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John Scarlett-Davis



Waterfront [Single Version] (3:58)
(Note: Due to opening title card and short shot of Mark Kerr walking across the empty Ballroom floor, the video has a total running time of 4:10.)

Live performance

Filmed over a three day period.

Main shoot was live performance shot by John Scarlett-Davis who contacted Virgin himself [Needs more] Promoter suggested Barrowland Ballroom which was planning to re-open after years of disuse - Simple Minds ended up being the first to play there. Concert by invite only: fans could win tickets through Radio Clyde. Live footage shot on Sunday 20th November. Doors opened at 2PM. Band ran through the title track three times to get the required footage and then performed a short set including many new Sparkle songs. Additional black-and-white footage shot at Renfrew Ferry during the Adrian Boot photoshoot. Aerial shots of Clyde were overseen by Paul Kerr. Mark Kerr is seen walking across the empty, rubbish strewn floor at the end of the video.

Film was developed on the 22nd November and the final video was edited together two days later on the 24th November.

Next video (Speed Your Love To Me) was filmed the same day against a green screen.

It becomes immediately apparent that some money was spent on this one. Not only did the director shoot masses of moody black and white 'waterfront' images on the Clyde, he also shot masses of footage of a moody Simple Minds freezing on the Renfrew Ferry, and then went on to shoot a multiple camera spectacular at Barrowland Ballroom where the band flung open the doors and played a free gig for the lucky crowd.

Completely at odds when viewed against their early videos, the Waterfront video stands the test of time (albeit the sea of mullets in the crowd) and gives a great indication of how the band looked and played live. Even the multiple-screen effects were sensibly kept to a minimum, which was a welcome relief.

And here's some trivia: that's Mark Kerr walking across the empty floor at the start of the video. And the band ran through the title track three times.

The edited master (4:10) is held in the Universal archive and was created on the 24th November 1983. Various protection copies give durations between 4:06 and 4:13 - this variance may be due to the inclusion of the countdown clock.

The original rushes are also held in the archive. These consist of four videotapes, copied directly from the original 16mm film. Their times are given as 53:00, 58:00, 45:00 and 44:00. These copies were made on the 22nd November 1983.

Seen The Lights - A Visual History Promo DVD Seen The Lights - A Visual History DVD Sparkle In The Rain Remaster Super Deluxe Box

The venue [Barrowland] was closed until Simple Minds shot the live performances for the Waterfront video here, as part of a free gig for fans, leading to its reopening. "Basically, the Barrowlands has thrived ever since, says Kerr, with pride. "Anywhere we go, if we meet the guys from the Foo Fighters or Iggy Pop, they go, 'Aw man, the Barras, its fucking fantastic.' Its been synonymous with Simple Minds from 1983."

Local Heroes
Q Magazine
May 2018

JK: To people growing up in Glasgow, even Scotland, Barras and Barrowlands are a mythical place. We heard about it from our mums and dads, and our aunties and uncles, maybe even our grandparents. This is a place for people came to dance and sing and as every different new wave music came along, from the big bands to the early rock and roll - Alex Harvey... The Rolling Stones played in Barrowlands too - Barrowlands was this mythical place.
JK: Glasgow at that time and this part of the city was, shall we say, rough around the edges. So you could say that Barrowland's reputation, and the reputation around here, had a double edge to it. When we were growing up, the doors had closed. It seemed that time had moved on. But as Willie said, in 1983, in November, we just put out what was then going to be our new single from the album Sparkle In The Rain, a track called Waterfront. Which was written about Glasgow, and doing the clip, the video for it, the promoter said "How about if we can get the doors open in Barrowlands again? And really you know, there's some talking about Barrowlands to open again as a venue, and you could be the first - if this thing works you could be the first."
JK: So on a Sunday afternoon I think we've gave out free tickets on radio - there were queues for miles, pandemonium. We shot the video for Waterfront here and we also played a few songs. It was was a roaring success, the video was shown around the world. Everyone wanted to know about this place, Barrowlands. And within months, or within a year, ourselves, U2, Big Country, The Cure, The Pogues... it goes on and on... The Smiths... and suddenly Barrowlands was becoming mythical.

Jim Kerr and Janice Long
The Long Walk
BBC Radio 2
12th July 2018

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Opening titles? Nice jumper?

Jim, blue suit, interesting microphone technique

Jim freezing on the waterfront, Charlie at the gig

Barrowlands Ballroom in all its glory

The first video for Mel

Derek Forbes, now standing on the left

Fleeing shot of Mick