling / Thirty Frames A Second / Premonition / Sweat In Bullet / I Travel / Celebrate / Love Song / The American / League Of Nations

First concert with Frank X. Gallagher as sound engineer.




Le Club, Montreal, Canada
October 20th, 1981




Le Shoeclack Dechaine, Quebec, Canada
October 21st, 1981

"It's been a little while since the Shoeclack presented us with a show. This bar, which used to produce almost every month a band, often European, coming here to start a career in North American, (Telephonne and Fingerprintz, for example), had slowed down its activities a bit lately."

"Last month, Simple Minds, a Scottish band, was introduced to us a little by surprise, the show having been announced barely a week in advance. Simple Minds, of which very few of the 300 people present that evening had ever heard of, gave a great show. The music (let's say New Wave) is always very intense, impeccable arrangements for each of the instruments, a voice, that of Jim Kerr, who often reminded us of Bryan Ferry's from Roxy Music, everything gave off a very special atmosphere, a little intoxicating. Add to that, an impeccable sound, making it the best concert we ever heard at the Shoeclack."

"Only shadow in the picture, however, the show only lasted 55 minutes, and there were no encores. It is a shame because the comments heard after, were more about ticket price/duration of show, than of the quality of the show itself. Alain Martineau of Polygram explained to us that the band, particularly drummer Kenny Hyslop, who was new in the group, had experienced technical problems. For this reason, Simple Minds decided not to do an encore at all rather than risk making a bad one. If they had immediately explained the situation to the audience it is likely we would have kept a better memory. All in all, we were treated to an evening of excellent music and we can only wish that Simple Minds will be back soon." - Québec Rock, December 1981/January 1982

Many thanks to Philippe Labelle for the scan and the translation from the original French.




The Paradise Room, Ottawa, Canada
October 22nd, 1981




Fry Fogles, London, Canada
October 23rd, 1981




W.U Humanities Theater, Waterloo, Canada
October 24th, 1981




Concert Hall, Toronto, Canada
October 25th, 1981




Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Canada
October 28th, 1981




S.U Building, Regina, Canada
October 29th, 1981




Martinsville Hall, Saskatoon, Canada
October 30th, 1981




S.U Building, Edmonton, Canada
October 31st, 1981

"Booked to play a University ballroom in Saskatchewan, we realised at soundcheck that we would in fact be playing a 'Halloween Dance.' A drunken one at that and a pretty rowdy one too, with fist fights in the crowd breaking out near the front of the stage every few songs. Within an increasingly pointless situation and just as the police arrived to bring order, we decided to cut the set by 15 minutes."

"Dispirited to such a degree, we had reckoned that no one would care or possibly even notice, given the ongoing mayhem in the hall?"

"Not so!"

"Within little time at all someone was banging at our dressing room door, shouting all manner of doom laden threats, if we did not 'get back on stage and play the rest of the set as contracted.'"

"Initially ignoring the ranting voice, then eventually tiring of the kerfuffle, after about 5 minutes we decided to open the locked door and find out who was responsible. Wow! There in front of us - stood the event promoter. Eyes bulging and in 'mid rant' with spit emanating from his mouth, demanding to be taken seriously while seemingly oblivious to the fact that he was dressed as Dracula - fake blood dripping from his lips and in full make-up, including ridiculous protruding fangs.Far from taking him seriously, as he demanded?"

"To this day it is still one of the funniest incidents experienced in our travels."

"As for what happened next? Well, the rest of that evening got quite blurry. Having opened a bottle of whisky, we invited our 'Vampire friend' to calm down and share a glass, after which a few of us then got in a taxi with him still dressed as Dracula and headed to a Halloween party in a house somewhere in another part of town - where I do recall having 'a real ball.'" - Jim, 29th October 2021




The Carribean Sands, Calgary, Canada
November 1st, 1981
Tickets cost $9.00 and the support was Popular Mechanix




Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, Canada
November 4th, 1981




The Cinema Club, Market Street, San Francisco, USA
November 7th, 1981
With: New Order
Main Set: Sons And Fascination / Changeling / Thirty Frames A Second / Premonition / Sweat In Bullet / I Travel / Celebrate / Love Song / The American / Changeling

Peter Hook wrote about this gig, accusing Simple Minds of all sorts of underhand tactics to go on later than agreed, resulting hin Hooky bursting into the Minds' dressing room to confront them. All of which Jim denies.




Whisky A Go-Go, Los Angeles, USA
November 8th, 1981




Whisky A Go-Go, Los Angeles, USA
November 9th, 1981
Main Set: I Travel / Celebrate / The American / Sons And Fascination / Changeling / Thirty Frames A Second / Premonition / Sweat In Bullet




Unfortunately the date of the New York concert isn't currently known. It was here that Kenny Hyslop recorded Too Through by Bad Girls on his walkman. The band were very taken by the song and its riff - and this eventually led to Promised You A Miracle


In an interview Jim mentioned six shows were planned with Icehouse and then the band would tour smaller venues by themselves.




Capitol Theatre, Sydney, Australia
November 13th, 1981
Supporting: Icehouse
Support: Divinyls




Festival Hall, Melbourne, Australia
November 17th, 1981
Supporting: Icehouse
Support: Divinyls




Apollo Stadium, Adelaide, Australia
November 20th, 1981
Supporting: Icehouse
Support: Divinyls




Canberra Theatre, Canberra, Australia
November 24th, 1981
Supporting: Icehouse
Support: Divinyls




Canberra Theatre, Canberra, Australia
November 25th, 1981
Supporting: Icehouse
Support: Divinyls




Playroom, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
November 27th, 1981

Many thanks to Shane for information about this gig.




Cloudlands Ballroom, Brisbane, Australia
November 28th, 1981
Supporting: Icehouse
Support: Divinyls




Cock And Bull, Canberra, Australia
November???, 1981
Due to huge public support and interest, the Australian leg was extended to a short pub tour. It started at the Cock And Bull, which was a sell-out gig in front of 350 lucky punters. The original date for this concert was given as November 25th - where it clashes with the second Canberra Theatre gig.




Ambassador, Newcastle, Australia
December 1st, 1981




Musicians' Club, Sydney, Australia
December 3rd, 1981
Main Set: Theme For Great Cities / Sons And Fascination / Changeling / Thirty Frames A Second / Premonition / Sweat In Bullet / I Travel / Celebrate / Love Song / The American / Room-Rock And Roll
Part of the gig was recorded by JJJ Radio for broadcast. A reel-to-reel tape, recorded by the radio station, is owned by a collector.




Manly Vale Hotel, Sydney, Australia
December 4th, 1981




Sylvania Hotel, Sydney, Australia
December 5th, 1981




Civic Hotel, Canberra, Australia
December 6th, 1981
Support: Tablewaiters

Many thanks to Tony for the flyer.




Prospect Hill, Melbourne, Australia
December 8th, 1981
Main Set: Theme For Great Cities / Sons And Fascination / Changeling / Thirty Frames A Second / Premonition / Sweat In Bullet / I Travel / Celebrate / Love Song / The American / Room-Rock And Roll




Jump Club, Melbourne, Australia
December 9th, 1981




Sinantra's, Adelaide, Australia
December 11th, 1981
Simple Minds were set to play this venue (a large nightclub/ex-disco) on December 11th and 12th. However the peformance was rearranged when the club was firebombed in November 1981 - this is why it just states Adelaide on the tour posters.




Sinantra's, Adelaide, Australia
December 12th, 1981
This concert was rearranged (see above)




Selinas, Sydney, Australia
December 13th, 1981

Many thanks to Clive for the poster scans.

This would've been a last minute addition to the tour as it isn't mentioned on the tour adverts. As the flyer states "A Fond Farewell" then this would've been the last show in Australia.




Rock Ola, Madrid, Spain
December 20th, 1981
Main Set: ... Thirty Frames A Second / Premonition / Sweat In Bullet / I Travel / Celebrate / Love Song / The American / Room-Rock And Roll

"Simple Minds' first ever Spanish gig (of our own) was when we played the Rockola club in Madrid. It was on Sunday, December 20th, 1981, and thanks to heavy snowfall in the UK we almost never made it.

"The scheduled morning flight from Gatwick had become increasingly delayed, to the extent that by early evening we were still hanging around the London airport terminal. By that time I was getting sick of losing at scrabble and chess, and all were becoming more doubtful with each passing minute that our gig in the Spanish capital would take place.

"Never ones to give up hope. Our luck suddenly changed, and around 7pm the flight eventually took off, meaning that we arrived in Spain around 10:30pm - half an hour before we were due on stage?

"In those days we had almost no road crew, therefore we all rolled up our sleeves while hauling our sparse equipment on stage, including our manager/mentor Bruce Findlay, who seemed to thrive on the chaos playing out in front of us - a huge smile across his face as he gazed over at Charlie Burchill, on hands and knees with a hammer and screwdriver, vainly attempting to repair his guitar pedal board that had seemingly been damaged during the flight over.

"Predicting that the packed Rockola audience would forgive us for being late, and that they would go wild on hearing songs like I Travel, Celebrate, The American, come blasting out at them, Bruce - who was seldom wrong - was absolutely right again!"

"Madrid has become part of the Simple Minds story ever since."

Jim
12th December 2019




Rock Ola, Madrid, Spain
December 21st, 1981
Main Set: Theme For Great Cities / Sons And Fascination / Changeling / Thirty Frames A Second / Premonition / Sweat In Bullet / I Travel / Celebrate / Love Song / The American / Room-Rock And Roll




Playhouse, Edinburgh, UK
December 22nd, 1981
Main Set: Theme For Great Cities / Sons And Fascination / Changeling / Thirty Frames A Second / Premonition / Sweat In Bullet / I Travel / Celebrate / Love Song / The American ...




Nite Club, Edinburgh, UK
December 26th, 1981




Nite Club, Edinburgh, UK
December 27th, 1981
Main Set: Theme For Great Cities / Sons And Fascination / Changeling / Thirty Frames A Second / Premonition / Sweat In Bullet / I Travel / Celebrate / Love Song / The American / Room




Nite Club, Edinburgh, UK
December 28th, 1981




Tiffany's, Glasgow, UK
December 29th, 1981
Main Set: Sons And Fascination / Changeling / Thirty Frames A Second / Premonition / I Travel / Celebrate / Love Song / The American / This Fear Of Gods / Factory

"My Dad also gave up drinking a long time ago, but when we were starting the band he was in a period where he had to go to the meetings and he was trying to sort himself out. It was more a subtle thing. He wasn't happy - and we were up and down in vans and going here there and everywhere. I didn't have much dialogue with him for around a two year period. Dad didn't grasp it, but finally we got to play in Glasgow in Tiffany's and it was a big deal to sell it out. Mum and Dad were coming, but Dad went to the pub first and Mum got fed up waiting and went to the gig herself. Dad wasn't drunk, but he didn't go home, and still had his working gear on, and Mum would have been humiliated. We did the gig. What a night."

"I saw him the next day - Saturday morning. He made breakfast the next morning and he was a wee bit sheepish and he said 'You're going to make it. You are going to be a big, big band.' He said 'I was watching this one guy last night, and he was in the queue and dancing, and he got his chips and you started this song The American and he threw them up in the air and ran down. Anybody that can get people to do that - that's a talent.'"

"That was his version of the Old Grey Whistle Test." - Jim, Ricky Ross Show, 13th October 2019

Radio Clyde broadcast the show. They hold a 52 minute recording in their archive.





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