Sardinya Sicilian Celebration

The guys at Sardinya Simple Minds (fan group) had a rather spectacular evening, watching Italy bring home the Euro 2020 trophy with some very special company in downtown Taormina last night.

Nice to see that “the boys” are Alive And Kicking…It In. And for Jim, the best team won.

Yay!

Celebrations abound.

On The Cover Art – The Men Are Marching

There is a path that leads me here to this post. A path that was an unexpected but wonderful stroll. The stroll continues, still. I’m not sure how much of this I can explain. Best to keep it a bit cryptic and vague. We love ambiguity – ain’t that right, Jim?

Suffice it to say one thing led to another.

There is a Sons And Fascination link here. Or should that be “Sons And Fascist Nations”? An explanation of that in due course.

A couple of my most prized possessions in my Simple Minds collection are copies of albums produced for the overseas market. One album released for the U.S. market via Stiff Records was titled Themes For Great Cities and was a compilation of tracks from Real To Real Cacophony (Premonition) to several tracks from Sons And Fascination/Sister Feelings Call. The other is a version of the Sons And Fascination album released by Virgin Records for the Central American market.


There are patterns on the cover. The artwork by the one and only Mr Malcolm Garrett, with photography by Peter Anderson. You can see shapes and a figure. I could see a figure on these covers.

Then there is the reissue of I Travel by Virgin Records in 1983 which bares a photo of Jim, taken by graphic designer Garry Mouat, on stage in motion as if marching. “In central Europe men are marching” always springs to mind seeing that cover. What I never really took in is what appears in the overlay of the photo of Jim and I didn’t see it properly until Malcolm was kind enough to show me this…


I did see that something was overlaid on the photo of Jim but what I didn’t know was that it was a variation on the figure seen on the Stiff Records “Themes” release and Mexican version of SAF.

I also missed the very obvious figure on the Sweat In Bullet sleeve art. Mostly due to the fact the figure has the head of a photo of Elizabeth Taylor.

And so…why did I alter the title of the album to “Sons And Fascist Nations” earlier, I hear you ask? Well, here’s the thing. In talking to Malcolm about the album cover photoshoot with Sheila Rock and asking him about the cars, we got to talking about other art relevant to the Sons And Fascination period. He told me about certain things that inspired some of the cover art. This included him telling me about the image above and that it was inspired by similar figures like it that had appeared in a book he had seen. The book in question is called “Mostra Della Rivoluzione Fascista”. Issued in 1932 to be a compendium to an exhibition on Fascist propaganda – a “celebration” of the 10th anniversary of Mussolini’s march on Rome. Seemingly exhibited in a building erected specifically for this solitary purpose – also known as the “Mostra Della Rivoluzione Fascista”. The exhibition proved so popular that it extended beyond its initial intended six month run and ran for two years. It was seen by almost 4 million visitors by its close towards the end of 1934.

You can view selected pages of the book by clicking HERE


I will state here Malcolm’s initial reluctance to have me write and publish this post and he had approval of this before posting. And I do understand the reluctance. You wouldn’t want to be seen condoning Fascism! But it’s about art and the aesthetic and not the political. Well, that is how I see it. This post nor we as individuals are condoning Fascism! But when it came to the use of the “Marching Men” (as they have come to be called during our conversations) and the line in I Travel “in central Europe men are marching” (long since changed by Jim since he now always sings “all over men are marching”). It conjured up the exact imagery used on the Virgin released I Travel cover.

I missed the image of the Marching Man on the Sweat In Bullet cover, yes, and I don’t see the link quite as obviously as with I Travel but listening over some of the lyrics then… it could be “ambition in motion” or to “grow in size” or to “grow more / take more” that makes it fit?

An excuse to share my prized possession of my Sweat In Bullet double single signed by Brian McGee

Either way, all four covers featuring the Marching Men are striking and impressive. And they certainly make a statement.

Another short point – as I was researching to do other posts that were SAF/SFC themed, I shared an article from New Sounds New Styles printed in 1981. Ian Cranna interviewed Jim for the piece. Check out the magazine layout! Guess who was behind the layout of New Sounds New Styles? Yes! You got it!

By this point, the band had only appeared on the back cover of their albums. On Life In A Day they were on the back cover and also on the back of Empires And Dance. Inner sleeves too. But only the inner sleeve of Real To Real Cacophony. Not up to this point on the FRONT COVER of an album. Not until Sons And Fascination. They were reluctant and the images of them are somewhat obscured but the images reflect the movement and motion of the music contained within. The “travelogue” musical sensibility of the album. It was a masterstroke. Perfectly encapsulating the audiovisual.

I find the whole aspect of the cover art for the Sons And Fascination/Sister Feelings Call albums and singles…erm…fascinating. And if I do then I thought others would too.

Below are a couple of YouTube clips showing footage of the Mostra Della Rivoluzione Fascista, including a modern day (in Italian) look back at the exhibition as well as footage from the time of a visit to the exhibition from Mussolini himself!

A massive thank you to Malcolm Garrett for allowing me to tell the story of the Marching Men images and what inspired them into being.

What Can “I Say”? Jim’s a “Sampled Mind”…

Italian collaborative JS3 have released a video of a track called “I Say” which incorporates a vocal sample of Jim’s from the Phunk Investigation “4 Letter Word” outing.

I still can’t quite ascertain whether Jim’s vocal on these recently surfaced tracks are recent or not. Reading the translated blurb from the following article (click here for original Italian language article) – it appears to be a vocal recorded some time back, but used to release new material?

Anyway, I’ll link to the YouTube clip first and have the transcript of the article follow.

Twenty years have passed since the beginning of that project that brought the surname of the surnames of the brothers Valerio and Massimo, “A story begun and coincided with what was at the time the period of the” posse “, a movement able to conjugate the rage sung by punk, the infallible pen of rap and the energy of the Jamaican reggae, but above all the “message”, social or political. From those 99 Posse left from the industrial suburbs and that has outlined the characters of the scream of the Neapolitan counterculture and in general of the Italian alternative scene.

For Valerio, in that twenty years, there have been in the middle eight albums, poster songs reggamuffin, dancehall, pop etc, hundreds of concerts taking it also around Europe, a TV experience talent (remember the transition to “The voice of Italy “in the J Ax team), collaborations with numerous other artists such as O’Zulu ‘, Speaker Cenzou and Cor Veleno, Tony Esposito, Cico, Jah Sazzah, Don Skal and Itaiata de Salsa, Miase Pmk, Boom Buzz and Reddog, Ciccio Merolla also that special moment, at the beginning of his career, in which he found himself acting as a shoulder group at the Italian Simple Minds concerts.

History, like a big circle, could start right from here. In fact, the single “I Say” (which you’ll find among other things on Youtube and Spotify) has just been distributed under the acronym of the new project “JS3” (Valerio and Massimo Jovine with Alex Aspide) produced together with Stefano Silvestri (Phunk Investigation ), which samples a piece of the historical voice of Simple Minds, Jim Kerr “4 Letter Word”.

Starting from the new project Valerio tells us: “Js3, simple, Jovine Studio 3, starting right from the recording studio where we work, over the years Alessandro and I (Alex Aspide) have been producers of all the Jovine material and therefore c ‘is so much of our but with many other musicians and we decided to make this place the study of our own project and from there are also other productions. I tell you, for example, that we have almost completed the new Maria Nazionale album, produced with Js3, but also a new emerging project like Ventinove and Trenta, or the music for the latest Arteteca film. The productions that go beyond, far from my reggae world, we like to listen to completely different things, we first like to make music. For the song we met with the producer Stefano Silvestri, who has a great experience, one day brought us this voice of Jimm Kerr, the idea was, we take his refrain and write the verses. Obviously I wanted to wear a new dress, like the dancehall that belongs to me, but also the roots and the new roots. When the voice of the refrain comes in, something familiar comes back to the mind, but certainly with an entirely new aspect “.

We also remind those who did not know that you found yourself working with Jimm Kerr and Simple Minds: “We started just like their shoulder group, not even feeling up to the time, but it was a good test, do it to twenty years is not for everyone. ”
I also wanted to know something more than the video clip of the song (three young Neapolitan boys who, between quick and parkour subjects, chase each other around the city):

“We tried to show the city through another type of movement, we shot for example at the Policlinico but we were also in Bagnoli where I see a banner in front of” Free Palestine “. We wanted to give through other forms of communication how a video can also be a message, our basic principles are always the same, those who want a different world. ”

In fact, through the banner, or in any case paying attention to the text of the song, we find it right ?: “Yes, even if it is much more mental, even if a criticism about the social veil is there, like the total immersion that forces us a mobile phone. Even today, unfortunately, I have to think about music based on the web, so the first form of art, music and emotion, a little ‘getting lost, I feel a child of these times but often these times are tight. Sometimes it would just be nicer to get in the street and start playing there. ”

Taking a step back, I liked the previous single “Puortemecute” and the resulting video, do you talk about it?

“For me too, it was a very important piece. there on a sound that can reflect contents like no, like the trap, at least for the Italian example, a genre to which I do not belong, for me does not count the appearance and the image, this song despite sews on a sonority reggae-trap, goes very well with what I say, important issues, such as violence against women, or the lack of opportunity to stay in your city and have to emigrate. In general, I see a flattening in the search for issues and we lose ourselves in the virtual world. I tell you that now I’m working on a new album, my ninth, but it could start from different ideas, I do not know if these last two songs will be part of it “.
The previous album, “In the absence of gravity”, listening to him I found a lot of you, very personal ..

“Yes, a passing album that comes from a need, just familiar. I told my true story, a song like “Self Portrait” could only be there on that record, I became a father of two children, when my daughter will ask me what album I listen to I will tell you this. Delicate and introspective album, less reggae, instead in the next album I can say it will be very Neapolitan, reggae and with themes already identified “.

Compared to the “Terroni Unite?” Project

“It helped me a lot, also to unite the Neapolitan artists, like my friendship with Pepp Oh, who collaborated with me on the writing of the last piece. Music has already undergone the exchange, and if it happens between musicians it is even more beautiful. In this city we are many and we could even more, shame about the lack of infrastructure, here you make music and you get to certain levels but it will never be the same as those who leave elsewhere that has more possibilities. Also I made TV (The Voice) to have the opportunity to expand the message. I prefer to be a small artist but to say what I think “.

And the collaboration born with J Ax? (a duet on the last record of the Milanese rapper)
“A character who tries to make music at 360 degrees, even when seen on television, I knew that the project would not last long, but it has a lot to teach.”
You, however, who has gone through a generation, the one that goes from the Posse to the trap as you see the current scene changed? Especially here in Naples …

“The Naples scene is always very productive, during the Posse period, maybe someone does not know it, but here Article 31 left, there was a label” Flying records “, which started from Naples but to produce music worldwide , even the Massive Attack came here to record. Many artists came out thanks to a mechanism that worked. Even today there are many artists, also good, but they are small components that if you could join something really nice, the artists are very close but should also be those who work around, but they are not for bad will, you have to have a suitable infrastructure. ”
“The two last projects were beautiful, I say that there will be live events in December, but I say that in the first months of the new album we will be mainly focused on working on the new album that I would like to come out before next summer.”

What The Phunk? It’s A Rap From Mr Kerr!

Well, he has to have a suitable name if he’s turning to rap. How about Prip W? Lol. Pripton returns as a rapper?! Lol. Punk will eat itself 😉

What am I on about? Well, news is Phunk Investigation (Planet Phunk + other associates) have a new album of remixes coming out in February next year.

Jim has done a track with them with the title “Four Letter Word”. Now…I was innocently thinking…”it could be love, or hate…but it’s probably fuck” never considering for a SECOND it could be c***! 😱

You dirty bugger, Mr Kerr! I LIKE IT!!!!! Lol! You being dirty, that is…I’ve never partaken in…erm…yeah, anyway! Here are a few saucy samples….enjoy!

 

 

 

Confirmation Of The Inevitable For Italian Fans – No Tao Gig

Well, at least in local Taormina and Sicilian online press there is confirmation that a touted June 24th gig in Tao is a “no go”.

The gist of the translation of reports from Italian to English seems to indicate that no official word has come from SM as to the validity of this gig, or that they’ve confirmed they are not taking part in it. I’m a little sketchy on that. Either way, that June 24, 2018 reported/listed gig is not on.

Upset not just for Italian fans. Many other Minds fans from accross Europe enjoy the pilgrimage to Jim Kerr’s second home of Taormina. Perhaps it’ll be on for 2019? Only time will tell…

Reports can be read HERE and HERE

Another “icontethefly” Special!

This time, as about as cleaner/clearer copy of the 1983 Bologna gig as you’re ever gonna get. No Celebrate, sadly…but pretty much all of New Gold Dream bar Somebody Up There Likes You and King Is White And In The crowd (geez, Jim loved a long song title back then! Lol). I was hoping to make it the return of the Weekend Whirligig Wish…but the gig is on a Monday. Drats! Let’s make it a Kerrsday Thursday special instead! Happy Kerrsday Thursday, peeps. He even flashes his tits off in this (okay, it’s a “taking heart” gesture during Glittering Prize. Lol. Run with me!)…I’d be MORE than happy for him to bring back the open jacket with no shirt on underneath look. MORE. THAN. HAPPY. Right! I’m gonna shut up now. Laters!

Italian Dates Dropped!

Italian dates for the tour finally announced today. A little gap in dates between July 5th and 10th…is he actually gonna have a few days off for his birthday? Lol. He’s allowed. It’s not even just Italian fans excited by these. Well…I either have to rob a bank, or win me some money to even BEGIN contemplating any other European gigs, apart from my wonderful offer of the Paris gig…THANK YOU!

Tickets on sale from Wednesday…all info at simpleminds.com and via the SMO FB page.

Celebrate – Bologna, Italy, 1983

Yep, still on my “definitive” Celebrate search. This one’s a cracker! Loving Mel’s drums on it. Jim’s dog barks and the added “to a far away place” line after delivering “and run”. Charlie is sounding braw too.

Curious bit of banter right at the start though…sounding a little fractious….

Ogle Ogle…

Embed from Getty Images

I’m bored, so I’m gonna ogle…