There’s a break for me now in the gigs I have coming up. I’ll be in Edinburgh at the end of the month for my birthday treat of seeing a touring production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast – making it my sixth time seeing the show and the first time seeing it since the last show I saw in Milton Keynes in 2012.
I have a couple of Warm Digits gigs in November – once again heading to Edinburgh to see them and then a few nights later back here in Glasgow.
After that, I have two shows book for December. Warm Digits once again, this time in Newcastle…but that has a question mark over for now. Then two nights later on Dec 18th, I’ve booked to see Memes at McChuills.
Then in January, a Celtic Connections gig and then The Stranglers at the O2 Academy. Nothing for February – as far as I am aware… but in all honesty, your guess is as good as mine. I didn’t even remember I booked The Stranglers gig until a couple of weeks back when I was sorting out my email account.
And then…March! Which I had been discussing last night and today with my gig buddy and partner-in-crime, Birdy.
Over the past 24 hours I have sorted flights to Paris (goddamn gotta fly to and back from Edinburgh as flights from/to Glasgow don’t run as frequently as they do from Auld Reekie) and sorted out a place to stay right near the venue. And by ‘eck – WHAT A VENUE! I am allowing myself some mild excitement once again. This will probably be my only venture to see SM outside of the UK next year. I have thoroughly kissed goodbye to Taormina and I am only tentatively contemplating a return to Dublin now (I have a ticket for the Dublin gig though). I’m not relishing the idea of a flight with Ryanair …. but I may consider other options to get there. We’ll see. If not then we have… Paris, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Leeds, Newcastle…(Dublin?)…Blenheim Palace….Edinburgh.
Paris will be the first Simple Minds gig, almost two years to the day since I saw them in Copenhagen. I am lamenting there is now only one day between Paris and Bordeaux as it now means Bordeaux cannot happen for us. With it being during the week and only a day in between it just isn’t working out now. Bordeaux was a pricey mistake anyway, goddamnit!
In the meantime….check out the Paris venue! La Seine Musicale…beautiful!
The caption on the first photo – There was so much talk about Jim’s “penny whistle” at the time. Bloody hell! Also…the end of the article…him going on about Mariella Frostrup. Tie a knot in it, Kerr! Surely you were already with somebody else by this point? You’re never alone for long, it seems. I could comment further…but I won’t.
Anyway, I guess you can’t keep a good man down….
Click on the images for better and maximum viewing options.
As a side note of what was discussed above is this (below). I stumbled upon it about a week ago. Don’t ask me how I got there – despite how it looks, rather bloody innocently, I can assure you! It was printed in the Sunday Mirror on September 4th, 2005. They obviously had Jim look at a bunch of photos of himself and comment on them. The article was titled “My Pap Pics: Jim Kerr” and I’m guessing he was shown a rather “revealing” photo of himself? The “Brussels banana” photo, perhaps? The photos of the article weren’t printed, just the text. Anyway…here are his MODEST words about it. He was rather more modest several years later….shrinkage? 😂😂😂
So…who are we to believe? Bragging Jim of 2005? Or modest Jim of 2014 interviewed in the Irish Independent newspaper?
I’m a lucky, lucky girl to work for my Boss Lady (as I affectionately call her) – Virginia Turbett, because I get to enjoy some perks. One being viewing wonderful photos before many others get to see them.
Today I was asked to post these to Instagram with the following caption:
“Due to popular demand – here are a couple of never printed and never scanned images of Simple Minds on the day in March 1981 when they signed to Virgin. See the gorgeous, young laddies from Scotland sup warm champagne out of plastic beakers in the artfully ‘junk shop’ styled office of Virgin MD Simon Draper. Also there that day were Virgin A&R Legends and Minds Super-fans – Ross Stapleton and Ronnie Gurr, both of whom have championed the band from their earliest gigs to this day.”
Gorgeous young laddies alright! Lord knows I have my preference. “WHO could it be?” You’re all wondering….well…. his first name rhymes with a slang term for a certain body part! 😱😉 That’ll keep you lot guessing…and if you’re brave enough – comment your answers and if someone gets it right, I’ll send you a print – of my artwork…not of Virginia’s. Sorry – I have no authority to do that!
Anyway…geez, what a momentous day that Virgin signing was, eh?
Today is the official calendar start of spring – but I much prefer to think of it in seasonal terms and don’t really feel any real sense of spring until the equinox on March 20th.
That in mind, I wanted to choose something that conjured up warmth and light and joy and optimism, and maybe a bit of Utopia and in the case of this song, enlightenment. Something to symbolise that, indeed, spring is on the way.
I knew it was a spiritual song. You can hear it and sense it without being told, as it delivers that sense, that feeling of a warm spring day. A warming of the soul.
But I actually hadn’t read the info on Dream Giver about it – or if I had, it was so long ago, none of it ever really sank in.
Having read it last night, I was moved by Jim’s words. Moved by how moved HE was by the song.
I can’t help but feel it was semi-autobiographical what he had written in the email? That perhaps it was he who had the dream of the wedding procession and of the Prince (aka Krishna) and the beautiful coquettish brides. That he was the man left standing in the loft apartment staring at the painting on the kitchen wall.
He has talked about the Bhagavad Gita several times in the past. It has had quite an influence on him over the years.
I enjoyed it too, having read it from him mentioning it again in recent years.
I’ll share the piece Jim had written about Superman v Supersoul below. There are so many days in which I miss him and I miss just…feeling with him, connected to him, part of him. More than just through music and through a “singer and fan” dynamic.
I know I have to stop going on about it! And I know I have to find some kind of closure as it has so obviously come to an end – whatever “this” was. Whatever connection I felt there was. Whatever skewed imagining of “togetherness” I had deludedly conjured up for myself and dreamed for myself. It has obviously faded.
For want of painting myself a dream and walking into it to experience it and live it in my subconscious, I better “get real”.
I miss the romance of the togetherness. Of feeling kindred. Of feeling sometimes I could allow to kid myself that, on the odd occasion, there was a “like mind”. That we were connected beyond the music. And that it wasn’t just me that felt it.
(The end of the first paragraph of Jim’s words … God is a DJ? “This is my church. This is where I heal my hurts.”)
UPDATE: (later the same morning) I mixed up my books! I tried to read Bhagavad Gita but got lost in the rambling preface of the copy I bought – an English translation of the book from German – and didn’t continue to read it. So in actual fact, I was mixing up my Siddhartas (which I have read) with my Bhagavad Gitas (not actually read yet) – and I’m wondering if Jim didn’t do the same in this email? I may just have to have another attempt at reading Bhagavad Gita.
People are finding God in different places. Some stare at the sky. Others walk the desert. A friend of mine recently put forward the notion that God has taken to stalking the floors of discotheques!“
“The scenario in the song: An individual, closing his eyes after staring long and hard at a beautiful painting of a scene from the “Bhagavad Gita” finds that he is transported body and soul into the painted image – which in fact becomes reality all around him. There suspended in time for what feels like a whole night he finds himself drowning in the sights and sounds of a wedding procession which is taking place in the most heavenly blue moonlit garden.“
“All around him the most sensuous music drifts and he listens while watching the screams and laughter of the beautiful young brides who cannot contain themselves as they receive the flirting and teasing attention of an obvious boy prince, who must be no other than Lord Krishna… the sense of joy is palpable as peacocks mesmerize, and it’s there and then our character decides that this can only be the one true paradise…“
“Suddenly it’s gone, where to!, where from? The man is left staring out the window of his loft apartment at the shimmering lights of the cityscape; and the sprawling chaos of the streets below. He vows on the spot to completely change his way of life; and tears well as he shifts his eyes back to the small calendar painting, given to him free last year, on the street by a “devotee” and now hanging on his kitchen wall.“
It seems a bit surplus to need of highlighting this, as the tickets for it have already gone – FLOWN OUT ON THE WINDOW in mere hours (perhaps only minutes? Bloody quick sticks anyway!) – but I will talk of it anyway.
On release day, Catherine will conduct a Q&A for Rough Trade, hosted by Pete Paphides about her new album, The Art of Losing.
Thank god I didn’t hang about in getting my ticket as there was only a limit of 300 available. Perhaps that may expand to further tickets released? Who knows? Perhaps the Q&A can be seen later?
I’ll look forward to it and count the days. Have been counting the days of release anyway.
In the meantime, you can check out current single (and title track) The Art Of Losing below.
A lovely 30 minute chunk of Simple Minds recorded in Dublin in March, 2012. Really nicely done. Fine video work, Trevor. Thank you so much for filming it and taking the care to add better audio. Excellent work!
For those of us who missed the tour, this is as near to a TARDIS as we’ll get.
Geez, how I’d love there to be another 5×5 style tour. I know it won’t happen. I guess Jim thinks he’s just too past it for that stuff now. The more time moves on, the more gutted I am that my diehard fandom didn’t take in 2006, for had it done so, I know I’d have been at as many 5×5 shows as I could have afforded to be at on that tour.
“Regrets. I’ve had a few, but then again….PROBABLY JUST THIS ONE!”
After show two I hung around the stage to see if a setlist might be on offer. After about 10 minutes I decided to give up. But before leaving the venue I thought “I’ll go over to GG and say goodnight.”
“How was it?”, he asked. “Amazing!”, I said. “Did you get to see both shows?” “Yes.”
“Ah!”, he says “wait”, and opens a drawer and hands me a setlist “I put this aside for you.” How lovely was that?!
Thank you, GG! You are a gentleman ❤️
But that wasn’t the only lovely thing to happen! Just before that…as the show ended, Charlie was handing out plectrums and although I was near, I missed out. After he walked off stage, there was a tap on my shoulder. A lady behind me handed me one. She showed me that she had two of them and offered one to me. So, so lovely! I thanked her profusely.
With the escalating cases of Covid-19 and the Danish government advising the curbing of public gatherings of 1000+ people, it was looking unlikely that the Simple Minds gig in Copenhagen was going to go ahead.
It was a concern to travel already. Both of us were well but who knows what others were like and if they were travelling responsibly? We contemplated not travelling at all if the SM gigs were in doubt.
We decided … why not? We may not get to travel for some time after this. Neither of us had ever been to Copenhagen. And it had been a VERY long time since we’d been overseas together (last time was a trip back to Oz in 2002 – the year I had whooping cough!)
To get round the restrictions on public gatherings, it was touted that the Minds do two shows. It would be amazing if they did, but I didn’t hold my hopes up. Two 25 song sets in one night? They’d all be frigging knackered to fuck!
Then there was official word. Yes – Simple Minds would perform TWO SHOWS IN ONE NIGHT for the Danes in Copenhagen. One show at 7pm and one at 10pm. To achieve this, the soundcheck and VIP fan experiences were called off. Damn!
As it happened, I had two tickets for the show. I originally bought myself a regular standing ticket. But then a couple of days later decided to upgrade and go to a soundcheck experience for the gig.
Email notifications came in from Ticketmaster Denmark. The first showing a refund for the soundcheck experience. The second, the issue of a replacement standard ticket. I still had two tickets. But BOTH had been allocated the 7pm show! What to do…
Come gig day, the weather was yuck. I booked a hotel not far from the venue, just a 10 minute walk away. I decided to head on down around lunchtime to see what was what. Maybe talk to a member of staff to see if there was a way to use one of the tickets I had to get into the second gig. There wasn’t really any venue staff around. There was band crew around though. I saw Del and asked if he was going to be singing the night. Charlie’s guitar tech (Mike?) was wandering about. And I saw GG (the FOH soundman). We had a hug, “no kisses!” he said. Lol. And a brief chat. He’s such a lovely man.
There wasn’t any sign of the band so best thought it would be good to go back to the hotel. I mean, if I AM going to chance getting in for both gigs, I better stay off my feet! We’d been out looking around the city the previous day and had walked MILES!
I was going to chance it. There was nothing on these tickets to say they were time specific. And if I could show a completely separate unused ticket for the other show, why would I not be able able to get in?
I got back down to the venue about 6.15pm. Those who had begun to lineup outside had already been let in. After dropping my jacket into the cloakroom, I went through with my first ticket. There was already a pretty full barrier of fans at the front. No room left in front of Jim. But there was a space left at the far end of Charlie’s (the left) side. I had a fairly clear view of everything but after a while realised I couldn’t see Berenice at all from that angle. Never mind. Hopefully I’ll get in a different position if I get through the next time.
Hearing all the mixtape of music that gets played before the show starts always heightens my anticipation of what’s about to happen. A wry smile spread across my face as they started to play Pop Muzik. But you know it’s all just about to kick off when they start playing Van Morrison and John Lee Hooker’s version of Gloria.
It was obvious from song one we were going to have something a little different go on. An altered set(s) to accommodate the two shows. I was expecting a trimming of songs. There had to be. There is no way they could perform 50 songs in one night!!
The set started with Theme For Great Cities. An absolutely stonking version! And it was a chance for (the usual shy and retiring) Gordy Goudie to strut his stuff at centre stage. Then as we near the end of the track, Jim and Sarah arrive on stage to much cheering and we plough straight on into Waterfront and She’s A River.
A minute or two to catch his breath, Jim is on one of his little stand up routines. Lol. (I’m taking the pish! He’s beautiful. He could stand on that stage, literally just saying, “blah blah blah, blah blah, blah blah blah blah” and I’d be transfixed. Lol) talking about when SM started out how they’d never believe they’d play in places like Copenhagen, and that there’s no way it would be happening 40 years later. But to then be doing TWO SHOWS IN ONE NIGHT?! No way! And more incredible still, that as Scots, they’d do two shows in one night and only get paid FOR ONE?! Lol And on we go to Let There Be Love.
Then my favourite part of the set…a block of early 80’s gems – I Travel, Love Song, Glittering Prize, and The American….before things calmed for a spine-tingling Belfast Child.
The reigns go to Sarah as Jim takes a short break and she performs Book Of Brilliant Things. In all honesty, this song has been a bane for such a long time with me. I LOOOOOOOOVE the studio version on Sparkle In The Rain but it became a completely reworked song a couple of years later, and never went back to its original state. It has taken me a really, REALLY long time to….accept the change in the song. Sarah’s performance of it on Tuesday night, both times – and even BETTER on the second performance were just incredible. You just cannot not (oxymoron I know!) be swept up in her selling of the song. She’s just brilliant. And so emotive and so uplifting. She turns it into a gospel song. Jim said a long time ago, in an interview with Billy Sloan, that the song is like a child’s ode. Well…not now. It is the modern day’s Mahalia Jackson’s gospel delivery. Hallelujah! Amazing!
Then after that, Jim returns for the beautiful Someone, Somewhere In Summertime. And can I dream on the footage that I shared via FB Live that at one point he was singing to me?! Pffft! Of course not! As if he would!
A lovely version of See The Lights follows. Every time he sings the line “I’m too proud to cry”, I’m thinking “I’m not, Jim! I bloody love you to the moon and back and you make me cry buckets.”
In show one, it’s Dolphins that follows (after the Banging On The Door intro) and it’s always gorgeous. In show two, it was the ever-sensual and ephemeral Hunter And The Hunted. Some say Someone Somewhere In Summertime is the ultimate Simple Minds song, others say Speed Your Love To Me. Others again say Waterfront. But for a multitude of things….even though I always have Boys From Brazil and Wonderful In Young Life as my top personal faves…for the overall summing of a song that embodies everything that Simple Minds is, was, ever will be – it has to be Hunter And The Hunted! The ambiguity of the lyrics, that somehow manage to be sexy, sensual, romantic, mystical, haunting, eerie and menacing all at the same time. That thing Jim described as “romance mixed with the poison of real life”. Hunter And The Hunted is the epitome of that. Musically funky, sensual and haunting too. The song has everything. I was in heaven once again hearing it live. Ecstasy.
And the ecstasy continued as “the siren” wailed in for New Gold Dream. Some Simple Minds songs just never, ever, ever get old (the one performed before it – that shall remain nameless does get a bit old for me…but I still dutifully sing-along to the 8 minutes of “la la las” that ensue) and NGD is one of them. It’s a call-to-arms for me. We have one life…let’s make the most of it! Eureka!
Then we are at quite possibly the highlight of the night for me…both times…(though…HATH…BOBT…both amazing…Belfast Child too…HE DID IT TWICE! Hats off to you, Sir Kerr!) Berenice Scott and Sarah Brown performing Speed Your Love To Me. Berenice…a voice so wonderfully suited to it. Just…fragile and tender and beautiful. Wow!
Mainstay encores of Alive And Kicking and Sanctify Yourself and…that was it. Two of the most amazing Simple Minds shows I’ve seen yet.
Second show I was almost dead centre stage, in front of Jim…nowhere else in the world I want to be. In my dreams during the shows I believed I had him poke his tongue out at me and give me a wink…but I’m just a silly dreamer, and I’m sure it was meant for some stunning size 6 brunette behind me.
Everyone else was on top form. I had quite a bit of interaction with Charlie during show one. And Cherisse saw me and smiled and nodded and I gave her a wave at show two. She’s always so wonderful to me. They all played so amazing. And at the end of show two, you’d have never believed that’d just performed 36 songs over 4 hours! Incredible!
It was the most amazing night. And one I felt was rare enough for me to have my phone out for longer than I normally would. I was at two shows to be fair – exceptional circumstances, and I was as close to Jim as I was ever going to be while he was performing on stage…so I snapped away. NOT ALL NIGHT – as someone accused me but for around 20 minutes across both gigs. I filmed two songs from show one to Facebook Live – and filmed two more on video from shows two. Took hardly any photos from show one. But snapped away some more for show two. I could explain further as to why…but I don’t have to justify myself to anyone. Suffice it to say, it was kosher. And if Jim had been pissed off about it, I’m sure he’d have let me know!
And so, here is a smorgasbord of photos from Tuesday night. ENJOY! (And some video too!)
And it usually escalates manifold as a tour is about to start. This feeling that I am utterly and truly “persona non grata”. That Jim can’t stand me, barely tolerates me and is actually dreading seeing me in the crowd.
And I wonder why I am going to such lengths to show my love and appreciation. To be there for 13 gigs (potentially…tickets for 13 shows are booked, anyway).
Of course it’s the music and the live experience too! But more than anything it’s…just wanting to see him and be near him. Absolute hand on heart honesty. If I didn’t adore him so much, I’d probably only be going to four gigs at most.
Then I get reassured by friends who are fellow fans. “He loves you!”. Nah, he’s just a good actor. He won’t be a shit to me unless I really, really deserve it (2018 and my “real fans” dummy-spit, anyone?). So then I feel that inwardly he just…dreads and abhors the sight of me…or maybe even worse still, pities me. Finds me ridiculous (in a truly pathetic way). Well, let’s be honest, I am.
I just wish it never mattered. That I didn’t care. That…it would just stop playing on my mind and be literally the only thing I can think about at the moment.
Copenhagen is less than two weeks away and I am starting to feel all that gut-churning stuff again. Why do I put myself through this? It’s insane!
This photo appears in the latest Classic Pop magazine. A big old feature of SM is inside with Jim and Charlie on the cover.
In this photo Jim’s face seems to epitomise that feeling I have of what he thinks “You really are the most pathetic creature. You poor, sad cow.”