SHARE YOUR SIMPLE MINDS MEMORIES
Share your favourite Simple Minds memory with fellow fans via the Fans Memories platform. It could be a concert attended, maybe an album that moves you like no other, maybe it’s just one song or a lyric that reminds you of a special time in your life. Whatever the memory then I would love to hear it and add it to this section.
Motorring Open Air Festival, Hockenheim 25/08/1990
By Darren Charles
Back in 1990 I saw the ‘Minds for the first time at the Motorring Open Air Festival (“Hockenheimring”) in Hockenheim at the racetrack. I travelled over from Liverpool (by coach!!) and what a great time. Back in the day when people were just chilled, festival atmosphere. enjoying the music and to find the concert on Youtube last year was mindblowing. [ Listen HERE ]
That started a love affair with the band and from sitting in Delamere Forest singing GLORIA to Alnwick Castle watching the sun set last year, to the Liverpool Empire last month, I just love the music and band and follow them when I can. My wife did benefit though from my love affair with the band as we honeymooned at Villa Angela in Taormina and had the time of our life.
The best memory though was only last month – after the Liverpool Empire concert sitting in a Chinese restaurant in Liverpool’s Chinatown and Mel Gaynor and some of the road crew came in – I have to admit to being star struck but did shake his hand!! I just get a huge hit off the band and its mixed with so many great memories during my life – in fact I shape them to be like that, my own wedding video was edited to Let There Be Love.
U2 Wembley Arena 15/11/1984
By Stephen Webb
My quirky Simple Minds memory was at a concert at the Wembley Arena – but it wasn’t a Simple Minds gig. It was November 1984 and we were there to see U2, who at that time, like Simple Minds, were on the cusp of being one of the biggest bands in the world but yet to reach the giddy heights that was expected of them (that would come the following year for both of them).
We took our seats, anticipating the event ahead and watching people arrive. Then I grasped my wife Helen’s hand – walking up the aisle alongside me was a man who looked very much like Jim Kerr, and with him was a woman who looked remarkably like his then wife and Pretenders lead singer Chrissie Hynde. There was no doubt about it – it was the genuine Mr and Mrs Kerr, and they took their seats directly behind me! So there was the lead singer of one of my two best favourite bands (Jim, not Chrissie – although I do like The Pretenders) sitting behind me about to watch my other best favourite band.
It was a bit difficult to focus on things after that, especially when among the pre-show songs played over the PA came Someone Somewhere In Summertime. I tried to casually look around at him at that moment. Jim tried to maintain a difnified coolness, but I knew he wanted to join in with his song. U2 were brilliant and Jim and Chrissie were all but forgotten – until I felt two sets of toes tapping out a rhythm on what Jim clearly thought was the back of the seat in front of him, but was actually my backside. I haven’t washed it since.
Norwich UEA 06/12/1982
By Paul Curtis
The first time I saw simple minds was on the New Gold Dream tour at the UEA Norwich. China Crisis supported,totally brilliant night. I met Jim, Mel and Derek but never got to meet Charlie. 32 years on I still haven’t, one day I would love to get Charlie’s autograph.
Sanctify Yourself Promo Video
By Jodie Pass
I first saw Simple Minds performing Sanctify Yourself on MTV while I was living in Amsterdam in 1985, aged 10. I can still remember so clearly, just marching around the streets of Amsterdam at night with Once Upon A Time on my cassette Walkman then standing on top of a climbing frame, singing along at the top of my voice.
A year later in 1986 I lived opposite a girl called Chloe in Finchley Road, John Leckie’s daughter. She told me she’d sat on Jim’s knee once when Simple Minds were working with John on one of their earlier albums Life In A Day. Talk about jealous!!
I cannot say I have a favourite song as it changes, but currently I can’t stop listening to Up On The Catwalk after seeing a clip of the official 1984 video – something about it just made me feel I’d travelled back in time and reverted to that girl with a huge crush.
The Hydro, Glasgow 27/11/2013
By Darrin Paton
I was a fan of Simple Minds as a wee boy, born in Glasgow, raised in Ayrshire Scotland. Certain songs reminded me of Glasgow, Waterfront, Alive and Kicking and Don’t You Forget About Me. As a teenager I lost touch and got into other bands then in 2013 I was given tickets for the Hydro gig in Glasgow on the November of that year and one word can describe that gig, awesome.
In my opinion they should have opened the venue and not Rod Stewart with all Simple Minds’s back catalogue and iconic track Waterfront and relationship with not only the Glasgow crowd but the Scottish crowd they were and always will be an awesome live act. Jim just oozes charisma and Charlie just gets it spot on all the time on guitar, big Mel is just amazing on the drums and Ged is just cool as a cucumber on bass guitar and with Andy on keyboards as effervescent as ever.
After leaving the gig that night my appreciation and love for the band has grown I have seen them twice since then, once at the BBC Studios as part of the Commonwealth Games Celebrations in the Big Tent at the Quay Side on the Ken Bruce Radio Show then again at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh on the 07th of April and again they were brilliant. I also have their Celebrate Live At The SSE Hydro Glasgow DVD and I cant stop watching it, all three times I have seen the band now they will always be fantastic memories for me.
Cardiff Arms Park 05/08/1989
By Chris Saunders
I’d been a Minds fan since 1986, when my cousin Linden turned me on to them. Once upon a Time was one of the first albums I ever bought as a 12-year old and I loved Live in the City of Light. Therefore, when tickets for the Street Fighting Years tour went on sale I couldn’t wait to get my hands on one.
It was the first gig I ever went to, and I still remember the buzz as the excitement built in the weeks leading up to the gig, and then during the day. The support bands were The Darling Buds, The Silencers and Texas (not the Pixies, as some sources state), an early highlight being Sharleen Spiteri calling us a ‘load of Welsh b*stards’ and storming off in a huff because, in truth, nobody was there to see her band and didn’t pay them any attention. For me and the 56,000 others, it was all about the Minds. Great day.
Glasgow Barrowlands 25/02/2012
By David Doran
I’ve seen pretty much all there is to see live, but the 5 x 5 concert at the Barrowlands in 2012 was a standout. As good a night of music as you are ever likely to see.
New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
By Alicia Gilbert
Something happened when new gold dream came out way back in the day, something was going and still does to this day. I can’t quite put my finger on but I still get that feeling even 34 years later when I play this timeless masterpiece. Maybe that feeling of something going on all those years ago was being 16 and full of new gold dreams. Cheers for the music guys
By Amanda Whitehead
I have just watching sports personality of the year and i was immediately transported to feelings of euphoria and joy listening to Simple Minds opening the show with Waterfront. I simultaneously had a vision in my minds eye of seeing my single of Glittering Prize behind my parents record player as a teenager in the 80s. I didn’t know the band were together and how the music could still move me. I’ve just time travelled but also opened a door in the present rediscovering dormant emotions.
Roundhay Park, Leeds July 1989
By Graham Hirst
Just a ‘small’ memory that lingers! I had been a fan of Simple Minds from New Gold Dream onwards (and then discovered the earlier stuff as well). Whilst writing this I have ear phones in listening to the latest offering ‘Big Music’. And it’s absolute bliss! Anyhow I digress! It was 1988 and I got engaged to my then girlfriend. We set a date for the wedding of Summer 1989, July 22nd to be precise. Now up to this point I had seen the band live a couple of times travelling to Birmingham and Milton Keynes and really enjoyed it. I would definitely see them again should the chance arise.
Late in 1988 it was announced they would play a concert at Roundhay Park in Leeds – right on my doorstep with me being a Leeds lad. Shock, horror the date was 23rd July! The day after my wedding! I resigned myself to the fact that it would happen and I would not be there but I had a much more important event to look forward to. So the big day came and we got married on what turned out to be the hottest day of the year. Everything went off wonderfully well and can say I am still happily married 25 years on.
But that is not the end of this story. At the end of the day the wedding came to a close and we retired to our room. To my amazement what I found waiting for me was a pair of tickets to go see Simple Minds at Roundhay Park! My now wife had bought 2 tickets for us to both go to the concert. So, it’s safe to say that I had the best weekend in my life on the 22nd and 23rd of July 1989! Even to this day I have still managed to get out and see the band a few more times when family life permits!
Street Fighting Years
By Mark Frendo
July 1989 inter railing thru Europe SWITCH! Ask my travel companions if they want to see Simple Minds in Dortmund. They all say no. SWITCH! Arrive early at Dortmund Westfallenhall as box office opens SWITCH! Am at the front of queue! Don’t matter as I can’t get past the language barrier and purchase a ticket. SWITCH! waiting around for a tout. He has tickets at 4x face value. I’m not payig that much. ‘Ah you vould like it for less?’ he asks, that was easy i smugly think to myself. ‘yes please’ , “then go unt find one” 1-0 to the tout.
SWITCH! hanging around watching the tout, and waiting for my moment to pounce as it gets later and later. Unfortunately he is selling quite a lot of tickets, i better get in there quick. SWITCH! I buy a ticket at 4x face value. 2-0 to the tout. SWITCH! I’m in! It’s a storming set. SWITCH! I meet two English blokes on the way out who point out that they have a car! Brilliant, I’ll charm my way a lift back to my hotel, which is all the way on the other side of town, they refuse me. SWITCH! walking back to my hotel, I almost dump in my pants as a cat scoots out of nowhere giving it all aggressive ‘meows’. Ive had a few drinks, but was that cat meowing in a German accent . I swear it was!
SWITCH! Arrive back at my hotel and my travel companions are in the hotel bar, sozzeled. I join them SWITCH! Street Fighting Years is the soundtrack to my inter railing holiday. SWITCH! Would love to attend the tour next year but am priced out. Not all 40 somethings have the mortgage paid off and untold cash they don’t know what to spend it on! SWITCH! Apologies to Mr. Paul Weller
Sweat In Bullet
By Richard Faulkner
As a young boy of 16 my youth club disco nights were mostly spent awkwardly trying to dance to the likes of Duran Duran omd soft cell etc. I felt I could dance slightly different from the other boys, not blessed with overly chiselled looks I tried to get the girls by the art of strutting my stuff. A friend of mine had the album of the day, Now That’s What I Call Music, a complimentary of the hits of the day.
I found myself being intoxicated by this one particular song and I started to play it over and over and over, I was completely hooked by the sound of the beat, that song was Sweat In Bullet, my love affair with Simple Minds had begun. I learned some of my best dance moves from Jim, that little shimmy from left to right, no one could touch me when the Minds came on. Sometimes I even got the girls lol, more to do with my moves than looks. I think they lost some of their groove when Derek Forbes left the band but have still made some pretty good music. I have not seen them live for a couple of years and am looking forward to seeing them in Cardiff next year.
Fry Fogles, London Ontario, Canada October 23rd, 1981
By Mike Wille
Wow… what a great opportunity, to tell the like minded about my favorite Simple Minds memories. It all started in the fall of 1981, I had been working as a welder, building boilers, saving money to get my own place. Well every young man had to have a stereo to entertain the ladies and your buddies. Well that day final came and it was time for the pick up of the equipment, and I needed to get to London Ontario. So I asked my best bud Geoff if he could drive me over to get it. He says sure thing but we got to go to Fry Fogles Inn that night to check out the new band he heard on CFNY FM, he says there called Simple Minds, there are from Glasgow. I said sure thing, great way to start off, with a new sound system and a new band to check out all on the same day.
We got to the Inn and settled in with a cold beer, and waited for the band to start. Little did I know at the time just how much this band from Glagow would influence the music of my life from that night forward. I was hooked from the first cords of the guitar, it was just amazing, I actually got up and moved (I’m not much of a dancer) to the music, a very different thing for this shy boy to do! I could not tell what songs were played that night, but I knew I needed more, so the next day I spent the album budget on all the Simple Mind albums I could find.
The next time I had the chance to see Simple Minds live was in 1983 in Toronto at Massey Hall, I got my tickets and counted down the days. I had no wheels of my own so I borrowed a buddies car for the night. Me and the GF set off all excited to see the band, mixed tape playing loud cruising down the highway, and BANG the drive shaft blows out and it goes flying in the ditch. NOOOOOO…. What the hell are we going to do now? Well a cop seen the whole thing happen and came to the rescue. He says can I call anybody that can help you? I gave him Geoff’s number and he came through again. Another buddy got us to Toronto and we got him a ticket from a scalper outside the Hall, and we got in just as the light dimmed for Simple Minds to take the stage
The next time I seen the band live was in 1984 in Kitchener, Center in the Square, that was the last time I got to see them live in the 80s. In the mean time life happened, marriage, kids and all that stuff. The only band that I would wait for a new album was Simple Minds no others really mattered, they are truly the soundtrack of my life.
After years of seeing the concert dates listed for every where else but Canada, I screamed for joy the day I got the email from Simple Minds announcing their Canadian tour in October of 2013. Got the tickets and counted down the days. The concert was the BEST, the crowd was great, Jim did not really need to sing parts of some of the playlist, as we all did it for him. They played all my favorites, This Fear of Gods, Someone somewhere in Summertime, when they finished off with Sanctify Yourself, I had tears running down my face, a guy of 53… It was a religious experience, as I told people that asked how the concert was. To top it all off today I pre-ordered Simple Minds sixteenth album BIG MUSIC on vinyl, I’m counting down the days until I hope November 9th when it shows up in the Post, this is not only BIG its HUGE.
Nelson Mandela Tribute Concert, Wembley Stadium, London 11th June 1988
By Robert Angus
After discovering the Minds as a teenager and voraciously devouring all their vinyl output I was desperate to see them live. Although my weapons of choice were the earlier albums: Sons & Fascination, Sister Feelings Call etc this was in the stadium years (The Once Upon A Time era) so the first time that I was actually able to see them live wasn’t in some packed underground club or seedy little club venue it was at the massive Free Mandela concert in ’88. After years and years of waiting for the chance then I was actually old enough and able to finally see them perform. Ok it was at a giant stadium gig, and it was alongside other performers, so it wasn’t a proper ‘Minds’ gig, but it was still a great most longed for opportunity on my part. I got myself to Wembley, then I got myself close to the very front: no mean feat when you consider it was a crowd of some 70,000 people and I stood all the way through the other acts so as to save my place at the front when the Minds would finally appear.
After a few hours then eventually they came onstage. By then I was literally holding my breath. The semi opaque curtain that was initially veiling them dropped and the lights blasted and they were there. Performing yards away from me. Finally. I had waited years for this. They opened up with Waterfront. Everyone knew the bassline and went wild. And just as the curtain dropped and the crowd went crazy and started jumping about I got smacked on the back of the head by a thrown plastic pint glass of someone’s pee pee. Someone had wee’d into a pint glass then randomly lobbed it into the crowd at the front. No-one had picked me out and aimed at me or anything (I hope). I was soaked and smelly. To be honest, at the time then I didn’t care. But thinking back now then, after waiting sooo long to finally see them and then that happening at that exact moment was just serendipity at it’s very worst.
New Gold Dream – Revisited
By Philip Broadhurst
32 years ago – I started working at concerts simply because I wanted to see Simple Minds on their NGD tour – the concert was on Nov. 27th 1982, at the University of Leeds, and I remember it was one of the most impressive sets I’d seen. I was hooked. Still working at concerts, still at University in 1984 I was part of the team that booked Simple Minds to play in 1984 on their “Tour du Monde” tour. The set was bombastic as I remembered it two years previously, but the inclusion of “Waterfront” et al upped the ante. I even bought a T-shirt – a blue one – which I wore for years to follow (not continuously – I do wash:) )
Last night I saw Simple Minds Play at Alnwick Castle – only the second night of our Northumbrian Holiday – My wife, and four kids all came to the gig – all they knew was the inevitable “Don’t you…” My eldest because of “The Breakfast club,” my youngest because of “Pitch Perfect.” As the evening progressed they all continued to turn and smile at me at different times, as they recognised different tracks from the soundtrack of their lives, those subliminal CD’s in the car, Party mixes – the simple fact that my 8 year old could sing along to “The American” bears testament to the fact that the songs have had a great impact on my live and therefore on theirs.
The band were older and wider – but then again – so am I – Mel Gaynor sounded as awesome as ever, Charlie if anything sounded better than I remember him. Charlie was another cause for my kids to turn and smile – as each guitar he wheeled out for another song was yet another one from my collection referred to by the kids as “The white one.. The Black one… the Les Paul…” I even bought a T shirt – a blue one – two sizes bigger than I bought in 1984 – but pretty much the same design 🙂
By Stephen Wallace
Dublin 1986, once upon a time tour, as an 18 year old AC/DC fan, Simple Minds blew me away with their stadium songs, I was hooked and still am. Kings Hall in Belfast, RDS in Dublin were further shows in the early 90’s. I think Mel gave me a wave from the drum kit in the Kings Hall, I was up in the balcony. More recently saw the guys in the Waterfront Hall in Belfast, still got it lads. A major part of my musical journey and Derek, my best mate, was the same, we kinda grew up with Simple Minds, even though Jim does support the wrong team in Glasgow! You will be forever,live in the city of light.
Milton Keynes 1986 – Taomina 2014
By Janet Grieves
My then boyfriend, still husband after 30 odd years together was a fan when I met him. Our 1st gig was Milton Keynes, fantastic day and evening and the 1st time we stayed in a “proper hotel”. Anyone else remember the beer tent, the pressure of bodies toppling the “bar” which ended up with beer allover and some getting freebies direct from the keg tubes? On to Leeds Roundhay 1989, the 2 hours to get out of the car park and the long drive back to Newcastle was forgivable after a fabulous warm evening in the steep sided bowl, the atmosphere was unbelievable.
Gateshead next 1991, thanks guys one we could do on public transport. We had a bit of a hiatus until Newcastle City Hall in 2002, we took some friends who had never seen or even heard much Simple Minds and they were converts from that night. Then 2006 the Black & White 05 tour. A small intimate concert at Newcastle Carling academy. I fell in love with the verse Lyrics of “Home” the day I bought the Album. It inspired me to start writing a novel. Still underated in my opinion and my drive to album.
On to 2008 the1st of our 3 Glasgow concerts, took the friends again, drove up through bleaching snow, at one point though we wouldn’t make it. A great day and night in Glasgow, despite Hubby on crutches. Home venues for the band are really special. We get to 2009, had tickets for Taomina as a 50th Birthday Present. 2 months before I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, i spent the Birthday in hospital instead. So to make up for missing that we went back to back to Glasgow SECC in Dec 2009. My kind oncologist timed my chemo so I would be in the middle of 4th & 5th cycle for the weekend of the concert. Ok so a bit weak and bald as a coot but still managed to enjoy.
2011 and the Forest Tour, we chose Dalby as closest to home, probably had the best weather of the tour, I was impressed to see so many younger fans at Dalby. 2012 and “The World Famous Barras”, Hubby had always been a fan of the early years and had been indoctrinating me for years and by then so was I. This place was something special, so was getting to it , through the streets of Glasgow on a Match Day. Found some hellish good pubs on the way. Forward a few months and having already booked a weeks holiday to Venice for Sept 2014 we threw caution to the wind & went to Rome. As I thought the nearest I’d get to my missed Taomina. Husband a bit nervous at getting out to the Racecourse by public transport & the little matter of arranging to collect the tickets at the venue to save a bit of money. But what an evening surrounded by distant hills with lights twinkling in the darkness.
We have since reflected & thought given Barrass & Rome we would probably call it a day not wanting to spoil memories by any more concerts & our increasing years. But then my dream concert was announced for this July Taomina. We deliberated, it’s 2 flights at an expensive time of year. Hubby said buy the tickets in case it sells out, I knew then I had a chance of going. 2 weeks later we booked a weeks holiday to Taomina. So I have to wait another year to replace my 18 year old bathroom. Life’s too short. And, yes I’m fine now, hair back and raring to go.
By Sheila Whittaker
My earliest Minds memory is borrowing a stack of 7″ and 12″ singles from my cousin, one of which was Celebrate. As a young teenager listening mostly to The Eagles, it blew my mind. I immediately became one of those tired students listening to John Peel under the bed clothes at night when I should have been asleep. At 17 I lied about my age to become a member at The Hacienda just to see Simple Minds live – I didn’t know then I was also becoming part of pop culture history. I had to leave early (damn those A levels), but I remember standing in awe at seeing Jim live, in real life!
In my late 20’s I was at Maine Road – a clear memory of jumping up and down with excitement on hearing the intro to Love Song (one of my all time favourite songs), and Jim announcing the last time they’d played the song live was 11 years ago at the Hacienda – I WAS THERE!! So I guess I was 28. I came back after a few years absence for the New Gold Dream anniversary tour – an album that meant so much to me when it originally came out. Was it really so long ago, and we’re really that old? I still knew all the words and loved hearing the older stuff again too, and had a really great night at the MEN arena. I’d been standing and dancing all gig through while the bald heads in front of me sat – Jim waved at me at the end of the gig (of course it was ME). I think it made the next year of my life.
November 2013 brought back a lot of memories – I’d seen Ultravox live at the Apollo in maybe ’81. But it’s Jim, always Jim, for me. I danced my feet off, he waved and spoke (obviously to ME), I grinned a silly grin for the next month. Well worth the aching knees (dancing for 2 hours on concrete is not good for 48 year old joints). Thanks guys, for all the memories, the music, the dancing. I’m the redhead who won’t sit down, if you want to wave again.
Wembley Stadium 1989
By Paul Hatley
Although I’d been aware of Simple Minds since Promised You A Miracle in 1982, it wasn’t until 1989 that I actually got to see them up close. I was just that bit too young for the Once Upon A Time tour, although I’d devoured both NME and Melody Maker reviews of now infamous shows at Milton Keynes and Ibrox from the summer of 1986 (and proudly sported the seemingly ubiquitous white t-shirt from that tour).
The closest I’d come was seeing them on TV for the Mandela concert at Wembley Stadium – summer of 1988 – middle of my GCSE’s. I wore out the VHS tape through repeated viewings. If one of my GCSE’s had included the question “at what point did Mel Gaynor lose his drumstick mid song and grab another without missing a beat?”, I’d have flown through those exams.
It wasn’t until 1989 that I was old enough to get that elusive ticket for their Street Fighting Years tour. Wembley Stadium, August 26th – arguably well past their true peak as live performers but no matter. I’d drunk in every song on that album as if my life depended on it, to me and a select few friends ( and still my very best friends) SFY provided the soundtrack to spring 1989 and ultimately to our later teenage years. The warmest of memories.
However, the truth is this – I remember nothing about the music from that day, just everything that happened around it:
1- Receiving four tickets through the post. Pinned to my wall and stared at for months – three silhouettes against a sunset. These were the days of proper tickets with silver foil that carried the theme of the tour, not like the tatty strips of cardboard you get today.
2 – Leaving home EARLY getting to Wembley mid morning, queuing by our allocated entrance for a 2pm opening, realising one of our group had a different gate number on his ticket, working through the logistics of meeting up inside (no mobiles, no social media).
3 – Being on someone’s shoulders (a girl? a friend? who was it and how did that happen?) for the start of the gig, someone throwing an apple at me and just about catching it before it hit my head to the cheer of surrounding masses. (It’s me with the white shirt you can see on the one video of that gig you can find on Youtube).
4 – The bagpipes, the suspense, the anticipation, the curtain dropping, the heat, the rain.
5 – Voice raw from singing (shouting), exhausted, uplifted, literally swept off my feet with the swell of the crowd and seemingly moved from one side if the stadium to the other time and time again for 2 and a half hours.
6 – I just about remember Ghostdancing, Jim Kerr doing his messiah thing down at the front, my friend almost touching his hand.
And that’s it until the very end. That’s all I remember until we started walking out of the stadium, one of my friends inexplicably singing ‘Take A Step Back’ (which they never played). So, my first ever gig, my best ever gig, drenched to my skin through rain and sweat, ears ringing, muscles sore. Brilliant days.
Palais Omnisports de Bercy, Paris 19th/20th June 1989
By Denis Shields
I have been a fan of Simple Minds since the early 80’s and still cherish the early gigs at the Barrowland ballroom,two of my other best gigs were Ibrox (what a day) and a recent Aberdeen gig. The most special for me was Street fighting years Paris 89. I had purchased tickets to see them with a friend and planned to travel by bus. I wrote to the bands Management at the time to ask if there was any chance of meeting the band when there…. they replied no, lol.
I took some abuse from my friends for being so stupid which was fair enough. A few weeks later I got a phone call from MTV (who I had not heard of at the time believe it or not) and they asked if they could come to my house to ask me questions and if I got enough right I could win a trip to see and meet the band in Paris, I said YES.
When the day came for them to arrive I was sitting on my doorstep when suddenly a camera crew (MTV) came round the corner and presented me with tickets to meet the band and interviewed me for a video they were making for the band. I had never been so excited, I had to fly to Paris, stay in a hotel, attend the gigs and meet the band.
I had never flown before and encountered problems with my ears on the flight to London where I had to transfer, when we landed in London I was sent to the airport doctors and he took my tickets and marked them unfit to fly, I had never felt so sick and did not know what to do, I did not have much money on me and phoned my mum who told me to get straight home…. but I did want to lose this opportunity and was desperate to meet the band so I found out I could get a train and ferry from the airport to Paris and booked a ticket which left me with very little cash. I went to the airport desk and asked them to put a call out in Paris cdg and let the people who were waiting on me that had to get the train, they said they could put the message up but would not know if it would be seen.
I called my mum to tell she went mad lol. My idea was to get to Paris and if there was no one to meet me I would phone around to find out what hotel they were in…. (yes I was that naive) anyway half way there I realised how stupid I had been and started to panic. A few ladies noticed this and asked what was wrong, they were from the Philadelphia harmonic orchestra and were doing a gig in Paris and said if there was no one at the train station (which was going to be 7.30 at night and i should have been at the airport at 11 am) that they would help me out, fortunately someone was there and what a sense of relief I had, he took me to the hotel in Paris and I met some really nice people from MTV who then took us all out for a drink (I needed one badly).
The next day we were taken around with Paris and filmed and interviewed, there were 4 of us, myself, someone from America, Japan and New Zealand. We got to go to gigs on both nights, we had backstage passes, got to meet the band and the band even unbelievably took us on stage. I will never forget Paris 89 the street fighting years gigs for me were some of the biggest and best staged gigs the Minds have done although my favourite album is still Sparkle in the rain, in fact I love it so much I had the sleeve tattooed on my arm.
Rock City, Nottingham 2006, Black and White and Graffitti Soul
By James King
I have loads of memories listening to my parents copy of the first Greatest Hits CD “Glittering Prize 81/92” when I was around 6 or 7 years old in the early – mid-Nineties. Growing up listening to that CD was my first real taste of Simple Minds and their firm grounding within the musical landscape. By the time I re-discovered Simple Minds in 2004/2005 at the age of 18 I was buying records (CD’s) myself and started listening to their rather impressive back catalogue – “Sparkle in the Rain” and “Street Fighting Years” being their two stand out albums for me back then and they still are now.
I have seen Simple Minds live three times, but the best gig of their’s by far-and-away was at Rock City in Nottingham In February 2006 as it was such an intimate venue and they were touring on the back of their latest release “Black and White 050505”. That gig for me personally was amazing because they pretty much played the new album Black and White in its entirety – which was amazing as they relied less on greatest hits and instead on the awesome energy that particular albums tracks reflected being played live. I remember i was at that gig with my uncle and we both agreed that that show was catering for the hardcore fans rather than the mainstream (greatest hits tour crowd), we also agreed that Black and White 050505 was the best album to play live and it felt as if that album was made to be played live.
Since then, “Graffitti Soul” has been a definitive album during my years as a student because i feel its an album that just has a good song one after the other after the other – and that’s the mark of a definitive album. I look forward to a future release of new music from the band and hope some more of theirs gigs are played in smaller venues which play more of the supporting albums songs and less greatest hits.
The Soundtrack Of My Life
By Andy Rawcliffe
I have Many Great Memories of Simple Minds through the years. From the Halcyon days of my first Minds gig in 82 to the Stadium and Arena Tours that were to follow. And back to the small personal 5×5 tour of recent years. I write this as I await my next Simple Minds Gig In Manchester with support from another of my favourite bands Ultravox I feel like a child eagerly counting down the days till Christmas, excitement growing by the day.
There are too many good memories to write down but generally Simple Minds Are the Soundtrack of My Life ! I can relate to moments in my past by remembering concerts and the people who I shared the event with. I met my future wife at a Simple Minds Concert and proposed to her at a SM Gig (as she accepted the band played Promised You A Miracle), to the wedding where we walked down the aisle to the pulsating beat of Waterfront (everyone’s face was a picture) much to mine and my now wife’s amusement .
To the 30th Anniversary Tour as my grown-up son joined me in a rendition of New Gold Dream to the forthcoming concert that my teenage daughter will now be joining the rest of us for the first time ‘Alive & Kicking’ will be a family event believe me !! Funny though as I always treat every Minds Gig as if it will be the last time I get to see the guys perform !? That way every tour announcement is like a lottery win to me !! Here’s to many more wonderful memories and thank you Jim, Charlie and the guys.
The Dome, Brighton 1982
By Martin Knudsen
Looking back I can’t remember if it was 81 or 82. My best friend Graham, his mate, Paul (a better dancer than all of us) and I caught a train from skanky backwater Crawley to glittering Brighton to witness the New Gold Dream. How can you describe to anybody the thrill of being 15 or 16 and having the golden ticket to see a band that only a select few of you know, and you know is going to go stratospheric, just before it happens? That’s what it was like on that night. It was a coming-of-age gig.
The band were simply awesome – juddering, stuttering, swaggering – confidence raining down on us. They knew they were about to become massive and so did we. Later on, they tried to do great things with their celebrity. There’s nothing wrong with that and history will hopefully applaud them for taking a stand. I will always remember them best for that October evening, when I felt like we could change the world with music.
O2 Academy, Newcastle 2012
By Stuart Holland
My Final Farewell
I’ve been a fan off Simple Minds for over 30 years now, going back to when they were a support act to ‘Magazine’ and they strolled into my home town of Ayr, Scotland and changed my life forever.
But like all good things, sooner or later they have to come to a end and due to my health my end was the 8th of July 2012 at the O2 Academy in Newcastle, England.
With the help off Elaine from Quintus Management I had managed to get hold off a back-stage pass and hopefully meet up with the guys at the end and finish my ‘live adventures’ with a bang. But unknown to me, that day was about to take a dramatic turn for the better. On the day off the show I was feeling really ill and was actually considering cancelling, but around lunch time my mobile phone rang and I was shocked when Elaine answered asking me if I’d like to come down earlier and watch the band rehearse. Well I jumped at the chance and headed to Newcastle as soon as I could.
When I eventually got parked Elaine called again and told me to go round the back where the roadies were unloading the van. When i got closer to the back doors I could hear them already rehearsing. At one point my heart was beating that fast I actually thought I was going to pass out (remembering this has been my dream for over 30 years and it was coming true right before my eyes……WOW! what a buzz)……. Anyway when I got into the arena myself and Elaine were the only two on the dance floor and before my eyes were Simple Minds on stage rehearsing, and trust me it was deafening, but amazing.
After a while the band went into an instrumental and Jim left the stage, then I saw him walking straight towards me with a record under his arm (that was for the band to sign). We chatted for around 15 minutes and I also met the rest off the band, got the photos, signatures etc and then Jim said they were going for something to eat and it was nice meeting me and Elaine would look after me and made sure I got a good seat. I honestly thought that was it and to be honest so did Elaine, but to our surprise (and later I was told that nobody could ever remember a time were Jim has ever done this before) he stopped while he was walking away and turned around and asked me if I’d like to join him and have something to eat. WOW! I jumped at the chance and sat down with Jim, Charlie and Ged and chatted away for another hour at least.
At one point Elaine gave me my back stage pass to wear and instantly I asked Jim if he’d like to swap passes, so I ended up with Jims personal pass which was a top souvenir. Also at one point in went over to the shop and asked me which t-shirts I liked and grabbed them for me, which was very kind off him. Anyway my last live show was one to remember and one that will never be topped, so honestly can anyone tell me a better way to bow out ?
Hyde Park 2013
By Pete Bell
I have just returned from UK, where I was over to attend my son’s wedding. I was lucky enough to get a guest pass at Radio 2 in the Park, 8th Sept, 2013. Unfortunately I was late getting there and I got through the gate just as Simple Minds finished their set. I was gutted, being a fan since the early 80’s. It was them I went to see. Anyways, I got a burger and sat in the guest area, under cover, because it had rained earlier in the day. I sat beside two Scottish ladies, mother and daughter. They said stay here, because everyone has to pass to get to and from the stage.
Twenty minutes late, one of the ladies says “isn’t that the guy from Simple Minds”? I look up and shout it’s Jim Kerr. I rushed over, shook his hand and I told him I was a long term fan, loved their music, said he had a fantastic voice and they are a fantastic band. I said I’d missed their set and he said “We were on a wee bit early”. I sat back down elated. Five minutes later along comes Charlie Burchill. I shouted “Charlie Burchill”, he looked over and I rushed over to shake his hand and tell him I was a great fan, love his guitar playing (I play guitar and sing in Crete, where I now live ).
Thanks Jim and Charlie! The day had started off badly, but ended up a magic day. Long may they tour! I’m playing a live CD from the Bournemouth gig as I type this.
O2 Academy, Bournemouth 2013
By Martin Green
I have been following Simple Minds since 1985 and have seen them 6 times at various concerts around the country, but without doubt the most enjoyable was April 15 this year in Bournemouth. The close proximity to the band, the banter, the play list, the atmospheric ambiance of the small arena made it a perfect gig for me. Although they will still fill the larger stadiums, the intimacy at Bournemouth was the icing on a very large cake.
I have read quite a lot of negative comments on YouTube about the group, and how a couple of the band are now expats. What has this got to do with the music they play and the quality of their performances. Answer this: would you not go and see Madonna or Bruce Springsteen because they don’t live in England! They must be doing something right to be able to continuously tour world wide. Thank you guys for many fond memories over the years and the maturity that has now found its way into your performance’s. May it long continue so I can see you again before I turn my toes up.
Manchester Apollo 1982
By Neil Duffy
I first went to see Simple Minds at the Manchester Apollo in November 1982, The New Gold Dream Tour. I remember that night like yesterday with title track New Gold Dream still as fresh now as then over 30 years ago. Just seen the band at the Hyde Park concert and I’m going to Birmingham in November. My youth is being revisited! Happy days.
Sparkle In The Rain / White Hot Day
By David Laughlin
I had the most intense and shattering holiday romance of my life to the sounds of Sparkle in the Rain. Unsurprisingly it ended in ‘Dear John’ and heartbreak. 30 years on ‘White Hot Day’ still takes me straight back to that time and those feelings. She’s still there tucked away. I try to explain to my kids what ‘The Minds’, that album and that song means to me, but it’s hard to understand when all they have is a diet of over-produced commercial drivel for the music of their youth. ‘Time flows, time flies…’
Maastrict, Netherlands 1989
By John Willems
I was and am still a big fan of Simple Minds. The Mandela concert, yes I think that was one of their best. But I saw them one time live, in Maastrict, Netherlands. Very good concert and Jim fell off the stage, but unhurt. Now I’m surprised that they still tour, because for a long time it seems to have been quiet without them. I wish them all the luck… Simple Minds, still one of the best!!
Glasgow Barrowlands 1984
By Fiona Fitzsimmons
I have loved Simple Minds since a boyfriend introduced me to them in 1983. The following year we went to a concert at the Barrowlands in Glasgow. The atmosphere was, to use a hackneyed expression, ‘electric,’. I think it’s always special for a band when they perform in their hometown and the crowd were almost beside themselves by the time the guys took the stage. I was almost at the front so I could see everything and Jim was utterly spellbinding as ever. At one point he sang ‘Light My Fire’ by The Doors. I had never heard the song and thought it was some new track they were testing out on us, haha!
At one point a huge guy in front of me started crushing me and I couldn’t breathe, in desperation I BIT his back! It had the desired result and he turned on me as if he was about to put my lights out but on seeing I was just a wee lassie, he & his mate lifted me up onto their shoulders and I saw the rest of the concert from there :-). There has never been another band whose, music has touched me the way theirs has. I’ve gone from owning their albums on vinyl to CD and now they’re on my iPhone! My 15yo self would never have believed I’d still love them 30 years later but I’m so glad I do.
On a side note, in the early 90’s I worked in a shop in Glasgow and Michael McNeil came in with a girl. I recognised him immediately and despite him being my secret favourite I ran away & hid downstairs till he’d gone. I always regret this. So, Michael, I’m sorry I didn’t come & tell you how much your keyboards made the music speak to me.
Alive & Kicking
By Paul Neeson
Let me see I have so many great memories of tours and records, but as my best mate Jason Andrews has said 1989, at Wembley was special. As he said it all started with one cassette of Live In The City Of Light at school. One I could choose would be Alive and Kicking from that album as it brings back memories of Jase, me and other members of my family singing at the top of our voices at my 30th birthday, or Different world as it brings back the wonderful time we had at Jims hotel for my 40th two years ago.
There is one gig that hurts and will for a long time and that was 30 years live the chance to hear New gold dream in full. So there I was two dates booked Wembley and I the other was Sheffield had been looking forward to this for so long and then BANG I was rushed into hospital the day before the Wembley gig for an emergency operation so this to me is the tour that never was tour.
But all is not bad I other fond memories like when on my birthday Jase snatches my programme out of my hand runs up the road after Charlie and says “CHARLIE” just before he boards the tour bus “can you sign this for me its my mates birthday” so I have a personally signed birthday wish from Charlie, and when we got invited back stage at Bournemouth by Eddie to meet Jim and stood gobsmacked and in shock that no words would come out from any of the group when Jim asked a question (Have spoken to them since then).
The stand out gig for me was Brighton Black and White tour when during Jeweller to the stars I was lost in the magic and Jim must have noticed as his hand reached out into the crowd it felt like I was the only one there and I just reached up and grabbed it, afterwards Jase and myself managed to sneak down the side passed everyone to get our shirts signed by the entire band.
Wembley Stadium 1989
By Jason Andrews
As a long standing fan of 25 years plus I have loads of memories from different concerts, releases,songs etc but here goes with my memory of events leading up to my first Minds concert at Wembley Stadium on 26/08/89.
Having heard a number of their chart hits during my school days in the 80s I had liked what I’d heard but had not got any of their music myself. All this changed with the release of Live in the city of light. It was the hottest album in our school at the time with all the cool kids having copies. It could be heard on everyone’s Walkmans and you were not in the in crowd unless you got a copy. I bought my double cassette and was hooked immediately. There were no concerts on the horizon so I’d have to wait till I could go to my first live experience.
I watched the Mandela show on the tv and it just made me hungrier to see them live. I joined the RAF early in 1989 just after Belfast Child was number 1. It was down at Woolworths in Barry, South Wales where I bought Street Fighting Years and it was just after this the moment I was waiting for, the tour was announced. It had to be Wembley Stadium, seeing a band I was really growing to love in such a world famous venue.
I booked my trip through the local paper in Rainham, Kent, with coach trip and ticket included. I couldn’t get the coach from Rainham as it was sold out so I had to go down to Canterbury and as a result did not go with my best mate Paul and never saw him on the day itself. I remember standing on the hallowed pitch waiting for it to start and the crowd singing the U2 song 40 just before it started for real.
Early on I was getting crushed so made my way up into the stands but all I could do was look down at the masses going nuts on the field and wishing I was back amongst them. Down I went again and this time stayed there, getting there just in time for what is still for me the most amazing atmosphere ever. The place went nuts during Waterfront and it felt like I’d moved round the entire field during it such was the bouncing of the crowd.
The rest of the show was awesome and i will never forget the show, crowd or occasion. Walking back to the coach I felt deflated as it was over but I knew that it would not be the last time I saw this great band. I’m still just as into them now as back then and look forward to seeing them in the incredible arena that is the O2.
Womad Festival, Shepton Mallet 1982
By Alan Gebbie
Driving a 900 mile round trip to Shepton Mallet in my old beat up ford escort and having to abandon it on the way home on the M6. Quote from the mechanic “bury it son”, I travelled the last 300 miles home on the train.
Street Fighting Years
By Jonathan Kennedy
This isn’t my favourite Simple Minds album (New Gold Dream) or the best in my opinion (Sons and Fascination, Sister Feelings Call). But it was the one that opened my eyes to so much. I was 16 at the time and to someone growing up in a rural part of Northumberland it shook my world. Songs like ‘Belfast Child’, ‘Biko’ and ‘Mandela Day’ took me to a different world.
I remember buying a book of lyrics in which the band explained the songs and that opened my eyes to what was happening in South Africa and Northern Ireland. It started a journey that shaped my political beliefs and future career as a History teacher. To my delight, I have managed to play songs such as the oft-derided ‘Mandela Day’ (how many other bands actually bothered to write a song for that concert) to my classes and they still pack a punch.
Simply, I wouldn’t be in the job I do, and vote the way I do, without this record. I don’t play it much these days, and my musical tastes have changed over the years with me turning more towards the early less politicised Simple Minds, but it is very special to me