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. 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

I Wish You Were Here

Is *not* a thing I imagine Jim is thinking right now of me. Lol. He’s probably relishing being 12,000 miles away! If there is even a thought about it at all.

In the story of the Kerr family’s ALMOST emmigration to Australia, I am also glad his mum had a change of heart, because there very well may have been no Simple Minds had the move Down Under taken place.

And I can well understand his mum’s change of heart. It’s no easy thing to do! It’s a life-changing and life-long commitment to up sticks and move half-way round the world. Esp. back in the 1960’s. Little chance of you ever flying back home to visit family for a couple of weeks a year, or every couple of years back then. One, plane travel would have been damn expensive and, even then, it would have taken at least double the amount of time it takes to fly to and fro now. It still isn’t THAT cheap, but it is far more affordable if you have a place to stay once there. These days it’s the accommodation rather than the price of the flight that is the biggest expense.

My own story of emmigration to the UK was not an easy one. When I got with my partner, the plan was for us to stay in Australia. But…for several reasons, it became apparant that was not going to work. What’s a person to do? I found the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with…so as much as it pained me to leave my family, I took the move. They were the options – end it wth the love of my life and stay with my family, or leave my family to be with the one I love. Being an Anglophile helped that decision immeasurably.

So, here I am, some 20 years down the line. Did I ever regret that decision? In recent times? Perhaps maybe a little. But…only a little. For the distance it takes to travel. For the past 10 years only having had one opportunity to return home, instead of the serveral times I travelled back during my first 10 years in Blighty. I could continue with the personal aspect of this, but pefer not to. All I will say is…on the whole…no regrets. The past 10 years have been much harder than the first. And…I missed David. My brother, David…lost to liver cancer in 2014. Mum is aging, getting more and more decrepit. Those aspects about being so distant by geography are hard on the old emotions. Anyway…enough of the maudlin personal stuff. There’s wonderful stuff happening down there. Simple Minds have arrived! Well, Jim has at least…seemingly. I get the impression he’s been there a number of days already…possibly swinging down via Bali (as he was pondering to do half-way through the SM North American tour).

Let the Oz fans rejoice! How I wish that Gillian could have returned the favour and put me up at her place for a week. She was more than willing to do so! To be reunited with her and Nicola would have been grand. Have Ally join us on the day. Perhaps have met a few more of the Oz SM fans I’ve yet to meet. Had I not met Gwenda at the gig, we’d have had the chance to have met at some point, as she doesn’t live far from my sister. In a stupid small world, it was Simple Minds that got us knowing each other. We grew up living only one mile apart, but had never met!

Then there is the chance of seeing my best mate, Steven. Well, if I am out there next year, and I am sure that is on the cards, no matter what…we can celebrate 30 years of friendship! The life I’ve had…I never expected I would ever have a friend for 30 years. Lasting friendships were hard to come by for me. And, well, Steven and I have had our ups and downs too, but there is an amazing bond there and I absolutely love him with all my heart. That person you can be fully, totally, wholly yourself with. That “no filter” friend. Worts and all. Thick and thin. He’s it.

And, this time had I made it out, I couldn’t have gone to Adelaide and Janis. But now when I *do* go…the Hills will be alive with th sound of us chomping on the best food in the world! And if I am there to see Simple Minds, then GODDAMN, Janis is coming too! I doubt they’d do her favourite (Somebody Up There Likes You), but they SHOULD (hopefully, fingers crossed…Jim, if you’re reading this – Lol – as if – I am putting this request in early – next gig in Adelaide, PLEASE do Let There Be Love) do her second favourite song.

Anyway! Enjoy your fleeting visit to Oz, SM. At least PRETEND to be a bit gutted that I didn’t make it out there to see you, Sir. Lol. Yeah, I know…you were secretly thanking the almighty (Buddha) that I didn’t make it. I’ll delude myself anyway.

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The link in the post is this one – and a memory for me of every journey I took into the city on the train from mum’s. Sons And Fascination on the way in, Sister Feelings Call on the way back. Images of train tracks and the landscape of the inner city suburbs of Sydney now synonymous with the title track.And artwork I do for it that contains a skewed view I took from mum’s kitchen window in it.

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