Minds Music Monday – Hunter And The Hunted – Australia, 1982

There’s a recording I have from Sydney but there is one on YT from Melbourne – same tour, around 10 days apart. To me, when I listen to both these recordings, Jim sounds thoroughly exhausted – especially on both recordings of Hunter And The Hunted – and they both are placed early in the set.

The thing I love most about these versions of HATH is that towards the end as Jim is singing those “only with you life moves so fast” lines, he sings one of them with emphasis (for Oz audiences only, it seems, as I am pretty certain he doesn’t emphasise the words like this at any other time – same as he does with King Is White And In The Crowd – again, for Oz only, more accurately Sydney…he knows us Aussie c*nts too well. Lol) and sings “with you life moves so FUCKING fast”. That always gives me an extra buzz, and extra ripple of delight. Call me shallow!

These days he doesn’t even sing the line at all, but that doesn’t mean HATH is any less appealing and wow – the visual display it had at the gigs this year with those wild horses cantering through the Badlands? MAGIC!

If the auto skip embed hasn’t worked – Hunter And The Hunted starts at 11:35

Oz Music’s Big Loss

One of the biggest names in the Australian music industry has passed away. Michael Gudinski created one of the biggest record labels in Australia – Mushroom, and it had on its books just about every Australian music artist or band you’d ever wish to name.

From Skyhooks to Split Enz to Kylie Minogue, many a musical act has at some point either been on the Mushroom label, or had some dealing or other with Mr Gudinski.

He also set up Frontier Touring, one of Australia’s largest tour promoters and was responsible for getting a wealth of worldwide acts to make the long-haul flights Down Under to tour the country and play live.

The Australian music industry owes a lot to him. He will be very sadly missed.

Maudlin In Melbourne – Bootleg 1/10/1982

I started listening to a new bootleg last night (new to me, at least!) of Simple Minds in Melbourne on the New Gold Dream tour of 1982. It’s their second night in Melbourne (having performed the previous night at the Latrobe University campus) and their fourth night on the Australian leg of the tour.

It seemed to start out well enough. They started (or at least the bootleg started) out with Love Song. They then went into Colours Fly. Jim was trying to keep his voice real low but would give up and would end up screeching. He sounded a bit off and was delivering bum notes here and there.

Given the subject matter of his latest post, I feel a bit pernickety for bringing up his vocal performance – esp. from a gig that’s nearly 40 years old. But…just humour me. I wasn’t around for these things the first time and even though it’s a retrospective critique, these gigs are heard with fresh ears – my fresh ears! I never really took a HUGE amount of interest in bootlegs, (just as a side note, WHY ARE bootlegs called “bootlegs”? I must look that up!) I could never understand why anyone bothered with them because they invariably sounded shit. Either the recording was shit, or the band was crap…or both.

Perhaps it is purely through the now almost completely dead live music scene do I find myself now exploring these recordings more? A combination of that, and of “newer” unearthed gigs being shared on YouTube for our collective listening pleasure that has resulted in this.

Anyways, back to the gig. Jim intros the next song in the usual way he did then “from New Gold Dream, this is called Hunter And The Hunted” – even his intro sounded lacklustre. But he had a propensity of sounding like that back then – the only time his nerves and the stage fright were detectable and audible was when he spoke.

As I listened intently, I couldn’t tell whether he was delivering it more impassioned than usual, or more despondently. His vocal was again off kilter. Not in a way it normally would be! You know, he’s diving around that stage like a whirling dervish. Taking lunges and leaps and skulking about like a panther. Somehow both balletic and yet acrobatic at the same time. More fluid in his moves than the robotic, stilted jerky movements he’d make a couple of years previous. He was at that point very athletic physically in his stage performance. Yet despite that, his vocal performance rarely faltered. Yes, he’d get breathless at times but what came across most was the passion in his performance. He rarely ever seemed to give a bum note.

It seemed about half-way through the song that…he just wasn’t feeling it. Or at least I detected more pain in his voice than passion. He seemed to not really be “in the moment”. It was feeling like he didn’t want to be there. Or at least that, it was getting hard to be there and be “on”. He was still trying to deliver impassioned performance. “Only with you life moves so fucking fast!”

At the end of the song and after the “thank you” he says rather forlorn “everything’s so fast”. It sounded so down! I winced when he said it and was just thinking “aaawww, Jim! What was happening to you that night, beautiful man?”

The gig was starting to sound flat. I couldn’t tell whether it was being projected through Jim, or whether the band were starting to sound flat and then that was having a knock-on effect on Jim, vice versa, or if it was just what I was feeling listening to it.

It’s hard to get a full idea of things. Without the visuals to get any visual indicators of how he was feeling it is all down to interpreting how he was feeling and his performance via voice alone. The crowd are still very responsive. They seem receptive enough.

To me, compared to the other gigs I’ve listened to lately – something just doesn’t feel right. Maybe he was just cold? Lol (I’m being flippant.)

As he intros Someone Somewhere In Summertime he says “will soon be warm here”. Sleep then got the better of me. Me drifting off while laying on my left side, looking at my wall of Kerrs inwardly thinking, “What was up, Jim? What was going on with you that night? Just…not feeling it? Geez, you’re beautiful…” and then …. *lights out*

I’m not sure I want to listen to the rest. But as an object in full retrospective critique, I guess it would be prudent to do so.

Let me know what you guys think. Is it just me? (Most likely. Lol. It usually always is “just me”…)

Thanks again to Stuart Greaves for uploading the audio.

New Year In Melbourne

With now just one week left to go here in Australia, time and the opportunities of spending time with them – friends (as well as the money required for destinations to travel to/back from) – are precious.

I was really hoping I could get to visit friends in Melbourne and Adelaide whilst here. Sadly I had to forego the Adelaide trip early on as fares weren’t as affordable as I was hoping… just that time of year, you know? And even Melbourne wasn’t looking great, but after days of trying to work out a time to fit it in, I booked a flight to Melbourne to go down on New Year’s Eve and return the following day on New Year’s Day.

Ally met me at Avalon Airport. We hugged for the longest time. We drove in towards the city centre and stopped for coffee along the way to her home. And cake…

I met two little tubby tornadoes in the form of the pet bulldogs.

Ally soon had me labelled ‘the dog whisperer’. Lol

New Year’s Eve was low key and quiet. I drove Ally and her husband, Steve, nuts with my endless squeals of delight as the trams went by as we made our way to a vegan restaurant in Fitzroy for our evening meal.

Mushroom ‘squid’, spicy tofu bao buns and vegetable gyoza on the menu for starters and a katsu (which really didn’t resemble a katsu much to me) for main.

A stop off at a local pub on the way back – I had a beautiful tasting Four Pillars g&t – and we were back home about 9pm.

We talked and watched some SM. We brought in the New Year watching Jim and having a wee dram (an actual drambuie) at midnight.

A relaxing start to the morning on New Year’s day. Coffee and breakfast in bed.

A trip to the city centre, a stroll along the banks of the Yarra, lunch, a short tram ride and then it was time to get to Avalon for the flight back to Sydney.

A very fleeting visit – just on 30 hours and it was over. But it was worth it for that precious time with my beautiful friend.

Ally – I love you to the moon and back!

Happy New Year to all who read this silly old fan blog. Thank you x

Another Magic Nine?

Since I booked the gigs last night, I had in my head that I had 8 SM gigs booked for next year, convinced I had (without really thinking in those terms to begin with) fallen one short of this magical 9 figure I’d fallen upon these past couple of years.
But…obviously I was neglecting to tally my numbers right…perhaps mislead by the unexpected Bordeaux addition.
A recount and lo! Look where we are…
Copenhagen
Paris
Bordeaux
Leeds
Dublin
Glasgow
Melbourne
Sydney
Bimbadgen
!!!!!
What is it with me and nine SM gigs a year? Lol

Where does this mysterious nine figure come from? How have I arrived at it? Jim’s shoe size? Erm…inches? Lol (I’m selling him too short by all accounts there!) Centimetres of Charlie’s Cuban heels? The number of plectrums Charlie has on stage with him? Number of Toblerones on the rider?

Answers on a postcard, sent on to Glasgow G22 – I’ll collect them in a couple of weeks 👍🏻

A 12 Month Countdown To Oz…

Leaked news from one of the Oz fans of THIS! SM confirmed (it would seem) for A Day On The Green at the Rochford Wines estate in Victoria for November, 2020.

So, it would seem I might be spending my 50th birthday down there? Or at least travelling down there shortly after the big FIVE-O.

Details are there on Ticketmaster’s AU based frontage. I was told by another fan it appears on the Bandsintown site too.

All seems legit…but of course, nothing is official until it is Simple Minds Official!

Stay tuned, folks! There must be more dates/info to come? (I’m going to regret Bordeaux just that bit more now. It would have helped pay for Oz!)

Bowie And Butler

David Bowie is… was still on in Melbourne when I got out to Oz in 2015. I really thought about flying down there to see it for my birthday, but thought it would be highly unfair on the OH to go without her (seeing as we both missed out on going to the exhibition in London).

It just seemed a selfish thing to do…despite her numerous more times of seeing Bowie live, than my solitary single time. But I at least got to see him once, and that once I will cherish forever.

But my single time of seeing him doesn’t have a story like THIS! Wow! That’s some dedication, Bruce!

Okay, my one and only time seeing David was outdoors too…and it rained. I was sopping! But, for me, when David arrived on stage, the clouds parted and the setting sun shone. I can’t beat that ammount of dedication. I certainly know the awestruck feeling, though. Never met David. Never wrote to him. Never would have dared! What could I/would I possibly say to him?

This is Bruce Butler’s fan story…take it away, Bruce…