The Reminiscence Bump – Examples

I would have liked to have written more in relation to Jim’s post yesterday, but I had just written my waffling blurb about Space (or more accurately what the song Space means to me) for MMM and I didn’t have that much writing left in me. So I left it for today.

I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to write today. I had my Covid vaccine booster and my flu vaccine yesterday. It’s the first time I’ve had the flu jag. I woke up feeling fine. Other than a sore arm from the jags, I felt okay. I slept okay. A bit intermittent, but quite soundly when I did actually sleep. I think now it is catching up with me though as now I am here at my PC, ready to exercise the old brain and writing muscles, I can feel my energy draining away. I’m yawning and feeling quite lethargic now. I’m hoping it’s just for today that I’ll feel like this. I have a gig to go to in Newcastle on Thursday and I want to have my energy up for that! 

Anyway! On with the “reminiscence bump” that Jim wrote about yesterday. 

I really loved that post. I didn’t know that his knowledge and love for Wichita Lineman went back that far. But I guess why would I? I always think the melody in Wichita Lineman sounds like Grace Jones’s La Vie En Rose, or vice versa (that would be more accurate). Jimmy Webb is an overdue postponed gig I have to go to next year. 

I don’t have any recollections of ever having heard Wichita Lineman until the first time I saw Jim writing about it. 

But that “reminiscence bump”? There are plenty of songs that do that. And there was no way I could list them and the images, feelings and settings they transport me back to. I just as succinctly as possible spoke about the memory and “bump” Boys From Brazil now gives me. Nana Mouskouri and a coach ride home from London on a dark and dreary night. 

But there are other songs that give me experiences of deep “bumps” when I hear them. ELO’s Hold On Tight gives me the vivid memory of a car ride home from my siblings paternal grandparents house. They lived way out of Sydney. I can’t quite remember where it was now. I think it was south of Sydney, in a town called Nowra. A beautiful part of the state of New South Wales, actually. Anyway, the car radio is on and it comes on on the radio and I find it a really hopeful and uplifting song (there’s Jim thinking “you find ELO uplifting? They’re dross! To each their own, Mr Kerr. To each their own.) and it had been a nice day at my siblings’ grandparents house. I went there with my eldest brother, his wife and my sister. I usually felt “the odd one out” the few times I went to their house as…well…I wasn’t their grandchild and their grandma wasn’t the most warming of ladies, but that day she was quite nice to me and seemed to want to engage in conversation with me. So my memory of the day is a good one. And the ride home in the car was full of lovely music and everyone was in good spirits. So I see my brother driving the car at the front, his wife beside him in the passenger seat, me in the back seat directly behind Roy, and my sister, Cheryl, sitting next to me to my right. The sun was fading. It was a winter’s day, so it was quite cool. And I can see that lovely scenery of Southern yet not quite coastal New South Wales out the window. 

So there’s one example. 

Another is hearing the Skyhooks song All My Friends Are Getting Married. It was a newish song at the time. I’m sure I’m maybe only 5 years old. Perhaps maybe a little older, as I am in my brother Quince’s (real name Gary – hasn’t been called Gary by anyone in I don’t know HOW long – 40+ years? I was the last person to doggedly stick to calling him Gary, and I finally stopped in the mid 1990s) bedroom playing records, using his Technics turntable…so I HAD to be older than five! But I wouldn’t have been much older. But the visuals the song gives me are vivid. I am in Quince’s room (we were always alternating rooms growing up – but at this point Quince had the first bedroom down the hall, the smallest of the bedrooms) and I am playing the Skyhooks album Ego Is Not A Dirty Word and I absolutely ADORE All My Friends Are Getting Married…as young as I am. I can appreciate it for the lamenting song it. The chorus goes “well, all my friends are getting married / yes, they’re all growing old / they’re all staying home on the weekend / they’re all doing what they’re told”. There’s a kind of melancholy to it I could appreciate. But I misconstrued the lament as a kid. I thought it was a lament on missing out on the married life when in actual fact it was a lament that all your single friends have buggered off and settled down! Lol

Anyway…the “bump” is a visual of home. Of Quince’s bedroom. Of a dull, gloomy day. I could see through to the laundry room from Quince’s bedroom and can see out the back door to a (rare) dull, gloomy sky. I was always looking skyward as a kid. Always looking up – literally, if not metaphorically. 

Some of the “bumps”, as exemplified above are very fleeting snapshots, but no less vivid. 

Another one is another car journey. I am with my sister and brother-in-law. REM’s Losing My Religion is on the radio and we are driving through the back streets of Busby – the place I grew up in. An outer south-western suburb of Sydney. Busby was quite a sprawling suburb. All of that area of Sydney, those outer south-western suburbs was farmland and then was turned into council housing developments in the early 1960s. Had the Kerrs ended up emigrating to Australia and landed in Sydney, I am pretty sure an area like Busby or its surrounds is where they would have ended up. The car is actually travelling long South Liverpool Road. There you go – get your Google Maps out and have a keek! Lol

One final one I’ll share is a “bump” – yet ANOTHER car journey – that is a vivid recall when hearing the Tin Tin Out version of Here’s Where The Story Ends. It has real symbolism to it, and very personal, so I can’t share much of it – but the song’s title is a fitting meaning to why this particular car journey was happening. I’ll say as much as the journey was an outpatients hospital visit to Leicester. And it was the ending of one story and the beginning of another. It’s a vivid recall of trying to find the hospital and getting lost (pre-Google Maps and GPS navigation – having to locate the place the old fashioned way) but eventually locating it after going around roundabouts and driving round in literary circles for a good half an hour. 

Other memories get sparked by curtain songs. Certain Bowie songs have me back at home “deep in your room / you never leave your room”. Iggy Pop songs do that too. Bjork songs do. Grace Jones, U2, INXS, Spy vs Spy, Pretenders, Icehouse, Sherbet, The Carpenters – all of them conjure up memories, vivid visuals of me listening to the music either in the livingroom on the crappy “family” sound system, or in my own bedroom I had later as a late teen/early adult. 

Creedence Clearwater Revival, I am sitting around in the kitchen with my mum. We’re usually drinking, playing trivial pursuit or some other board game, getting merrily drunk and just having a fab “girls night in”. We loved doing that. Just having a night in together, getting pissed and listening to music. She loved old crooners too, so I’d borrow things from the library to listen to. Nat King Cole or Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong or Ella Fitzgerald. 

Anyway. Enough of the nostalgia for one day. Geez, I keep myself deep within the clutches of nostalgia enough as it is – I don’t need any more excuses to wallow! My arm and shoulder is frigging aching to f*** anyway, and my head is starting to hurt a little. 

And because it’s vaguely relevant, I’ll end on this…

Minds Music Monday – Space

This song has a similar personal feeling for me than Spaceface does. Almost like they fit hand in glove. Even with the similarities in title – Space/Spaceface. There’s also a line within Wonderful In Young Life that fits in with the theme that I find particularly poignant. “Surviving these changes in paces and faces in free wonder, free wonder, free wonder style.” 

For the two minutes I decided to try and sell my “art” as a kind of merch thing, selling prints, shirts and mugs, I titled my “business” Free Wonder Style. Paid for a web domain and everything. Feels another lifetime ago now. Hey ho. 

Anyway, I digress already and we’re barely under way!

Space always felt like a “letting go” song. It resonated most with me when the “limerence” was at its worst. When I felt that Jim wanted “no more”. The placement of that idea? That signal? That came wholly within my own mind. When you’re wanting something so much. Wanting to feel a connection that you wish for all the world is there but deep down, within your rational mind, you know it isn’t. It can’t ever be. It never was. 

“Imagination wears you out / crying brings you down again. The dream is over / the feeling’s gone / and we were something / you were dreaming all along.”

YOU WERE DREAMING ALL ALONG. 

Everything about the song. Each line. Each line would just be like….

But then I’d hole on to the uplifting bits. “I’m the star you see tonight / and I wish I may / I wish I might / be in your dreams tonight.” 

How many times I have been in bed at night, getting ready to settle down to sleep and I have silently mouthed a little chant of “please let me dream of him, please let me dream of him”.

I did it again last night! But he appeared. With the rest of the band. I couldn’t quite work out the scenario of the dream. I think I was allowed to go to see them rehearse somewhere. Cherisse greeted me in the dream. Let me in, showed me round. I bumped into Charlie. We had a brief chat but then he had to go off. As for Jim? Well, he was busy elsewhere, conducting interviews and what not. I saw him at the far end of one area within this kinda “complex” this dream was set in, but he was too far away from me to even say hello to or anything. 

My dreams generally have a huge smack of reality to them. 

It’s a song that I feel makes me come to terms with things. And I hate how ridiculous that makes me sound! The whole “limerence” thing. I don’t want it to be a “thing”, you know? 

Like I said in my previous post discussing limerence. I feel like I am an otherwise intelligent and rational person. And I fear my explanation of my own “limerence” is not clear enough. I feel like I have to explain myself over and over again. I am NOT so deluded as to want “romantic love” from Jim! It really isn’t that! I don’t want to “run off with him”! That’s fucking ridiculous! I’m not THAT absurd or that much of a fantasist! 

It really was just – friendship. A bond. I like you, and I hope you like me too. I just have been craving a closeness that just isn’t there. I have me and my small bunch of friends and well, Jim joked way back before Simple Minds got REALLY big that he had 8000 friends – or whatever astronomical figure it was then. And I know – rational hat on, that there are many people he’s known for years, all his life nearly. People he calls pals who he’d hardly have any contact with! So…who the fuck am I? What kind of fucking audacity have I got to wish for getting emails or letters or shite like that from him, eh? I mean, Jesus! It would be different if I had known him from when I was wee. Like, really known him outside of Minds and all that. Knew him as “Jim fae Prospecthill Circus” like, you know? But I don’t.

That “just a fan” status thing is hard to take. But it’s the cold, hard reality of it. It doesn’t stop it from sucking ass though!

Sometimes…just to stop it hurting sometimes, I initiate the whole “it’s his loss” talk. It doesn’t make it any less painful. And it really doesn’t apply. It cannae. I cannae make him give two shits. And it’s not fair on him that I try and enforce it, like. 

So, getting back to Space. It makes me comes to terms with what is. What the “status quo” is. Where the lay of the land is. But, it still has that hope in it! Goddamnit! Like all Simple Minds songs do. It’s like it says to me “I know what you want, but you cannae have it. But, you can have it in your dreams.”

Well, of course I can have it in my dreams. I can have anything in my dreams. And I’m not even gonna go into the dreams I can have. Oh, the dreams I can have! That would make for some colourful posts, I tell ya!

Spaceface is more the antithesis of Space. Spaceface is pure joy. My “happy place”, as I call it. Pure “hunner per cent” uplifting. It’s my number one “feel good” Simple Minds track. Whereas Space is…a lament. There are things I want that I can’t have and I have to accept that. But…it’s okay to dream. It’s okay to want those things. To desire them. To wish for them. But don’t let it consume you. And there are times…too many times it feels as if it has consumed me. It has overtaken everything and made me ill. Or it has been exacerbated by another element of mental illness and I used it erroneously as a coping mechanism against other aspects of combating episodes of mental illness. 

I still find it INCREDIBLY difficult to admit to and talk openly about my mental ill health. I don’t want to be seen as “mental” or “sick”. And I fear what people think of me – and it’s a vicious cycle because it is such an integral part of my ill health – that CONSTANT fear and concern of what people think of me and how I am perceived by others. But that is something I cannot alter. I cannot alter people’s perceptions of me. And in whatever way people perceive me, if it is an a way that is negative and it means they distance themselves from me – well, IT IS “their loss”. But the “people pleaser” in me continues to struggle to come to terms with that. Even though I accept and understand all the rationale behind it. You CAN’T have EVERYBODY like you! You just can’t. And nor should you want to. And Jim falls into that, you know?

It’s a whole jumbled up plethora of stuff.

Space is sometimes a very hard listen for me because of what the song symbolises to me.

When I am at my worst, mental health wise, I would cling on so much to the line “if you’re talking / I will listen”. Because sometimes it felt like Jim was listening to me. 

It still stings my eyes with tears just how much I used to feel that and how much I have held on to it. How tightly I have held onto that. 

It’s a long, slow letting go. I had been alone for so long. Before 2014 and Simple Minds mega fandom. So alone. Never imagined in a million years that Jim himself would make me feel welcome and part of the fold. It was a lighting of touch paper though. And such emotional sparks flew from within. 

An inferno that is slowly quelling to kindling. 

“The dream is over / party’s over.”

Star light. That light needs to shine from within.

Minds Music Monday – Sleeping Girl

UPDATE: 8th Dec, 2021. This post has been edited from the previous posted version.

A “modern” enigma this song is for me. I have placed the word “modern” in quotation marks as the song is now almost 20 years old which for me brings it into the more recent Simple Minds bracket. Anything pre-2001 is “old” Minds. Anything post-2001 is modern Minds.

Usually I am happy for the ambiguity to remain with a Simple Minds track. I love that Jim’s lyrics are open to interpretation and that songs very obviously mean different things to different people, but we unite in the acknowledgement and agreement that this band is like no other for us. 

I don’t want to get bogged down in the mire of what I think of the Cry album in general. Suffice it to say I think it rings very true to where the band found themselves at the turn of the millennium. Set adrift. To use an old adage “up shit creek without a paddle”. Cry is a metaphorical “life raft”. It helps them out but it doesn’t quite get them to shore – not for me personally anyway. It’s only my opinion and feeling, of course.

There are things that keep them afloat, for sure. For me, the absolute pinnacle of the album is Spaceface. I will never have a bad word said against that song. Ever! This song dragged me out of such dark places time and again.

Disconnected does a similar thing. It wasn’t a song I warmed to initially but that soon changed. And it is amazing how that can happen. But I think the days of a “change of heart” with a song are now gone. I like what I like now when it comes to Simple Minds’ output pretty solidly. 

Recently I have grown tired of certain songs and they have been on a listening break for a while. In fact, dare I say the whole of Once Upon A Time is on a listening hiatus for me as I feel genuinely “overexposed” to it all now.

I also don’t listen to the whole Cry album because of my “prejudice”. This reminds me of my exchange with Jim about David Bowie’s Heathen album. I guess Cry is my Heathen, eh, Jim? From memory I think you said you liked “Everyone Says Hi” from Heathen, but little else? (I talk as if he is reading this. Lol. Sooooo deluded!) Well, I guess that’s me with Cry and Spaceface (and Disconnected and Sleeping Girl). 

Back to Sleeping Girl itself and the ambiguity of the lyrics. On Dream Giver there is only an attempted transcript of lyrics as none have actually been published. I kind of like that Jim tends to not want his lyrics published. I understand the reason behind why he doesn’t – if he still holds firm in the belief and justification he had in them not being printed in early SM days “they go with the music”, ie: he felt to single them out by printing them would turn them into poetry and separate them from the music. That’s fair enough. But conversely, you write the lyrics because you love words. They ARE meant to mean something. Not just to be heard merely as music, with music. If so, then you might as well sing in “vocalise”. Jim’s feeling on this must have changed by the mid 1980s because we wouldn’t have the lyrics we have on Street Fighting Years if he didn’t want his lyrics to say something. To have meaning. For people to find a meaning and definition to them.

I like that Sleeping Girl is mystical. What exactly is going on in that song? What is this “violation” Jim talks about? Are we meant to interpret that observing a “sleeping girl” without her knowledge is therefore a “perverse” act and in turn a “violation”? 

I had recently been in conversation with a friend about observing someone in sleep. The beauty of it. The beauty of the sleeper. We are at our most vulnerable during our sleep. I think that vulnerability plays on the waking mind a lot. I will be very open here about something that happened to me a lot during my teens and into my early 20s. I’m not sure how often these kind of dreams invade other womens sleep. It’s not something you find yourself discussing with your female friends. Well, I didn’t. One, I didn’t exactly have many friends. Two, how does one bring up this subject in conversation? 

The vulnerability of sleep meant that in my teens and into my 20s I often dreamed of being raped. (EDIT)

These days I just look at it objectively and think I was a raging, hormonal, sex-starved Scorpio (all those astrology things you read about Scorpios – take it from me, they aren’t overexaggerating the whole “lust” thing with our zodiac sign). 

(EDIT)

Anyway! I digress, some…

“Sleeping girl / I wish you could tell / this violation

Sleeping girl / I want you to smile / confirmation”

Is that – “I want you to feel or sense that I am watching you while you’re sleeping, and I want you to let me know that you feel it”? 

If so, then that’s goddamn fucking sexy! 

Also if so then it is very much on a par with the conversation I had with my friend about watching someone as they sleep and the feeling of the perverse that it triggers. You can’t help but feel you are invading someone’s vulnerability. 

Another friend I have spoken to more directly about the song in particular interprets the lyrics with a far more innocent view. I don’t know how they can view it quite so innocently given the language Jim uses in the lyrics. Perhaps it says as much about the dark recesses of my mind as it does about her more innocent interpretation? For I would hardly describe this friend as “innocent”, but perhaps a little more…restrained than myself when it comes to certain actions.

In summing up this overexposed Minds Music Monday, I find the song both musically and lyrically incredibly sexy. Vocally too. Those “Sprechstimme” lines Jim delivers as a kind of chorus – holy moly! *melts into a puddle*

Minds Music Monday – This Is It

Sometimes for me the songs that should sound the easiest to decipher are the ones I struggle to gain clearly defined meaning from. This Is It is a case in point.

For as clear as the lyrics are in the song, there’s enough ambiguity in the meaning for me to question whether MY interpretation of it is the right one? I guess that’s where Jim would come in and say (perhaps) “it is whatever you interpret it to be. It doesn’t matter what I think it is.I just wrote it. As soon as it is out in the public for consumption, it’s no longer mine to dictate terms.” I think that is how most artists have to be, right? To feel able to see their work out in public, they have to do that public “letting go”? Ah, if only he were here to confirm it or redefine my interpretation. Alas…

Anyway, I digress.

I guess the thing I glean from the song is – change is a coming, prepare yourself. Embrace it! It COULD just be the “game-changer” you’ve been waiting for. When all seems lost, here comes change just when you need it. Make the most of it! Don’t be scared of it, embrace it!

And that really is an outlook I can do with embracing. Because, let’s face it, change IS scary – but it generally leads to better and more exciting things, so it is best to tackle it with an optimistic view, right?

Charlie’s guitar as the song is coming to its end? Wow! And during the fade out, it wailing away. That soaring screech of optimism. “They call it the new change”…. here it comes!

I find this song genuinely uplifting. A feel good tune.

And I really enjoyed doing this new piece of artwork with the song as the inspiration for it on Saturday night. I hope you like it too.

Reflect What You Are

I wish I was everything he is reflected right back, but I am the antithesis of all that he is.

He is light, and he is beauty.

All those Halloween pieces of work I made? They were just bits of fun. Meaningless guff! He’s not the devil, or DraKERRla, a fallen angel, or any of that nonsense.

Not an angel fallen – but one with wings to fly. Heaven sent.

Light in the dark.

Air.

Sunshine.

Beauty.

Intelligence.

An inspiration.

Pure joy.

A smile. A laugh. The sun. Radiating beauty….everywhere. But especially in my dark heart.

Random Roundup

I have a bit of a mish mash of stuff to catch up with on here. Just, general music news and observations over the past few days. All to be brushed upon shortly. I’ve been delayed in getting to the topics coming up because on Sunday I was out pretty much all day with not much opportunity to post prior to leaving home. And yesterday I was just in an exhausted state. Physically knackered and tired, but also in the brain fug that comes with it, not in any real state to be writing blog posts with any kind of clarity. 

Hence two wordy posts today. First the rather extensive one about the Warm Digits set at the Stag & Dagger in Edinburgh on Sunday, and now this general catch up in the world of Simple Minds and associated acts.

Firstly on the Friday was a special Drumathon fundraising for Children In Need. BBC weather presenter, Owain Wyn Evans, came up with the idea and Cherisse Osei was involved. All through Friday drummers took turns to do stints at the kit and raise funds for CIN. The highlight was a mass drum-a-long to the BBC News countdown theme.

You can still donate HERE. Children In Need is on BBC One this Friday (Nov 19th) at 7pm.

Saturday night I tuned into Billy Sloan on BBC Radio Scotland. His special guest for the show was none other than former Dreamboy and Springburn local done good, Peter Capaldi. After some 40+ years in the musical wilderness, Peter has released his debut album titled St Christopher. His interview with Billy was a great one. He discusses getting back into music, the making of the album, the songwriting process, his acting career and highlight roles like playing The Doctor and Malcolm Tucker and meeting Burt Lancaster on the set of Local Hero, and of course he talks about The Dreamboys, the Hellfire Club, Jaine and David Henderson, and meeting Craig Ferguson and Craig becoming drummer for The Dreamboys.

You can listen to the interview by clicking HERE

As I was heading out for the day in Edinburgh, there was a post from Jim on SM FB. Something about tartan shorts. Nah – not the pledge for him to wear some (and nothing else!) on the stage next year (goddamnit!) – but more to do with the construct of time and how time can feel both fleeting and protracted, dependent upon all the other sets of circumstances you find yourself in at any given moment. An hour feeling like a minute when in the company of a pretty girl (or that five minutes when you’re with that man that you bloody swoon over every single second of the day…how that feels like it is gone with a click of the fingers) – I wouldn’t know. Or conversely a short passage of time feeling an eternity. Billy Sloan’s interview a few weeks previous with Patti Smith springs to mind – of her telling the story of waiting on a phone call from her then boyfriend – later to be husband – Fred and how they only got the chance to talk on the phone once a week. He’d call at a prearranged time, but this one week he hadn’t called at the arranged time. An hour went by, then two… while she waits for him to call, she writes her section of lyrics to Because The Night. “Have I doubt when I’m alone / love is a ring, the telephone” – that line symbolic of her waiting on her call from Fred. Actually, the whole song is for him, she said. 

I digress. 

Jim shared a rather different anecdote – one to do with boxing and Ken Buchanan. There was Einstein in there too. And there he was expressing the duality in him that I love – the brains and the brawn. “Brawn” I guess being rather overly complimentary of me as he describes his 12 year old self as being “whippet thin” and me thinking “you were still a whippet 10 years later – ya sexy devil – ggrrrrrr!!!”, more than a little conscious of how sad a fact it is an old, fat ‘coo’ like moi should be crushing on wee skinny boys (of then) like Jim. Talk of a 12 year old “whippet” had me thinking of one boyfriend I had for all of five minutes. 

The view as I typed this post out – of “Whippet Jim” – body of a jockey more than a boxer – and looking for all the world like he is about to take part in the Grand National in this photo by Virginia Turbett. (So glad she got the peachy tush in the mirror!)

Should I share this sad tale of woe here? Ah, go on then! Why the hell not?

When I liked a boy…really liked a boy, I was NEVER going to wait for him to ask me out! (Sometimes I think the 51 year old me could really do with the gallus that the 11/12 year old me had for certain things!) Boys. I was boy crazy from… I dunno when. I can’t EVER remember a time in which I thought “Boys?! Eewwwww.” Nah. NEVER happened!

I’m in my final year of primary school – so I’m 11, turning 12. The boy in question was called Rodney Johnston (it is VERY rare for me to remember names of people I went to school with, so there’s some insight already about how fixated I was with him). Over the year, I asked him out several times, either directly, or indirectly. Every time a knockback. And…not just a subtle knockback, either. I mean…he made it pretty obvious after a while that he was NOT interested. I eventually stopped asking, starting to realise I was flogging a dead horse.

Several weeks later, lo and behold, he’s asking ME out!? Whaaaa? I was suspicious. Had he been dared into it by his mates? Why the sudden turn around? Was I gullible because I still fancied him? Probably. OF COURSE I SAID YES! So…we arrange “a date”. I’d visit his place and we’d hang out.

The day comes. I am SSSOOO excited! It was a beautiful spring day. The sun was shining, it was warm. I’m almost sick with excitement when I get to his house. “I’ll meet you by the back gate” he said to me when we arranged my visit. So I’m there at the gate waiting for him to appear. I can hear him approaching but before he gets to the gate, the family dog arrives at the gate. I put my hand over the gate to pat the dog and just as I do Rodney rounds the corner from the side of the house, sees what I’m about to do and shouts “NO! DON’T TOUCH THE DOG!” Just as the dog starts to take a leap and a snap of my hand. I retrieved my hand, but not quite in enough time to not get done by the dog’s bite. I still have the scar, though it is very pale now, on the pinky finger of my right hand. The dog sliced the top third of my right pinky finger open. Blood went everywhere. Rodney ran inside and got his mum. I was driven home and then driven to the local GP. I got five stitches to my wound. I didn’t have any other dates with Rodney. 

The dog wasn’t a whippet, in case you’re wondering – but an Australian cattle dog – or “red/blue heeler” as they are known (depending on colouring). I had a fear of cattle dogs from that day on. Not really any other dogs. Just the red and blue heelers. 

Rodney himself was the whippet. A skinny boy. 

I have such luck with boys. Lol

I mentioned in my comment on the “tartan shorts” post about how that miscorrelation of time happens to us fans too. That a Simple Minds gig can feel like it lasts minutes. That it’s over before it has begun. The American is the signal indicative of that feeling for me. The American usually heralds the beginning of the end for me. 

When someone asks why you would want to go and see your favourite band gig after gig, time after time – this is why! This is the biggest reason why. Because – time doesn’t behave itself! “Only with you life moves so fast – when I’m with you life moves so fast.” Don’t you know it, Jim Kerr! You were grappling with the construct of time even all the way back then.

Finally – a post on Instagram last night from Joe Donnelly, talking of new Caezar music in the making. All on course to be released early next year, with a summer tour to follow. Wonderful stuff!

That was a rather wordy catch-up! And a bit of “Priptona’s Life Story” piece right in the middle of it there. Oh, well. I had nothing much else doing on this Tuesday afternoon. 

Ciao for now.

Minds Music Monday – Light Travels

“Hello, hello – is anybody home?”

I’m not sure anyone is today. I feel absolutely shattered.

You see, I went to Edinburgh yesterday to see my second favourite band in the entire universe. It was a long way to go for what was barely a 30 minute set, but it had been so long since I saw them play, I was just happy to be there and see them. Even one song would have done!

And Steve and Andy are always so lovely. Greet me warmly and let me chat with them and make me feel like they are as happy to see me as I am to see them. Anyway, more on that in another post to come.

It was a tiring day anyway. Lots of aimless walking and a longer journey home than anticipated. So today I feel completely deflated and drained.

When my spirits are low, a song like Light Travels is just the antidote to that feeling. The matter-of-fact lyrics are sometimes what is really needed. “Things get better after things get worse.” IE: Buck up kid, it won’t always be this bad! 

And before that “hello, hello – is anybody home?” line there is “But there’s no need to worry” – and I have only taken in the true context of the next line! I used to think that line a bit rude, you know? Because people say that to someone who is “zoned out” – distracted and deep in their own thoughts and not really paying attention to what is going on around them. Say, if you’re talking to someone and are expecting a response from them and one isn’t forthcoming, you’d usually say “HELLLLO! Is anyone home? Wakey, wakey!” and wave a hand in front of them to try and coax them out of their perceived reverie. 

But I have just realised that what could be meant by it is (because of the line before being “but there’s no need to worry”) – DID YOU HEAR WHAT I SAID!? DID YOU JUST TAKE THAT IN!?

THERE’S NO NEED TO WORRY! So stop.

It’s uplifting because it’s a song reassuring you that you are not alone. We all have our ups and downs and the world still keeps turning. Light just keeps on traveling through the universe. 

My favourite lines in the song are “words unravel out of all of us / they arise / they refrain”. I understand why Jim and Charlie wanted this Sean Kelly track – it’s beautiful. 

And for the Acoustic album, they turned it into something even more beautiful again. It was a bonus track on the Acoustic vinyl album – both it and Speed Your Love To Me were, for me, (along with the cover of Richard Hawley’s Long Black Train) the standouts of the whole Acoustic album. 

If you today, like me, feel the need to be uplifted and reassured…listen to Light Travels and feel yourself somewhat healed.

Minds Music Monday – The ‘Cure All’?

Differing tastes. Songs that you don’t initially warm to and songs you love from the get go. This is the theme for MMM this week. 

I was pondering what I was going to write about this week – thinking that I more often than not choose earlier tracks. It’s my bias coming to the fore there really. If you gave me two albums to listen to – depending on the albums, I would most likely choose the earlier album. 

Let’s say those two albums laid down in front of me are Life In A Day or Big Music. Between the two of them, and the way I am feeling today (in particular) – I’d choose Big Music.

But the thing that really started the thought of this post was what song on Big Music do people tend to overlook or seem to express a disliking for? That seems to be Kill Or Cure. I love Kill Or Cure! I think it’s really sexy. I mean those lines in the chorus – especially the “you can spread yourself all over me” line – bloody hell! Don’t I wish! I honestly don’t get why it’s dismissed so much. How can you not hear how bloody SEXY it is?! I genuinely think it is one of the best tracks on Big Music. And that album – especially the deluxe version, with the addition of Liaison and Bittersweet makes Big Music quite the sensual experience.

But the reception of Kill Or Cure had me thinking about Simple Minds songs that I don’t warm to much. And in popped a link in my head. The word “cure”. One of the songs in the SM canon I didn’t warm to initially was No Cure. No Cure being a track on Life In A Day. 

The Life In A Day album I can listen to sure enough. But as has been discussed over the years, the things I enjoy more about the early Simple Minds era – especially the very early period between 1978-79 is listening to them live. The Thing I tend to wish for most is being able to see them with Magazine. Being able to see some gigs on that Secondhand Daylight tour – just as SM released Life In A Day. And frankly, I wouldn’t be bugging Jim for them to play Chelsea Girl. I get his frustration. It’s a shame he doesn’t get that same kind of frustration these days for feeling compelled to perform Don’t You (Forget About Me). 

Ah, the joys of seeing the 5×5 Live tour of 2012. All you lucky sods that bloody went!

No Cure was a bugbear for ages. And this is why I still use shuffle mode and have an absolute “kit and kaboodle” playlist of every single Simple Minds song…because on the odd occasion, the love grows. And that’s what happened with No Cure. Initially I couldn’t stand the song and would skip it. Then after a few times in a dwam of semi-sleep and it playing while listening to the “everything” playlist during the night – the song really grew on me. 

So, the link is the “Cure” – and the expanse of time in between – from early Minds to modern Minds and the songs that divide and unite. 

Perhaps without No Cure there’d be no Cocteau Twins? And for Simple Minds, without Cocteau Twins, there might not have been No Cure. I think compared to the demo that was done for Cocteau Twins you can hear on the “Early Years” CD, No Cure is more mature and more polished. I used to think No Cure sounded a bit too Boomtown Rats for me – but having just listened to Cocteau Twins again….that doesn’t really sound any less so. 

At the end of the day, I’ve grown to love No Cure and I loved Kill Or Cure from the start. 

And well…we need a “cure” this week, don’t we? A cure from the hangovers of Halloween. A cure from the fireworks of Bonfire night. And, most importantly – we need a cure for the world climate crisis. Another week of COP26 here in Glasgow. Let’s hope the leaders of the world can make the big and hard changes it is going to take to save this planet – if we think it’s worth bloody saving. 

I have no children of my own. But just because I am not a parent, it doesn’t mean I don’t give two shits about the future of the world and how future generations will live. In fact, the growing decline of the world and its growing population were strong factors in why I chose not to become a parent. It was the worry of what kind of world that I would bring lives into that made me reconsider the very fleeting notion I had of becoming a parent. Biggest factor of all was I’ve never felt very capable of looking after myself let alone be responsible for another or other human beings. 

Take humanity out of the equation completely – and I care enough for the animals we share this planet with not to be hellbent on destroying it. If we destroy this planet then that is sinister. It’s a monstrous act! We’ll never know. I almost wish the planet will be left to the animals. That humanity just fucks itself up and doesn’t take any other innocent party along with it.

Perhaps “the meek” – aka, all the rest of the animal kingdom – SHALL indeed inherit the earth. They deserve it much more than we do, in my humble opinion. 

The ultimate abolition of the human race – perhaps that is just the cure this world needs? 

(Shit. That went a bit dark and heavy, eh? Sorry about that!)

Anyway…either it be a Kill Or Cure, or No Cure at all. These songs are bloody braw!