Interviews Abound – Bruce, Billy and Graeme with Grant Stott – Jim with Chris Hawkins (sitting in for Craig Charles)

Two interviews took place almost simultaneously yesterday. One pre-recorded, the other live.

The live chat happened on BBC Radio Scotland. Grant Stott was hosting The Afternoon show and during the middle of the program, he spoke to Bruce Findlay, Billy Sloan and Graeme Thomson about the book and Simple Minds. You can listen to that interview and chat directly below.

The second interview was on BBC Radio 6 Music. Chris Hawkins was sitting in for Craig Charles and he spoke to Jim about the release of Act Of Love and the anniversary of the Simple Minds debut gig at Satellite City in 1978. Jim was at his loquacious best – although the interview was brief, it was highly entertaining. You can listen to that interview below.

I hope you enjoy them both. I know I did.

T-Shirt Day 2021

Today is the debut of this fine bit of merch! Wasn’t expecting this on Sunday night. Very lovely of Steve to offer me one of these fab shirts. Had their gig been going ahead, I’d be seeing them tonight in Glasgow. I’d have loved nothing better! Alas, it was not to be.

Roll on December 16th and my trip to Newcastle and a Warm Digits Christmas.

Happy T-Shirt Day, everyone!

Belated Birthday Swings And Roundabouts

Beauty and the Beast was fab. As was the Sunday birthday lunch. Weather was iffy but…meh. It’s Scotland. What are ya gonna do?

Yesterday was the belated added bonus of my Warm Digits boys being on the radio doing a live session on BBC Radio 6 Music on Marc Riley’s show.

They played The View From Nowhere, Feel The Panic and Replication. Replication sounded particularly fantastic. It is clearly going to be a live favourite for me. I remember particularly enjoying that when seeing them support Polica back in Feb. 2020 at St Lukes.

Just before the show was under way, I had an email from Eventim, the ticket agent I bought my tickets for their upcoming Glasgow gig with. The email was informing me that their Glasgow gig is cancelled. Oh, damn!

And yes, it is true. Sadly it is cancelled. But I will get to see them in Edinburgh at the Stag and Dagger in just under two weeks time, so that’s some compensation. Might have to see if I can get to Manchester as well. I have a ticket for their gig at The Cluny in Newcastle, but that’s near Christmas. But I’ll hope that the weather and travel is okay and that I can actually get there too. The Cluny is a fab venue.

In the meantime, here’s a link to BBC Sounds and the Marc Riley show from last night. He played a great blend of music. I recommend listening to the whole show. It was very entertaining.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m00112m0

Recent Radio Offerings – New Gold Dream Album Club and Ged On Radio Scotland Arts Show

Firstly, Steve Lamacq played the entire New Gold Dream album as part of Radio 6 Music’s album club. It also includes an interview with Jim and Charlie recorded and aired in July, 2016, as part of the box set release of NGD at the time.

On Wednesday (Sept. 30th), Ged was on BBC Radio Scotland’s Afternoon Show with Grant Stott, discussing the new orchestral versions of songs from The Bard’s Tale, plus about Simple Minds and the state of the live music industry during the Covid pandemic.

Old Gold Dream?

I felt rather disheartened by yesterday’s 6 Music “Album Club”. The remit for BBC Radio 6 Music when it started was to be “indie” and “alternative”. It seems to have edged away from that over the years. I mean…it was fabulous that they gave exposure to Walk Between Worlds in 2018. No one was more surprised than me. I really thought it would be Radio 2 that would give it the exposure.

The fact that Simple Minds can straddle getting airplay from both stations is testament to the lasting legacy and style of the music they have produced. GOOD ON THE MINDS!

But the disappointing things about yesterday were – the repetition of the interview. At least 6 Music alluded (or even ELUDED) to it being a repeat…but with a modicum of uncertainty I tuned in anyways but once it got under way, the interview was sounding pretty familiar.

The other was the fact that they – 6 Music – ONCE AGAIN chose to concentrate on New Gold Dream.

Now….DON’T GET ME WRONG! New Gold Dream is EVERYTHING that the lasting reverence and esteem it is held in by all and sundry is worthy of. It is as near to perfection as Simple Minds ever got, aurally. And you all know well enough how I feel about Jim in 1982. The album and him…both near perfection in 1982. He is as aesthetically beautiful as the album work itself. The album is art and Jim right at that point is Michelangelo’s David for me.

Back to that 6 Music remit. “Indie and alternative”. It makes me wonder then WHY…why not highlight EMPIRES AND DANCE? It was its 40th anniversary, FFS! Or…Sons And Fascination/Sister Feelings Call – which is absolutely CRYING OUT for a box set reissue, but looks as if it will never get it – to my (and quite a number of others fans) eternal consternation.

It just had me perplexed. New Gold Dream is constantly lauded. Constantly gets the praise. It’s almost as if, sometimes in the eyes of many, that Simple Minds made only one great album and it’s that one thing. For me, it almost falls into the danger zone of Don’t You (Forget About Me). Except it is far more superior to that (sorry for the Don’t You lovers – I once was a lover of it too, many moons ago…and then I became a Simple Minds fan). Simple Minds only known for ONE SONG and ONE ALBUM. It just sucks arse!

And I am ssooo disappointed that there wasn’t more to celebrate and applaud Empires And Dance. On this milestone anniversary year, it REALLY deserved it. I hate how both EAD and Sons/Sister are just deemed creative precursors to NGD. Never really seen as the amazing sonic innovations they both were.

At times I can be left with a kind of desensitised feeling after having listened to NGD – like it just washes over me because it’s kind of “too good”. I can’t explain it right. But…I NEVER have that feeling with Sons And Fascination/Sister Feelings Call. It ALWAYS leave me floored, in awe, astounded and like I have been on the most amazing sonic journey. And Empires And Dance just floors me thinking about their age and ambition and how they pulled off such a sound. Drawing on so many influences, but finding their own musical identity.

Anyway, that’s just how I felt about yesterday’s Album Club. Once I heard that the interview was indeed a repeat, I switched the radio off.

Yesterday I wasn’t much in the mood to hear more praise heaped upon NGD.

Another Chance? Steve Lamacq’s Album Club

I’m not sure if this is going to be a brand new thing? I did seek clarity on this but no reply (so far) has been forthcoming, so I have no idea. The blurb would seem to imply it might be…but it just maybe worded that way in readiness for it being on BBC Sounds for playback. I dunno.

They did do this four years ago when the New Gold Dream box set came out. I have a sneaky feeling it MIGHT be a repeat of that…but we’ll see.

Either way, it’s an opportunity to grab it and put it on the blog to be available permanently. In the meantime, click on the image to be taken to the BBC page. Listen in “live” at 6pm this evening – or on playback.

The Anchoress – In Session (and Interview) With Steve Lamacq On BBC Radio 6Music

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Here is the audio excerpt of Catherine’s interview with Steve Lamacq and her performance as The Anchoress (and band), performing a great version of Long Year and What Goes Around, live from the Southbank Centre as part of day one of Robert Smith’s Meltdown Festival. Enjoy! (Pic taken from Catherine’s FB page.)

Fresh Kerrsday Thursday Treat – And Summer Gets Numanised

…for your delectation, courtesy of Miss Cherisse Osei 🙂

Sir posted this morning of a new remix of Summer produced by Gary Numan and his long-term collaborator Ade Fenton. It got its first play during the Roundtable segment on Steve Lamacq’s show on BBC Radio 6 Music.

CLICK HERE to listen to the show (Summer plays from around the 32 minute mark).
I, sadly, wasn’t really won over. I feel so bad for saying that. I had such high hopes for it…but it takes away all the beauty I get from the song. The song actually SOUNDS WARM on the album! The images I got with it. A heat haze setting-sun scene…a fesitval…slo motion bodies bouncing up and down, hair swaying about in the breeze. I know Jim sings of rain and lightning…but I rarely see that imagery with the song…and if I do…it’s a sun shower. Not a downpour.

But that is now what I get with the Numan/Fenton mix…a damp squib. A rain on my parade. A shading of my sun.

You guys know I love dark songs and imagery…but it just feels the wrong fit. An anthemic, bright, upbeat, warm, pulsing, thumping song…well, rained upon.

Oh, I wanted to like it! And as I was listening to it, I had this sinking feeling. The sinking feeling it was not going to be liked…and, well. Ouch! I do feel if the panel had heard the album version, they’d have not slated it like they did.

A shame. I think maybe if things had been swapped around? Had Johnson Somerset remixed this, and Numan and Fenton were given The Signal And The Noise, then…well, that could have been interesting. I do love JS’s remix of TSATN, don’t get me wrong! But the mix of Summer just didn’t gel for me. I’ll give it one or two more listens but…I’m not hopeful I’ll be won round.

Sometimes opposites attract. Juxtapositions work. I just don’t think it does on this occasion. But I MAY change my mind. Stay tuned!