Apollo Days – Simple Minds, September 1981

Today is a very exciting day! I get to hear the long mystical Glasgow Apollo gig that SM did in September of 1981. I am really looking forward to this one. I have already heard just a little bit of it (In Trance As Mission and some of Changeling) and I plan to devour the rest shortly, even if only as a brief taster.

I’m sure someone will end up putting it up on YouTube and when they do, I’ll share it here.

Until then…I’m off for a listen and a TARDIS trip! Jim…in them boots! Sweet baby Jesus and the orphans! 💕💕💕

UPDATE: OMG – ‘Seeing Out The Angel’ and ‘Sons and Fascination’ are both WONDERFUL at this gig! So…I am going to post one song here.

Enjoy!

Seeing Out The Angel – Glasgow Apollo – 19/9/1981

Quality Is Key

There’s been a recent newcomer on YouTube, uploading SM bootlegs. Some I really enjoyed as they were of a fairly decent quality – others …. not so great.

The most recent upload I was really excited to see was another from the tail end of 1982 – my all time favourite period for listening to them live.

I started to tune in last night but I quickly stopped, disappointed that the quality of the audio just WASN’T there.

They had shared the upload on one of the SM fan group pages with a cheeky “Art & Talk who???” comment. Lol

Well, if you’re going to be full of bravado about it, then honestly, A&T has nothing to fear because A&T uploads QUALITY!

I’ll even delve into periods of the band I am not so enamoured with because I know the sound quality of the bootleg will be “to a standard”. It is why I listened to the Glastonbury set a few nights ago. As much as I love the Good News From The Next World album, and as great as the band was live at the time, there is an element of Jim’s singing voice at that period that grates on me. I don’t really know what it is – I just don’t like the way he sounds at that point. It’s mostly to do with word annunciations and nuances in pronunciations of words – kind of “American mid-west crooner” kind of style. Or more … over-emphasised “blues man”. It just sounds false and kind of protracted and laboured. It wasn’t so pronounced at the Glastonbury gig so I did enjoy it but other gigs from the time, his voice just gets on my tits and I have to stop listening (sorry, Jim!).

So, yes, the quality of A&T’s uploads means I *will* listen to things I normally wouldn’t. Not always. Some I still haven’t dabbled in – but I’ll get around to it.

Of course there are some points in the history of the band’s bootlegs in which it will be nigh on impossible to have quality recordings. Unless they actually had made recordings for radio, etc, and they were professionally recorded, there is going to be little quality around.

And still, for my own level of interest in wanting to listen to bootlegs – quality is key. It is why I shied away from dabbling into bootlegs for so long. One) the general poor quality of recordings, and two) I wasn’t overly into live music when I first got into the band. That has changed massively since being a SM fan and now I really enjoy the live music experience. And I actually find the bootleg experience to be a much better (and truer) representation of what it is like being at a gig than a more professionally recorded thing with full production techniques and “in studio ‘enhancements’” and overdubs made to them.

I want to hear the crowd! Yes, I hate having some bloke being a pub singer right next to me and wailing over the top so I end up hearing much more of them than I do of Jim! But I’d prefer that than to no crowd noise at all and Jim’s voice sounding perfectly audible … almost as if he had gone and recorded his voice in a studio 🤨🤔🤔

If you’re going to give me a live album – make it LIVE. Don’t fiddle with it! Give me the imperfections and the crowd noise.

Still, one wonders exactly HOW MUCH is *live* at the gigs these days. Well, not much at the moment in good old Covid World.

But I digress.

Bootlegs – they need to be of a certain standard. They can still have the crowd and the punters talking and singing and you can hear the cheers and the screams and that makes you feel a part of it. And the band still sounds full and strong, and you can hear Jim’s patter between songs and he always sounds amazing and emotive, sometimes even breathless, and on the VERY ODD occasion, off key – but it all adds to the magic.

So, you provide the quality and I’ll keep on listening – capiche?!

Minds Music Monday – Vitriolic Jim in Vrendenburg, 1982

As I said yesterday in my Sunday Waffle Vlog post, I went looking through the Art & Talk YouTube channel for something else to listen to, having been enjoying his more recent offerings.

I gazed upon the one below and thought “well, it’s only a few weeks prior to one of my most favoured gigs – one that helped to cement my uber SM fandom – Rockpalast in Cologne” so to me it had the strong potential of being a goodun’.

I was NOT disappointed! Right from the get go! Changeling – Jim just spits venom and vitriol. God I bloody LOVE IT when he performs like this. I find it absolutely as sexy as fuck! It’s just so…visceral and guttural and just….I just want to lick him from head to toe!

Then Thirty Frames and the switching of the lines – Jack comes back earlier than normal. Lol. But then, almost in a way angry at himself mabbies for fluffing up and putting the lines in the wrong place, he follows it with a “fuck you, Jack!” Lol

Premonition next and a fab version. Sweat In Bullet also. Then early outings for Promised You A Miracle – already been out as a single and FINALLY, Simple Minds score strong chart positions with a single. King Is White And In The Crowd follows, and Jim continues to spit venom with the “Wire them up! Fire them up!” lines.

The wonderful pairing (still being paired together to this day) of I Travel and Celebrate. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a crap version of Celebrate. JIM – I WANT TO BE YOUR RAG DOLL!!! Jesus fucking christ this man is so fucking sexy! Ermaaaaageeeerd! Had I actually been around for these gigs in 1982 – I think I’d have melted in a puddle most nights.

Then what is always my favourite at gigs – The American. Then finally, a fabulous version of Room – a shame it fades out towards the end….but we probably got 80-85% of the song.

Let’s move away from me concentrating on Jim’s performance and my…stirrings and talk about the quality of the recording and the rest of the band performance. The band – all tight AF. A really good turn from Mike O on the drums. The more I get exposed to Mike’s performances, the more I am coming round to appreciate him. Derek and Charlie both solid as ever. Mick was probably great too – but some of the keyboards got lost in the mix. Other than that, the sound quality is pretty ace. I mean, I proper recording as I guess it was recorded for a radio station as this version of the gig was recorded off Dutch radio by a fan. Jim sounds very strong and clear – hence all the visceral sounding stuff coming to the fore soundwise.

I really loved this gig. I found adrenaline pumping – if for no other reason than Jim’s vocal performance and his absolute SEX GOD appeal! Be still my beating ovaries! GODDAMN!!

Enjoy! Happy MMM…

Kerrsday WhirliGIG – Stirling University, 15/11/1979

I started listening to this gig last night. First thing that hits you is that Capital City is not quite Capital City. From what I can tell, this is its debut outing and the song at this point is just referred to as “Pulse”.

There are different words to it, there’s no “city that we live on” – it’s an island.

“The unspoken word
To an island we can live on
You take, you break to unsettle, take
To an island that we live on
To an island that we crawl on
….
Well you took its culture the tribal …” (can’t decipher the line properly)

I had a go at trying to work out the lyrics. I love hearing the germ of something new. I love being let into that. It feels like you’re being let in on a secret. Those were the days! We’re never privy to ANYTHING now until it’s fully formed. Jim keeps everything very close to his chest now and doesn’t really share anything beyond saying “I’m writing”.

I think this might just be my favourite version of Here Comes The Fool of the ones I’ve heard. Jim is so UP on this version. He sounds like he is well up for this gig! He even comes in too early for the final chorus of the song. Lol

It also included is a very early outing of Naked Eye, which seems a little different lyrically to what is on the Real To Real Cacophony album. Just subtle changes and differences – Jim sings “It’s so dark, I don’t understand it”, for example. And there’s no reference to cherries or spiders at the end of the song. It actually sounds like a Sparks song the way it sounds when Charlie’s guitar comes in at the beginning.

I was alert enough until Life In A Day, then sleep started to take over, but I was alert enough until that point to take it the different to the norm performance that Jim seemed to be giving off. Firstly, he seemed slightly more talkative and interactive with the crowd than usual – esp. of that period. Secondly, his vocal performance seemed different than usual of the period. Perhaps he was flying high? He sounded like he was enjoying the gig anyway. Just from the sound of things, he was sounding more confident, and not the reserved, stilted performer he tended to exude in the very early days – “he seemed like he should have been in special school” as Mick said recently. Lol

I am really excited to hear the rest of it. You can’t help but get swept up in it. I mean, yes, it’s early days, but they are already two albums in and just…LISTEN TO THEM! No wonder every person who went and saw them then raved about them and that their following just kept growing exponentially. They’re barely two years into being a band and they have two albums under their belt, an already – small but – dedicated fanbase that just grows and grows and their so AWESOME.

I may be back later when I’ve heard to rest of the gig to expand and update this post. But until then… enjoy!

Thanks to Stuart Greaves for uploading the gig.

A little sidenote – the gig was on a Kerrsday 👏🏻😊

Fixing Things

As I am beginning to work through certain things…getting back to some sort of “balance” – I need to work at the writing.

A major part of the problem is not having somewhere comfortable to write but, hey ho! Not a lot I can do about it, really. It would be great to have a desk and a chair. I mean….I have a dining table and chair but that doesn’t really cut it.

SOMETHING needs to happen with this blog! I don’t know what. Because I really don’t know what it is falling into right now. It has become MUCH too personal – partly because I deluded myself that a certain Mr Kerr might come and visit this blog – which is just RIDICULOUS and I don’t want its main function to disappear.

Obviously when I started it, part of its main function was just to….appreciate Mr Kerr in all his…loveliness…but I also wanted it to be about Simple Minds in the broader sense…the music…gigs, touring, bootlegs…videos, magazine clippings, interviews, merchandise, etc. All that encompasses the band dynamic.

I want to have certain themes back too. Something for Minds Music Monday, still. Maybe something to do with gigs some time through the week. And I want to keep doing Kerrsday to some degree. Perhaps even limit the ogling (minus certain “breaking news” info) to strictly Kerrsday only. Lol. We’ll see how possible that one is!

This “lockdown year” held such promise. Life still felt like it was on an upwards trajectory for me at the start of 2020 – and I am trying to be reflective on that. Not be too mopey and let it drag me down. We’ve all gone through this as an entire world. I’m incredibly lucky in many ways to just be able to cope with the brunt of the storm. I count my blessings! I know things could be so much worse!

It’s altered the blog as a result too. No gigs to report on. Very little music news. When there was nothing really to report and lockdown began, I suppose it is how it drifted into the personal. And well, it IS my blog – ultimately. But there seemed to be a solid small following it had. I was proud of that. And I was proud of mentions it would get from other fans.

I’m getting too comfortable quickly turning to a “vlogger”. Vlogging was never something I ever really took into consideration. Writing was my main outlet and I guess I could kid myself I was good at it. I certainly felt I could express myself BETTER through it! Now, I don’t know. None of it feels quite right. I struggle with the writing at the moment. Not just for a place to feel comfortable to do it but…oh, just, I dunno. The expression in it has left me some. Vlogging feels better but in some ways takes up just as much time. It doesn’t allow as much expression – for me anyway – I just feel and sound like I waffle on about nothing and go off on tangents and can’t return to the train of thought I had. And before I know it, a video is 45 minutes long!

I could make bullet notes before I start, I guess, but then it would feel so staged and contrived. And I actually HATE recording myself! I’m an ugly c*nt and I don’t want to subject myself to my own face, let alone anyone else. And I don’t expect people to want to sit around watching an hour long video of my waffling about bullshit. MY PHONE’S STORAGE IS FILLING UP! Lol

So, this week I will try and work out something to do with bringing this thing back to…something. Something decent! Dunno. I wish the Mitchell Library was open again. I think it opens back up soon. I like the idea of it being my office. Going down there a few days a week and getting some writing done. I’m probably dreaming. I am too easily distracted by what goes on around me. I can’t “switch off”. I’ve always been like it. It’s the reason I can never read on public transport and when travelling. I need a quiet place to read to absorb the words on the page for the words to…sink in. Otherwise no books would ever stay there. I’d just be reading words and nothing would sink in. The story – the plot of the book (if fiction) would get totally lost on me.

Anyway. We’ll see. We’ll see how I can salvage this…

Bonfire Of The Memories

It was bonfire night, 1980, and Jim recalls it like it’s 2016! (Coincidentally…my first ever visit to Glasgow was that night – Bonfire night, 2016…I had a bankside view of the Clyde from my hotel window and I could see fireworks going off all over from the view I had of the city there. It was magical!)

I left a comment on his post about the significance – for a Johnny-come-lately like myself of bootlegs and other (more official) live recordings from the time. They are like gold dust and little pockets of time travel.

Well, you guys know (those of you who may have taken some interest in the blog for a while – I dare say that’s just me! Lol) the things I have done to highlight them? The Weekend WhirliGIG being one example of my way of showcasing that stuff.

These kind of recordings are so precious to me. Had we had the technology we have now available back then? Imagine how much of this stuff would be preserved?! Still, that is part of what makes it so very precious. The fact it’s so rare, for one, and the other is capturing a band in (what is STILL) their formative years…oh, but what years! And how bloody accomplished they were already! I’m sure JIm would tell me “no”. That even then, they were still amateurish. I’d tell him to “do wan” if he did! Lol

As an example…here is a fucking BLISTERING version of I Travel from the time. And just as I imagine it sounded to his ears that night at the City Hall in Glasgow…listen to that crowd at the end of the song. And that’s in London, not Glasgow!

I’ve done it so the clip starts at I Travel…but you can always go back and listen to it all.

I’ll add a link to Jim’s FB post as well for your perusal.