Walk Between Worlds Anniversary And The Continued Viability Of The Physical Format

Yesterday was the anniversary of the release of Walk Between Worlds. It’s been four years now! Where the fuck did four years go?! Bejaysus! Simple Minds fans back in the early days must have felt ssooo spoiled – an album coming out EVERY YEAR! TWICE A YEAR in 1979 (Life In A Day and Real To Real Cacophony) and 1981 (Sons And Fascination and Sister Feelings Call). Not to mention all the touring that went on in between. Holy fuckaroli!

At this point in time four years ago, I was recouping from a whirlwind visit to Glasgow to be at the HMV in Argyle Street for the album signing. Us fans were all lined up early. I was maybe third or fourth in the queue. That’s the WRONG place to be for an event like that. I soon learned – the rookie that I am – when it comes to signing events, you want to be towards the back. More time is afforded to you then when you get to the front. Instead of what happens to those at the front of the queue, which is to be hurried along. 

As we are stood there waiting inside the store, Jim and Charlie enter the room from my right side. Jim sees me in the queue and says hello to me. I immediately want the ground to just envelop me whole. I was standing their with my OH and with Alison Carroll. I’m in my heavy raincoat. Undrerneath I am, for me, “dolled up”. I am a complete nervous wreck. I can remember both my OH and Alison saying to me “do you want to take your jacket off?” “Nah, it’s fine.” I didn’t want to make a fuss or cause a scene. All I could see in my head was the commotion I’d make, handing all the stuff I was carrying over to them, taking the coat off, then getting all the other stuff handed back to me and it all just being a ruckus. 

Can one be both hot AND cold at the same time? Because it was a freezing day and that was also partly why I didn’t want to take my jacket off. But I was warm in the store. I was just, as I say, a wreck. I just wanted it over with. All this stuff is racing through my head standing there as we are waiting to be passed by Jim and Charlie. “He probably thinks I am the saddest, grossest thing he has EVER seen. I look like Edith from Still Game standing there in this coat. A fucking bag lady! Look at me! With all this shit in my hands. What do I look like?! TAKE YOUR FUCKING COAT OFF! YOU IDIOT! Why did you even bother to wear this fucking dress if nobody is going to see it?! What am I going to say to him? Don’t forget to ask if they’ll sign the Virginia print!” Ya da ya da. On it went.

Do I have good memories of it? Yes and no. The bloody sherbet straws thing will forever be immortalised. Stupid. Just stupid. I wish I had some really sharp, funny thing that I did or said or whatever. But no…I’m there looking like a bag lady and throw him a bag of sweets. WHAT ON EARTH WAS I THINKING? Socially inept to the highest degree. I couldn’t have been any less cool if I tried. 

Anyway, the retelling of that nightmare was fun! 

I guess that is why maybe he didn’t check with me on how to spell my name? Either he thought “near enough will be good enough” or he believed he could remember it. Or…he genuinely thought that’s how it’s spelt. Or, that is how Larelle looks when he writes it? Nah – because he has spelt it out clearly on the Hunter And The Hunted piece. He probably was just sparing me the hell of tripping over my own name to spell it out. 

ANYWAY – enough mental scars of that day. (And I am willingly putting myself through MORE meet and greets!? How?!)

Since then, there really has only been two official Simple Minds releases – the 40: The Best of 1979-2019 album which saw the release of For One Night Only, and then just over two weeks ago with the release of Act Of Love. There have been a couple of side projects. A release of a symphonic version of Alive and Kicking in 2019, as well as Trevor Horn’s Reimagines The Eighties album in which Jim, Charlie and Mick MacNeil collaborated with Trevor for a recording of Brothers In Arms.

Other than those lean morsels, it’s been slim pickings. And it’s been a long wait from October, 2019 to January, 2022. 

In Jim’s recent interview with Mark Millar of XS Noize, he alluded to the idea that there is so much new material that has been recorded, we COULD see a double album!! Sons/Sister for the 21st Century? Dare we even dream it?!

Also with that, he was being very pragmatic about even hinting at a release date of new material. So many factors in the mix. Least of all the state of the production of vinyl records right now. 

We need to be honest with ourselves with the future viability of the production of vinyl. It’s not a sustainable thing. It’s not a clean process and not something that as environmentally conscious people we really should be reverting back to. Nostalgic ideals can definitely have negative effects. CD production is probably only nominally cleaner. As wonderful that the experience of listening to things on a physical format is – we really need to weigh up whether it is TRULY worth it. Would you prefer to wait another 12-18 months to hear new Simple Minds music for the sake of having it on CD or vinyl? 

Digipaks were great ideas. And there is no reason why that can’t be done again. I think Simple Minds were pioneers when it came to that kind of thinking. To be able to go to a gig and then at the end of the night, leave the venue with a SD card with a recording of the gig on it? Fucking brilliant! Why did they stop doing that, I wonder? 

Why not Simple Minds be the pioneers AGAIN!? Jim stick with his “fuck nostalgia” line of thinking and ditch the physical format like they have done with Act Of Love? Continue with that. Please!

I know it’s tough, people! But, honestly, when you think about it, how many of you actually sit and play your vinyl records every day? I bet that the majority of you still don’t even have a turntable. We can have everything but! There can still be lovely presentations of the thing. Something that arrives in a 7” or 12” presentation package? Take a look at these examples below. Lovely little presentation boxes. That one of the Greatest Hits+ Live, with that military pilot statue figure on the cover of Empires And Dance then used as a colourful shaped USB stick is just INSPIRED! Even if what we got wasn’t anything at all physical when it comes to receiving the music – that it was just an access code for downloading. It could be done – and it could be presented in a wonderful way – so it still is something collectable and a wonderful keepsake. It doesn’t have to be wrapped up in the environmentally damaging nostalgia trips of owning and playing vinyl records or CDs. 

Just a thought. 

Back to the excitement of the thought of the new music itself. And the notion that, unlike Mr Kerr taking of the previous release of Walk Between Worlds and that being “less is more” with there only being eight tracks on the standard issue CD, Jim in his ever mercurial fashion is now talking in terms of “more is more” – and the proposal of a double album! And with him being as mercurial as he is, I am taking what he says with a pinch of salt. It is just supposition on his part. Something to incite a potential frenzy amongst the fandom.

By the time it comes to pass. If we will be asked to wait about for physical format releases, wait for the end of this tour, etc, etc, it’ll by then be nearing five years and another Olympic length wait.

We’ll see. We can but see.

Finally, Happy Anniversary for yesterday, Walk Between Worlds.

This is still my favourite track from the whole Walk Between Worlds recording. Not filler!

Minds Music Monday – Silent Kiss

Yesterday saw the second anniversary of the release of Walk Between Worlds.

Of course it was the day that Jim and Charlie appeared at the HMV in Argyle Street for an album signing. I was so, sooo nervous! Lol. Silly, really, as I had met them both before already, but the more it goes on – my involvement in the fanbase, how much more in love with the band (Jim!) and the music I become, the less and less confident I am.

It all means too much, and I feel my eyes already beginning to sting with tears just thinking about what it all means to me.

But, hey. Never mind. All good things must come to an end.

I cringe at the memory of placing that bag of sherbet straws in front of Jim. Just me and my silliness. Just trying to deflect what was really going on inside my head which was me standing there gawping at this beautiful man and being struck dumb.

Anyway…as yesterday was the second anniversary of the album’s release, for MMM, I am sharing my favourite track on the deluxe version of the album. I still think it is a crime this song was not included on the standard version of the album.

It is beautiful…

A Revolution In August?

Yes, August will be a quiet month gig wise… but there is THIS. I missed seeing him at the same store a few months back. Only saw that he had been there a few days after it happened.

This time I know and can quite easily get there on the day. Maybe see if I can very briefly interview him? It def. would be cool if he agreed! We shall see in a few weeks time!

Steve In Stevenage…

You know sometimes when you see something … you’ve just been made aware of it but it happened just a couple of days prior so you missed it completely?

Well…that just happened to me. I’m checking the local record stores, particularly those over the Hertfordshire border…to see what they’re stocking and their prices for Saturday’s RSD. I checked Revolution Records in Stevenage to see that just this Monday gone STEVE HILLAGE WAS THERE DOING AN ALBUM SIGNING! I AM GUTTED!

I am ssssoooo gutted I missed this. I think I’d have been the ONLY person there to say “So, Steve…what was like working with Simple Minds on Sons And Fascination/Sister Feelings Call?”

I’D HAVE GRILLED HIS ARSE! Lol. “Is the story about the pot plant true? Did you really fall down a stairwell on an office chair?” You know…all the probing questions! Lol

Oh, shit. I can’t believe I missed him! 😩😩😩

One Night In Glasgow – Part Three: Friday (Signing Day)

It was a restless night. Woke up around 3.30am…my first listen to Walk Between Worlds took place during semi-consciousness inside the EasyHotel…

I really wanted a coffee! But my fave drink from Costa is the chai latte…so I had a large one! The mug is SSOO big, it needs “Trump handles”. Lol

Fopp was quick on the ball with the right advertising!

“Is it true you’re running round now is it true they’re calling you the”….

Man! I ssooooo need a coffee TARDIS! Lol

The Duke in the sunlight…

They really do. The city folk are wonderful 🙂

Went into the MoMA and had to take a pic of this Beryl Cook on display. DOUGHNUTS EVERYWHERE! Lol

Another coffee break, and time for an empire biscuit.

Exit through the gift shop at MoMA and get yourself the BEST shirt to wear to Barras next week 🙂

And, finally…look what I scored after it was all done. Having asked for one about 5 different times over these past couple of weeks…a member of staff took the one seen on the previous post out of the shop window and gave it to me! I will be forever grateful. Thank you!

One Night In Glasgow – Part Two: Thursday Night

The Hokusai/Dali/Banksy fusion mural…

Celtic The Musical – whaaa? They’ll seriously turn ANYTHING into a musical these days. Lol

Dinner at The Flying Duck at the top of Renfield Street. A fully vegan eatery. The food was DELICIOUS! And very affordable! I had the “hog roll”…made with a pork style vegetable protein, of course.

Served with my hog roll was a HUGE plate of PBJ fries. VERY spicy. Satay sauce and chilli jam heaped on the fries. Delicious and hot!

Company through the night in the hotel room…

One Night In Glasgow – Part One: Thursday

Photos of arriving in the city, going to the HMV to secure a wristband for a friend, having a wander and a visit to Tantrum and the Kelvingrove.

Who are these two jokers? 😉

Interesting shop names…

The hallowed shop of doughnuts!

OH YES! BANOFFEE BABY!

LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THOSE MARSHMALLOWS!

Glasgow Pride!

The Kelvingrove sign

Ghostdancing

“They are not a melting pot / say no say no tapestry” – King Is White And In The Crowd

The Sherbet Straws Slam!

I’m not sure I can put it all into words. I’ve had about 4 hours sleep and feel absolutely ratted!

It was a whirlwind visit. Glasgow was wonderfully sunny for both days…but freezing. Had an amazing hot chocolate with the HUGEST marshmallow on top and the most BLISSFUL banoffee doughnut from Tantrum…OMG!

A lovely visit to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in the afternoon. A wonderful meal at the Flying Duck in the evening. Yum!

But…on we go to the day…

I really did not think I threw the bag of sherbet straws down quite like that, but…well…it made for a funny clip. Geez I’m an idiot! Lol

I’m sure I’ll have more to say about this tomorrow, but at the moment my brain is just fried and so I will share the pics just now.

Jim and Charlie very kindly signed one of my Virginia Turbett prints. I was so, so happy! Made my day! All of the whole experience did 🙂 The best day, ever!