Always Destined To Be The … Next Big Thing

I posted this onto SMOG earlier this afternoon – but I get the feeling it is going to be somewhat overshadowed by a wonderful post about Jim, which I am sure he will love (who can blame him?). Anyway, I thought I’d also post it here as well. (I haven’t altered the words I posted.)


Back a few years ago, I posted something on the Simple Minds visitor wall. I think it was a review of a gig. It came from an independent fanzine. Jim replied to my post, saying he had fond memories of some of the guys who set up these kind of publications, recalling the names of Johnny Waller and Lindsay Hutton, particularly, on this occasion. Hutton had started a fanzine called “Next Big Thing”.

Well I stumbled on to a copy of Next Big Thing today, and there within the pages was an advert for Empires And Dance, as well as a glowing review of the album by Lindsay himself. (Albeit if he is somewhat disparaging to Roxy Music and Gary Numan in the process. Oops!)

It took me on my own little nostalgia trip. Of a time that I particularly loved being a Simple Minds fan. Thanks for those wee chit-chats, Jim. They’ll always be super special to me. I loved putting on my “researcher’s hat” for that one as when you replied to me you had said “I wonder what happened to Johnny and Lindsay?”, which had me off and searching for you. A time you made me feel both happy and purposeful.

If it doesn’t come out too clear for reading, then here is a transcript of what is written below.

“The danceable solution to teenage revolution? If Roxy were still any cop they’d be making albums like this. I don’t altogether go along with the belief that synthesisers always ruin things. There’s ample proof of the reverse here, but the fact that idiots like gerbil face Numan seem to represent the genre, mean that there is no media indication that there is life after electronics. ‘Empires’ is the 3rd Minds elpee and places them well up the league. Especially tasty are the opener ‘I Travel’ and the Jeepster style backbeat of ‘Celebrate’. If you’ve been put off by the moderne talk of Morley then think again kiddo, because this sound can co-exist with rock ‘n’ roll because it’s performed from the heart. Can you afford not to own a record by a band whose singer drew Noddy on the Berlin Wall in lime green chalk? Good wee group this.”

Classic Scottish Albums Podcast – New Gold Dream

BBC Radio Scotland “Classic Albums” host Davie Scott talks us through New Gold Dream, with input from Jim Kerr, Bruce Findlay, and “rent-a-gob”, Paul Morley (among others).
And…there’s not even a single mention of the bath…even though Jim’s lyrics are discussed quite heavily. (Yep…the old Prip is slowly returning…ever happy to ogle) And you KNOW what I was visualising when we all had to use our imaginations for the visuals of their debut TOTP appearance? That bloody white suit and those black boots. The dyed hair. The pasty make up. Sadly, no nipples on display. Perhaps the BBC didnae allow such FILTH to be aired on a Thursday night? *sigh*

I digress…

Anyway, you can access the podcast HERE – fairly short at around 23 miniutes in length. Roughly Side A of NGD itself. Enjoy!

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UPDATE:- I got to thinking…why just sit about imagining it when you can watch it?! Here we go! Mr Snake-Hips on TOTP! HEY, JIM! SHOW US YA NIPS! Lol

Art Of Noise – British Library, March 9th, 2018 – Review

How does one go about reviewing something they have very little knowledge of? Well, research, for one helps. But it would feel a cheat to do that…so I will review it with a novice approach.

We queued for an hour. Quite WHY we queued, I’m unsure. Just, well, because the sign was there, a guy was there that we spoke briefly to, and then…there was little else to do to bide the time away. And Brits “do” queuing SO WELL! It’s somehow ingrained in the psyche of every Brit, I think. It’s in the DNA. If no queue is formed, a Brit will form one…and others will join uniformly and with a minimum of fuss. And it somehow fitted in to the style of the music we were about to have performed in front of us. Almost as if Paul Morley’s voice spoke from somewhere just out of earshot, “You are about to watch The Art Of Noise, please form an orderly queue.”

Once inside, the music played pre-gig showcased lots of the music of label stable mates from the ZTT days, producers like Trevor Horn and Stephen Lipson (who the Other Half reliably informed me was there watching last night) as well as collaborations with other acts. A veritable “smorgasbord” of the pop art music world.

And as Dudley, Jeczalik and Langan walked on stage, there was a wonderful warm round of applause. The kind of applause that you would expect old friends to receive (if we gave out rounds of applause to each other when we greeted each other).

Their music is familiar to me, but not overtly so. And I knew more than I imagined. It has seeped its way in over the years.

Highlights for me:

A Time For Fear (Who’s Afraid) – including the refrain that Anne played as a separate piece later.
Beatbox
Eye Of A Needle
Moments In Love
Paranoimia (which made me think of the Simple Minds “Don’t You” mash up also)
Legs
Close To The Edit (how could you NOT include it? It was the only thing I really knew them for for YEARS)

As a novice to their music…on the edges of my musical knowledge, it really was the most enjoyable of gigs. Sound levels and acoustics were great, and we were to the extreme left of stage (their left, as viewed from the stage). Explanations and talk of tracks from JJ and Anne. A great rapport with the crowd. Lasting rounds of applause between tracks. Loving and appreciative fans. A really good feel to the gig. The setlist flowed well. I would DEFINITELY see them again. If there is ever a next time. They don’t tour extensively but if there is a chance of seeing them again in future, I’m there!

Below, a YouTube clip of highlights from the show…