Return To Oz Is Off

Sadly inevitable. Too much uncertainty around. And, for me, this tour was off last year – even though it had initially been rescheduled for the end of this year. I wasn’t going to be travelling there. And I had resigned myself to the fate of money squandered. I didn’t like my chances of selling my tickets on. So on a personal note, I am thankful for the tour cancellation because I know I will get refunds on my tickets now. I am grateful not to be resigned to swallowing up another loss of funds. Small mercies.

I feel for my friends there. Australia is a loooong way and not everyone can just get on a plane and travel to the other side of the world to see the band they love. A few Aussie fans have been fortunate to do that, but there are some who would never have those funds or opportunities. My heart really does go out to those guys.

I hope Simple Minds will make it back out there again sooner rather than later. In the meantime – don’t be disappointed with the band, or their management, or the promoters. They have done all they can to try and get these things to go ahead. They are losing their livelihoods and the live music scene around the world is on its knees! I know Jim and Charlie and the rest of the band will be as disappointed and disheartened as the fans.

It’s this bloody pandemic. It’s Coronavirus, Covid-19…whatever you want to call this absolute cockwomble of a thing! And government ineptitude by and large. You know, the whole world. EVERY COUNTRY could have done with the leadership of New Zealand. Every country could have done with a Jacinda Ardern as their leader. Had every country stayed locked like NZ did, then maybe just MAYBE we’d not be in the state we’re in right now the world over. But we’ll never really know.

I hope you are all staying safe and well.

From Auckland To The Norfolk Broads

Well, not quite. Norwich anyway. The University of East Anglia, in fact.

I found myself on the hunt for something for someone last night and…going down the usual “rabbit hole” one invariably ends up at.

I was on Twitter looking for relevant info to what I was searching for (no luck!) but I happened upon a couple of photos shared of Jim performing at gigs – which are FLIPPING AMAZING (and previously unseen to me – will share them further below) but also stumbled on this tweet about a lady named Ruth Selwyn-Crome and her memories of seeing Simple Minds on the New Gold Dream tour when it hit the UEA on December 6th, 1982. Excerpt below…

Whatever got him to that look – dying his hair (well, he had been doing that from almost day one of Simple Minds), caking on the dark makeup around his eyes while accentuating and exaggerating his pallid skin tone and combining that with the clothes he wore at that point – he sold himself absolutely and completely right! Whether that was instinctual, or just a “happy accident” and not as with other things he’d do, ruthlessly and meticulously planned, then – hats off to him either way. It was a masterstroke of a look that absolutely matched the sound and mood of New Gold Dream and of that time in general.

I used to refer to him as “Laird Dash Fandango” or “my Goth Prince” – like a kind of New Wave … messiah (almost). He seemed to meld the elements that were all floating around at the time – the dark eye make up and pallid skin was straight out of the goth scene – but Jim was no goth. The baggy trousers and the knee high riding boots, matched with scarf-wearing reflected elements of New Romanticism but again, Jim wasn’t a New Romantic – his way of dress was more understated and still harked back to the traditional a lot of the time. Those baggy troosers simply matched with a collared shirt and some loafers, with the only other hint of a nod to New Romanticism being a flashy belt he’d wear more as a sash or a shoulder of ammunition and have his socks pulled up over his trouser legs, more for the purposes of not tripping over those loose trooser legs. I do find the look of him in this period striking and ssoooo aesthetically beautiful.

The 50 year old me would love to go back to the 11 year old me when seeing the Promised You A Miracle video for the first time and whisper in her ear, “No, just look at him! Really look at him! You have this Aussie idea of a man in your head, all “golden”. But this guy? He’s REAL gold! Celtic gold! Trust me. There will come a time in your life when this man will be EVERYTHING to you! Take him in now! He’s beautiful. Stop fussing over his nipples, because BELIEVE ME, you’ll be fussing over his nipples for very different reasons in the years to come!” Lol

But…I wildly digress and this post is meant to be a link to Ruth’s experience of seeing the Minds in Norwich in ‘82, not my wishes and dreams and feelings on His New Wave Goth Prince Laird Dash Fandango Kerrness.

You can read Ruth’s full piece in the “Memory Tent” section of the University of East Anglia website – LINK HERE

And now, the promised photos… (source links viewable by clicking the photos)

Kick It In, Lassie!

Oh, geez. I really stirred things up on SMOG last night.

I really didn’t think it would be commented on in such volume. I thought maybe a few of us would still be waiting for the book to arrive. Not as many people as that would still be waiting for it. But lo…

Then Ronnie Gurr and THEN Richard Houghton add comments and my toes were starting to curl with the fuss I had made.

I honestly didn’t mean to drag them into it!

I genuinely just wanted to get a handle on who was still waiting. Whether I could get an idea on if the book was just trickling through to fans or whether there were quite a number receiving it and us still waiting were just stragglers not having much luck with the postal service.

And so goes yet ANOTHER time I wish I’d kept my big mouth shut! I mean…it did help to alleviate my concerns about the book’s slow arrival, but conversely I felt like the girl that kicked the hornet’s nest.

Always acting with the best of intentions. Always ending up inadvertently stirring up trouble.

Anyway….too late now. The genie can’t be put back in the bottle.

Another day is upon us…and still I wait. With a bit more quiet reserve this morning.

The “watched kettle” is yet to boil…

It Stings A Bit!

The price. Probably the content too.

But the price!

You know…if it didn’t feel as though the good stuff over the past few years was all but dead, then maybe I’d have felt able…willing…

But now it all does feel in the past. I’ve spent a lot of this lockdown in mourning. Mourning some of the things that really made me love being a Simple Minds fan. I can’t emphasise enough how special that all was all that interactivity with Jim.

Would it have made great content for the book? I doubt it. It all felt…personal and special. Maybe it would have felt a bit “kiss and tell”? Lol. I know how stupid that sounds. I really do!

I’ll shut up now. Anyway, the book is £45 and will probably make me wish I was just about every single person that features in it, so do I want it? Do I want to spend £45 on a book of envy?

Dunno…

I know! Woe is me. He’d probably tell me to “grew a pair”. Well, I wish he would – because at least he’d be bloody TALKING TO ME! Lol

Click on the image to see pre-order details. Due for release on December 3rd, 2020.

Minds Music Monday – This Fear Of Gods, Tiffany’s – Dec, 1981

I’m feeling anxious about the easing of lockdown restrictions. I used to be such a scaredy cat about going out and doing things. I used to stay home A LOT. Never went to gigs or hardly ever went out socialising. I’d just stay home. Lockdown has rekindled a lot of that stuff within me.

Fear of going out and mingling with people. Fear of large crowds.

”Fear is fast and I’m turning white now.” Yes.

Wow…the way this version at Tiffany’s starts. The synths and pedal effects and just – it’s very trippy. And I just love that bit of Jim saying “give me an echo, Gallagher”. Yeah, Frank. Hurry the fuck up! Lol

He def. gives Jim echo, for sure!

And I am listening away, awed, reminding myself these boys are babies! That Simple Minds is barely 4 years old and that Charlie has only just turned 22 and that they are already a musical “tour de force”.

If anyone is dismissive in front of me….daring to say “Meh, Simple Minds” I’d reply “LISTEN TO THIS! Then tell me ‘Meh, Simple Minds’, ya fud!”

(P.S. That ident pic. Virginia was talking about this photoshoot with me a few days back, saying these particular ones of the band, up on the hill, are her faves. There is one in this bunch with a guy wheeling a pram around in the background. That’s her fave. Of those ones, this one is probably mine – Jim’s face! I could pinch those cheeks! And then snog him something rotten! – In my dreams.)

Tiffany’s TARDIS Trip Tonight…

Well, that’s tonight’s gig sorted. Fire up the TARDIS…get to that front row. Gawp at the most goegous man, ever…mouth agape. Lol (Oh…and maybe take the odd cursory glance at Kenny too…)

Oh, I dream.

UPDATE: The crowd when Celebrate starts! The roar of applause! It’s fucking awesome! The bass is off-the-scale crazy. I don’t tend to give a lot of praise these days to Derek Forbes but OH MY FUCKING GOD – he was on FIRE at this gig. And Kenny is playing quick time, giving Dan not the easiest job to keep up. It’s mental! 
This Fear Of Gods! Wow! I love that bit before it starts as Jim is introing it and then he says “give me some echo, Gallagher” – meaning Frank Gallagher. I love those kind of bits…hearing those kind of machinations. Being privy to them. It’s all so bloody “professional” now. You’d never hear him say “turn me up, GG” or the like to Olivier Gerard – it would all be long sorted before us fans are present. 

And then to have FACTORY as an encore?! OMG! IN MY DREAMS! How I would love something other than Alive and Kicking and Sanctify Yourself. I mean…I love those songs…but…I wish I could be surprised a little more often. 

Yes, they had fewer songs in the bag back then, but still. The setlists are ssoooo formulaic these days – despite how much Jim can claim they “mix things up” – it rarely happens. And YES, I was ssooo happy for what I got in Copenhagen, and I didn’t expect much change in the setlist of the two gigs, and I know they had to shorten the sets. None of what I am saying here is a gripe on the Copenhagen gig AT ALL. It’s just…a general thing. The past three tours – Acoustic, Walk Between Worlds, and 40 Years Live have had the very same end and encore. 

Besides the point. Back to this Tiffany’s gig. I WANT JIM KERRR’S BABIES – Lol! Well, no, I don’t. I’m nearly 50 FFS! Baby making days are looooong gone. And I never wanted to be a mum anyway. PRACTICE. I just want the practice (of the baby-making).

It’s been a looooooooong time, man. Don’t I know it. I reckon my hyman’s reformed by now. Lol. Okay…I’ll shut up now. Just laugh and carry on. Don’t mind me. I’m just expressing some goddamn wishful thinking here.

God I can dream!

By the way…there’s another gig on the way thanks to the amazing Art & Talk.  Some of these bootlegs are my life! I mean…damn!

Going Home…

Today I booked a Lufthansa flight home. From newest home to first home…

Glasgow to Frankfurt
Frankfurt to Hong Kong
Hong Kong to Sydney

A total of around 28 hours travel time with 22 and a half hours of flying time.

I leave on December 8th – which is now cancelling my trip to Germany and my two Stranglers gigs. It also means what should be my first Christmas in Glasgow will be spent roasting away in hell.

And I want to go back NEXT YEAR just to see a few Simple Minds gigs? I must have fucking rocks in my head!

And so while I try to deal with both a house move AND a flight to the other side of the world in the space of three weeks… I’ll be needing the music of this amazing band and the beauty of this beautiful, beautiful man (sorry, Jim…you’ll just have to deal with the endless adoration, buddy!) to keep me calm, (relatively) sane and tranquil.

I owe him so much from last time. I’ll need him again…

Another Magic Nine?

Since I booked the gigs last night, I had in my head that I had 8 SM gigs booked for next year, convinced I had (without really thinking in those terms to begin with) fallen one short of this magical 9 figure I’d fallen upon these past couple of years.
But…obviously I was neglecting to tally my numbers right…perhaps mislead by the unexpected Bordeaux addition.
A recount and lo! Look where we are…
Copenhagen
Paris
Bordeaux
Leeds
Dublin
Glasgow
Melbourne
Sydney
Bimbadgen
!!!!!
What is it with me and nine SM gigs a year? Lol

Where does this mysterious nine figure come from? How have I arrived at it? Jim’s shoe size? Erm…inches? Lol (I’m selling him too short by all accounts there!) Centimetres of Charlie’s Cuban heels? The number of plectrums Charlie has on stage with him? Number of Toblerones on the rider?

Answers on a postcard, sent on to Glasgow G22 – I’ll collect them in a couple of weeks 👍🏻