Minds Music Monday (On A Wednesday) – League Of Nations – SAF/SFC 40th Anniversary Celebration

It’s very curious to read that League Of Nations was worked on in the early recording sessions of the Sons/Sister albums because it really does sound so incomplete! And especially given that as soon as they go on tour for the album – the first leg of the tour within the UK –  they are performing it live and Jim has added extra lyrics to it. 

Lines like, (If I am hearing them correctly) “When the link comes, you’re gonna know when the link comes”, “Tangled lodge had a thousand lodgers, here comes the judge singing law and order” and then I am not sure whether he says the word “caliphate” or “counterfeit” – but there’s a line “caliphate/counterfeit judge, caliphate/counterfeit lawyer – here comes the judge singing law and order”. I mean, it would make the most sense to be “caliphate” – as a Caliph (or various spellings thereof – Calif, Kalif, Khalif) is a Muslim ruler and a caliphate their area of jurisdiction, office and/or region, which then makes sense of the line “here comes the judge singing law and order” – a call to prayer at a mosque? Or perhaps he wasn’t meaning it like that. 

Yeah, tell me again when Jim Kerr started to get political with his lyrics? 1989? 1988? 1985? PISH! This is 1981, people! And take a listen to Citizen (Dance of Youth) from 1979’s Real To Real Cacophony (as just one example) for further proof of how long Jim had been weaving the political into his lyrics.

I also think that despite the lyrics being printed as “relief” – he definitely sings “repeat”. It just doesn’t have the intonation of “relief” in how he vocalises it. It’s not how it sounds to me anyway.

Musically, I like the sparsity of it. It’s heavy in atmosphere. I really like Charlie’s guitar work on it when performing it live and I like Kenny’s drumming on it during the live performances too. And others wax lyrical about “Big Dan’s” bass work better than I seem to. 

It certainly works much better as a live track than it does as a studio recording album track. It was a great decision to put the live version recorded from the Hammersmith Odeon gig on September 25th, 1981, as a track on the Sweat In Bullet 7” double gatefold and 12” extended remix singles.

Other than that – there’s not much else to discuss with this track.

So, other than the original album version and the official live version that features on the Sweat In Bullet single – there are only two other live versions I’ve heard. One from the Futurama gig at Bingley Hall in Stafford on September 6th (listen HERE), and the other from the gig at the Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool on September 22nd (listen HERE). By the time the tour moves on to Canada and Australia, the song has been booted off the setlist, never to reappear.

This one really is a short and sweet post. I wish I had more to talk about with League Of Nations, but this is pretty much it. 

But I would like to hear what any of you reading this think of it. Do you like the track? Do you think it is a weak link in an otherwise exemplary body of work from a phenomenal young group of musicians who, at the time, should have already been strong in the consciousness of every music lover on the planet? Do you prefer the live version to the album version? Or vice versa? Would you like to see it back on the setlist, even? Post in the comments.

Simple Minds In Liverpool – New South Wales

So, I checked out of the hotel I had spent the past three nights in this morning.

I then went to the local shopping mall – Westfield, Liverpool… just to kill some time before heading up to Gosford and spending a few days with my friend, Gillian.

I wandered about Westfield for a while, that is where I spotted the travel agency photographed below.

When I left the mall and was making my way to the train station, to my utter amazement, I saw an advertising billboard for SM. I really never expected to see such a thing in my home town. Lol. It blew my tiny (and Simple) mind.

It was a nice surprise.

Sightseeing/Bonus Images – Gig Two – Liverpool

Images from the Liverpool gig I’ve yet to share on the blog…

This is the shirt I decided to wear for the gig. I have fallen in love with this image of Jim so much. Jesus, he’s beautiful in this picture. I used to think Virginia Turbett took some mighty fine pictues of him (and she is still my favourite for capturing him), but Janette Beckman has handed me the photo of the year this year. He really is the most heavenly of creatures…(I’ll stop embarrassing myself now!)

After a train journey into London, I got a Virgin train first class to Liverpool. A first class ticket that only cost me £28 during a Virgin seat sale in January. This meal was complimentary, being a 1st class passenger. No complaints from me!

One of the first things I see when I get to Liverpool? This guy….letting it all hang out!

Doing a quick reccie of the venue when I get there, my heart skipped a beat seeing the coach there already. Little did I know at the time that there are TWO coaches, and the band were yet to arrive.

The front of the venue.

There’s a lot of kit to be moved about during this tour. Half the space was probanly taken up by the chandelier! Sadly the chandelier never made an appearance at Liverpool (I was worried The Fagans may have nicked it off the back of the truck! Lol).

This was parked a little further up the road from the equipment truck. Pretty sure it’s some old kind of Citroen. Not even sure it is roadworthy…but was interesting to see so I took a snap.

I managed just two photos of Catherine on the night before a member of staff came over to me and told me the taking of photos was forbidden. Bugger! :-/ (I still caught some footage at the end. Yas!)

I met quite a few fans that night, including the lovely David Fagan and his son Joseph, who got up on stage at the end of the gig and had a few words to Jim :-))

I’m “Scousing” Memories – Gig Two, Liverpool

I arrived in Liverpool at 3.20pm. I felt I didn’t have too much time on my hands to explore, so took a slow meander to reccie the venue. I did it at Glasgow too. I just like to walk around the whole outer of a venue and…well, find where the stage door is.

I did that yesterday…more on that later.

A meet up of fans in a nearby pub was organised for 6pm…I was chilling having a chai latte in the Costa Coffee across the way when I looked and saw the time had slipped by me and it was 6.30pm! Yikes!

I went over and I could see John and Julie Fagan (possibly the two most famous SM fans in the world!) waiting outside, greeting everyone that was coming to the pub. Such lovely people. When they both went to the gig in Nantes, they got new additions to add to their chandelier hats – violins. (The actual SM Acoustic chandelier is adorned with violins within its centre.) I had cheekly asked Julie if I could have one – assuming they were just cardboard cutouts…but no…they are actually proper tiny little violins, in their own case, with a little bow. I literally just one hour ago unwrapped it to see it is a proper little wooden toy violin. I can’t thank you enough, Julie, for such a lovely little memento of my time in Liverpool. It’s taken pride of place on our little “memory shelf”. 

Also at the pub were David Fagan and his family. What a night his son Joseph had! Wow! I met Michelle Taylor and her cousin, Sally. Also met Jan Norris. Top notch ladies! Saw Andrew Chadwick and Steve Ashton. Met Neil Brown and Paul Verallo for the first time as well. Lovely guys. Also met up with Graham MacPherson. Lovely man.

Last but by no means least, Birdy and her friend were there :-)) We had some time for chat, pick up our VIP merch, get a drink in, and then it was showtime.

I got seated with just a few minutes to spare before Catherine came on stage for her set. She looked resplendent in a beautiful black and gold sparkly playsuit. Another wonderful set, ending with her version of Rivers Of Ice, which is beautiful. I was unable to film a song last night as filming was not allowed. (Yes, I later got to film Andy Warhol…but when I tried to film a song of Catherine’s, a member of staff asked me not to, so I dutifully put the camera away until later.)

A successful purchase of merchandise meant I could get a copy of Catherine’s CD signed for my friend in Australia, Gillian. Time for a retake of selfies, with Catherine taking control this time. She is my selfie mentor! 🙂 Thank you!

The Minds come on promptly at 9pm. Cherisse, as ever, plays a STONKING drum intro to New Gold Dream. As discussed in an earlier post, I am in Row D, seat 21…an aisle seat on the left side of the middle aisle. As Jim leaves the stage to do his “walkabout”, he takes the steps down on the far left of the stage. I assumed he would naturally then just take a walk down the left aisle…but no…he walks along the front of the seats and comes down to the middle aisle, and walks straight past me. Having been told off by staff when having my camera out for Catherine, I did not DARE have my camera out for the start of the Minds set, so alas, I have no footage of Jim walking past me…and COMING BACK DOWN the aisle again (maybe he was giving me time to get my camera ready?). I couldn’t step out…I couldn’t reach out to him as he walked past me. I remained rooted to the spot.

OMG…he and Sarah sssooo flirt it up during NGD! As a genuine critique, his vocal seemed lost in the mix when the set started, but it was soon sorted out, as I don’t remember noticing not hearing him so well after that. 

Lots of banter from him. Lots of giggles. These gigs feel part Simple Minds acoustic gig, part Jim Kerr stand-up routine. Lol

My view was amazing! Just so amazing. Thank you eternally to my beautiful friend Steve Heighway for the VIP ticket. You are an absolute legend in so many ways, and I am honoured to call you my friend ❤️

Highlights for me? Andy Warhol (so glad I filmed it!), Stand By Love (it just gets the crowd going so much, it’s so joyous and upbeat – and Charlie’s playing is KILLER on this!), Waterfront, See The Lights, The American and Chelsea Girl. Cherisse’s playing on Chelsea Girl is out of this world! She’s f***ing awesome!

And, of course NGD was a standout tonight, because that beautiful man walked past me.

During the encore, Jim says “we don’t want to go home”. Buoyed by such a joyous, fabulous night, I shout out the retort of “Doddy lock-in!” He looks down at me and smiles, partly as if to say “In your dreams, girlie!” Of course it was wishful thinking. But, hey…dreams exist on the off chance they’ll be fulfilled. 

At the end of the gig, I got to shake Cherisse’s hand and tell her how amazing and awesome she is 🙂

But! This is not where it ends…

Earlier, before the gig…prior to the pub meet-up. Once I had done the “reccie” of the venue, I got to chatting to a couple of fans outside the stage door. These two blokes had already been there waiting about 3 or 4 hours. I was enjoying chatting to them, so just decided to hang about a bit. A lady came along then, asking the three of us had we seen or met anyone yet. She was an absolute nervous wreck! All she wanted was to meet Jim. She’s been a Minds fan for 30 years and this was her FIRST GIG! She’s utterly smitten with Jim (I thought I was bad!), and she was needing the loo and wanted to finish changing into her outfit for the night, but didn’t want to leave the line. She took her chance after a while. I thought about going with her (I needed the loo too…I spent ALL of yesterday endlessly feeling like I needed the loo. Lol) but I didn’t want to leave either. All this talk of meeting him, not wanting to meet him. Could I do it? I dunno! This time I just wanted to…”wait and see”.

Some time passes…it’s getting quite late (about 5.30pm)…and then the tour bus pulls up right in front of us. First off is Gordy Goudie, followed by Elaine Gwyther (the band’s assistant manager). I approach her and thank her for everything she has done for me…re: passing on all my silly crap to Sir. She asked me who I was, I said “Larelle”, I think her face betrayed her as she went internally “Oh, yes. You’re the f***ing fruit loop” and then I felt silly for making myself known like that. But I wanted to thank her all the same, even if I did get the impression she wanted to give me a very wide berth from thereon in. 

Gordy didn’t go straight into the venue (think he was taking a moment to have a ciggie), so after my word with Elaine, I asked him if I could have a selfie with him. Crap selfie-taker as I am, he says to me “have you not got one of them sticks?” “No”, I say to him. Well, as it is, I DO have a selfie stick…but I never carry it with me. Anyway…here’s the pic…doesn’t help when the sun’s in your eyes. Thank you, Gordy. You’re a true laid-back cool dude. It was fab to finally meet you.

Lol. I look concerned! And I am totally fangirling in it. Lol. Look at my badge! 

Catherine and Sarah alight the bus but made a straight beeline for the stage door (Catherine meets and greets after her set each night). And then…HE appears…and the small crowd of maybe 10 people BALLOONS to about 50! The lady I was chatting to, prior to the bus pulling up kept saying “I’m gonna be sick”. I think she was doing a great job at deflecting my own nerves. 

I was bizarrely calm as he came into view. Some nerves, of course, but I wasn’t as tangled up in knots as I expected. That very quickly changes when he spots me and says “Hello. You’re you.”, he then puts his hand out for me to shake…and the rest is pretty much a blur. I think as he shook my hand he might have said “nice to meet you”, but I could be wrong as my brain was in complete meltdown. Lol. I did not expect him to greet me….I DID NOT! I really was there merely as an observer. I didn’t push myself forward. At least I didn’t feel I did. I was being very much the “wallflower”, standing back. My nervous mate was in front of me. She then asks me to take a pic of her and him with her phone. She hands it to me, I accidentally press a button on the side, the screen goes black….I want the ground to swallow me up. I say “oops, sorry” hand the phone back to her, as she’s trying to sort it out, he gets impatient and says “are you gonna take this photo or what?” Lol…not in a rude way, just in a “come on, ladies, I ain’t got all day”. At last the phone is sorted, and I take some bloody fab shots…of HER AND HIM! Lol. She was over the moon. As was I, frankly. As I say…I never expected him to greet me. In all honesty, I was expecting him to completely snub me…and the crazy thing is, I would have been fine with that, and not had expected anything else. He genuinely floored me by greeting me. And as I always assumed I would be, I was ga ga…in a stupor. I don’t know how I remained composed enough to take that ladie’s photo with him…well, I did make her screen go blank on first attempt…my hands were shaking! 

I don’t think I said a word to him. I could just about muster the words “there you go” to the lady as I handed her phone back, after the successful snaps. I was hoping for my turn then, but he moved swiftly on. Collectively, we had taken up enough of his time.

I don’t remember thanking him or anything. I don’t remember saying a single word to him. I feel both ecstatic for having met him yet mortified I could not talk to him, or say SOMETHING! Even just, “thank you”! Or retorted and said “You’re you? (Lol) Say my name, at least! It’s Larelle.” But no, that would have taken thought…intelligence…calm…everthing that absolutely washed away from me when he spoke to me.

Here are the only two photos of him I took on my own phone. Just before he clocked me and said hello…

Of course, when you have someone like that shake your hand, you say “I’m never washing my hand again!” Lol. Of course, the cold hard reality is is that I had been busting for the loo for at least an hour, so the first thing I needed to do was use a loo and wash my hands! Sod’s law! Lol

Still, the feeling of his hand shaking mine will remain.

Thank you, Sir. Jim. A million times. I stayed relatively composed yesterday, and was just happy and grinning. But now I feel truly humbled and can feel tears. Particularly after what happened in Manchester. So many beautiful young lives lost. Life is for making memories. You made a beautiful memory for me yesterday, Jim. 

This is for all those young, beautiful lives lost…their only “crime” being wanting to make happy memories for themselves.

Aisle’ll Be Freaking Out! 

My dear friend Steve is sending me a VIP ticket to the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall gig on May 22nd. I’m in Row D, seat 21…THIS is where I’ll be! If Jim does his coming out to the crowd thing at the start of New Gold Dream…he’s gonna walk straight past me! And I hope he does! (ie: Just walks straight past me and doesn’t acknowledge me!) Oh, I don’t really mean it…my heart will break if he does…but at the same time…just…no!!!! Lol.

Maybe he’ll go down one of the other aisles? Or the stage will be too high for him to do it? Or he just won’t fancy doing it for the UK gigs. Oh, god! 😳😳😳😳😳😳😱😱😱😱😱😱😱

Maybe I should wear my “bananas” shirt just in case? Lol. DEFINITELY NOT! Lol


At this rate…it might be easier if I just hitch a ride on the tour bus :-)))

The list now reads:



London Palladium

Bristol (VIP)


London Drury Lane

Dublin x 2 (ie: both nights)

Mystery gig!