What’s In The Book?

I’m yet to receive my copy of the book – so I actually don’t know a lot of what’s inside. (Despite some fans being hellbent on showing us all the contents of the book by sharing all their bits on the group pages – as excited as I am for all the fans that are in it…maybe just share your bit only, yeah? Think of others. Can you do that?!) But what I would like to share is this…my email I sent to have my little submission included.

Obviously I appreciated that if anything I had submitted was to be included, it would be truncated. But here is the complete, uncut email (not all of it would have been printed anyway!), with the photo I submitted for inclusion.

(I had no idea who would view the email. Richard Houghton’s name wasn’t mentioned at this point.)

Hello to whomever is reading this,

I don’t even know how to express myself here, so I apologise if I end up rambling or making no sense.

I only recently became a big SM fan. I was fairly fair-weather prior to the summer of 2014. I don’t really want to go over it. Kind of defeats the point of my email, I guess. I dunno. I could write pages, really. I have done. On my blog. To other fans. To Jim.

I kind of just don’t feel I can contribute anything of any real significance. I’ve not been a “longterm” fan. I haven’t been following the band since 1979 (or earlier…or even just a few years later). I’ve not gone to any big stadium gigs – Roundhay or MK Bowl or any such.

And, well…it may all be too late. But if I can submit ANYTHING, I would like it to be the image attached to the email. It means the world to me. It might not even be allowed to be printed? I don’t know. It’s a superimposed blend of images I had mashed together. A lovely painting of a Kyoto snow scene just randomly found via a Google search that I thought evoked the image the lyrics to Hunter And The Hunted produce, and Jim on the cover of Melody Maker magazine in 1982 – an image of him side profile in front of a Canadian flag (for want of it being a Japanese maple leaf, I thought a Canadian maple leaf would work). The photo was taken by Tom Sheehan. Some work on my part and “voila”, as they say – I was stunned at what I had created with this blending of these two images.

Never really been proud of anything I do. Never had any reason to be. But with this…I dunno. It just seemed so special. I posted it to the SM Facebook visitor wall. It wasn’t really commented on the first time. A friend and fellow fan said to me “post it again! It’s really awesome! Jim needs to see it.” Well, the second time, Jim seemed to take notice and did a lovely post about it. My heart pounded in my chest for hours! I had never been so happy or so astounded. I really can’t put into words how much that meant.

Then a another friend suggested I ask if he would sign a copy of it for me. And so I did via Messenger on FB. “Someone will be in touch,” came the reply. “Oh, that’s nice,” I thought. “Well at least I wasn’t ignored”, but believed it was just a fob off. I don’t know who actually replied. Perhaps it really was Jim?

Anyway, I sent a copy of it to be signed and this is what you see. It has been on my bedroom wall ever since (well, actually, I was in Australia when it all happened so it took a few months for it to end up on the wall, but…it’s been there quite a while).

If I am too late then, hey, that’s my fault. If it is unacceptable for whatever reason, I get that too. I took so long because I genuinely felt there was nothing for me to contribute. But if there can be anything, I would like it to be this photo. Just this. It is the thing I hold most dear. Beyond the gigs I have been racking up, all the other memorabilia I have, beyond meeting Jim and other members of the band. This was a thing that made me believe in myself for just a brief moment in time.

Sometimes I can gaze upon it and it just brings me to tears.

Thanks for listening, Larelle Read

“Johnny-come-lately” since 2014.

The Birth Of “Priptona”

Ah, if only it was the “Birth of Venus”. Lol. As if I could hold a candle to Botticelli OR Venus.

That aside…yesterday was an anniversary. Five years ago I bought the photo editing app for my iPad Mini that…well, not to put too fine a point on it…kind of changed my life. Well it felt like it did. Even if just for a short while.

Below, I cringingly share my first “work”. Lol. Of course, Jim is at the centre of it! Lol. Nothing ever changes (lol – except a lot of the time it does…especially if you allow it to or perpetuate the change)!

I will never stop being thankful for the things this app gave to me. The way it allowed me to express myself and what the music of Simple Minds has meant to me. How much I adore the song-writing of Jim Kerr – and well, just…how much I adore Jim Kerr. How therapeutic it was (and still at times is) to work on “art” pieces and feel creative and purposeful, and perhaps kid myself I am…CAN be…talented.

That I can create things full of joy and love and hope.

Because these five years…that is what it has been most of. That’s what I have felt most making this art and being a Simple Minds fan. Full of joy, love and hope.

Sometimes it feels like that is slipping through my fingers and I can’t help but lament at that. But I try to push on and see a way through.

I want to let love win. I need it to!

Happy Anniversary, Priptona: the artist – you are no doubt the better part of me.

Felt Cute…

*Feeling cute. Might delete later – IDK*
(Insert #selfie fail for added effect.)

It’s a silly meme thing and I looked it up to get the wording right. Lol. But…you know, for a very rare moment I was here in my room sitting on my bed and I kind of did just in that moment “feel cute”. Several selfie attempts and fails later, I took the one I was most happy with. But the one right before it is kinda cute too…as a fail.

You know how I was saying the other day that Jim was getting nothing from me for his birthday? Well…he can have this! Me – being very uncharacteristically (for me) bolshy and full of myself saying – HERE, Jim – me! Have photos of me for your birthday. See what ya missing, boy! 😂😂😂😂😂😂

Yeah, I know. Oh, well…the bravado and bolshiness was there for a few seconds anyway.

Still feeling cute for now. Bite me!
(P.S. You may notice something new in the right side of the photos…)


Some Things Are More Important – Race For Life Charity Auction

Last year when I participated in Race For Life for Cancer Research UK – I raised a meagre £68. I had a target of £150. I didn’t even make it to half my target. The only thing that kept me incentivised was…I would be doing something active for my own personal health. How could I see £68 making any damn difference to cancer research?! What would THAT achieve?

This year I have increased my target to £250. I’m already off to a great start with two £10 donations. But I want more! I want to make a difference!

I was going to give away a Priptona print to the highest donor. But, I don’t think that is incentive enough. Or even fair to other donors. So, I am going to make a big sacrifice here! All minimum £10 donations will go into a draw to win THIS! (See pics below.)

(As you can see from the photos, it currently adorns my landing space wall. Below is a clearer image of how the print looks – unframed and unsigned.)

There are only a few copies of this that exist in print. Jim has one of them. He requested a copy from me specifically. This is how bloody special this thing is! I do this with a heavy heart! “It’s no sacrifice”, sang Elton John. Well, it is! Trust me! But some things are much more important. Like the work Cancer Research UK do.

So, as I was saying, there are only a few copies of it in print. And only two are signed by Jim. My friend Janis has one (I asked Jim if he would sign a copy for her as Somebody Up There Likes You is her fave SM song, and her daughters appear very obscurely within the print – the beach scene is a photo I took at Victor Harbour in South Australia), and this one is obviously mine (for now).

The only proviso I am putting on this is that I reach my £250 target before this is given away. If I don’t reach the target, then the original regular SM print of the donor’s choice will be the giveaway.

So…there you go! How’s THAT for incentive to donate?! All £10+ donors will go into a draw to win my signed print of Somebody Up There Likes You/Waterfront (Jim always sees it as a Waterfront print…who am I to argue with him?). The target MUST REACH £250 for this to apply though. I will not be giving this print away for anything less. It means far too much.

So PLEASE, donate!

My Race For Life is on July 7th, 2019. All £10+ donations will be eligible up to and including that date. To donate just CLICK THE LINK HERE

Reversal Of Fortune…

I do think we may have gone full circle now. I am so happy…but more than happy…relieved.

In all honesty, the only thing I really regret now (apart from the obvious…) is – taking my Priptona name away. But, I was thinking that, if I had been banished from SMO, I may as well revert to my real name. I was hurting…

Thankfully I wasn’t as hasty with all other social media…and I couldn’t exactly change my blog’s domain….nor did I want to.

Do I revert back to my Priptona middle name once I can? Or do I think, “to hell with it, that time is gone”? I’ll probably still use it as a digital art persona. It’s still a cool name. Not as cool as Larelle is though…obviously. Lol.

”Infamy, infamy! They’ve all got it in fa me!” Lol

Walk Between Worlds Giveaway

Giveaway time, peeps! Who’d like a print of a Walk Between Worlds track? I’ll pick three winners and you can have your choice of the title track, Barrowland Star, Summer, In Dreams or Silent Kiss. Just comment on the post with which print you’d want to have. (Or retweet if on Twitter)
Enter by 23.59 Monday evening. Winners announced Tuesday. Good luck!

Magic Artworks…

The spark of something new always gets us arty types going and all abuzz.

Myself and Stuart Holland have both made designs for Magic.

Here we are…

I still may have some of the lyrics wrong…who knows? Ah….if only I could be sure…

Simple Minds Acoustic – My Personal Album Review

Having involved myself with a great simultaneous live “listen to” on the Simple Minds International Facebook group…I thought I’d share my thoughts on the album, track by track. Now, if you are a reader of my blog and/or know me from the Simple Mimds fanbase, you probably know that if I don’t like something, I tend to keep schtum. I think my review is fair and balanced. If I didn’t think it was, I wouldn’t share it. If I hated the album, I wouldn’t review it. So…here goes!

The American – Like the reworked musical structure. A bit too much like Derek’s version. Don’t like Jim’s vocal much. I absolutely LOVE the song. It’s in my Top 50. I liked the way it was performed on the Big Music tour. He’s naturally more tenor when singing live than the baritone he can lower to in the studio. It has a darkness to it I like..but. There are weird…annunciations of words sung too…yes, I am being pernickety…but I am being honest about what I don’t like about it instead of just saying “because I don’t”. Maybe I’ll be won over more with more listens. 5/10

Promised You A Miracle – I like it. Just…like. Not wild about it. It does sound a little like the recording Jim did with Martha Wainwright. And, I must admit, having heard it at Hackney, performed with Sarah and Catherine, that version sounded better. I hear what others have said about it…that it’s more KT Tunstall featuring Simple Minds, rather than the other way around. 6/10

Glittering Prize – The most anticipated track, for me. I cried when I heard a snippet of it from the Zermatt gig back in April. I posted on the SM FB wall saying how beautiful it sounded. The recorded version didn’t disappoint. Tender, upbeat, romantic. Keeps to the original sentiment and feeling of the song, but with that acoustic treatment. My favourite track on the album. 9/10

See The Lights – Not really much to be done with this, considering how it originally was. It’s not in my Top 50 of Minds songs. It’s pleasant enough. Never understand the lyric change with the “look right through your disguise” bit. But hey, Jim writes them. He can change lyrics if he wants. OK. 6/10

New Gold Dream  – The original is SSSOOO electronically rich. I mean…such amazing keyboard work from Mick! I could not imagine how this was going to sound. It really has given this a whole new spin. It seems to work, I think. I’m still unsure of my opinion on this one. It certainly shows off Cherisse Osei’s skills as a percussionist. 7/10 for now. Glad we went back to the true “81/82/83/84” line though.

Someone Somewhere In Summertime – The real surprise for me. It works well! Still not sure I like the omission of the first “burning slow” opening lines…but I can understand why the way it’s been reworked why you’d leave it out. The slower pace works. It’s altered the sentiment of the song. It sounds more yearning and slightly less romantic, if that makes sense? It has more “drama”. My second favourite track on the album. 8/10

Waterfront – Who knew this would work without that heavy bass and crashing drum? This was the first Simple Minds track I heard back at the time that I REALLY liked. It got my attention INSTANTLY and it was down to that bass and drum. So, yeah…I was really intrigued by how this was going to sound. Again…a surprise it works quite well! There seems to be fewer words sung on this these days…which kind of leaves it a little TOO sparse for an acoustic track. I usually think the more space a track has, the better, but I’m unsure here. Still not sure on my final thoughts on this. A tentative 7/10.

Sanctify Yourself – Jim not singing the “Yourself” part of the title antagonises me no end! It just sounds lazy. He sings it sometimes…but not every time. Sorry. Not good enough! I just needed to say that and get it out the way. I like the musical structure. His talk of the harmonica when he was doing the radio shows earlier in the year obviously made for the instrument’s inclusion SOMEWHERE on this album! Jury’s still out for me. The original has been a long favourite…so, while I’m still fence-sitting, I’ll give it a 6/10 for now.

Chelsea Girl – Good feel to it. Musically, the reworking is great. A bit of the lyric has gone awry for some reason. I do like this. It still retains its “rock” feel. And Jim’s final utterance of “Chelsea Girl” is, as I have said before, like his nuts have been lowered into a bucket of ice! Lol. 7/10

Alive And Kicking – Another surprise for me! Didn’t hold out much hope I was going to like it. Over the years it has become a little overplayed. I loved it for years…but it just…got a bit old. But this has given it the breath of fresh air it needed, and Jim and Sarah sound great together. 8/10

Don’t You (Forget About Me) – Sounds like a good reboot. Not sure I can say much more than that about this. The song is a bane. I kind of love to hate it. It’s not theirs. Non fans give it too much praise. It’s all they’re known for. Ya da ya da. But…it is a good, solid rework. It made me like the song again. 7/10

Long Black Train – Beautiful…poignant. Tender. Soft. A lovely cover. And was beautifully done at Hackney on Thursday as well. A lovely ending to the album. And I’m a sucker for any song that mentions a bird! 8/10

(Further views on Glittering Prize)
It’s a rare one on the album for me in that it sounds as good on it to me as it does live. For nearly every other track, that’s not the case. BUT…having said that…that is the mark of a GREAT band. If you can sound better live than on record, you get full marks from me!! So…while the Acoustic album is good and doesn’t bowl me over…the Hackney gig did!

(Further views on The American)
I’ve heard it about 4 or 5 times now…and I’m not taken with this particular version. I don’t know why Jim’s vocal on this grates on me so much…it just does. He sounds better live singing this. He’s not trying to overdo the baritone live.

Overall summary of the album:
It is a canny masterstroke of a final track. (Long Black Train.) It leaves you erring on that…almost nostalgic feeling of “aw…that was alright”. But…that’s all it is. Alright. (The album as a whole.) I think it all sounds better live. Hackney was great gig. The album misses that audience atmosphere. Perhaps they should have just done the gigs and then produced a live album from it.

It has some great stuff and some not so good stuff. Solid without being knockout. It’s a good stop-gap, and a change until the big FOUR ZERO celebrations. I think the Uncut magazine review last month was spot on, really. 6/10

UPDATE: Actually, upon further reflection…I think I marked it a little low. Because I love them so much and because I love the whole acoustic sound much more live than as it has been captured in the studio (even though this is an album review), I have to bump the score a notch to a 7/10. It deserves a seven. Six is only just above 5 and five is TOTALLY midling. I’m not that ‘in the middle’ with it. A seven is good without saying “this is the best thing since sliced bread”.

Final album score: 7/10