Simple Minds Tour Diary – Grandslam 2018 Compilation

A great retrospective of the summer’s Grandslam tour. I wish I could have gone to more in retrospect, having gone through most of July wondering if I should be going to any at all. But the three I went to were incredibly special for all varying reasons. And they will each of them retain wonderful memories. Meeting beautiful friends, hearing songs live at gigs for the first time. Having a meet and greet experience. All such amazing things. I’ll be forever “singing memories” with this band.

Simple Minds In Slessor Gardens Finale Success!

Local Dundee newspaper The Courier and Advertiser showcased the gig finale in their opening pages with a glowing review. As if it would be any other way?!

Oh, I wish I could have been there! I pray it is not too long a wait until my next lot of gigs! “Normality” beckons for the next few months. On a personal scale, things will get busy and potentially VERY different. And, I still have several non SM gigs left for this year. With two already booked for next year, and two yet to be booked.

Anyway! The local review!

UPDATE: And more from other local paper the Evening Telegraph.


Review: Grandslam – KT Tunstall, Pretenders, Simple Minds – Kent Event Centre, Maidstone – August 4th, 2018


I could start with the whole personal account with the logistics of getting to the gig, etc…but it is actually too horrendous to go over it all. Put it this way…all the trepidation I was feeling about going was being made manifest. So…let’s skip all that.

I met up with Ally Scott and her husband at a pub they were staying at in Maidstone. It was wonderful to meet in person and to feel settled before the gig.

We made our way there and arrived on site just as the gates to the venue were due to be opened, except there was a delay in letting the crowd in. Finally the gates were opened around 4.45 (gates were due open at 4pm). We had as many queuing behind us as we had in front of us.

KT Tunstall:

This lady is her own “one-man band” with her loop recorder she uses to create her own rhythm section. I am not overly familiar with her songs but I know in amongst them was Black Horse And The Cherry Tree, Suddenly I See and I think she also did Other Side Of The World (well, it was a song to do with long distant relationships so would assume it was that). Funny moment that had me in stitches: her setting up the loop track for another song…and she uses this “egg” to make certain percussive sounds. She held it up and said “check out my massive egg” and forgot she had engaged the recording of the loop, so nano seconds later, reverberating around the showground is KTs voice saying “CHECK OUT MY MASSIVE EGG…ASSIVE EGG…ASSIVE EGG…ASSIVE EGG”. Lol. I lost it! I couldn’t stop laughing.

She engages so well with the crowd. So much talent and pulls you in with banter and participation recording the loops. Such catchy songs too. I always enjoy her sets, and yesterday was no exception.


Having heard recent reviews about Ms Hynde and co (including from Mr Ex himself), I was expecting to be blown away…and I am pleased to say that is EXACTLY what happened!

The set opened with Alone. A song full of the attitude we know and love. The set flowed really well. The band are AMAZING! It was my first ever time experiencing Pretenders live. Martin Chambers – wow! What a drummer! At one point he started off a drum solo. Chrissie just started rolling her eyes. A bit of banter ensued. Martin was trying to (and succeeding to!) “drum up” support to extend his solo. In the end Chrissie called him a cunt and says “40 years I’ve had to put up with him”. Lol

Geez, imagine the supergroup that could come from the respective long-term musical collaborations from both sides? Chrissie and Martin. Jim and Charlie. Bring in someone like John Giblin on bass and holy fuck! Sadly it’ll never see the light of day. Over Chrissie’s dead body, methinks! It’s nice to dream though…

I digress.

Classics in the set included: Kid, Back On The Chain Gang, Hymn To Her, Stop Your Sobbing, Middle Of The Road, I’ll Stand By You, Bad Boys Get Spanked, Don’t Get Me Wrong and Brass In Pocket. (I was really, really hoping for Message Of Love, but it didn’t happen…)

Chrissie’s voice is as strong as ever. Pitch perfect and faultless. A powerhouse performance. My little green-eyed envy very much took a back burner. She is all I could only ever dream of being. More talent in her pinky fingernail than I am ever likely to possess in my whole entire being. Still a bloody stick insect! And absolute no fucks to give to anybody.

Simple Minds:

I was with amazing friends…my beautiful, beautiful friend, Ally…someone who has exuded much more faith in me than I ever have in myself. Another person who allowed me to believe in myself and means so very much to me. There is no one else on earth last night I would have been happier to share this experience with. And what a truly AMAZING gig it was! Right from the off from The Signal And The Noise and into Waterfront, the crowd was buzzing.

The band, as usual, was playing so tight. Cherisse, in particular was the stand out last night. Her level of musicianship is incredible. She just gets better and better. So much power yet subtlety and deftness to her playing. I’m just in awe of her every time I see her.

As for Mr…”SIR” Kerr? I don’t think I ever experienced such a strong vocal performance from him. I could feel him giving it his all last night. Like, really! And, PLEASE, GIVE ME CREDIT! I know I love the man to pieces – but I CAN be objective! If I felt he was lacklustre, I would say. (Well, actually…I’d be more likely NOT to comment on his vocal performance at all.) If you actually have read past posts on this blog with me discussing his voice, you’ll know I can give it an objective and methodical analysis.

Vocal performance was AMAZING! To the degree that…I thought some trickery was going on during the performance of Dolphins. He was not in view when the vocal began and I was thinking “Oh, okay….to bide some more time to buy him for his wardrobe change, they’ve pre-recorded this and playing his vocal back.” BUT NO! He soon appeared and it was obvious he was singing live…and I was blown away.

I think he also really has been studying the lyrics too…which made me SO, SO happy. It may be seen as extreme pedantry, but when he gets the lyrics right, I enjoy the performance more…because it reflects how you expect the songs to sound. THE BOY HAS BEEN LEARNING! The lyrical notations really improved.

The most joyous of these was the return of the original arrangement of Someone Somewhere In Summertime – with the “burning slow” lines restored. Oh, I have missed those lines! They are beautiful! I wanted to cry when it started and I prayed he was going to sing the lines, and then…

Both it and Walk Between Worlds was my personal highlight of the set.

I *may* have missed a song…but I am hopeful I didn’t – here’s the set list (not in strict running order):

The Signal And The Noise
Love Song
Let There Be Love
She’a A River
See The Lights
Walk Between Worlds
Someone Somewhere In Summertime
All The Things She Said
The American
Promised You A Miracle (duet with KT)
Banging On The Door (intro)/Dolphins
Don’t You
Let The Day Begin
Alive And Kicking
Sanctify Yourself

“Pinch yourself” shared moments with Ally included – sing-a-longs to Let There Be Love and Someone Somewhere In Summertime…our arms wrapped around each other…taking in the wonder of it all. Being “in the moment”.

It was certainly one of the best concert experiences I have ever had – and couldn’t have been any different from Aix-Les-Bains. I need to make amends to Françoise for that one!

Based on opening night (well, Pretenders did play the night before in Leeds) – anyone thinking of going to any of these Grandslam shows – I do not think you’ll be disappointed.

I am THOROUGHLY looking forward to the next gig I have in Leeds next Saturday. The only thing I DO regret is that Pretenders won’t be on the bill there. But perhaps that will mean slightly longer sets from both KT Tunstall and Simple Minds? Fingers crossed!

*At the behest of the bands involved, I refrained from taking any photos or video of the gig.

Stan Tippins – A Life On The Road

One of those hallowed snippets of conversations with Jim I’d had in the past was about Stan…but I never looked into the full extend of Stan’s involvement with Mott The Hoople…to the degree that he WAS Mott’s vocalist until Ian Hunter stepped in.

Then a long career as tour manager for the great and good ensues. A life with many a story to it, I’m sure!

I have only gleaned the article on Stan, but I will read it fully tomorrow. You can read the article on Stan by CLICKING HERE

Catching The Live Music Bug

I was working out how many gigs I’ve got coming up last night – and the answer was – 14 of the things! (And still hoping to sort another two Simple Minds gigs on top of that…if only money grew on trees.)
I have NEVER been to so many gigs in my life! The love of live music given to me by…a certain someone. (See pic stolen from a certain band’s FB page)
Anyway, the first of the 14 (16?!) will be The Anchoress and Manic Street Preachers at Meltdown at the Royal Festival Hall tomorrow night. Wowzers! (One of the gigs is a comedy gig, by the way. The other an art exhibition and talk.)

Thank you, Mr Beautiful, for instilling in me this love of live music. Being Aussie and all, and growing up in a country that prides itself with a music scene that produces the best live bands in the world…my love for live music was hindered by: my sheltered existence, lack of money, etc, etc…I could make all the excuses.

The “lack of money” thing is still a big issue…but, it’s about priorities, and good budgeting and picking bands to see that give value for money…the irony being, the band I love the most now being my most expensive outlay to see live. But, it is what it is.

Hopefully I can do those other two SM gigs, but we’ll see. In amongst the 14 are three opportunities to see Simple Minds, so it isn’t ALL bad! It’s just, you know…after the Acoustic tour , and the dates in February…the more Minds gigs, the better.

Anyway…on to Catherine and the Manics tomorrow night. WOOT!


The Grandslam – Just Shoot Me Now!

Might as well get it over with. It really *is* “rob a bank” time. Or…time to sit some gigs out 😟😟😪😪

Not sure my heart will be able to take it either way…

Swindon – close to a friend.

Taunton – also possible…near-ish same said friend.

Leeds, twice! Close to a friend – and what are those asterisks for the Leeds gigs about? Ah…I see them now. Pretenders do the first date, SM do the second (that’ll be the one for me, then!)

Salford – I’m sure there’d be a few that would look after me.

Enfield – close (ish) to home.

Coventry – doable

Ardingly – a train journey down on the Brighton line. Though…Ardingly might be out as I see it sits bang in between the Swindon and Taunton gigs….which is weird and a bit crappily thought out (IMHO).

Anyways, tickets are on sale Wednesday at 9am – for those of you who ain’t skint to bloody buggery already, having pre-ordered every feasible format of Walk Between Worlds and have not already secured seeing them in February, and haven’t already bought tickets to other festivals and outdoor gigs (ie: me).

See for full details.

Appeasing Likes?!

Well, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the notification just after midday today, that this ACTUALLY got liked!

Which is now causing me to wonder whether my theory for a few weeks has been right? That ‘likes’ are happening for ‘appeasement’ sake?

Oh, I don’t want to sound ungrateful! And I am genuinely happy for the like. I just….miss him! I miss…more of the interactions and the “rapport”.


And then tonight he talks of Chrissie, and that green-eyed monster rears its ugly head. I really DON’T have this feeling with Patsy. I think Patsy and I would be great mates…and we would have a lot of fun taking the piss out of Jim. Lol.

But…I still feel the love Jim has for Chrissie…and…she is just…untouchably cool. She has more cool in her fucking pinkie fingernail than I have in my whole entire body. And…she absolutely does not give a flying fuck whether Jim likes her or not…but it’s obvious to all he still loves her. Obviously not IN love with her…but the stuff he mentioned tonight…the daughter they share…the grandchildren…a bond never to be broken.

And how very lucky she is. But, well…that’s what makes me most envious of Chrissie…the fact it is all past for her and life has just…moved on. Just a SPRINKLE of that self-belief, please?!

I dunno. Perhaps if I *was* actually GOOD at something, I WOULD have the self-belief?

Maybe these people just TRICK themselves into it? Maybe I just need to con myself? Except…they all have ACTUAL TALENT.

Ah…for a while, I was feeling good today…until I was reminded how…inept and inadequate as a human being I am…as someone who deludes themselves (to not much of a successful degree) into thinking they can be creative.