Promised You A Sweat In Bullet Miracle

You know what? Well, I was worried about why I had been blocked from the Decade 77-87 Facebook page. And I was genuinely scratching my head wondering why the hell it would be that I was. Then this evening, with a new share of a Simple Minds video compilation they had put together, I realised what potentially may have caused it.

Last year they shared a clip of Factory from Folllies – the Belgian music show. When they shared the clip, they made the claim it was exclusive to them. But it wasn’t. It appeared just a day or two before on YouTube, and they clearly had just copied it off from there. And I said as much. So…if that is their gripe and why I was blocked from their page? Meh! I just told the truth.

Subsequently, that clip WAS taken down from YT and only their clip of Factory remains. (As a superior colour clip. There still is the inferior black and white clip on YT) One could argue they had the last laugh.

So…tonight, this new clip from them shows up! One of SM on Get Set For Summer in 1982. Jim looking UBER lush and beautiful (no apologies for my ovary exploding fangirling tonight). There are two parts to the clip. Them doing Promised You A Miracle – which I had NEVER seen before, and a snippet of them doing Sweat In Bullet – which I had seen before, in appalling quality, on Daily Motion (Daily Motion really is NOT the place for clips these days!).

So, seeing as it had appeared on the Decade FB page, I thought “Oh, there must be an original source on YouTube. Let’s have a look.” Lo and behold, there it was! It had been up there for seven months already. Damn!

Anyway, here’s the original, full YouTube clip. Promised You A Miracle starts at around the 11 minute mark. I skipped through the rest of the clip, wondering if the bit of footage I saw of them being interviewed was in it too – the one where Jim pretends to whack Peter Powell on the head with the microphone (should have done it for real, Sir!). No such luck. Not that I saw anyway.

There’s a curious thing around the 25 minute mark. They are interviewing some head huncho at the Grandstand studio about some sporting event being broadcast and I SWEAR for all the world it’s Steve Coogan – more fittingly – Alan Partridge. Except Coogan is only 16 at the time of the airing of this show, so it CANNOT be him. But, the voice and mannerisms are unreal!

Just watch it! Shortly after it is the Sweat In Bullet snippet.

Enjoy!

Promised You Some LDF

It’s the 1981 aesthetic. Jim wearing collared shirts and tailored trousers. All very Great Gatsby and just oozing sophistication and sex appeal. He looks like a 1940s film star. So I coined the nickname “Laird Dash Fandango” for him, to sum up the look and his stage presence at the time.

Stills from the Sweat In Bullet video.

What a divine creature you are, Mr Kerr…ahem, I mean LDF 😉🥰😘

I Want To Paint It!

Oh, sometimes things just come about so wonderfully. There’s a jumbled up letters preset on one of my photo editing apps and I love using it with images of Jim because…he’s a magician with words in my eyes.

This just looks like a painting ready to be done. Oh, and I ssooo want to do it! God, I miss painting! It drives me nuts. Drives me to despair. Induces depression. Makes me feel like the most talentless fuck…but I miss it! And I need to try painting Jim again. I really do.

This is perfect. It’s all in the ears…

Why I Love…Sweat In Bullet

Just right from the off it’s FUNK (not just with a capital F) There’s no fade up…we’re just – BANG! – in! Everything is funky…even the keyboards. Charlie has a short, shrift riff. Derek’s bass is funky as all hell.

That keyboard funk though…and then Jim’s amazingly fragmented lyrics. The way he writes on Sons And Fascination and Sister Feelings Call is just…phenomenal. Every song has such depth, such emotion, such complexity…yet his words are fragmented, for the most part. He has an even more obvious Burroughs type technique than even David Bowie! But from what I read and have learned, Jim didn’t actually consciously employ the Burroughs technique. (For those unaware of what I am referring to…the Burroughs Technique refers to a way in which David Bowie wrote songs in the period of the mid 70s….the technique was most notably employed on his Diamond Dogs album – the technique involves cutting up song lines and rearranging them as a way of stimulating ideas and formulating a different way of storytelling…a technique reputedly used by William S. Burroughs to form plots and write chapters and books.)

Although Jim’s lyrics are fragmented, the songs remain linear. A Kerr song still makes sense. A Bowie song can by absolute gobbledegook and not only be fragmented but make no sense at all. Or at least, if not make any sense, be meaningless. Hmm. Perhaps that’s incorrect of me. Because songs that make no sense can still have meaning – or at least be emotive. Certainly Bowie’s songs have meaning even when making no sense (to me)!

Airmobility – what??
Dressability – pardon??
Tranquil – a real word! Lol
You’ll never meet again – thank God, cos you’re f***ing with my mind, mate! Lol
Eyes small – same to you, mate!
Take another fine walk – I might just do that!
Expose – hello!
Society can gain – this is getting more random.
(I’m being ridiculously flippant, here!)

And so on it goes. But all those fragments end up making sense together. As he often did then, he’s writing about ambition…with mystery, sensuality (the “rolling and tumbling” lines always sound like a “roll in the hay” to me…alluding to sex). Female ambition “SHE’S sweating bullets”. Female ambition through exploitative sex? But who’s being exploited?

Rolling and tumbling
Ambition in motion
Rolling and tumbling
She’s sweating bullets
Grow in size
Grow in fame
Grow more
Take more
Uncontrollable
Unworkable

Elements of the lyrics remind me of Iggy Pop’s Ambition – a song from his 1980 album Soldier. One of my very favourites of his, and that was long before I realised Jim and Co perform backing vocals on another track on the album – Play It Safe (or as the track listing had it on a copy I used to own on CD – Play It Sale!).

Ambition is written from a female angle:

I’m the kind of girl
I want that whole wide world
Nothing more, nothing less
I don’t want second best…

But they must be kidding
Or wishful thinking
Adding fuel to the fire
Of my ambition

I’ll make a date
Oh no I won’t be late
And why of course he’ll be there
He’ll promise he’ll swear

But all I ever find
Been spun that same old line
It’s happened time and time again before…

And it has one of the best guitar outros on a song.

The 12″ of Sweat In Bullet has one of the best uses of cow bell you are ever likely to hear. It is part of Simple Minds fan legend, and the in-joke of “more cow bell!” cracks me up every time. But it’s fabulous. One of their best extended mixes. The amount of funk the song already has, and then to layer it with cow bell is just…genius! (The cow bell also appears on the edited 3 minute version used in the video and on the 7″ single release.)

In summary. A groove and a funk like no other (that’s not to say other SM songs don’t have funk and groove…but this is a cut above), Jim’s incredible fragmented lyrics…it’s just funk, and sass, and sex, and ambition. It has…dancabilty…sensibility…funkability…sensuality…cow bellability! Lol

And that is why I love Sweat In Bullet.

Whack that cow bell, Kenny! (Though it is actually Brian McGee playing it on the record.)

The pictures are of a coffee mug I made featuring the lyric artwork I did for the song. Still one of my favourite artworks. I love that melted, embossed look I gave it…suits the lyric SSOO well.