Jim’s July Playlist – The Reaction

“The dogs are impatient for attention….” he opened with. Pretty obvious metaphor there. It wasn’t lost on me, I just tried to brush it aside yesterday.

Anyway, I thought with the whole deluded continuation of “discs and doughnuts”, I’d post my reactions to Jim’s choices this month.

Will O The Wisp

I must confess that I really was unfamiliar with the folklore tale behind it. I knew it was a term but really didn’t know anything about it and felt compelled to look it up. It didn’t escape my attention that a variation on the character is known as “the Spunkie” in the Scottish Highlands. Maybe that is where the alternative term for “having spunk” – ie: to be gallus and have attitude and bolshiness – comes from?
Anyway, on to the song itself. After one listen…I’m not sure. Very few songs capture me after a solitary listen, it has to be said. Those that do are pretty damn special. The only judgment I can pass for now is that I probably prefer other Pet Shop Boys songs to this. But I will give it a few more listens…it may lure me in…

Israelites

To be honest, all I could think of initially is this!

But in all seriousness, it’s a great reggae/soul/gospel fusion. Obviously political too – well, to my ears it has a political slant.

She Sells Sanctuary

I have to admit as much I have enjoyed hearing the song over the years, it was a rare one that escaped my knowledge lyrically. Most songs if they grab my attention I’ll educate myself on lyrically. I guess for this I just liked the tune and was happy for Astbury’s lyrics to be just gobbledegook to my ears.

She’s A Mystery To Me

What is NOT to love about the Big O? Geez, the man could sing the phonebook and have you crying tears. An immaculate falsetto too – used to perfection to end the song. My mum bought a copy of Mystery Girl for herself. I had bought a copy of You Got It as a single and she had to trump me. Lol. She loved him. I think she may have even seen him perform live but I am not so sure now – and I can’t really ask her. We were both so saddened by his passing. A great loss at still a relative young age.

When Jim mentioned that semi-conscious half sleep, half wake state, I had to comment about Alasdair Gray, Lanark, and my discovery of the word “dwam”. Reading Lanark, I have been made aware of so many words I had never heard before and “dwam” was just one of them. And because I had never seen/heard it before I had to look up its meaning and I instantly fell in love with it.

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Let The Good Times Roll

The Cars are one of those bands that I dabble into now and again and enjoy listening to a “best of” and then they languish again. Much like how it was for Simple Minds for the longest time. I am only familiar with “the hits” and the use of Drive showing the footage of the Ethiopian famine at Live Aid – forever synonymous with those images. Ingrained on the conscious. As much as Ric Ocasek is seen as the main head of the group, it was the songs with Benjamin Orr on vocals that are my faves – Let’s Go and Just What I Needed, as well as Drive, of course – but all the songwriting is Ric’s. Favourite line is from Let’s Go “she’s got wonderful eyes and a risqué mouth” – combined with Orr’s delivery of it – I just find it damn sexy.

Hey, but it’s Let The Good Times Roll that we’re on about here. I’m surprised Jim didn’t relay the story of the signing to Zoom/Arista as part of it because he had mentioned in the past that as part of the celebration of Simple Minds signing the Arista deal, they went to a Cars gig and it was another reason why the song has resonance with him – as for Simple Minds the “good times” were indeed about to roll.

Kooks

It’s such a fab song. And what a gift David gave to Duncan writing this for him. He and David had such a wonderful relationship. It was heartbreaking seeing Duncan on Twitter announce his imminent fatherhood and the sadness he felt that David wouldn’t get to experience being a grandfather. 😦

The song is just a lovely “you and me against the world, kid!” anthem. Both kitschy and beautiful.

What Jim said of Bowie’s Glastonbury performance I agree with. It actually seemed quite lacklustre and David himself just didn’t seem in the right place for it. His music of the period fell a bit flat for me. He had released album ‘Hours…’ several months prior and I wasn’t keen on it, to be honest. Move ahead three years and Heathen could not have been any different! To me, Heathen is on a par with Low as my all-time favourite Bowie album.

Back to Glasto…I’m not sure what it was beyond the music. His voice seemed weak to me. He had given up smoking. Iman was pregnant with Lexie and so he was trying to stay away from the “cancer sticks” – sadly it seemed to be somewhat to the detriment of his voice at the time. I’ve not watched the performance since the time. I never wanted to go back to it. I was seeing the hype over social media last weekend and I wasn’t particularly fussed. And I certainly didn’t want to put my head above the parapet and express my disappointment with the set back then. Perhaps I should watch it on iPlayer to see if my opinion and feeling has changed?

Almost exactly 12 months later I got to see him live for the one and only time – seeing him at a day long festival at Old Trafford cricket ground called Move. He was top of the bill. Suede were on before him. There were several other acts on the bill – the other highlight being The Divine Comedy (another man who could sing the phonebook and make me swoon – Neil Hannon). The weather was dodgy during the day and when Suede arrived on stage the heavens opened. Brett Anderson did his best to distract us in the crowd from the downpour but we all looked like drowned rats by the time David appeared. When he did appear, the gloaming sunlight returned – as if we had been joined by God himself. I was soaked to the bone and freezing cold, but I didn’t care. He was wonderful.

Thunderstruck

Oh, I have an aversion to Brian Johnson fronted AC/DC, I really do. I can tolerate Back In Black, but after that, I just find them a parody of themselves. To me, Johnson is a mimic of Bon Scott – and not a good one. “Cartoon rock” is a summation I’d agree with. Not when Bon was around though! Not on your nelly.

So, along with the glockenspiel and triangle, we can add “air-drums” to Jim’s calibre of “instruments” he can play? Lol

Thank god I got me a real kit last week! Jim can probably play his air-drums better than I can play my real ones right now though!

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The Joke

And so we go from the ridiculous to the sublime. Oh, you are too right, Mr Kerr on this one. The emotion in that lady’s voice?! Wow. Nothing else to add.

You can listen to Jim’s playlist here…
(Check Simple Minds FB for his explanation of the choices.)

 

Rest Easy

I was  reminded a few days ago that it will be Mr Kerr’s birthday in a month’s time. So…what do you get the man that…well, it might not be correct say “has everything”- but more accurate to assume “wants for nothing” or at the very least “wants for very little” – materialistically, if nothing else.

Nothing. Quite literally. He probably most likely wants me to leave him the fuck alone anyway. Which I will do. I have taken long enough to “get the hint“.

The past few years I have gifted him things. Perhaps in some token way he may have appreciated them. I’ll never know. It isn’t the reason I send them on.

I am usually also well on the case with the present-giving, thinking about what I might send him months prior, getting the gift to him in plenty of time. This year? Hadn’t given it a single thought!

Ah, but before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s not misconstrue this to mean I haven’t been thinking about Jim – because in all honesty, I have very little concept of what that feels like now. Let’s think of it as BK – Before Kerr-ist (to rhyme with Christ, obviously).

I have an appalling memory. So life before uber Simple Minds fandom (and therefore BK) seems a very far off land. What I remember of it most though is that I was very fat (as opposed to now being acceptably fat) and that every day felt like how lockdown feels now. Except I would have NEVER left the house. I at least do make sure that I do so a few times a week these days. And I DEFINITELY WOULD NOT have taken a seven mile walk to get some doughnuts. Oh…I’d have had the doughnuts, for sure! I was a fucking elephant! But you’d have been lucky to get me to walk 70 yards let alone SEVEN MILES.

But I digress…wildly! This isn’t about me! It’s about Jim. It’s always about Jim. Oh, yeah…that was it! That was my point. Not remembering a time when it WASN’T about Jim.

So…this year. Who is this gift of “sweet Fanny Adams” really for? Jim? Or me? That I will have to think on some.

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The Race (For Life) Is The (Glittering) Prize

It was such a great day today. The weather conditions were perfect. Temps in the high teens, cloudy with a light breeze. Unlike last year when I was a disorganised idiot and turned up 5 minutes before race time, I got there in plenty of time this time.

There didn’t seem to be as many people taking part this year as last year but hopefully we raised just as much. Hopefully more! I certainly raised far more this year. Current total is at £282 (the Just Giving page can take donations until July 20th!), which is beyond my £250 target, and over FOUR TIMES as much as my tally for last year (a meagre £68!).

I did my 10km in 1 hour 39 mins – not exactly Steph Twell (10km in 31 min 8 sec!!! FUCK OFF PT1!) or Eilish McColgan (10km in 31 mins 16 sec! FUCK OFF PT2!) but I at least did the course! And did the full 10km, and not just piked out at 5km.

I had my usual Simple Minds mix on Spotify as my race companion. The mix started with Oh Jungleland – which was kinda a little bit…Grrrr! Seeing as I had initially signed up doing this year’s Race For Life in Glasgow but by April I knew that wasn’t going to be and gave Race For Life a call to see if I could switch it to Luton. Fingers crossed next year’s can happen in Glasgow.

At about the 2.5km point Lostboy’s The Wait Pt1 and 2 played and I really picked up the pace (the course narrows and is a bit of a bottleneck between the 1km-3km mark, and it makes it difficult to pass people and get a pace on – esp. as we all set off and there are so many more 5km participants at the start) and started to pass quite a few people.

A couple of versions of Four Letter Word (the Planet Funk track that came out earlier in the year – Jim on vocals) played, live versions of She’s A River and Don’t You, Promised You A Miracle, the acoustic version of New Gold Dream and then THIS…I LOOOOOOVE this live version of Glittering Prize. I think it might be my favourite live version. I just find it the most uplifting, most positive…life-affirming version. It’s just glorious. And you can just hear how completely “in it” Jim is that night.

So after it played once, I hit the rewind button so it played again. And when it was done, I played it AGAIN…and then AGAIN. Four times over. It took me from the 6km mark to the 9km mark.

So, we’re all done for another year. And I am happy with my effort and absolutely OVER THE MOON with all you guys for helping me raise such a fab amount of money. THANK YOU! You guys rock!

Stay tuned because, honestly, a promise is a promise and I have NO INTENTION on reneging on that promise. On Tuesday, all you £10+ donors are having your names put into a draw for the Somebody Up There Likes You print. The winner will be drawn on FB Live and announced over my social media.

Once again, thank you all for the donations. Let’s do it again (hopefully in Glasgow!) next year 😘😘😘😘

The Wright Stuff

The full piece on Andy Wright from the latest Classic Pop issue below. If at the main site, click on the post header to then view the pages by clicking on them and accessing zoom options on the bottom right of the page.

If at the post page already…just click on the thumbnails!

The Master Of The Art

I’m always flicking through the pages of the music mags. Not much really has me stopping for too long. (Perhaps to my detriment? A slow reader’s curse that to be drawn in to read something, you REALLY have to grab their attention – going by my own experience anyway.)

I suppose I am finding myself studying Lou Reed quite a bit of late. Not in an involving and methodical way like I have done with others who end up deeply piquing my musical interest. Bowie very much became a study piece as much as a musical exploration. If I’d have taken an OU degree in English Lit. say, Bowie in some way or other could have ended up the subject of my thesis.

I can feel it possibly going that way now with Lou Reed. Exploring his work deeper. I am certainly starting to feel that sense of the story itself being as important as the music. But I think that is what usually pulls me in to those musical artists I admire and covet most. They are great storytellers, either by encapsulating the narrative verbally, or creating a visual palette of what is being told with an inner visual artist flair. (John Foxx’s description of Jim Kerr being the “the best internal movie director” always springs to mind. It is my favourite description of Jim as a songwriter and it is just so…”on point”, as the whippersnappers say these days).

I really am starting to get that there is much more to Lou than meets the eye.

10km Race For Life – 5 Weeks To Go

I raised a miserly £68 last year. If any of you reading this would like to donate, please?! If I could get anywhere near £250 (that’s my target for this year. I had it at £150 last year and barely got halfway there. Don’t like my chances this year, then!) in funds raised, I’d be over the moon. Please consider it?

Please click on the image below (a montage of my efforts last year) to be taken to the donation page. As an extra incentive…the highest donor will get their own personalised art print – SM based or otherwise. THERE YOU GO! No excuses NOT to donate now! Highest donor gets a special Prip print! Get donating!

At the moment – Rob, the print is yours! I can see you with a special Barrowland Star “stinky pies” print. Lol

Hedging My Bets, Trev…

It wasn’t until very late last night did I realise that tickets for the Trevor Horn Reimagines The Eighties Tour at the end of July/beginning of August had gone on pre-sale yesterday.

And in the overtly hopeful notion that Jim and Charlie (and quite possibly even Mick MacNeil – for the first show, at least) may take part in it (as “OTHER special guests to be announced in due course” was said on Trevor Horn’s web site) I have secured a ticket for the first show at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow.

I am starting to have the sneaking suspicion that this may be about the only chance I may get to see anything of the Minds this year.

So, come July 27th (or perhaps the 26th if I need to do the red-eye coach up overnight), I’ll be travelling to Glasgow yet again…and seeing yet ANOTHER gig at the RCH.

The bugger is that Horn plays the Festival Hall in London the following night which could actually cause a problem for me getting back there, if indeed I want to go a second time. At the moment I am happy with Glasgow only. I decided on Glasgow because, frankly, the strongest chance of there being an appearance on stage by Jim and Charlie WILL be at the Glasgow opener. Hame turf – opening night of the tour…it’ll be braw! And if Mick were to take part? Well, that definitely may be a Glasgow only affair. And how bloody special would that be? Had to get a ticket! Had to hedge my bets!