I always consider it an “act of love” that these, let’s face it – barely adult boys (yes, screaming oxymoron there!) – would form a band and rehearse and play and that most gorgeous of those boys (bias!) would be the glue that acts as the cohesion to get it all to gel with his words and his voice and his drive and passion and just…yeah.
It’s an “act of love” for music, for life, travel, wanting to experience a world outside of Glasgow.
How can we, as fans, not be thankful for that?
Jim posted about the anniversary of the first “official” Simple Minds gig yesterday, a whole week before the date. Still showing that enthusiasm almost 43 years down the line.
He talked of the band of boys – Tony Donald (god bless his soul), Charlie, Joe Donnelly and of Brian. And their varying likes of music and where their influences in learning to play sprung from.
Jim himself? He seemed the one that just wanted to see it all come to fruition – whether he was actually part of the band or not. He just seems like that kind of man. An “influencer” if you will – long before the word became sullied by people on Instagram seeking fame for fame’s sake and living the Andy Warhol dream of being “famous for 15 minutes”.
Because that’s what Jim seems to do with people. He seems to, not only have his own astounding level of enthusiasm and drive and self-belief – he tries to pass it on to others or to deepen their own level of passion and drive. And he’s amazing with it. It’s almost a skewed act of altruism.
It’s early days, and early Minds. And there are others there that night too, not mentioned yesterday. Duncan Barnwell. David and Jaine Henderson (doing sound and lights, respectively).
Perhaps he meant to share this photo when talking of those early days when the guys were still learning to play before that first gig. (What happened to the guitar, Jim?) I first saw it when Jaine shared it and tagged Brian. I’m guessing Charlie’s the one that took the photo? He’s conspicuous by his absence.
Anyway….all journeys set out from a start point, or perhaps several smaller points that converge for one joint starting point – here’s one of Simple Minds’.
News of a Caezar gig towards the end of November was revealed today. Joe and JJ will be playing Saint Luke’s on November 23rd, with King Of Birds once again as support.
I couldn’t turn back round after two weeks to make their date in February but I’ll pull out all the stops to try and make November’s gig. Who knows? With any luck, might even be living up there by that time (I will continue to dream…though it feels like it slips further and further away).
Fingers crossed, by hook or by crook, I’ll make it…money, health, etc permitting (asterisk, asterisk). If I’m not up there and/or can’t make it, I’ll pray that Joe will have a hometown gig somewhere around Windsor way again.
Tickets go on sale on Friday. This time round, I think these will sell like hot cakes! Get in quick, peeps. That’s my advice! Find tickets HERE
Always lovely to hear Joe and Jinky talk. Such lovely guys. Feeling quite down at the prospect of having to miss their latest Oran Mor gig on Feb 15th – but with some luck, I might just be able to make it. If you guys out there can, I implore you to go see them. You WON’T be disappointed!
In the meantime, here’s their interview with Diana Schad…
A couple of days ago, I saw an FB friend tag Brian McGee, mentioning him in a post and it suddenly had me thinking “I’ve not really seen much from Brian of late, and he friended me a while back. Has he just not been posting? Or has FB been glitching and not been showing me his updates? So I went looking at his FB profile to see.
And well, it would seem, a bit of both things happened. Brian doesn’t post TOO often, but I had also not seen any recent posts. One in particular escaped my attention from the end of September. A post Brian had been tagged in, from Jaine Henderson…with a gem of a photo within it.
Before doing this post, I had contacted Jaine to ask permission to share the photo here. It’s one thing that she put it on FB and tagged Brian (which in turn means Brian’s friends, and friends of friends can see it…it has a limited publicity), quite another thing to have it here, so I thought it best to at least try and seek permission.
I am yet to get a reply, so, with some trepidation, I will share it here in the hope it is okay, as it actually has been open to public eyes. Neither Jaine nor Brian seem to know who the photographer is…but it was obviously someone in “the gang”.
It’s just a great snapshot. Those ties!! That wallpaper! Lol. OMG – Joe looks like a BABY! Lol (And he’s older than Jim! Only by a few months.) Brian in those shades. JIM WITH A GUITAR?! WTF?! Obviously just a prop. And his shades too! Lol
I must admit when I first saw it, Brian stuck out instantly. I mean it’s on his FB timeline, but I recognised him straight off. And then over to the right side of the photo I was looking, thinking “that looks for ALL THE WORLD like Jim – but he’s got a guitar?! Surely not!”
Reading the comments revealed with certainty who was in the picture:
From left to right: Joe Donnelly, Brian McGee, Tony Donald, Jim Kerr
One question posed by someone in the comments wondered if Charlie Burchill had taken the photo. No one seemed sure. Brian thinks the photo dates from around 1976.
Let’s hope it’s okay to stay here. If not, of course I will remove at once!
From the personal front…I endured the hell on earth that is the red-eye overnight coach from London to Glasgow. It had been a VERY warm day in London, and I was dreading boarding a coach with no working air con. Thankfully, THERE WAS WORKING AIR CON! Praise be! At least that aspect of the journey would be comfortable.
Arrived in Glasgow just after 7.30am desperate for coffee. Nearest coffee shop I found was a Starbucks. Needs must! After a caffeine fix, the next thing I needed was a doughnut (or two), so it was off to Tantrum! Two doughnuts and two butterbeers later, I was barely functioning.
I walked around a bit…killing time until I could book into the guesthouse I was staying at at the top of Renfrew Street. I slowly meandered up the road, taking diversions along the way as a big swathe of Renfrew Street is closed of due to the most recent horrific fire that engulfed the Glasgow School of Art and the ABC music venue. Such a tragic thing to happen to the city.
A chance for a few hours rest before the gig and BOY, did I need it! I had about an hour’s fitful sleep at best on the coach. Essentially, I had been awake over 28 hours…I needed sleep! I was able to book into the guesthouse early and get a couple of hours of solid, restful sleep.
Once at the venue, I met up with Ronnie McGhie and his lovely wife, Mary. We were chatting away and having drinks, when after about 45 minutes or so…who should walk past? (I had my back to him, so didn’t see him at first) Just…the one and only Mr Brian McGee, ladies and gentlemen!
To say I had a “fangirl freakout” would be…a bit of an understatement, actually! Lol. He was wonderfully piss-taking of my reaction to seeing him! Lol. Honestly! Lol. I lost it, BIG TIME! I’m surprised I didn’t cry! Lol. I cringe now…but I was just so over the moon. Such a silly thing. But there is such an emotional tie attached to it!
He was really, really lovely. And well…you can see from my brief post about it, sharing the picture with him, and my signed Sweat In Bullet picture sleeve just what it all meant. (The pic above is the more “composed” shot. Lol)
On to the gig itself?
Support, again, came from the lovely Louise Connell. Her tunes are definitely catchy, and I am already finding myself singing along to her songs. I must check out her material beyond seeing her live performances.
There was more of a crowd at Friday night’s gig. We were in Glasgow after all. The “tough home crowd”!
I enjoyed the gig…but hand on heart…it didn’t quite have the same feel as Windsor. I am SURE the pressure was on to do good in front of a local crowd…and I feel that might have played a part.
Where JJ was fully relaxed and happy to have some “banter” with the crowd in Windsor…he was not as talkative on Friday night. The pressure he was feeling felt palpable to me. Still a very, very strong vocal performance.
Acoustics were a little out of balance, I felt. It’s hard to compare it probably for at Windsor there was a drum track, but at Oran Mor we had the immense talent of Brian McGee on drums.
Oran Mor is a small venue. It was my first time there, and I am not familiar with its acoustics.
In all other aspects, the gig was great. The set flowed pretty well. Jinky’s vocal was clear and solid. But there was just…not quite the connection for me with the crowd as there had been at the Old Court. But that may have just been a personal feeling on my part. All of this stuff is so subjective.
I got the feeling from the reaction of the rest of the crowd that many others enjoyed the gig too. I did as well. Don’t get me wrong! It was just those niggling after thoughts. It just…had a different feel to Windsor.
Did I regret going? Travelling 800 miles as a round trip there and back to see them? NO! Would I do again? Yes!
I’ll be there at future gigs, no doubt! And I absolutely adore the album. Those of you who were at the gig, and have yet to listen to the album, I implore you to do so. You can listen to it on Spotify. Give it a go. There’s nothing to lose. Joe and JJ really have made some wonderfully atmospheric music with a heart and soul to it. Find below a link to Spotify for their album, Time.
In case the link is not appearing when viewing on a desktop PC, you can click the album link to Spotify HERE
I am a firm Caezar fan, of that you can rest assured.
Next gig on the horizon (heaven help me!) is SM, Pretenders and KT Tunstall at Kent Event Centre, Maidstone, on Saturday. That overriding sense of trepidation is starting to bubble up inside me already. Hell! 🙁
The next Caezar gig is imminent – happening tomorrow night, in fact. Tonight I start my travels up to Glasgow for the gig. Two coach journeys…some 10 hours of travel. Coach travel being the most cost-effective way of getting to Glasgow and back (unless you book a flight MONTHS in advance, or manage to get a deal with a seat sale on the trains), but not really the most “joyous” way to travel. But the rewards are great!
I already know that Caezar are well worth the effort for the hours of travel having seen them on Saturday night.
During my conversation with JJ, he told me that Brian McGee would be playing drums for them at Oran Mor tomorrow night. I think I may have had a little freak out when he told me. Lol
I then spoke to Joe and mentioned to him that Jinky had told me about Brian. He confimred that, yes, Brian would be playing with them. “We’ve not played in a band together since we were 15.”
I kept it to myself, in case I was not meant to say anything about it. It wasn’t up to me to spill the beans, but knowing this info gave an extra bubble of excitement to tomorrow night’s gig.
From the earliest days of being a Simple Minds fan, I have wanted to meet Brian to personally thank him for playing his part in the Simple Minds story…and for the drumming on Boys From Brazil, in particular. I really do hope I get the opportunity to meet him and express that. But, beyond that…I never imagined I’d ever by privelged enough to see him play live.
This next Caezar gig is going to be extra special. I think tomorrow night is shaping up to be even MORE special than last week’s gig in Windsor (and that was pretty special already!)
As a side note – Brian is actually standing in at short notice. The drummer Caezar were meant to be having with them, Liam Bradley, had to pull out, requiring emergency eye surgery. I wish Liam a full and speedy recovery.
One final piece of brilliance from last night’s gig. Jinky giving one heartbreaking and breathtaking rendition of David Bowie’s I Can’t Give Everything Away. This man’s voice is phenomenal! Tissues at the ready…