Win One Of Charlie’s Guitars! #iLoveLive Crowdfunder

This is AWESOME! Charlie has donated one of his Stratocaster guitars as part of a prize draw for the #iLoveLive Crowdfunder and Stagehand to help support the live music scene and all the staff and roadcrew who work behind the scenes in the live music industry.

You can find out more details via Simple Minds’ social media (Twitter link is below). For each £5 donation, you are entered in a draw to win Charlie’s 1983 Fender Stratocaster. A genuine and incredible piece of Simple Minds history and an amazing one-off piece of memorabilia.

And all in a cause so close to all our hearts. The live music scene is taking one of the hardest hits from what has happened to the world in this pandemic.

You can also go directly to the #iLoveLive Crowdfunder page by clicking HERE

Please think of donating! And look what you can bag yourself by doing so! If all you can afford is £5 then…it’s a donation and one entry. A hundred of them….a thousand of all those little £5 entries would help massively!

Minds Music Monday – Superman V Supersoul

Today is the official calendar start of spring – but I much prefer to think of it in seasonal terms and don’t really feel any real sense of spring until the equinox on March 20th.

That in mind, I wanted to choose something that conjured up warmth and light and joy and optimism, and maybe a bit of Utopia and in the case of this song, enlightenment. Something to symbolise that, indeed, spring is on the way.

I knew it was a spiritual song. You can hear it and sense it without being told, as it delivers that sense, that feeling of a warm spring day. A warming of the soul.

But I actually hadn’t read the info on Dream Giver about it – or if I had, it was so long ago, none of it ever really sank in.

Having read it last night, I was moved by Jim’s words. Moved by how moved HE was by the song.

I can’t help but feel it was semi-autobiographical what he had written in the email? That perhaps it was he who had the dream of the wedding procession and of the Prince (aka Krishna) and the beautiful coquettish brides. That he was the man left standing in the loft apartment staring at the painting on the kitchen wall.

He has talked about the Bhagavad Gita several times in the past. It has had quite an influence on him over the years.

I enjoyed it too, having read it from him mentioning it again in recent years.

I’ll share the piece Jim had written about Superman v Supersoul below. There are so many days in which I miss him and I miss just…feeling with him, connected to him, part of him. More than just through music and through a “singer and fan” dynamic.

I know I have to stop going on about it! And I know I have to find some kind of closure as it has so obviously come to an end – whatever “this” was. Whatever connection I felt there was. Whatever skewed imagining of “togetherness” I had deludedly conjured up for myself and dreamed for myself. It has obviously faded.

For want of painting myself a dream and walking into it to experience it and live it in my subconscious, I better “get real”.

I miss the romance of the togetherness. Of feeling kindred. Of feeling sometimes I could allow to kid myself that, on the odd occasion, there was a “like mind”. That we were connected beyond the music. And that it wasn’t just me that felt it.

(The end of the first paragraph of Jim’s words … God is a DJ? “This is my church. This is where I heal my hurts.”)

UPDATE: (later the same morning) I mixed up my books! I tried to read Bhagavad Gita but got lost in the rambling preface of the copy I bought – an English translation of the book from German – and didn’t continue to read it. So in actual fact, I was mixing up my Siddhartas (which I have read) with my Bhagavad Gitas (not actually read yet) – and I’m wondering if Jim didn’t do the same in this email? I may just have to have another attempt at reading Bhagavad Gita.

One made a very long time ago – in March, 2016, in fact.

People are finding God in different places. Some stare at the sky. Others walk the desert. A friend of mine recently put forward the notion that God has taken to stalking the floors of discotheques!

The scenario in the song: An individual, closing his eyes after staring long and hard at a beautiful painting of a scene from the “Bhagavad Gita” finds that he is transported body and soul into the painted image – which in fact becomes reality all around him. There suspended in time for what feels like a whole night he finds himself drowning in the sights and sounds of a wedding procession which is taking place in the most heavenly blue moonlit garden.

All around him the most sensuous music drifts and he listens while watching the screams and laughter of the beautiful young brides who cannot contain themselves as they receive the flirting and teasing attention of an obvious boy prince, who must be no other than Lord Krishna… the sense of joy is palpable as peacocks mesmerize, and it’s there and then our character decides that this can only be the one true paradise…

Suddenly it’s gone, where to!, where from? The man is left staring out the window of his loft apartment at the shimmering lights of the cityscape; and the sprawling chaos of the streets below. He vows on the spot to completely change his way of life; and tears well as he shifts his eyes back to the small calendar painting, given to him free last year, on the street by a “devotee” and now hanging on his kitchen wall.

Paradise.” – Jim, e-mail, 11th March 1998

Also: Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant Hapus

Rave Reviews For The Anchoress

It’s hard to escape all the amazing reviews coming in for The Art Of Losing, the follow up album from 2016 debut Confessions Of A Romance Novelist by The Anchoress.

Below are the latest reviews printed in Mojo, Classic Pop and Record Collector, as well as a short Q and A interview also from Record Collector.

With just under two weeks until release on March 12th, it is certainly going to be if not THE album of the year, then definitely one of the biggest albums of 2021. Do I smell a Mercury nomination….?

The latest single release is the title track itself. Take a listen by finding the YouTube link further below.

Pre-order copies are selling out fast. You can order by going to the store: https://TheAnchoress.lnk.to/TheArtOfLosing

Knackered Distraction

Felt very drained today. The nerves from conducting last night’s interview got the better of me and I woke up in the middle of the night with it all still swilling around in my head. Excited that it seemed to go okay and excited to share it on the blog, but still with niggles about how I conducted it, how I conducted myself, how articulate (or otherwise) I was. Did I laugh my stupid nervous laugh too much, did I ask good enough questions and/or thought-provoking enough questions, etc, etc.

I couldn’t get back to sleep for hours and woke up feeling extremely drained and tired.

I walked into the city this afternoon to the West End and the Botanic Gardens and met up with Michelle. As drained as I was, I walked 10km and did nearly 15,000 steps. I couldn’t face walking all the way back home, so we caught the subway back from Hillhead to St Enoch and I got the train from Queen Street back to Ashfield.

I haven’t taken any public transport in months, but I was just too fucked to do that walk back home. I need to get myself in better condition!

Tonight I have just been reclining on my bed, exhausted.

I did some banner art. I do love this line so much.

Anyway, soon lights out for me. Night night.

Always Destined To Be The … Next Big Thing

I posted this onto SMOG earlier this afternoon – but I get the feeling it is going to be somewhat overshadowed by a wonderful post about Jim, which I am sure he will love (who can blame him?). Anyway, I thought I’d also post it here as well. (I haven’t altered the words I posted.)


Back a few years ago, I posted something on the Simple Minds visitor wall. I think it was a review of a gig. It came from an independent fanzine. Jim replied to my post, saying he had fond memories of some of the guys who set up these kind of publications, recalling the names of Johnny Waller and Lindsay Hutton, particularly, on this occasion. Hutton had started a fanzine called “Next Big Thing”.

Well I stumbled on to a copy of Next Big Thing today, and there within the pages was an advert for Empires And Dance, as well as a glowing review of the album by Lindsay himself. (Albeit if he is somewhat disparaging to Roxy Music and Gary Numan in the process. Oops!)

It took me on my own little nostalgia trip. Of a time that I particularly loved being a Simple Minds fan. Thanks for those wee chit-chats, Jim. They’ll always be super special to me. I loved putting on my “researcher’s hat” for that one as when you replied to me you had said “I wonder what happened to Johnny and Lindsay?”, which had me off and searching for you. A time you made me feel both happy and purposeful.

If it doesn’t come out too clear for reading, then here is a transcript of what is written below.

“The danceable solution to teenage revolution? If Roxy were still any cop they’d be making albums like this. I don’t altogether go along with the belief that synthesisers always ruin things. There’s ample proof of the reverse here, but the fact that idiots like gerbil face Numan seem to represent the genre, mean that there is no media indication that there is life after electronics. ‘Empires’ is the 3rd Minds elpee and places them well up the league. Especially tasty are the opener ‘I Travel’ and the Jeepster style backbeat of ‘Celebrate’. If you’ve been put off by the moderne talk of Morley then think again kiddo, because this sound can co-exist with rock ‘n’ roll because it’s performed from the heart. Can you afford not to own a record by a band whose singer drew Noddy on the Berlin Wall in lime green chalk? Good wee group this.”

Happy Gray Day! 40 Years Of Lanark

Today has been marked as Gray Day – marking the 40th anniversary of the release of Lanark by Alasdair Gray. I read Lanark for the first time last year and fell in love with it and Alasdair.

Last October I went to the Oscar Marzaroli exhibition at the Street Level Photoworks on Trongate and had to take a photo of this photo Oscar took of Alasdair.

Happy Gray Day!

I Don’t Ken(sit) It!

I don’t usually share stuff like this on here. And I don’t usually pander to the more “celebrity gossip” side of the “fame game” but I found myself interested in what Patsy had to say.

I’ve always had time for Patsy. She gets a really hard time in the public glare and all the crap that comes her way. I could give unsavoury examples but I won’t. She seems the loveliest and most genuine person. Funny and warm.

But this one thing just fucks with my brain. I read this several years back and even then I was like “whaaaaaa?!” I thought, “Oh, she must mean ‘at that time’, surely?”

But she has reiterated it in this interview and no, there doesn’t seem to be any “at that time” reference. And she says “in my life”.

IN MY LIFE?! Can I just reiterate my own response now. YOU WERE WITH JIM KERR!!! How can having your hair brushed by David Bowie be THE MOST EROTIC THING that happened to you?! I mean…. COME ON!!

Jim poking his tongue out at me at Bristol is probably the most erotic experience I’ve had in 25 years!!! Just by comparison. I mean…heck! Let alone anything else! Holy crap! In my eternal damn dreams! But Patsy! YOU HAD HIM!!!!! Lol. OMG, woman! You’re killing me!

I mean…geez, don’t get me wrong. David is beautiful and I love him as an artist and as a person and I appreciate the aesthetic and yes, I’d have probably enjoyed getting my hair brushed by him also but if THEN, I GOT TO BE WITH JIM – that would just be….just….OMG…it does not EVEN compare!

Anyway, I am going to shut up now, but…Patsy…just…WHAT THE HELL?!