Well, seeing as most days there is not much to report, I have decided to coin the SM “Slow News Sunday Summary”. A look at what morsels have been reported via SMO or other related avenues during the past seven days.
Cherisse on tour with Kelly Jones in June/July
Sir’s been to Sicily
Sarah’s Saturday night gig
Rejuvenation albums now available individually as singles
On Wednesday it was officially revealed by Cherisse on her social media that she will be playing with Kelly Jones (Stereophonics’ frontman) during his solo tour of the UK in June and July. A fan had heard an interview with Jones on radio saying that he was “interviewing” a drummer to tour with him and that SHE currently plays for Simple Minds. A rather large giveaway, but I was remaining nonplussed about it until word came from Cherisse herself.
I had a drumming lesson with her on Thursday and we talked about the news. She said some fans got into a panic, asking her whether it meant the end of her time with SM.
Have no fear, peeps! She’s just grabbing the opportunity for some gigging while there is SM downtime.
Also taking the opportunity to explore other musical avenues during the SM downtime is Sarah Brown, who was a guest of a group called Casca, playing a gig last night in Camden. I would have loved to have gone, but honestly, I cannot reiterate how skint I am right now. But I would have loved to have gone and shown some support.
Jim had a few days in Sicily earlier in the week. Some downtime for him from a busy schedule of writing, etc… all actually very elusive as to what else he’s doing other than him saying he’s “writing”.
Anyway…mustn’t dwell on how quiet it is, eh? And actually, I SHOULD be thankful because I have sod all money to do anything with … and that would be FAR worse! If they were touring around and I couldn’t do anything about it.
Speaking of things that cost money that I can’t really do anything about…
After now having released the Rejuvenation box sets and having had us all invest in those (well, those of us who could…), the albums and CDs are now available to purchase individually.
I am now in absolute dilemma mode. A huge part of me wants the box sets because of the packaging. Another part of me says it means I can invest in the vinyl that I was most interested in getting from the box set with a smaller outlay spread over time. The CD/DVD box set I definitely DO want to invest in. But it is going to have to wait.
Well, the packaging looks amazing. I will invest ASAP.
As for last night’s Stranglers gig? I suffered yet ANOTHER fainting spell. I felt unwell about 30 mins into their set. I sat down for a few mins, but was told to get back up for fear I’d be crushed. Bless his cotton socks! JJ saw me resurface and asked me if I was okay.
I mouthed back at him “yeah, I’m okay.” But I wasn’t. I fresh wave hit me a few minutes later and I was out for the count and hurled over the barrier and taken outside to recover.
More on this in my rather hampered review of the gig on Sunday.
In the meantime, I managed to capture photographic evidence that JJ does indeed smile sometimes!
A very favourable review of the Rejuvenation box set inside the latest edition of Mojo magazine.
Oh, and post New Gold Dream…Sparkle In The Rain (just as the first example) only went straight in at number one in the UK chart and spawned three hit singles…but “they seldom came anywhere near that masterpiece”. Okaaaaay…
It’s the only bit of the review that is questionable to me.
A bunch of bonus tracks and B Sides come with it including: from the Cry sessions, Lead The Blind, For What It’s Worth, The Garden, New Sunrise and Where Is The Max? (Never heard of this song before): From Black And White 050505, Bird On A Wire, Too Much Television and Mighty Joe Moon: With Graffiti Soul, the Searching For The Lost Boys bonus disc with added track, a cover of T-Rex’s Children Of The Revolution: on Big Music, a bonus of the collaboration with The Stranglers of (Get A) Grip (On Yourself) plus the Johnson Somerset Big Music 4 Track remix CD. Plus lots of visual content on the DVD, official videos, etc, etc.
Check the link for full details (you can also see full details through Simple Minds’ official social media channels).
The bonus material makes this a tempting investment. The cynic in me wonders why it was not released simultaneously with the vinyl box set. The vinyl package looked lovely, but I couldn’t afford to invest, as of yet.
It hits the shops March 29th (just in time for Brexit. Yay!), but is available to pre-order now. (Click the image to see more)
For those, like me, who can’t get it yet…but would just like to experience the feel of the unboxing…
(Actually didn’t take in that Big Music STILL doesn’t come as the deluxe format on vinyl…even though it is spread over 2 LPs. COME ON! I just assumed because the deluxe version is now back on Spotify, it was the deluxe version on vinyl. But from what I saw in the unboxing…it’s still only the standard issue. If it’s about space for the grooves, well, by comparison WBW has four songs on each side of the first LP and then the three bonus “deluxe” songs on one side of the second LP on the blue (and Ltd Ed fuchsia) vinyl edition. Okay, there are SIX extra tracks on the Big Music deluxe CD – but Bittersweet and Liaison needed to be on the reissue. Seriously! If you could add Too Much Television to B&W 050505, why not have added those two to the Big Music vinyl? WTF?!)
This man! Sometimes I pour scorn on him and piss on him…well…that’s how it’s feeling today. I adore him above all else…and he has more talent in that fold on the upper corner of his left ear that I fetishise so much than I have in my whole entire being.
And there also…I will be flippant in my explanation! I can’t help myself!
The last thing I ever want to do, esp. after what happened in July, is piss him off or upset him. So I need to be mindful and careful and observant. I usually am. Ninety five per cent of the time, I am.
One, a couple of days back – someone left a comment on a post about the Rejuvenation box set asking whether albums will be released separately as “I really don’t want Neon Lights on vinyl”. Inwardly my reaction was polared. Firstly “Man, you were brave to put that comment here on SMO!” – secondly “I hear ya…but, tough! We’ve got it.” – lastly, and in devil’s advocate mode of making a suggestion of what he COULD do with his unwanted copy of Neon Lights, I shared a YouTube clip of the scene from Shaun Of The Dead in which the main protagonists in the film use vinyl records as weapons to attack zombies. Obviously THIS IS NOT something I would do myself – although faced with actual zombies…who knows? I have a copy of Neon Lights on CD…and it is coveted and held securely in my boxed treasure trove of Simple Minds music, merch and memorablia. I’m not using the CD as an onion slicer.
With today’s post, Jim reminded me that, although it may not still be completely my cup of tea, within its origins for being, I do need to give Neon Lights due respect. That the concept of it was born out of respect for those musicians and artists that SM themselves hold dear. And that, without them and without wanting to emulate them, there would be no Simple Minds at all!
I had already been having those feelings myself. With the album being available to listen to on Spotify, I dived in again. I also added it to the playlist of my mega SM content. I have a complete playlist on Spotify. Literally EVERYTHING Simple Minds. Everything SM related goes in it….Dark Flowers stuff is in there, Lostboy! tracks, collaborations, all sorts.
I fell asleep giving it its first listen when it was back on Spotify…and I don’t mean that to sound disrespectful…it’s just the time of day I start listening to music, and the setting in which it happens. It was around 2.30am and I was in bed, snug as a bug in a rug. I gently drifted off as Jim was telling me “how good” Gloria makes him feel (lucky cow she is! Lol)
I stirred and awoke for a few moments to take in and be mesmerised by All Tomorrow’s Parties. In a dreamy half-sleep, it sounded dreamy and beautiful. Jim’s voice wonderfully emotive, as if the ghost of Nico was haunting it.
From then, I let shuffle mode do its work and surprise me. It did with Bring On The Dancing Horses and then Needle And The Damage Done.
When I first became “uber” SM fan, and first listened to Neon Lights, I liked The Man Who Sold The World – Charlie’s guitar playing is unreal and I liked Jim’s vocal (though I still twitch when he delivers “foreign land” rather than the correct lyric of “form and land” – but that is me being an anally retentive pedantic fuck). I also liked Dancing Barefoot. But beyond that…? Besides…I wanted SIMPLE MINDS…not “Simple Minds does…” – I still had a whole back catalogue to explore. And I was falling head over heels in love with their very own magic. I didn’t need to hear them cover others. Not a whole album’s worth!
But, you know…one of my very favourite Bowie albums is Pin-Ups. It’s always been a bone of contention between me and my OH. She can’t stand it, but I bloody love it. You go out on the street now and ask 100 people who did the song Sorrow, I bet all 100 would say David Bowie and not the original artist. It was Bowie covering The Who that got me listening to them. To me most of the songs were IMPROVED by being given the Bowie sprinkle of gold dust.
So, why should it be any different with Simple Minds? The more I listen, the more I am being won round.
And the way Jim writes about it. That period of time in the history of SM, how the album came to be…WHY it came to be…IT MAKES SENSE!
I missed both embryonic stages of Simple Minds. I missed the initial one because I had only a few years previous stopped being an actual embryo myself, and I was stuck down at the arse end of the world…a heady mix descendent of Germans settled in Adelaide, Irish immigrants in country southern NSW, and native Aboriginies from that same rural NSW setting. Think Sidney Nolan paintings of an outlaw with a huge metal bucket on his head…the skewed romance of it all. “Such is life.”
The “Renaissance” of Simple Minds was happening just after I “upped sticks” and moved away from the arse end of the world to arrive in “The Mother Country”. It would take another 14 years for me to finally say “WE NEED TO FUCKING LISTEN TO SIMPLE MINDS, YOU AND ME! A PROPER DIVING IMMERSION!” You and me being – myself and my own psyche.
Better late than never.
I understand the importance of Neon Lights as a consequence.
From the bottom of my crazy old heart, Jim, thank you for today’s post. Thank you for just bringing it home. ❤️❤️
Och, you know…I’m actually really wanting this now. It does look very pretty…you know…aesthetics and all that.
I’m so shallow!
But…there’s little point in me rushing to get it just now. It will just be more stuff to pack and shift to a new home…so I might as well put it off for now. I can’t even play vinyl at the moment either anyway. I’d literally just be unboxing it and fondling it for now. Lol
So…I have OTHER delights coming. A set of three photos that Virginia Turbett has of Jim changing shirts. Oh, Santa baby! THANK YOU! Think I may have to laminate these ones…protect them from potential water damage (hazardous drool pool!). They will definitely be getting framed and…erm…mounted, anyway.
I can’t rightly remember just HOW MUCH “tit action” takes place. I think he’s like half-way out of one shirt in the first, then topless in the second and then half-way into the new shirt in the third…I think. He’s definitely topless in one – that one is definitely getting laminated! I may even get a BIGGER version. Ahem!
ANYWAYS…this post was KINDA meant to be about the Rejuvenation box set, and why I was now feeling quite forlorn it wouldn’t be with me tomorrow for an unboxing.
In the meantime there’s always Spotify…not quite the same audio-visual experience, granted. I’ll console myself listening to Neon Lights and ogling Jim’s glorious nipples.
Man! Absolute PISH it isn’t starting from Our Secrets Are The Same. Virgin – you are asshats! Come on!! You could have made some deal with Chrysalis, Sanctuary and Caroline Int.
So instead it starts with Neon Lights…meh…okay.
I still remain to be won over by Cry. I dunno why…I looooove Spaceface. And I like Disconnected and Sleeping Girl. I can’t rexplain why…some of the tracks just sit uneasy with me or just….I dunno… I gotta watch what I say.
Really happy to see Black And White 050505 on vinyl AT LAST! No Searching For The Lost Boys bonus for the Graffiti Soul version – which was a much superior “covers” piece than Neon Lights was (in my humble opinion anyway).
So, for me, apart from finally getting B&W on vinyl at long last…I don’t see much reason why I should invest. I suppose the completist in me might like Cry on vinyl too.
I don’t even play Neon Lights on CD…not sure I’d wear out the stylus with that. A box set means you have to commit to all or nothing. It’s a bugger! Perhaps they’ll come out individually afterwards? I believe that’s what happened with the Bowie box sets.
And, please…for the love of god – can we please have Our Secrets Are The Same on vinyl?!!! PLEASE?!!