Weekend WhirliGIG – Tiffany’s, Glasgow, July 14th, 1982

It’s a proper old style bootleg – but a good quality one – from in the crowd rather than the soundboard.

And you get to hear said crowd go mental when Jim intros certain songs, or hear how raucous the applause is when certain songs end. Most of the setlist sparks rapturous applause and reactions, to be fair.

It’s great to hear a recording of 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall from that time. It was on the setlist through the latter part of 1982 – from the summer onwards, but I don’t recall hearing too many recordings of it.

I started listening to it last night but did my usual and started to drift off during King Is White And In The Crowd and came round during Celebrate (the mention of “she rag doll” brought me round, I’m assuming – me obviously thinking “Hey, I’m not with Jim, being his rag doll. Oh, bugger!” Lol).

Also lovely to hear an early appearance of Someone Somewhere (In Summertime), introed by Jim under its WIP title of “Summer Song”. The song was all put complete. Not sure if the repeating of the first verse for the second verse was because at that point Jim hadn’t written the second verse, or that he just made the faux pas he sometimes did (even once fully written and previously performing both different verses) of just mistakenly repeating the first verse.

The gig was just a few days after Jim’s 23rd birthday, and his voice was just sounding sooo amazing. I absolutely ADORE the way he was sounding at that point in time. There was a real richness to his tone at that point. It’s probably why I fell asleep in all honesty – just his gorgeous voice serenading me to sleep.

I will pick it up from King Is White this evening and listen to the rest of the gig.

And I just noticed the rest of the setlist. An encore of Promised You A Miracle – no surprise there, but also one for 70 Cities?! Wow! I mean, it’s a real vocal challenge for Jim at the START of the gig, let alone at the END of it! Bloody hell!

I honestly can’t imagine what I would have been like being able to see them (him!) then. I think anyone around me would have run the risk of slipping on my drool. Lol – I think I need to find an appropriate gif…

Anyway! Before I end up drowning in a pool of my own drool thinking about Jim at this gig, I better go!

Enjoy!

Minds Music Monday – 20th Century (2020) Promised Land

As we approach the end of this rather strange and turbulent year, there is still so much relevance I hear in a song like 20th Century Promised Land – so much so, I thought it could actually be renamed “2020 Promised Land”.

“Great times in commotion. Here comes every day, it only lasts an hour.” Oh, how we’d have wished for every day of 2020 from about April onwards to have only lasted an hour! “Count out evenings and stars, how fast can these things move on?” Not fast enough, Mr Kerr, you adorable wordsmith, you!

So let’s hope the “reason for fear *is* moving on” and the “speed of life *is* moving on” to take us into better times for 2021.

Because 2020 certainly has been “Some time.” The most “troubled time.”

“Unhappy the land that has no heroes. No, unhappy the land that needs heroes.” – AMERICA, ANYONE? America in 2020, more so! (Of course, these lines aren’t actually Jim’s.)

Anyway, I shall stop quoting lines from the song and let you go read them, and listen to that amazing voice be just…incredibly expressive and convey the story. I absolutely ADORE the way Jim sings on Sons And Fascination/Sister Feelings Call. He says in latter years he’s most happy with his voice but … there is a way in which he sings back then – I think it’s all in the enunciations of words and the (largely) fragmented and ambiguous style of his writing. I can feel it when he talks in the past about trying to use his voice as another “instrument”. I know it sounds as pretentious AF, but I honestly don’t think he meant it to sound like that. Because he talked about using some words just based on how they sounded. Like..that he just liked the sound of them and how they would sound and blend in with the music. Yeah…it does sound pretentious AF! Lol

I spoke to Bruce Findlay recently and he made me giggle talking about how he’d read the band reviews and get all downcast about anything negative written. “More so than Jim would”, he said to me. “I remember reading one review and the guy had said Jim’s lyrics were pretentious. I told Jim what had been written and he said ‘Of course my lyrics are fucking pretentious! I’m a pop star, for fuck’s sake!’” 😂😂😂😂

Anyway, just….enjoy the wonderful splendour of 20th Century Promised Land.

Minds Music Monday – The American (Interference Mix)

I think sumbliminial thoughts play so much a part in one’s thought processes. I suddenly thought about the word “interference” and how much relevance it has to me right now.

Yes.

Anyway, this is “uber” dancey, and not to everyone’s liking, I appreciate, but I love it. The pace of it. The way they’ve chopped Jim’s lyrics and voice.

I haven’t played this much in recent times but I used to really play it a lot for a long while. It is one of my very favourite extended remixes of the band.

In Trance As Mission – Cover By Darren Granger

I might be in the minority here (well, not on my blog, I guess – majority of one – but maybe any of you guys that visit here might not be in agreement) but I really like this.

There’s a kind of softness to it that I like, and he’s done a fab video for it. It’s a braw wee cover. Top marks, Darren 👍🏻😊

The only mark against I’d give is for him getting my favourite line of the song wrong. He sang “can’t see the road for the trees” but it is actually “can’t see the road for the tears” which is just one of the most beautiful lines Jim has ever written and it always makes me think of this interview I read when he was talking about writing the song and looking out of the tour bus window and I remember him saying something like “I can’t see the road for the tears, Charlie”. I think it might have been when some crew members had a road accident in Canada? Not sure. But…it was just a beautiful, emotional thing to read.

Jim can seem the softest, sweetest man sometimes. The reason I adore him so much. I can’t help it. I see so much beauty in him. It’s never just the aesthetic. It’s the heart and soul too.

Anyway! Back to Darren’s braw cover.

Old Gold Dream?

I felt rather disheartened by yesterday’s 6 Music “Album Club”. The remit for BBC Radio 6 Music when it started was to be “indie” and “alternative”. It seems to have edged away from that over the years. I mean…it was fabulous that they gave exposure to Walk Between Worlds in 2018. No one was more surprised than me. I really thought it would be Radio 2 that would give it the exposure.

The fact that Simple Minds can straddle getting airplay from both stations is testament to the lasting legacy and style of the music they have produced. GOOD ON THE MINDS!

But the disappointing things about yesterday were – the repetition of the interview. At least 6 Music alluded (or even ELUDED) to it being a repeat…but with a modicum of uncertainty I tuned in anyways but once it got under way, the interview was sounding pretty familiar.

The other was the fact that they – 6 Music – ONCE AGAIN chose to concentrate on New Gold Dream.

Now….DON’T GET ME WRONG! New Gold Dream is EVERYTHING that the lasting reverence and esteem it is held in by all and sundry is worthy of. It is as near to perfection as Simple Minds ever got, aurally. And you all know well enough how I feel about Jim in 1982. The album and him…both near perfection in 1982. He is as aesthetically beautiful as the album work itself. The album is art and Jim right at that point is Michelangelo’s David for me.

Back to that 6 Music remit. “Indie and alternative”. It makes me wonder then WHY…why not highlight EMPIRES AND DANCE? It was its 40th anniversary, FFS! Or…Sons And Fascination/Sister Feelings Call – which is absolutely CRYING OUT for a box set reissue, but looks as if it will never get it – to my (and quite a number of others fans) eternal consternation.

It just had me perplexed. New Gold Dream is constantly lauded. Constantly gets the praise. It’s almost as if, sometimes in the eyes of many, that Simple Minds made only one great album and it’s that one thing. For me, it almost falls into the danger zone of Don’t You (Forget About Me). Except it is far more superior to that (sorry for the Don’t You lovers – I once was a lover of it too, many moons ago…and then I became a Simple Minds fan). Simple Minds only known for ONE SONG and ONE ALBUM. It just sucks arse!

And I am ssooo disappointed that there wasn’t more to celebrate and applaud Empires And Dance. On this milestone anniversary year, it REALLY deserved it. I hate how both EAD and Sons/Sister are just deemed creative precursors to NGD. Never really seen as the amazing sonic innovations they both were.

At times I can be left with a kind of desensitised feeling after having listened to NGD – like it just washes over me because it’s kind of “too good”. I can’t explain it right. But…I NEVER have that feeling with Sons And Fascination/Sister Feelings Call. It ALWAYS leave me floored, in awe, astounded and like I have been on the most amazing sonic journey. And Empires And Dance just floors me thinking about their age and ambition and how they pulled off such a sound. Drawing on so many influences, but finding their own musical identity.

Anyway, that’s just how I felt about yesterday’s Album Club. Once I heard that the interview was indeed a repeat, I switched the radio off.

Yesterday I wasn’t much in the mood to hear more praise heaped upon NGD.

Sons And Fascination – From San Francisco

Recorded by SM’s sound tech (of then), Frank Gallagher, in San Francisco. The boys sound really on the mark here. I love this song. It’s probably my fave album title track of theirs along with New Gold Dream and Walk Between Worlds (honourable mention to Graffiti Soul as well).

Anyway, I love that ad lib stuff. I was wondering why Jim had changed the line to “when boys of San Francisco call” – but then Billy Sloan goes on to explain why.

Enjoy!

Semi Monde!

Simple Minds Magazine Article – Mojo Magazine Early 2012

It’s a clipping I only recently came into possession of and I had never (for obvious reasons) read the article before.

Some interesting things said. Interesting to read Mick saying that he thought they’d have all stayed together…maybe might had still been together (as of then) if Brian hadn’t have left when he did.

Also interesting them bringing up the cover of Record Mirror mag with Brian on it. I was only very recently chatting to Ronnie about that cover. He said to me it wasn’t the photo he wanted on the cover and shared with me a photo of Jim he had submitted for use (which I won’t be sharing here unless I get photographer’s permission first – I haven’t asked him).

Good bit of talk about Rockfield and Iggy and Bowie in the lead up to Saturday’s airing of the documentary on the BBC.

Jim seems rather more philosophical in this than he has done at other times.

A couple more clippings to come….including another Sheila Rock gem (hence the reason I ended up with the clipping – prior to the “naked titties” one surfacing).

The 70 Cities Curiosity….

I’ve posted this on SMO…but in case he misses it (as if he’s going to see it here! Pffft!)

***I’m currently playing catch up listening to last night’s Billy Sloan Show on BBC Radio Scotland and he just played 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall.

And, seeing as I am meeting tight lips and closed (Simple) minds about Sons And Fascination and Semi-Monde, I might as well go out on a limb and see how far I get asking you about my other quizzical line that I just love hearing every time it plays.

“When the other side of midnight calls / remind me I’m glad to be here”. I always find that curiously downbeat for you, Jim. Because it’s not saying “I’m glad to be here” but “REMIND ME I’m glad to be here”. That’s a very different connotation. That portrays…I dunno…heaven forbid should I say it? … Cynicism!?

It always conjures up a post-gig scene for me. A quiet after show soiree and you not being particularly interested in being there.

I mean…most of the lyrics in the song are pretty left field anyway (I mean…who cries from the right eye first?…I’m not taking a shot, I adore your lyrics. I think you know that by now…if you don’t then…well…erm…🥴🥴🥴) but that line has always stuck out in particular for some reason for me.

Dunno why.

Anyway…just thinking out loud. As you were, Mr Kerr.***

(It’s a REALLY old one, that lyric piece. Made at mum’s. That’s her clock.)

What Stirs The Soul And Practice Makes Perfect

I awake to the beginnings of Sons And Fascination playing in my ears this morning. I’m sure it was that strange percussive sound that did it. A LinnDrum? I’m sure it must be some kind of drum sample. I’d ask Brian, but you know…always worried I’m a pest (I can hear Jim shouting “you don’t care about whether you’re pestering ME!” – that is where you are wrong, Mr Kerr! I always care. Far too much, probably.)

It’s by the by and will now show me up to be the true pest I am once I share this. Full of typos, hence the stream of consciousness. Composed whilst thinking about how the song was making me feel being awoken by it this morning…here’s the result shared on the SMO FB visitor wall.

As a side note – and I am sure Cherisse won’t mind me mentioning it as it is only to do with my continued opportunities to practice drums until I get a kit – I can book a rehearsal room that I have my lessons in for an affordable cost and get an hour’s practice in!

To practice on an actual kit will make ssooooo much difference. And although it still doesn’t mean I can practice on an actual kit EVERY DAY, it will mean I can get an hour’s real practice in (on an actual kit) every Saturday or Sunday (weekends will work out the cheapest for me, with Saturdays being the most convenient).

It’s a few stops down the train line just before you get to the busier stops of London and means I can get a return train journey on the line for as little as £6 on the weekend (and during public holidays).

The place was offering a free hour of rehearsal space during May, on a Monday or Friday. So I looked into what’s available this bank holiday Monday and I can have a room for an hour for free. Nearly all the music rehearsal rooms have drum kits in them, so I can just go on in and practice! I am ssoooo excited about this!

Also, kind of gutted it means I won’t have any actual lessons with Cherisse for a while (Kelly Jones tour and all that). But I have homework and things to work on and practice with and I am dead, dead excited to learn.

So my first solo practice hour is costing me all of £6! How cool is that?
Here’s to many more hours behind the kit. 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻