Kerr’s Got Another Babe…

Well, well, well….maybe he DOES listen to fans after all? Those who make a loud enough fuss, kicking and screaming that the dynamic of Simple Minds was fundamentally broken without a full-time keyboard player in the fold.

Enter Berenice Scott!

And…we are now back to full contingency.

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What To Do…

What to do about this blog? Haven’t had much to say here this past month. It was all about the time in Oz with the family and friends.

Now I am back home though, I am starting to think about what I can do with this blog.

I guess soon enough it’ll be busy again, reporting on rehearsals and then the tour will be kicking off before we know it. I mean… Stavanger must only be six weeks away now. Yikes! (A quick double check and yep, just over six weeks away from today.)

Geez it would be good to have some interviews again, like last year. Jaine and Bruce were great interviews.

Some things have happened while I’ve been away too that I haven’t really reported on. The sad loss of Tony Donald over New Year being one.

There was such loss in 2019, esp. in the final few months. On a personal level too, of course. Hence my journey home. As the days pass on, the more I miss mum. The same thing happened with David. There is no closure. Just a void. This feeling of emptiness that is different to the loss when it happens to you when you’re around to experience it.

I said goodbye to mum in a video. And it took my niece, Madeline, to make me think of doing it. And it felt really weird and just… . I didn’t want to say goodbye like that! I didn’t want to let her know it was goodbye. I couldn’t bring myself to say “goodbye, mum”… even though I knew she was in her final hours of life.

The only comfort I take from it all is knowing she would have felt it as a sweet relief.

She drifted away quietly. My sister, Cheryl, and my brother, Quince, were with her when she slipped away. Cheryl told me that Quince was holding her hand and was unaware she had even passed.

But, enough of that. My grief has nothing to do with this blog in all honesty. I don’t want it to.

I still just want this to be a great blog. Even if sometimes it’s all on a personal level. It is meant to be a Simple Minds blog – with that “heavy dose of Jim Kerr” warning label attached. Lol.

So… I’m open to ideas. Any are welcome.

I wish I could share Virginia prints. But she’d string me up if I share too many! And that I understand. Those amazing photographs of hers are the only income source she has and I do all in my power to try and help her along with that. She’s become a really good friend and I would never betray a trust.

Anyway. Enough of my waffle. I’ll knuckle down and think of something. Take this blog kicking and screaming into 2020 somehow!

It Was Just A Silly Joke

Not meant to be taken seriously.

Let me explain.

As I was travelling back home to the UK I posted to the SMO FB visitor wall about having Jim greet me at Glasgow Airport.

I can’t remember what I wrote exactly. I was on the plane at the time and hadn’t slept for some time so I can’t recall exactly how I worded it. But I had joked in the comments of a post written a few days before about him greeting me at the airport.

This post to the visitor wall was a “reminder” – you know “tomorrow, 3pm, be there or be square” kind of thing. Just a silly thing. Light hearted.

So why was it deleted? Who got offended by it? Was it the mention of a certain Glasgow doughnut shop? I don’t work on commission for them!!! Simple Minds have no trouble with me mentioning the band everywhere else… or running this blog as a massive advert for them.

I know I am being oversensitive worrying about why it was removed but I just get miffed about this crap.

It was just starting to feel nice again. Jim was starting to post a bit more and those months of feeling persona non grata were going away… and now this!?

I dunno. Why do I bother?

As petty as a post like that is… you just do it for a bit of fun. When it gets deleted, it feels like a kick in the guts. Like, “Oh FFS, what have I done wrong now?!” Are you just trying to tell me to fuck off? Well… just tell me to fuck off then.

Meh. Never mind, eh?

Let’s just count the days until Copenhagen and delude myself he still likes me. If he ever did.

Foggy City Orphan

I arrived in Sydney nearly 24 hours ago. The smoke haze on the approach stretched on for miles. It started long before the plane’s descent.

Of course I arrived on a scorching hot day. I got some rest on the plane. I had my first (and what will probably be my only) experience as a business class traveller.

I flew out with Lufthansa under a Star Alliance co-airline flight. Glasgow to Frankfurt – Frankfurt to Hong Kong – Hong Kong to Sydney.

At Frankfurt there was announcement at the departure gate that some business class seats were available for ecomonmy/economy plus travellers to buy at a discounted rate. I thought… well, I can just enquire and see. If it’s stupid money, I won’t. So… I upgraded. Wow! The seats actually FULLY recline prostrate! It was amazing. The leg room. Wow. A MENU of food. I slept properly for about 4-5 hours. Even laid on my stomach at one point. I mean… when do you get to do THAT on a plane!?

Back to economy for the final leg, which was with Cathay Pacific. It was my first experience with Cathay Pacific and I have to say their economy class is VERY good.

We landed almost an hour ahead of schedule. Sydney was humid but cool when I arrived. I took my time. Alighted the plane last. Tidied myself up in the first toilet I saw. Took a seat and filled out the immigration form.

The e-passport thing blows my mind. All electronic. No 20 questions of why I’m the country, etc, etc. Scan and go.

My poor suitcase had hardly any friends left when I got to baggage reclaim.

Going through customs was fun. Some of us weary travellers were guinea pigs for trainee sniffer dogs, so it took a little time to get through there.

Out in arrivals I got myself a coffee and a bite to eat. I got a local SIM for my phone and then went to the train station and got myself to Central to get a connecting train to Liverpool – which still leaves from trusty old platform 19.

On the way through we passed Lidcombe Station. Lidcombe is where my mum grew up – not too far from the station itself. Two stops down is a tiny station – mostly it served workers for the big rail depot there. The station is called Clyde. And… all the time I lived in Sydney, the link never really occurred to me! I know! Silly. But how it hit me yesterday. My mum starting out in Lidcombe, just a short stop away from Clyde… and here I was, home to say goodbye to her. Never being able to say “Oh, mum, guess what? I live near Clyde too now.”

We say goodbye later today. To have been able to talk to her one last time… I wish.

Jinky’s Chinwag – Bruce Findlay

I only just got round to listening to this last night (listened to the podcast rather than watching the YouTube video). It’s 2 hours long and I started listening to it late last night. I expected to eventually drift off to sleep as tiredness came upon me… but I was riveted. Enthralled. Bruce’s life story is fascinating and he went into quite some detail into his formative years. How he started out with the record shops and all the different jobs he had apart from buying the records, the travel he did as a young man (and I could see how there would have been in instant kinship between he and Jim with those hitchhiking travelling stories). It was absolutely fascinating. Not without its more sombre parts too, it has to be said.

It all leading on to Bruce’s Records, and to the Zoom label and, of course, managing Simple Minds.

If you have a spare two hours, give it a watch (or listen to the podcast). Bruce doesn’t have legendary status among us Minds fans for nowt, you know!

A lovely man. Always so warm and gregarious.