Minds Music Monday – Superman V Supersoul

Today is the official calendar start of spring – but I much prefer to think of it in seasonal terms and don’t really feel any real sense of spring until the equinox on March 20th.

That in mind, I wanted to choose something that conjured up warmth and light and joy and optimism, and maybe a bit of Utopia and in the case of this song, enlightenment. Something to symbolise that, indeed, spring is on the way.

I knew it was a spiritual song. You can hear it and sense it without being told, as it delivers that sense, that feeling of a warm spring day. A warming of the soul.

But I actually hadn’t read the info on Dream Giver about it – or if I had, it was so long ago, none of it ever really sank in.

Having read it last night, I was moved by Jim’s words. Moved by how moved HE was by the song.

I can’t help but feel it was semi-autobiographical what he had written in the email? That perhaps it was he who had the dream of the wedding procession and of the Prince (aka Krishna) and the beautiful coquettish brides. That he was the man left standing in the loft apartment staring at the painting on the kitchen wall.

He has talked about the Bhagavad Gita several times in the past. It has had quite an influence on him over the years.

I enjoyed it too, having read it from him mentioning it again in recent years.

I’ll share the piece Jim had written about Superman v Supersoul below. There are so many days in which I miss him and I miss just…feeling with him, connected to him, part of him. More than just through music and through a “singer and fan” dynamic.

I know I have to stop going on about it! And I know I have to find some kind of closure as it has so obviously come to an end – whatever “this” was. Whatever connection I felt there was. Whatever skewed imagining of “togetherness” I had deludedly conjured up for myself and dreamed for myself. It has obviously faded.

For want of painting myself a dream and walking into it to experience it and live it in my subconscious, I better “get real”.

I miss the romance of the togetherness. Of feeling kindred. Of feeling sometimes I could allow to kid myself that, on the odd occasion, there was a “like mind”. That we were connected beyond the music. And that it wasn’t just me that felt it.

(The end of the first paragraph of Jim’s words … God is a DJ? “This is my church. This is where I heal my hurts.”)

UPDATE: (later the same morning) I mixed up my books! I tried to read Bhagavad Gita but got lost in the rambling preface of the copy I bought – an English translation of the book from German – and didn’t continue to read it. So in actual fact, I was mixing up my Siddhartas (which I have read) with my Bhagavad Gitas (not actually read yet) – and I’m wondering if Jim didn’t do the same in this email? I may just have to have another attempt at reading Bhagavad Gita.

One made a very long time ago – in March, 2016, in fact.

People are finding God in different places. Some stare at the sky. Others walk the desert. A friend of mine recently put forward the notion that God has taken to stalking the floors of discotheques!

The scenario in the song: An individual, closing his eyes after staring long and hard at a beautiful painting of a scene from the “Bhagavad Gita” finds that he is transported body and soul into the painted image – which in fact becomes reality all around him. There suspended in time for what feels like a whole night he finds himself drowning in the sights and sounds of a wedding procession which is taking place in the most heavenly blue moonlit garden.

All around him the most sensuous music drifts and he listens while watching the screams and laughter of the beautiful young brides who cannot contain themselves as they receive the flirting and teasing attention of an obvious boy prince, who must be no other than Lord Krishna… the sense of joy is palpable as peacocks mesmerize, and it’s there and then our character decides that this can only be the one true paradise…

Suddenly it’s gone, where to!, where from? The man is left staring out the window of his loft apartment at the shimmering lights of the cityscape; and the sprawling chaos of the streets below. He vows on the spot to completely change his way of life; and tears well as he shifts his eyes back to the small calendar painting, given to him free last year, on the street by a “devotee” and now hanging on his kitchen wall.

Paradise.” – Jim, e-mail, 11th March 1998

Also: Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant Hapus

Knackered Distraction

Felt very drained today. The nerves from conducting last night’s interview got the better of me and I woke up in the middle of the night with it all still swilling around in my head. Excited that it seemed to go okay and excited to share it on the blog, but still with niggles about how I conducted it, how I conducted myself, how articulate (or otherwise) I was. Did I laugh my stupid nervous laugh too much, did I ask good enough questions and/or thought-provoking enough questions, etc, etc.

I couldn’t get back to sleep for hours and woke up feeling extremely drained and tired.

I walked into the city this afternoon to the West End and the Botanic Gardens and met up with Michelle. As drained as I was, I walked 10km and did nearly 15,000 steps. I couldn’t face walking all the way back home, so we caught the subway back from Hillhead to St Enoch and I got the train from Queen Street back to Ashfield.

I haven’t taken any public transport in months, but I was just too fucked to do that walk back home. I need to get myself in better condition!

Tonight I have just been reclining on my bed, exhausted.

I did some banner art. I do love this line so much.

Anyway, soon lights out for me. Night night.

When The Other Side Of Midnight Calls, Remind Me It’s … Minds Music Monday

And seeing as it IS now long after the “other side of midnight” and there isn’t much need to remind me “I’m glad to be here” or that it’s Minds Music Monday then…

Let us hark back to BEFORE midnight, when it was still Valentine’s Day. Jim mentioned in his post yesterday a few Simple Minds tracks that could be chosen for Valentine’s Day – 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall being one of them.

Firstly, I have ALWAYS loved that title. It’s so long winded. But what the hell does it even mean, or allude to? Secondly, who doesn’t love a guitar riff with an effect on it that makes it sound like a mooing coo*? (*cow) Last but not least, it contains – already quite overtly alluded to already! – one of my most favourite lines Jim has ever written – “when the other side of midnight calls, remind me I’m glad to be here”.

I have always been wonderfully puzzled by the song. It’s glorious in its rather enigmatic nature. And it makes it wonderful. I have loved hearing it being performed live in the recent bootlegs shared. Performed TWICE in one night in Tiffany’s in the summer of 1982! Geez.

But this version below is more refined than in the summer and Jim just sounds superb on this. And, it may be a day late and I *MAY* sound like a fool but, fuck I love you, Kerr! ❤️

Happy MMM, and belated Happy Valentine’s Day, Mr Beautiful 😊❤️

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 👏🏻😊

Follows In Love – Simple Minds, Toronto, 1982 – New Art & Talk YouTube Upload

Yesterday morning when I opened up Facebook to catch up with what had been posted, etc, during the night while I had been sleeping, I looked at my notifications to see I’d been tagged in a post on one of the SM groups.

The tag linked to what is below. A new upload from Art & Talk of a Simple Minds gig. I immediately recognised the ident for the video. I then looked at the details of the gig. The date: November 7th, 1982 – the New Gold Dream tour. The city, Toronto. It made perfect sense why A&T chose it. Jim was standing side profile in front of a Canadian flag in the image I chose as the silhouette for my piece.

Then I looked at the rest of the detail, and Art & Talk, bless him, had a little blurb about me and my blog. Totally unexpected and incredibly humbling.

I may have had visits to my blog yesterday as a result. If you’re reading this right now as a new visitor due to Art & Talk’s kind words, thank you for visiting and checking it out. My blog can frequently have a personal ring to it, esp. over the past 10 months of this pandemic. It’s been harder to keep the site fresh and relevant in the past 12 months, but I am working on it. And hopefully new material being released by the band will help with that.

In the meantime, things like A&T’s uploads of gigs, be they audience bootlegs, audio from the soundboard, or radio recordings, the work is appreciated. Esp. by us Johnny-come-lately types who weren’t there to experience the gigs the first time around.

I hope those of you who are new here find something you like with the blog and that you may visit again, or even subscribe to the feed.

And of the gig itself? Well, it feels a bit special in that it’s Mike Ogletree’s last gig on the drums. I do understand why the guys ended up going with Mel in the end, but Mike brought a different deftness with him. All the drummers Simple Minds have worked with have their left their own stamp and indelible marks to the sound of Simple Minds. I was guilty of underestimating and undervaluing Mike for some time, but actually, he has been behind the kit at some of my favourite ever gigs and I have grown to appreciate his contribution so much.

Last night I was extremely tired and only lasted until about halfway through Hunter And The Hunted (there’s some irony! Lol) before Mr Sandman finally took hold of me. I came around some time later to silence. The gig had ended and I had heard none of the rest of it.

The difference in performance of 70 Cities was very noticeable. From how it was in March of that year compared to this one in November was marked. It was a fab version at this gig. Jim’s vocal especially. It really isn’t an easy one to do. There is so much overlapping of vocals on the album version. It’s not easy to reproduce that live, but he nailed it here. Fabulous!

Despite falling asleep so quickly last night, I know I’ll enjoy this gig immensely. I hope you guys do too.

I’d have loved to have seen them in Canada in 2018 but things just weren’t meant to be. And it’s not as if I hadn’t had plenty of opportunity to see them here in the UK and elsewhere in Europe during 2018.

Thanks Art & Talk for the big plug and for all the Simple Minds content on your YT channel. The hard work has never gone unappreciated.

UPDATE (written Thursday):

I listened to the rest of it on Wednesday night. The sound quality of the recording does waver a bit. You can hear the crowd and so e raised voices here and there but it isn’t too disruptive. Canadian audiences seem very respectful, unlike UK crowds who always seem to be waffling over the top.

I really enjoyed the rest of the show. The standout for me was King Is White which was almost as vitriolic as the performance in Sydney but Jim managed to keep some control in.

I don’t whether there was some kind of disturbance going on in the crowd when the song begins begins because Jim seems to say “What’s your problem? There is no problem.” I don’t know whether he is actually addressing someone in the crowd or WTH? If there was something going on in the crowd, it didn’t seem to turn into anything.

I also loved the versions of Sweat In Bullet and Room. The crowd reaction to Sweat In Bullet is awesome. And I am still loving that version of 70 Cities.

Surprisingly on the opening leg of the tour, New Gold Dream wasn’t in the set which seems a really glaring omission in retrospect.

Overall though, a fabulous gig from the opening leg of the NGD tour. One to treasure as Mike O’s final one.