Where Did The Fool Go?

It’s a strange thing, research. You can be looking for one thing and will unearth something else entirely!

Take a song like Here Comes The Fool, for example. It makes its first known live appearance shortly after the release of Life In A Day and is played at gigs in the summer.


Here Comes The Fool – June 1979

Late summer, off they go into the Monmouthshire countryside to record Real To Real Cacophony – and hang out with Bowie, Iggy, appear as guest artist on Iggy’s Soldier album (on the track Play It Safe) and have fun with mushrooms, minxes and manchego…


Here Comes The Fool – Aug ’79

By October they are back on the road and Here Comes the Fool is a regular on the set. The musicality of it is well developed and strong. Jim has played with the lyrics…they now seem fairly well scripted and fairly different to how they appeared early in the summer.


Here Comes The Fool – Nov. ’79

It remains a staple in the set until the spring of 1980 when we start to see compositions that come into the set that are then on the Empires And Dance album.


Here Comes The Fool – Jan 1980

So, a curious being is Here Comes The Fool. It starts tentatively…quickly makes itself a band and crowd favourite – yet never makes it to get a studio recording for Real To Real Cacophony – or even to appear on a B side. I am a strange one in that I defend Veldt when many other SM fans don’t have much time for it. But given that…it seems to me that THAT could have been the place for Here Comes The Fool on R2RC – to have replaced Veldt with it (as much as that pains me to say that).

What do you guys think? Do you think that should have been the case?

Answers in the comments, if you wanna…

One of “…Fool’s” very final outings from March 23rd, 1980.

I added the different versions of the song because it seemed a good thing to be able to hear its progression and subtle change – esp. with the lyrics. Jim was a devil for it then – but he was free to keep morphing it as it was never captured in the studio, hence he felt free to keep medling (I’m assuming?). Ultimately, it didn’t deviate a lot, and it seems a shame now to be consigned to history. Still, it sounds as if Jim grew tired of “taking his hand” (The Fool’s hand, I mean – Lyric alteration over time from “Well here comes the fool – you can take his hand” to “Here comes the fool – don’t wanna take his hand”).

Poor “Fool”.

Hail Caezar – On The Airwaves!

With just over a month to go until they are back playing at Oran Mor – Caezar have two radio slots coming up this week – see below (or view the band’s various social media) for details.

That’s Entertainment – AND Inspiration!

Wow! What a story, Lesley O’Toole! Your first professionl journalist’s interview being granted by Jim…and from there?! I’ll let Lesley tell the story herself in these two wonderful posts shared on Instagram.

Thank you for sharing the story, Lesley.

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Jim Kerr and me: December 8, 1982 at London’s Lyceum. In 1984 when I was still a law student at Bristol University, and still wild about Simple Minds, I wrote my first ever professional magazine piece – an interview with Jim. All the Scottish bands and loads more used to stay at London’s (in)famous Columbia Hotel so I wrote to JK c/o the hotel, asked him if he’d do the interview, and included a stamped addressed envelope. He wrote back saying: “Yes, 2pm Sunday.” I already had my own fanzine but this was the start of my “proper” career as an entertainment journalist. I still wonder if I’d be a lawyer now were it not for this. I certainly wouldn’t be as blessed and happy as I am living in LA. So thank you Jim for saying yes, and thank you Simple Minds for 35+ years of pure joy. Breathless with excitement for more of it at LA’s beautiful Orpheum Theatre later. ❤️🙏🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🎤🎸🥁 . . . . . @simplemindsmusic @gedgrimesmusic @cherissedrums #simpleminds #jimkerr #orpheumtheatre #thewaywewere #myfaveband #columbiahotel

A post shared by Lesley O'Toole (@lesleyotooleinla) on

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#FBF Simple Minds have been my favourite band for too long to mention – since I was a kid anyway. Jim Kerr was also my first professional interview as a journalist and who knows if I’d even have become one were it not for that and him. Last month I found myself in the front row for their concert at LA’s gorgeous Orpheum Theatre. And then Jim spotted me and sang to me. Which song? Only my all-time Simple Minds fave – Someone Somewhere in Summertime. Gigantic coincidence or no? No in fact – but some sort of conspiracy perpetrated by my friend Ged Grimes, their brilliant bass player, who somehow remembered my fave song, saw me in the audience and conspired with JK. I have no photos or video (these were taken later that night) but it will be in my head forever. Ged and Jim – thank you! I adore you both and this meant the world. And Happy St. Andrew’s Day to all my Scottish friends. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿❤️🎤 . . . . . . . @gedgrimesmusic @simplemindsmusic #gedgrimes #jimkerr #simpleminds #orpheumtheatrela #orpheumtheatre #someonesomewhereinsummertime #magicmoment #standrewsday #scotland #lovescotland

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Simple Minds – Newcastle Oz – Photoset

A great set of fan photos here shared by kind permission from Gillian Spencer. Thank you!

To view full size images, click on the post from the home page, once at the post, click on the individual images for size viewing options on the lower right of the screen.

Review: Blancmange – Roadmender, Northampton – 24/11/2018

We arrived in Northampton around 6.45pm, conveniently finding a car park directly opposite the venue. We joined the small queue into the venue a few minutes before “open doors” – which were opened promptly at 7pm.

A good mix of songs was playing over the sound system just to keep us well entertained before support act Jez Bernholz was due on stage.

I wasn’t sure if there was even going to be a support act, as I had not really looked to see if there would be, but assumed it would be the case. Bernholz was new to me. A very atmospheric sound. Very ambient. I liked what I heard. It’s not easy to keep hold of a crowd with that kind of sound, esp. when you are a support act. I give ALL support acts a good chance. I give them my time and want to listen to them thoroughly. But many can be arrogant asshats, spoiling the experience for others. I will NEVER understand ANYONE turning up early to a venue and then being thoroughly disrespectful to a support act by talking while they are performing. It is just beyond rude! This happened last night at the Roadmender with a lady to my right. She was obviously a big Blancmange fan (as it later transpired) and had probably seen Bernholz as a result a number of times already. But that is NO EXCUSE to talk loudly and within earshot to the audience around her. Have some damn respect! If you want to talk, go out to the f***ing bar and get out of earshot, FFS, you rude cow!

Thankfully she didn’t talk ALL THE WAY through his set, but she did for a good few minutes through the middle of it. I wanted so much to say something, but held my tongue. I certainly threw a few daggers in her direction though…not that she’d have noticed, probably, being deep in conversation and all.

Anyway, I did really enjoy Bernholz and will explore his music as a result. He and Neil have collaborated together as well, and Neil joined him at the end of his set to provide vocals on his final song. Here’s a little sample of Bernholz’s work from last night.

A short wait and Blancmange were on, starting with new album Wanderlust’s two opening tracks, Distant Storm and In Your Room. Both gems. In Your Room, in particular, an instant fave for me.

Neil Arthur seemed a little pent up to start with. There was a palpable “performance anxiety” evidently being felt by him. But for me personally, that did not in any way detract from enjoying the performance. He soon settled and became quite chatty between songs. Showing a lot of appreciation for a crowd very much enjoying the set and seeing Neil and co on the stage.

He worked his way through a solid set of great tunes both old and new. Other tracks from Wanderlust included I Smashed Your Phone, Not A Priority and the album title track.

Some from previous album, Unfurnished Rooms were also performed – What’s The Time? and Anna Dine.

The deadpan and glorious Last Night (I Dreamt I Had A Job) from 2016 release Commuter 23 was also given an airing.

Old favourites came in the form of What’s Your Problem from 1985’s Believe You Me album and several others from 1982 debut album Happy Families, including I Can’t Explain, I’ve Seen The Word, Living on The Ceiling – which saw a wonderful crowd sing-a-long which Neil recorded a bit of us singing by grabbing a guy’s phone from the crowd and recording us with it – and a wonderful encore of Waves.

They also performed a track of Neil Arthur’s collaboration with uber producer Benge (under the moniker Fader) called I Prefer Solitude (see clip below).

I really enjoyed this gig. His band played well, he sounded great vocally (despite him saying he was suffering a sore throat…it wasn’t much detectable to me).

I even managed to score myself a souvenir of the night by way of a gig promo poster, which Neil was very kind enough to sign.

I will be doing much more exploration of Blancmange’s musical history as a result of this gig, sinking my teeth (metaphorically, of course) into the back catalogue. And I plan to see them again in the not-too-distant future.

Thank you Jez, Neil and band for a great night. It was my first time seeing you, but it definitely won’t be the last!

Simple Minds Storm Newcastle!

Well, it seems like the Oz fans got an absolute treat tonight – and La Diva (aka Laird Dash Fandango – Mr Kerr) seemingly was showing off a new shirt. Suits you, Sir!

I can’t say how much I wished to have been there. I am absolutely GUTTED I couldn’t make ot out there! 💔😟

Next time is a certainty. No matter when it happens…2019, 2020. Some promoter out there, PLEASE WANT THEM BACK NEXT YEAR, PLEASE?!

In the meantime, here is a short video clip and some images of the show used by kind permission by the wonderful Ally Scott. Thanks for letting me post these here, Ally. Love you, beautiful lady! ❤️

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