Maudlin In Melbourne – Bootleg 1/10/1982

I started listening to a new bootleg last night (new to me, at least!) of Simple Minds in Melbourne on the New Gold Dream tour of 1982. It’s their second night in Melbourne (having performed the previous night at the Latrobe University campus) and their fourth night on the Australian leg of the tour.

It seemed to start out well enough. They started (or at least the bootleg started) out with Love Song. They then went into Colours Fly. Jim was trying to keep his voice real low but would give up and would end up screeching. He sounded a bit off and was delivering bum notes here and there.

Given the subject matter of his latest post, I feel a bit pernickety for bringing up his vocal performance – esp. from a gig that’s nearly 40 years old. But…just humour me. I wasn’t around for these things the first time and even though it’s a retrospective critique, these gigs are heard with fresh ears – my fresh ears! I never really took a HUGE amount of interest in bootlegs, (just as a side note, WHY ARE bootlegs called “bootlegs”? I must look that up!) I could never understand why anyone bothered with them because they invariably sounded shit. Either the recording was shit, or the band was crap…or both.

Perhaps it is purely through the now almost completely dead live music scene do I find myself now exploring these recordings more? A combination of that, and of “newer” unearthed gigs being shared on YouTube for our collective listening pleasure that has resulted in this.

Anyways, back to the gig. Jim intros the next song in the usual way he did then “from New Gold Dream, this is called Hunter And The Hunted” – even his intro sounded lacklustre. But he had a propensity of sounding like that back then – the only time his nerves and the stage fright were detectable and audible was when he spoke.

As I listened intently, I couldn’t tell whether he was delivering it more impassioned than usual, or more despondently. His vocal was again off kilter. Not in a way it normally would be! You know, he’s diving around that stage like a whirling dervish. Taking lunges and leaps and skulking about like a panther. Somehow both balletic and yet acrobatic at the same time. More fluid in his moves than the robotic, stilted jerky movements he’d make a couple of years previous. He was at that point very athletic physically in his stage performance. Yet despite that, his vocal performance rarely faltered. Yes, he’d get breathless at times but what came across most was the passion in his performance. He rarely ever seemed to give a bum note.

It seemed about half-way through the song that…he just wasn’t feeling it. Or at least I detected more pain in his voice than passion. He seemed to not really be “in the moment”. It was feeling like he didn’t want to be there. Or at least that, it was getting hard to be there and be “on”. He was still trying to deliver impassioned performance. “Only with you life moves so fucking fast!”

At the end of the song and after the “thank you” he says rather forlorn “everything’s so fast”. It sounded so down! I winced when he said it and was just thinking “aaawww, Jim! What was happening to you that night, beautiful man?”

The gig was starting to sound flat. I couldn’t tell whether it was being projected through Jim, or whether the band were starting to sound flat and then that was having a knock-on effect on Jim, vice versa, or if it was just what I was feeling listening to it.

It’s hard to get a full idea of things. Without the visuals to get any visual indicators of how he was feeling it is all down to interpreting how he was feeling and his performance via voice alone. The crowd are still very responsive. They seem receptive enough.

To me, compared to the other gigs I’ve listened to lately – something just doesn’t feel right. Maybe he was just cold? Lol (I’m being flippant.)

As he intros Someone Somewhere In Summertime he says “will soon be warm here”. Sleep then got the better of me. Me drifting off while laying on my left side, looking at my wall of Kerrs inwardly thinking, “What was up, Jim? What was going on with you that night? Just…not feeling it? Geez, you’re beautiful…” and then …. *lights out*

I’m not sure I want to listen to the rest. But as an object in full retrospective critique, I guess it would be prudent to do so.

Let me know what you guys think. Is it just me? (Most likely. Lol. It usually always is “just me”…)

Thanks again to Stuart Greaves for uploading the audio.

14 thoughts on “Maudlin In Melbourne – Bootleg 1/10/1982

  1. Hello, I am a Dutchy and saw them that day before at La Trobe University. I just wondered when and where I saw the SM in Melbourne. I saw them in Arnhem in March 1980 in Arnhem. In our good old Stokvishal. I loved the band and it came as a big surprise to me, discovering them. Bought the albums straight after. Jim Kerr once told in an interview that that performance in Arnhem was a turningpoint for the band and gave them a lot of confidence. Great to read! Over 2 yrs later I saw them in Melbourne. Miss that time. It was a great stay. I used to be volunteer in the Stokvishal and that said, as a big fan of SM I went beforehand with my Lambretta motorscooter to the build up of the performance and the soundcheck. Then I would also know how to get there that night and not get lost. That Lambretta I later on crashed and I was in hospital for 2 weeks. From the compensation money I travelled my way back to the Netherlands, leaving Australia and the harsh and beautiful memories behind. It’s time to check out Melbourne and Australia again. May be SM would like to catch up with time again too. Would make me feel at home again, so far away.

    • Hello Coen,
      Wow! That was certainly an experience you jad in Melbourne. Both good and bad. It must have been amazing at that point in time to experience a soundcheck and be meeting the band.
      I think you Dutchies took to SM very early on and Jim would appreciate that.
      Maybe one day I’ll see them play the Paradiso. I have one of those beautiful Paradiso gig advert posters with Mecano on the bill with them. It’s framed on my bedroom wall.
      My dream also to see them play in Australia. Sydney, my home town. But it seems as if it is not meant to be.
      Thank you for posting and sharing your story. ❤️😊

      • Great to hear. Mecano, I saw them live in Amsterdam. My cousin is an artist and made a great portrait of clay of the singer of Mecano. If you speak dutch or are interested in the making of the portrait of clay, which was filmed live, let me know. I will place that. If you come to the Netherlands you are welcome to stay at my place. It’s not big, but it’s on the park, close to the trainstation and 1 hour from Amsterdam. I had many Aussie friends coming over since I’m back. It has been a little quiet though. So as soon as corona did it’s thing, your welcome to visit and some dutch hospitality.

  2. I have heard that he got his nose broken by a jealous boyfriend once in Australia. Could it be this time? Apparently he brougt a girl to his hotel room, her boyfriend found out and then waited for Jim at the stage door after the next gig…

    • I think that happened sometime in 1983 and I think it might have been in Canada or the U.S. from what I remember reading of it.
      Can’t say I can blame the woman – I’d have been off in a heartbeat. You can’t blame the bf for being pissed off but…you know…

  3. Definitely not “just you”, Larelle! He sounds strained and unstable. The night between the two Melbourne gigs must have been rough! Those were the days for these guys 🙂

    • I forgot to say within my post that…the occasional “off night” will happen, so I guess it was just one of those. I did have a look before compiling my post as to when the gig was in relation to when they arrived, how many gigs had taken place, etc. There’s a nine day space between the gig at Friars, Aylesbury (Sept. 18th) and the first gig in Perth (Sept. 27th). It’s hard to know from that how much time was allowed for them to adjust to getting to Oz. Did they leave the UK a day or two after the Friars gig? Or did they only arrive a day or two before the Perth gig?
      I guess by that time, Jim is pretty used to the touring game, but Australia is a damn long flight (I’ve done the trip enough times myself over the past 20 years). And then there is a gig in Adelaide after Perth and I am guessing they drove to Adelaide from Perth which would take at least 10-12 hours.
      Maybe the travel did just catch up with him that night?
      I’d find it hard to revisit this gig in future that’s for sure.

      • Whether it was a jetlag, a cold, too much partying or a slightly depressed mood that night in Melbourne, it shows us Jim’s only human after all. The more interesting it is to listen to this recording; it’s apparently one of his more vulnerable moments. It would be a good thing if you could muster up the courage to listen to the rest of the gig, because it might enrich your view on Jim with more nuances to be appreciated. After all, there’s nothing as complex as (a) man!

Leave a comment