Minds Music Monday – Brucey Bonus – Belated 38th Anniversary To Sparkle In The Rain

It’s a belated Happy 38th Anniversary to Sparkle In The Rain. The anniversary was actually yesterday and there was celebration at Casa Read by way of this beauty getting a play on the old turntable.

A favourite track? Well, during yesterday’s airing of the album, Waterfront was sounding particularly good. And it was one of the first songs that I remember clearly sticking out at me, making me aware of this “Simple Minds” band that was around.

But…having said all that, I still get flabbergasted by the majestic sound and “OMG WTF is that?“ time signature to White Hot Day. Enjoy!

Minds Music Monday – Manchester 28/11/1982

I listened to this over again early on Sunday morning. I love how clearly Jim’s voice comes across on this recording. I don’t know who was responsible for recording it? Frank, mabbies? Seeing as it’s a soundboard recording…? Dunno. But I am sssoooo very thankful it exists! I mean, Newcastle from the week before is great too! Both audio and video. And it’s great that we have the footage of them on The Tube as well, but I love having those contrasting things. Having several shows to listen to and reference compounds how truly great they were (still are, but you know what I mean) live.

Everything about what they are at this point is audible. And…here we go, brace yourselves! Jim… this mix, it’s like he’s singing right in your face. I’m laying in bed, earphones in and it’s just a swoonfest with this. He’s gorgeous. The whole New Gold Dream period is just… SUMPTUOUS!

Anyway, before I use every superlative in the English language and wax myself into a lyrical frenzy, I’ll go.

Happy Minds Music Monday, everyone!

Little Treasures…

That cost a bomb. A few little unseen treasures from various publications. Sadly music magazines are notorious for not always giving photo credits, but I will try and credit those who took these gems, if published.

This one is a small little inset. A clipping from what I think might be a Dutch magazine. Taken in 1982 by the look of things. I love Jim in this photo.

This one is fabulous! And I wish I knew who took it. looking like it is probably from around early 1980.

This one is not in the best of condition. It had already been scanned out of the magazine it appeared in. So now it is a scan of a scan. To me it looks like it could be backstage at Kant Kino, so it might have been taken by Holgar Rabe. I know it ain’t the clearest photo but I felt it interesting enough to share, despite its low quality. Again, it would be early 1980 – around March.

I have some magazine and newspaper articles to scan and share. Some will be in Dutch and from the 1980s. Others will be in English and from the late 1990s, middling 2000s and the early 2010s.

I’ll scan and post them in the coming days and weeks.

As Dorothy Said To Aunty Em…

“There’s no place like home.” A much used quote lifted from The Wizard Of Oz. But it rings true. And it certainly seemed to have rung true on the nights of November 18th and 19th, 1982.

Simple Minds had just returned to Glasgow after another whirlwind stint of touring to the far reaches of the globe (yes, GLOBE – no “flat earth” conspiracy theorists here! Have ANY of these flat-earthers NEVER been on a plane? How do they explain the curvature of the earth and the horizon? I digress!) – heading back to Australia, New Zealand and Canada directly after the release of New Gold Dream.

I was looking into fanzines on eBay last night, after having seen an enquiring post on my FB feed about a certain Scottish produced fanzine. I thought I’d have a hunt around the interwebs and see what I could find. I decided on eBay first and got caught up looking at fanzines on there. One in particular caught my eye. One called Deadbeat. I looked at the listing of every issue and viewed the images, trying to scan and find more info on the fanzine production itself more than anything.

No one was then more surprised than me to find within the shared images of one listing of the magazine – THIS! A review of Simple Minds playing Tiffany’s in November, 1982. It’s unclear as to whether the reviewer is at the first gig or the second, but regardless of that it’s a glowing review.

The only error in the review is that they say Mike Ogletree is on drums. And it wasn’t until I was listening over the bootleg last night did I think to myself “Naw, pal. That ain’t Mike, that’s Mel.” Mike’s last gig was in Toronto about 10 nights prior to this gig. So in actual fact, it was Mel’s first or second night at the kit – depending on which night the reviewer was there.

They wax lyrical about Jim. Such praise! Excited at my discovery of this review last night I did a very rare thing (these days) and posted it to SMOG first with a link to Art & Talk’s upload of the November 18th gig to YouTube. In my post on SMOG, in reference to the lashings of praise heaped on Jim, I said “anyone would think I wrote the review! Lol.”

It is true though – anyone WOULD think I had time travelled and gone and reviewed it for the fanzine. It is wonderful to see such praise given to His Kerrness though. And it’s certainly nothing I wouldn’t have done myself.

A companion piece for me are the photos I have from Virginia of them playing the second night at Tiffany’s. My favourite photo of the set? One of Jim on the stage – looking pretty fucking sensational, I have to say in signature white collared shirt, shiny tailored trousers and black wee “ballet” shoes. And in the bottom left corner of the frame you can see his brother, Mark, looking as though he would rather be anywhere else than watching his big bro up on stage. Lol. Poor Mark! It’s not in the ones I have posted above, but you can view the particular photo I am referring to on Virginia’s site HERE

Lastly, here is the link to the first of the two Tiffany’s gigs that A&T uploaded. Oh, for a night at Tiffany’s! This is the next best thing…

P.S. Artwork used for the YT ident, eh? *wink* Thanks A&T!

Once Upon A Time …. I Liked It

It was 36 years since the release of Once Upon A Time yesterday. I find it an anniversary that usually passes me by without any fanfare. Unlike April for Life In A Day. Or November for Real To Real Cacophony. Or even my birthday for Big Music (seemingly deemed to be early November these days as its release but I received my pre-ordered copy on my birthday in 2014).

But especially in September when we get the run of anniversaries just a day apart – Empires And Dance, Sons And Fascination/Sister Feelings Call and New Gold Dream.

This is starting to sound like I am big on anniversaries and know them all….but I don’t. Once Upon A Time is a case in point. It slips my mind every year. Probably because of the time of year it happens. Ten days before my birthday. I’m usually preoccupied with that.

In 1985 I got the album for my birthday…I think. It might have been for Christmas….I have an appalling memory! I know I wanted it though and I did receive a copy of it for either of these occasions. It was the first Simple Minds piece of music I had ever owned. It SHOULD mean more to me! I SHOULD remember the date. There SHOULD be some significance to it, but alas….

Why? Why is that? Honestly? I think I have just grown weary of it. Which is sad. I feel sad that I feel like this. I didn’t feel this way about OUAT in 2014. But the whole Simple Minds back catalogue was so new to me then. I felt a nostalgia and a reverence for the album then. 

Move forward to 2021 and I can’t even play the album these days. Or more, I have little interest in playing it. Unlike with Real To Real, EAD, SAF/SFC and NGD – all of whose songs I never tire of. I just can’t bring myself to listen to Once Upon A Time.

It kind of scares me how tired of Alive And Kicking, Sanctify Yourself, All The Things She Said, and even the title track Once Upon A Time I have become. To a lesser degree it affects Ghostdancing and Oh Jungleland. I Wish You Were Here has been played minimally enough not to be too affected. And when I played the album back in the day I would always skip Come A Long Way anyway, so that’s pretty unaffected too. And I have grown to appreciate the song in recent years.

I rarely talk in the negative like this about Simple Minds. Well…I try very hard not to talk in negatives, anyway. (We are the “meek and unambitious” and we shall not have our voices heard!) But…I do feel mournful that I have grown so weary of OUAT – for without it, I may never have become a Simple Minds fan at all! Either the fairweather fan I had been since the day of its release up until the summer of 2014 – or from that point on until the present day in fervent fandom.

I hope my love returns. I hope with enough of a break, and the passage of time, I will feel able to listen to it once more. It might depend on certain changes to the live setlist though – or my not going to any more Simple Minds gigs. Or fewer of them. I don’t know. 

As soon as I had posted my piece about the “Seven Year Itch” and not really listening to them at all much, it turned it around and I was listening to them again. Maybe just posting and the airing of this will have me listening to OUAT again?

Stranger things have happened…

Minds Music Monday – Ritchie’s Club – New Orleans – 27/04/1983

Ghost Dancer (aka Stuart Greaves) has shared another gem of a bootleg, this time of SM some seven months into the New Gold Dream tour of ‘82/‘83 – midway through the North American leg of the tour in April/May of 1983.

Playing the Ritchie’s Club in New Orleans, Louisiana. Recorded by a member of the crowd – hearing audible bits like the guy telling the girl next to him to stop talking to him as he’s recording the show. Lol (You tell her, pal!) The recording is a good one coming from the crowd as it does. Some people obviously managed to sneak in some great recording equipment to these gigs. Mates who were working as road crew on the night or some such? No idea how they did it, but kudos for doing so.

As for the band themselves and the gig? Well, as you’d expect by now, we hear all of the New Gold Dream album (Somebody Up There Likes You as their walk-on intro music), plus stonking versions of I travel, Celebrate, The American and Love Song. There’s a little of the set lost (changing the tape over in the recorder, I’m guessing?) where the ending of Hunter And The Hunted cuts off and we return about a third of the way through Promised You A Miracle.

It feels as though Jim is going through the motions a little bit at times. He wavers a little, especially towards to tail end of the set. There’s a bit of banter that happens. I’m guessing fans are asking for certain songs to be played. At one point Jim says “Naw. It’s too old.” But usually it is just “Thank you.” And an intro of the next song. I guess I am odd to miss that Jim, right? The one who never seemed overly engaging with the crowd? I guess I miss …. the intensity. Can one miss what they never truly experienced? I do love the ease of engaging “older statesman” Jim now though. He knows how to get the fans in a frenzy still, just with less “whirling dervish” manoeuvres and brooding frontman intensity and more “banter” and acknowledgement of the crowd.

Having said all that…if that was young Jim on an “off night”…imagine him when he was fully up for it?! ERMAGERRRRRD! I’d say he was 70/30 that night. 70 on, 30 off. Or there abouts.

Anyway, it is definitely a gig I’d listen to again.

Enjoy!

Happy Anniversary – New Gold Dream!

In the Simple Minds world, album release anniversaries are like buses – they all seem to come along at once! Lol

Take yesterday, for example. Not only was it the anniversary of the release of Sons And Fascination/Sister Feelings Call, but it was also the anniversary for the release of Empires And Dance and Black And White 050505 (rather confusingly).

And today is the anniversary of THIS behemoth! The highly revered and lauded, New Gold Dream 81-82-83-84. But seeing as it is only 39 years old today, I am reserving making too much of a fuss of it until next year’s 40th milestone. This year all the fuss deserved to go to Sons/Sister.

Next year, New Gold Dream, it’ll be your turn!

White Hot Day – Simple Minds Fan Convention – RESCHEDULED (New Date, New Venue)

Thanks to this bloody pandemic and frigging Covid-19, White Hot Day, the Simple Minds fan convention, set to take place in the band’s ‘hame toon’ of Glasgow (Glesga) has been rescheduled.

The convention will now take place on Saturday, October 15th, 2022, at a new venue, Classic Grand on Jamaica Street, Just a short (less than 5 minutes) walk from Central station (for those making their way into Glasgow for the event).

Tickets available through Tickets Scotland – all previously purchased tickets remain valid for the new date/venue.

See you there!

The Tube – THE WHOLE EPISODE! November, 1982.

OMG! THIS IS SSOOO AWESOME TO SEE THE WHOLE EPISODE OF THE TUBE – OF THEM ON IT IN 1982. Oh, how I can dream to be sitting in front of the telly that night just…in awe of Jim. Needing a bucket in front of me to collect the drool! Dear God! What a gem!

Thank you to whoever uploaded this to YouTube. Happy, happy, Prip!

Lots of Glasgow based things about the music scene on it too. And Billy Sloan is on it as well!

Just awesome!

Dream Within A Dream

I had a mix of dreams this morning. Some were a little anxiety inducing. Others were just about all I dream of every day of my life.

I was sitting in a rather fantoosh looking kitchen…a kind of breakfast bar area of this kitchen. So…not in my house this place. I guess I was in his house/apartment? Or maybe it’s part of the hotel? There’s maybe some clue as to who my guest was (or more that I was HIS guest). Yes! I was dreaming that I was hanging out with Jim. Already I could just stop here and just be happy with this. That I was with him, being in his company.

I should have known INSTANTLY it was a dream because this will NEVER HAPPEN in real life. I feel as though I am the very LAST PERSON he’d ever want to spend time with, but in the dream he was happy. Relaxed and very smiley. And not the usual slightly arrogant and rather snidey Jim that I am faced with whenever I am in his presence. This time he was just happy to have me there with him and of course I was over the moon being there, and more relaxed than usual because I felt he was genuinely happy for me to be there with him.

And we were just sitting about talking.

It was a lovely sunny morning and the sunlight was streaming in. Some bits of the dream are a little sketchy. I’m not sure exactly what we had been talking about, or how we got to this subject but we were – well, he was initially – talking about Mel. He was reminiscing and being quite nostalgic. Saying how he had enjoyed having Mel working on Lostboy and that the tour was great. Then he said to me “I dreamed of him last night and when I opened my phone up this morning, his phone number appeared first.”

At this point in the dream I freaked out a bit because as I went on to tell Jim…. “OMG! That is really freaky! A similar thing happened to me last night. I was dreaming of Mel also and when I opened my phone this morning, the first thing I see is a photo of him!”

We both sat there smiling away in a strange kind of disbelief. Both a little astounded by our similar dreams. Just both of us kind of looking at each other a tad gobsmacked.

“You need to call him, Jim”, I say to him. “Do you talk to all the bands you’re fans of like this?”, he says back to me. “Lol, no”, I retort.

And then the dream ended. It was just very surreal and very lovely and I wish for all the world it was real. For all the world that Jim would actually WANT to sit around in a kitchen and just chat away with me and spend time with me. I honestly can’t think of anything more wonderful. Or anything that I want more in this world.

As soon as I “wakened up”, I started to hear the chords to this, because I had just experienced a “dream within a dream”….

It was Mel’s birthday yesterday….