Simple Minds – PGA Championship – Wentworth, Surrey – May 27th, 2018

A bad prep for me, personally…a terrible night’s sleep, scared to death through very thundery storms. Adding impending doom to the forecast of weather conditions for the day. Stormy weather potentially ALL DAY! The sun was out at daybreak, and all had settled. Was it the “calm before the storm”? Only time would tell.

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The time of the gig was pushed forward from the original 6.30pm start to 5pm, seemingly with the view the storm was still approaching but may be arriving later than first expected. Well, perhaps we’d avoid it after all? Fingers were firmly crossed!

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As the new gig kickoff time approached, the skies looked good. We had been baking in the sun most of the afternoon, in actual fact. Burning to a cinder! All looking good.

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As Simple Minds took to the stage, there was not a sign of a storm! The crowd was BATHED in sunlight.

The Signal And The Noise is the new perfect opener. It really does get the crowd pumping in a way a very new songs wouldn’t or perhaps shouldn’t? But it is sooo fab it does. And the end of it is SSOOO dramatic and awesome. I just love it! And then…STRAIGHT into Waterfront…just to keep the crowd pumped and rocking.

I am utterly perplexed that I am STILL seeing “where’s Mel?” (Happy Birthday for today by the way, Mr Gaynor) comments coming in. Fair enough if you’ve been out of the fan loop…but shouldn’t that question be “Wow! Who’s the (new) drummer? She’s FABULOUS!” Which does happen too. And THAT is the way it should ALWAYS be asked! Cherisse is an absolute dynamo! And…I detect NO diminishing of power or skill. If anything…she has brought extra dexterity and deftness of touch to the sound. Great percussive skills. A technique and touch I admire greatly in my all time fave, Stewart Copeland.

On with the set and cracking versions of Love Song and The American followed. Jim decided to let us in on a little secret prior to The American and say a song that hadn’t been on the set list for about 10 years was coming up, “I may need some help with the words”…and then the opening chords to The American started and I’m thinking “Nope, pretty sure I heard this in February…” and he was like, “Yeah, I’ve got the wrong song. The next one!” Lol

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She’s A River then started…and, he wasn’t lying about needing help. The man grabbed a bloody LYRIC SHEET! Partly for comedy effect. PARTLY! Lol. He was struggling. I shouldn’t be too critical, I guess. I’m listening to them EVERY DAY…all the time. Of course *I* know ALL THE WORDS. I mean…he just…wrote them. Write some words down, sing them. Done. Lol. (I’m being deliberately flippant here.)

I do think he needs some kind of lyric coach. You know, someone that will help them sink into that grey matter of his (his actual brain…not his hair). I am putting myself forward for the role. I can see it now. A huuuuge white board “Now, Jim. What’s the next word here ‘they say that every heaven’s got a thousand ______?’ Rooms? Beds? Closets? Tick tock, Kerr!” Tapping my watch for full effect. Lol

Despite his own lack of prep, the band were all over it. It was sounding TIGHT! A Good News double as Hypnotised followed.

Following that was the rearranged new hybrid version of Promised You A Miracle….which I am loving. With Jim, Sarah and Catherine on vocals…and Catherine stepping down from her Arturia MatrixBrute to be front of stage with Jim and Sarah with a Yamaha “Keytar” strapped to her.

A fab double of Once Upon A Time and All The Things She Said – very apt for the day following Prince Fredrik of Denmark’s 50th birthday celebration in which Crown Princess Mary quoted lines from it in love of her husband.

The Kerr diva went off for a break and wardrobe change and left it in the amazing hands of The Anchoress (Catherine Anne Davies) for a beautiful rendition of Dolphins. It started out like the beginning of Banging On The Door but changed tempo and morphed into Dolphins. Catherine’s voice suits it very well. Extra poignancy during its performance as a yellow cabbage butterfly suddenly seemed very attracted to the stage and was fluttering around. And just as it seemed to have gone, it returned to flutter around some more. I thought it may briefly come to a rest, but it didn’t. There was a part of me watching that butterfly thinking, “is that Jim’s mum?” Silly thing to think…but there it is. It made the song even more beautiful and more special.

Then to lift the spirits again, a barnstorming rendition of Let The Day Begin from Sarah. She really does own it now. That song is HERS! When she finished, I could not help but bow long Wayne’s World style “we’re not worthy!” Kowtowing hand gestures. Sarah is phenomenal. Effortlessly cool and beautiful. Never mind Aylesbury ducks! Sarah is a SWAN!

The set was drawing to a close. Time for the big guns! Don’t You (Forget About Me) was…the best I’d ever heard it. I’m usually one of those miserable types…only half singing along…just thinking my usual stuff…”it’s not their song…it’s overplayed…if I have to pretend to enjoy ‘la la la la la la’ one more time!” But…not today! The sun was shining, the crowd was fab…the band were ON FIRE (almost literally! That sun was haaaawt!) – it was wonderful. I was swept up…and loved it!

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An encore that started with Stand By Love. Yes! I love having this in the live set. It’s the perfect song for it…a great sing a long chorus and fabulous for outdoors. Alive And Kicking next…and apart from the crowd coming in to sing AT THE WRONG TIME getting endlessly on my wick – I love it. Sometimes…I confess…it can feel a little like Don’t You – just purely in “overexposure/overplay” terms…but very hard not to be swept up.

It seemed over at the end of that. Then Jim says…”Can we do one more? We don’t wanna go home yet.” Oh, Mr Kerr…you could perform 100 more! It would NEVER be enough! You have *MY* express permission to “do a Bruce” and play on and on and on!

The closer was Sanctify Yourself…and there was as much energy, drive and spirit in its performance as there was The Signal And The Noise right at the top of the set.

This band are crazy hot!

All the fear of the day being washed out….GONE. The sun was shining, the crowd were going mental…Jim looked delectable (as did the ladies). It was FUCKING FABULOUS! That’s it! What else can I say? But…thank you! Jim, Gordy, Ged, Catherine, Sarah, Cherisse, and Charlie esp. for his expert throw of his plectrum to land perfectly in my cupped hands. Thank you! You guys absolutely ROCK MY FUCKING WORLD – to the Milky Way and back!

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See you in Aix-Les-Bains! (I’ll see you beforehand though, Catherine…we have another date meanwhile.)

Photos of the band used by kind permission from Birdy! Thank you x

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