I Wish Life Could Be Swedish Magazines…

The line from Iggy Pop’s Five Foot One could not be a more appropriate title because, right now, I DO wish “life could be Swedish magazines”. Well, newspapers might be more accurate.

Anyway, that’s semantics.

This morning on the Simple Minds Official Group (or should that now just be “Simple Minds Group”?), a Swedish fan shared a few images from local newspapers featuring SM.

I commented saying how awesome they were and gave a thanks for sharing. He replied to me, telling me that the Swedish National Library’s archive is open to the public during April and he’d be searching the archive and found some things.

And there is SO MUCH MORE than he shared on SMOG! A veritable treasure trove of previously unseen photos, articles and gig reviews, etc. It’s a pain in the bum to go through on a Smartphone or tablet/mobile device, so I’ll fire up the laptop tomorrow and see what I can find and try and get a better copy of the things I’ve seen so far – and more.

But for now…here is a small rough sample of the treasures in the Swedish Newspaper archive. The first pic is a very early one from 1979, all the rest are from 1981-1982.

If you are wanting to, you can search through the archive HERE. A huge thanks to Micke for posting about this today.

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Am I dreaming this or is Jim wearing ANIMAL PRINT LEG WARMERS???!!!

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Kenny or Jim? The tussle is real. Erm…THREESOME?! I WISH! Then again, Kenny’s troosers are worryingly high. Lol. Jim’s are not much lower to be fair…

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The Blog That Nobody Follows

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It was never the reason I started this blog. Not to gain followers. It was never about that. If nobody read it, I would STILL be posting here. If it never had “an audience” it would still be going.

It has always been about self-expression and showing my passion and love for this band.

It didn’t even start seriously! It started on Tumblr – which is a very image and gif rich social media platform hybrid. It’s much more a visual based thing. Just a big excuse to share lots of gorgeous images and gifs of Jim (and the rest of the band). A big excuse to ogle. (Oh, how I like an ogle.) For a time I even had a secondary Tumblr page solely dedicated to Jim’s left ear! Lol. This is how frivolous and silly it all started out as!

If I had wanted followers, I’d have stayed on Tumblr. In my short time on there I gained about 300 followers and it would have kept growing exponentially as that’s what most social media platforms are about. Equally, if I wanted my blog to have followers, I’d be sharing posts and going on about it here, there and everywhere. Endlessly sharing links and posting stuff to Simple Minds groups on Facebook and retweeting links to Twitter users, etc, etc. Basically spammed people to death with my blog.

Blogs are different to other aspects of social media. Yes, they can have that element to them as well but the overriding reason someone creates a blog isn’t really about gaining a fanbase or followers, as such.

Tumblr did have its limitations. It’s very much its own community there. And it wasn’t really the place for more serious contemplation or expression. I felt anyway. I felt as if I was outgrowing Tumblr. I wanted something more. I didn’t want to completely come away from the fun stuff. The ogling of Jim and the silly things that went on at Tumblr, but the move away from Tumblr was a great reason to start to bring in a more serious slant to stuff.

It took time. Time for the love of the band to really develop into something that I felt I could try to articulate and express more.

Over time I have introduced several “themes” to the blog. Not completely leaving the fun side behind at Tumblr, I coined “Kerrsday Thursday” for the blog. A weekly ogling session of all things Jim. I had written pieces titled “Why I Love…” in which I would try and go in depth and explain why I loved a particular Simple Minds song and therefore why it was in its place in my Top 50 Simple Minds songs. Nearly five years down the road, and I STILL haven’t finished all 50.

The weekend whiriiGIG was coined in which I would share a live performance from YouTube that I enjoyed. Mainly bootleg gigs. Before it was the “weekend whirliGIG” it had been on the blog as a TARDIS dream gig wish. A gig that I would wish I had been able to go to but…due to age, distance, non fandom, it didn’t take place for me.

And it eventually came a space to share band news and things and a place for me to feel free to comment and talk about those things.

A place for my art too. The digital fan art being a huge aspect of that…but also painting and drawing that I would do – not necessarily of the band, either.

The joy of gigs and seeing them live. And then just….expanding on that and started to give reviews of other gigs I started to go to. In the past three years in particular, I have been to see more live music and more gigs than I had ever done in the previous near 30 years (as of then) of my adult life.

And this year – my 50th year – was going to be the most gig rich year yet! Until Covid-19 had other plans. My calendar of events had just started. I had been to a Poliça gig to see my guys, Warm Digits, as their support. A gig wish was fulfilled by seeing Bryan Ferry at the SEC Armadillo the week prior to flying over to Copenhagen to see what was meant to be the first of THIRTEEN Simple Minds shows for this year. And there were so many other gigs lined up besides! More Warm Digits gigs, as they have just released a new album. Then there was meant to be King Creosote on the day we were due back from Copenhagen. And beyond that…John Grant, Jimmy Webb, Crowded House, The Stranglers. One of the Warm Digits bills had them at the Stag and Dagger in Edinburgh and I was looking forward to getting to see other bands on the bill there. Perth band Parliamo, in particular.

I had started to conduct the odd interview as well. I had interviews with Simple Minds original lighting technician, Jaine Henderson, former band manager, Bruce Findlay and just recently an interview with Warm Digits’ Steve Jefferis.

I have been trying to make something of it. Not just have it be a Jim Kerr ogle-fest or a sycophantic endless declaration of love and admiration for him. It always runs the risk of falling back to that.

But, hey! I am human after all. I have feelings, thoughts, concerns, worries, hang ups. And at the end of the day MY blog is MY outlet for things. I really try not to drag it down with too much personal stuff. But if it happens…I shouldn’t really feel the need to apologise for that. At the end of it – it IS a personal blog. It isn’t in any way monetised. It doesn’t exist to make money! It doesn’t exist to gain followers.

But, you know what? It DOES have followers. A small number of them. But the fact it has any at all astounds me. And at times, it embarrasses the fuck out of me! A lot of the time, in fact.

And I have regular readers too. And then new comments coming in too. And I have had wonderful acknowledgements from people I admire and hold in esteem and these things feel very unworthy.

So, to all of you who visit and/or leave a comment, to Scott, (and to the other Scott as well that I know visits too) and to recent visitors leaving comments, Catrine and Gavin. To Stuart as well. And to the new followers who’ve subscribed, thank you.

To Gordon Machray of Simple Minds International on Facebook, to Simon Cornwell – who runs the sublime Dream Giver Redux – the absolute Simple Minds online bible, to Paolo Viani – who runs Simple Minds Historical on Facebook, and to Ronnie Gurr of Hanging Around Books. For all your nods of acknowledgement, I am humbled and thankful and feel it very undeserved.

Vive la Simple Minds!

Quit Dreaming…Part Two

A FULL amateur filmed gig from 1991 in Munich has appeared on YouTube. I only stumbled upon it late last night so I haven’t watched much of it. Enough of it to see he was in full scissor kick glory that night – two of them in the space of three minutes. Which then obviously led to a ‘trooser malfunction’ for at around nine minutes he appears to do up his flies. Then he has a problem with his mic and has to wait a bit while they rush to replace it. That’s kind of as far as I got. But from what I saw, considering it is from 1991 and either recorded onto Mini DV or Super 8 and the person is quite a way back in the crowd, it’s looking pretty good!

Easter weekend TARDIS ride. You’re welcome 😊 Thanks to “Schnuckelpferd” for uploading.

Rescheduled Warm Digits Dates

Please note that Warm Digits have rescheduled their dates for the end of April/early May.

So far, there are two new dates rescheduled for Newcastle and Manchester. News on the Stag And Dagger date in Edinburgh and the London date for the Purcell Room at the Southbank Centre will follow.

New dates for The Cluny in Newcastle is Sept.11th and Yes in Manchester is Sept. 12th. Keep your eyes peeled on the band’s social media for the remaining date changes. See you out there in Sept. hopefully!

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