I feel my ONE piece of fair and constructive criticism (if indeed a wish for the set list to have a few more songs and to wish for the stage time to be just a little longer than it is can actually be DEEMED a criticism?!) has been taken out of context, misconstrued, turned into others to pile on all sorts of unwarranted criticisms from what Jim’s wearing and his general appearance to how much of Gordy Goudie is visible (if you get my gist!). All of which is petty-minded codswallop. Jim can wear a bin liner and look exactly as he appeared in a dream to me last year (in which I drew a sketch of how he looked which I titled “Big Chief Baldilocks” due to his Native American Headress style hair cut in said dream), and Gordy can wear clear PVC troosers for all I care…as long as he performs well (and that goes for Jim too – the performing well…okay and the clear PVC troosers!), that is the raison d’être for them being on stage.
Other pieces of criticism have been the number of covers being performed (current count being four: Andy Warhol, Dancing Barefoot, For What It’s Worth, and Long Black Train). Well, for me personally, I discount two of those already, as they are so intrinsic to Simple Minds to me, I don’t see them as covers – Dancing Barefoot and Long Black Train. The other criticism being the lack of more modern Simple Minds songs.
We do have a fair whack of songs from New Gold Dream on the set list to be fair…currently, the title track and opener to the set, New Gold Dream…Glittering Prize, Promised You A Miracle (which through the European leg of the tour is being performed as a duet with KT Tunstall), Big Sleep and the one shared here…Somone Somewhere In Summertime. But…NGD was their breakthrough album. It’s a landmark in the Simple Minds story. It’s seminal. And it is quite possibly the band’s Magnum Opus. And, acoustically…the songs WORK. I mean…who knew it? But they really work. That almost…evangelical quality that album exudes translating into an acoustic set up…you would never think it possible! But here we are. And here very much is a case in point…
There are YouTube clips being shared of songs from the opening night, and as with the Hackney gig, the song to start the show off is New Gold Dream – this song now belongs to Cherisse Osei. Her opening drums and percussion on this are absolutely amazing.
Jaw droppingly brilliant! Cherisse, you have well and truly made your mark!
If the post from Jim is anything to go by, the first night was seemingly a success. He said of the night, “In fact it couldn’t have run smoother last night. Very nice venue, wonderful audience, the perfect acoustic set list…”
That may be…but it seemed a bit short to many of us not there (and quite possibly to those that were) . I never want to be criitcal…and I also as much as possible adhere to Thumper’s advice (though I never knew it came from Thumper…as much as I love Disney, I have never watched Bambi – despite it being my mum’s favourite Disney film – I take it more as the advice my brother David instilled in me). But I don’t think my words are disparaging. I think I am well within my rights to express a little disappointment that the set list seemed a little short.
I understand all the arguments! They’re not getting any younger, etc, etc. But MANY older acts are on the stage for longer. I am NOT asking for a 4 hour Springsteen marathon (chance would be a bloody fine thing!), but I would ask for 3-4 more songs. A full 2 hour stage presence.
I was under the impression the “In Concert” Hackney gig had time constraints because it was being recorded for the BBC for a particular allocated time slot. Last night’s Essen gig extended that time by TEN MINUTES!?! Really?!
Added were Big Sleep and For What It’s Worth (a great deal, actually!), but bumped from the set list seemingly was The American (I am not a fan of the Acoustic album version…but it always works better live).
I was very much hoping I would have nothing to be critical of. When I saw how short the set lists were in Oz, I stayed mildly optimistic they would extend the Acoustic set list a fraction…given the ticket prices (that was already a huge bone of contention for me…but like a dedicated fan should, I invested in going – now I feel I need to share yet ANOTHER Harry (Enfield) and Paul (Whitehouse) “I Saw You Coming” sketch).
Perhaps if THIS happens to me at a gig, I may change my mind…
I’ll let you know in approximately 8 weeks time.
Photo by stage-pix.de – click the image to see more photos from last night’s gig.