From Auckland To The Norfolk Broads

Well, not quite. Norwich anyway. The University of East Anglia, in fact.

I found myself on the hunt for something for someone last night and…going down the usual “rabbit hole” one invariably ends up at.

I was on Twitter looking for relevant info to what I was searching for (no luck!) but I happened upon a couple of photos shared of Jim performing at gigs – which are FLIPPING AMAZING (and previously unseen to me – will share them further below) but also stumbled on this tweet about a lady named Ruth Selwyn-Crome and her memories of seeing Simple Minds on the New Gold Dream tour when it hit the UEA on December 6th, 1982. Excerpt below…

Whatever got him to that look – dying his hair (well, he had been doing that from almost day one of Simple Minds), caking on the dark makeup around his eyes while accentuating and exaggerating his pallid skin tone and combining that with the clothes he wore at that point – he sold himself absolutely and completely right! Whether that was instinctual, or just a “happy accident” and not as with other things he’d do, ruthlessly and meticulously planned, then – hats off to him either way. It was a masterstroke of a look that absolutely matched the sound and mood of New Gold Dream and of that time in general.

I used to refer to him as “Laird Dash Fandango” or “my Goth Prince” – like a kind of New Wave … messiah (almost). He seemed to meld the elements that were all floating around at the time – the dark eye make up and pallid skin was straight out of the goth scene – but Jim was no goth. The baggy trousers and the knee high riding boots, matched with scarf-wearing reflected elements of New Romanticism but again, Jim wasn’t a New Romantic – his way of dress was more understated and still harked back to the traditional a lot of the time. Those baggy troosers simply matched with a collared shirt and some loafers, with the only other hint of a nod to New Romanticism being a flashy belt he’d wear more as a sash or a shoulder of ammunition and have his socks pulled up over his trouser legs, more for the purposes of not tripping over those loose trooser legs. I do find the look of him in this period striking and ssoooo aesthetically beautiful.

The 50 year old me would love to go back to the 11 year old me when seeing the Promised You A Miracle video for the first time and whisper in her ear, “No, just look at him! Really look at him! You have this Aussie idea of a man in your head, all “golden”. But this guy? He’s REAL gold! Celtic gold! Trust me. There will come a time in your life when this man will be EVERYTHING to you! Take him in now! He’s beautiful. Stop fussing over his nipples, because BELIEVE ME, you’ll be fussing over his nipples for very different reasons in the years to come!” Lol

But…I wildly digress and this post is meant to be a link to Ruth’s experience of seeing the Minds in Norwich in ‘82, not my wishes and dreams and feelings on His New Wave Goth Prince Laird Dash Fandango Kerrness.

You can read Ruth’s full piece in the “Memory Tent” section of the University of East Anglia website – LINK HERE

And now, the promised photos… (source links viewable by clicking the photos)

Warm Digits – Flight Of Ideas – Listening Party Replay

Now Jim may well be found “in the kitchen at parties” (bedroom, more like!) – but Tim Burgess is now the self-proclaimed Twitter DJ to end all Twitter DJ’s. Since pretty much the beginning of lockdown he has held “listening parties” on Twitter. The concept being, we all join up online and listen to an album together all simultaneously and tweet along with our thoughts on the tracks and sounds, etc.

It is a thing that Simple Minds International on Facebook have been doing for some time. And when lockdown started, I did my bit by being “DJ”/host of a couple of the SMI Playbacks, though the majority have been held by SMI page creator and admin extraordinaire, Gordon Machray, with another helper who may wish not to be named on here and myself helping latterly.

Back to Tim’s parties on Twitter. On Monday one of the albums up for listening to was Warm Digits’ Flight Of Ideas. Anyone who has visited this blog in recent months will know how I feel about this dynamic duo of men. Other than Simple Minds, Warm Digits are just about my favourite band in the world – and certainly, along with Ruts DC and The Stranglers, an absolute favourite live act. And mercifully one of the acts I got to see live in 2020 before Corona caused chaos.

I wasn’t feeling well on Monday night, so I unfortunately missed tuning in and joining along but amazingly, you are able to watch and listen via a replay. Not as much fun as taking part live, but still a way to enjoy what was missed.

You can view the replay by clicking HERE

Enjoy!

You can also read my review of Flight Of Ideas and my interview with Steve Jefferis by using the search feature and searching for ‘Warm Digits‘ on this blog.

In the meantime, this one’s for Jim…

Twittering On To Bruce

Bruce Findlay is just…one of the loveliest men, EVER! I could, quite literally, talk to him until the cows come home. I nearly bloody did back in June at the end of the Rip It Up talk. Lol. He was about the last person to leave the building.

Thanks for today 🙂

He’s The Best, Paul!

This would have been the exact same thing I would have done, until recently…lol (making the faux pas of not knowing WTF Paul Thompson was. The only drummer named Paul Thompson I knew of is in Franz Ferdinand. Lol)

Dedicated To The Catalogue (Numbers)

As you can see from yesterday’s post, I listened to Bruce Findlay’s interview with Grant Stott on his Sunday afternoon Vinyl Collective – which is on BBC Radio Scotland between 3 and 5pm for the next several weeks over the summer. I will be tuning in weekly from now on, or if I am otherwise engaged, will catch up on iPlayer.

As I was listening to it, I tweeted Bruce. I do on the odd occasion. I try not to fangirl the poor man to death. I could talk about Simple Minds (and Jim) with him forever. And it was just about the loveliest thing I have ever heard one man say of another, what he did about Jim.

I can fully appreciate it. Without all the other…stuff that is melded in with my feelings, hand on heart, if all the stuff was not there…I would still feel the same in terms of a pure admiration and respect for him. Exactly the way I have felt about David Bowie all these years – love – in terms of pure talent and musicianship, spirit, spunk…just…yeah.

At the start of the interview, Grant got Bruce talking on the subject of his chain of record stores, and Bruce was explaining the importance of catalogue numbers and how many have stuck with him and that he can recall them instantly. And as I was listening, I was thinking, “Hey, my SM tattoo! It’s catalogue numbers! Oh, Bruce will love that! I’ve got to take a pic of my tattoo and tweet it to him! I mean, after all, the first number is a Zoom/Arista number.”

The first thing I saw after tweeting him was this…

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Honestly, Bruce…it didn’t really hurt too much 🙂 Only just some of the work on the heart did, being so close to the veins in the wrist.

The next thing I saw was this! Bruce retweeting my tweet to Grant Stott to highlight it to him. How cool was that?!

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And as Bruce continued to speak of SM, there was a little part of me regretting not having added “SPART 1109” to the top of my tattoo. I very nearly did when designing it, but thought maybe it would be too much. (That it would make the tattoo a little too big.)

I really have to get the Walk Between Worlds one done! But…it requires money…and I have sssoooo many other commitments right now, it’ll have to wait.

It really will be an honour to meet Bruce in a few weeks time. I just hope I can temper my overt fangirling enough to speak eloquently and coherently.

Grandslam Competition – Win Tickets!

If you have a Twitter account…follow the instructions in the tweet (basically, like and retweet) by Tuesday, April 4th…GO!

Our Secrets Are The Same

The Simple Minds Twitter account @SimpleMinds1977 (an unofficial, fan run account – that is wonderfully maintained by Shaun Edwards) is currently running “knock out round” polls to find the favourite SM song from each of their studio albums. We’ve reached “Our Secrets Are The Same”.

What a truly overlooked and underrated album it is! A lot of fans think that Cry is the catalyst to the “return to form” (if ever they truly “lost” form for that long?) for the band. NOT FOR ME! It is Our Secrets Are The Same! If ANY album was worthy of a reissue it is this! It is buried within Virgin’s box set release of Silver Box. It needs to see the light of day in its own right!

Please, guys, consider the next reissue to be “Secrets”? It deserves prominence!