‘Music Week’ Jim Kerr interview
‘With many acts citing Eighties influences, Simple Minds’ Jim Kerr believes the band’s new album makes them as relevant as they ever were. Many contemporary bands seem to be inspired by the period when you were at your height. How do you feel about that?
JK: We were influenced ourselves by bands, some of whome are still around, so it’s really down to the cyclical nature of music. I get excited when I hear something that reminds me of Simple Minds. It feels nice. Do you think this makes your new album sound quite contemporary?
JK: The new album is pretty contemporary anyway. We set ourselves a task that sounds easy but was nigh on impossible, which was to make an album that was completely Simple Minds. But something happened and the band clicked. This album is the sound of a band on form. Why are you living in Italy now?
JK: It’s in Sicily, actually, in Taormina. I’ve been coming here for more than 20 years. I first came here on tour, so in a sense it was music that brought me here. I’ve always loved it and thought it would be a great place to work from. I can speak the language and I feel really integrated. The move has reinvigorated me and that’s had a beneficial effect on the music. You’ve signed to Sanctuary – why them and what’s it like working with them?
JK: They were keen to sign us and they’re a company we’ve been watching. it mainly came down to the job they did with Morrissey where they took him to a new level, which made us realise that Sanctuary wasn’t just a catalogue label. It’s also because of a guy called John Williams in A&R; there. It’s a funny thing to say, but it’s nice to talk to someone in the music industry who knows about music. He’s a complete joy to work with. Is ther still a political edge to your work? If so, what are your current concerns?
JK: We always want to write about the themes that surround us. A number of the tracks on the album are written from a more internal perspective, but songs like Black & White certainly deal with more external themes. Not in an overt way, but I think that’s me looking around at the world we live in. Does playing live still give you the same buzz?
JK: We’re first and foremost a live band and we’ll be on the road next year. Before that there’s talk of doing a few media gigs in September. it’s something I love. Every time you step on stage you’ve got to prove yourself. Of which record are you most proud?
JK: If someone who didn’t know any of our music asked what they should check out first, I’d say New Gold Dream, as many think it’s our classic record. There’s also Empires And Dance, which is a big favourite with me as there’s something special about the imagination behind it. In terms of the political side you mentioned earlier, with things like Belfast Child, Street Fighting Years would be the one to go for. But a concentration of all of them would be the new one. Rarely do you make the record you really set out to make – its happened two or three times with us – but with this one there’s a real feel thats it’s among the best things we’ve done. I know everyone probably says that, but we feel that way about it. What do you think is the biggest change in the industry since the Eighties?
JK: There have been colossal changes. We started in the days before MTV existed, never mind the internet. it’s different in so many other ways – marketing didn’t seem so huge as it is now, for example. Which acts do you like these days?
JK: I really like The Killers. And I can understand why Coldplay are the biggest band in the world. On a less mainstream level, I also picked up the Antony & The Johnsons record recently and it was captivating. The new Simple Minds album, Black & White 050505, is released on September 12 on Sanctuary Records.
Monday August 1st 2005
Home CD1/CD2 Tracklistings > allmusic.com Review > The Silence And The Ecstasy Release Party >
Home CD #1 (Mini CD Single)
Catalogue No: SANXS388
1. Home – Radio Edit
2. Bird On A Wire
Home CD #2 (Maxi CD Single)
Catalogue Number SANXD388
1. Home – Album Version
2. Mighty Joe Moon
3. Home – Trixton Porteno Mix
4. Home – Enhanced Video
“Home” will be released across two CD singles. CD #1 includes a radio edit of “Home” backed with the non-album track “Bird On A Wire.” CD #2 includes the album version of “Home,” a rendition of Grant Lee Buffalo’s “Mighty Joe Moon”, the Trixton Portendo Dance Mix of “Home,” plus an enhanced video of “Home.”
‘With a sudden resurgence of Ô80s new wave from both revivalist acts (The Killers, Interpol) and reunions of the old guard (Duran Duran), the time is certainly right for other veteran acts to Ôget back in the ring,’ so to speak. And the Simple Minds have done just that, with the release of 2005’s ÔBlack and White 050505.’ Founding members Jim Kerr (vocals) and Charlie Burchill (guitar) are back once more, with an album that manages to incorporate both elements of their earlier, best-known work (such as 1985’s Once Upon a Time), as well as modern sounds.
That said, Kerr and Burchill wisely don’t stray too far away from their identifiable sound (a la U2’s post-Joshua Tree work). This is no more evident than in the track “Different World,” which doesn’t sound too far off from a more polished Dandy Warhols composition, or the soaring album opener, “Stay Visible.”
A major factor in the group’s creative rebirth can be attributed to the input of Bob Clearmountain, who previously worked with the band on their aforementioned 1985 album. Maybe something good is coming out of all this Ô80s nostalgia Ñ inspiration for older acts to issue surprisingly strong albums, as evidenced by ÔBlack and White 050505.’ ‘
by Greg Prato
‘The Silence And The Ecstasy’, German release party
Thursday July 28th 2005
Home Artwork > Black & White 050505 Radio Downloads > BBC Ceefax > Simple Plan Mexican Tourdates!
The artwork for Simple Minds’ first single release from the forthcoming album ‘Black & White 050505’ has been modified. ‘Home’ now incorporates the familar claddagh logo and a slightly different picture (see below). The tracklisting for the September 5th release is still unknown but will be released as two CD singles, check back soon for more details. ‘Black & White 050505’ downloads
Seven of the nine tracks from ‘Black & White 050505’ are now available to download online. Six tracks were taken from Billy Sloan’s Sunday night show with ‘Different World’ recorded from French Radio. Be warned, the overall quality of the mp3’s is poor but they will give you a good feel for what proves to be the Minds’ best album for a decade.
- Stay Visible
- Different World
- Underneath The Ice
- The Jeweller (Part 2)
- Black & White
‘The Vibe’ BBC Ceefax
Monday 25th July
‘Has anyone noticed how similar Coldplay sound like Simple Minds? Chris Martin even moves like Jim Kerr on stage’ Diane, Belfast.
Thursday 28th July
‘Diane – Chris Martin couldn’t lace Jim Kerr’s boots. What an insult to Jim Kerr’ Anon.
The two Mexican tourdates that appeared on www.pollstar.com has turned out to be incorrect, the dates were infact for Simple Plan!
Monday July 25th 2005
Underneath The Ice > Billy Sloan > Mexican Tourdates > Reviews/Articles > contactmusic.com >
Underneath The Ice download
Underneath The Ice can be downloaded here.
Billy Sloan Clyde 1 Radio show 24th July 2005
Billy Sloan played two more exclusive tracks from ‘Black & White 050505’ last night along with two tracks that got their premier last week. The four tracks were:
- The Jeweller (Part 2)
- Underneath The Ice
Two Mexican tourdates have been confirmed for the 24th and 25th of September, click here for more details.
• Sat 24/09/2005 – MEX Palacio De Los Deportes, Mexico City
• Sun 25/09/2005 – MEX Auditorio Coca Cola, Monterrey
Crashing Beats & Fantasy ‘Reviews / Articles’
The ‘Reviews / Articles’ section has been updated to incorporate a full chronological listing, this will hopefully be more user friendly. The most popular section of ‘Crashing Beats & Fantasy’ now contains 192 reviews / articles with more to follow!
Killers Inspire Simple Minds Comeback Article
KILLERS INSPIRE SIMPLE MINDS COMEBACK
Scottish rockers SIMPLE MINDS have credited THE KILLERS with inspiring them to release their first new album in three years. The DON’T YOU (FORGET ABOUT ME) stars – JIM KERR and CHARLIE BURCHILL – are thrilled their trademark new wave music has garnered renewed popularity thanks to bands like The Killers. And they’re taking advantage of current musical tastes by releasing their latest disc, BLACK AND WHITE in September (12).
Kerr explains, “New wave is big again with bands like the Killers. We wanted to make an album once again that was full of dramatic and atmospheric pop music. “We felt that we needed an album that proved as much to ourselves as anyone else, that the big-beating heart of Simple Minds was very much alive and driving us on once again. “I feel that the way Home kicks in with Charlie’s signature soaring guitar riff, there could be no better way off announcing to the world that Simple Minds had recaptured the kind of uplifting musical spirit that defined our best work.”
Tuesday July 19th 2005
Sanctuary Records Website >
Sanctuary Records UK website updated
Sanctuary Records’ UK website has been updated with news of the forthcoming ‘Black & White 050505’ release.
Simple Minds – Black & White 050505
Brand New Studio Album And Single In September
After a three-year hiatus, Scottish rock legends Simple Minds return in September with a brand new single and studio album. ‘Black & White 050505’ (released on 12th September) is their first album since signing to Sanctuary Records earlier this year and is already being hailed as their best long player since 1982’s ‘New Gold Dream’. The album, which was produced by Bob Clearmountain, recalls the sweeping, vast sound that characterised their biggest hit albums, ‘Sparkle in the Rain,’ ‘Once upon a Time’ and ‘Street Fighting Years’ and should see the emergence of a whole new generation of fans whilst satisfying the current worldwide fanbase.
A single entitled ‘Home’ will precede the album’s release on Monday 5th September and will be backed by non-album bonus tracks across two separate CDs. It is indicative, if somewhat horrifying, to discover that in my local city centre music chainstores, Simple Minds barely have a browser rack to themselves. In one store, there’s no sign of anything by the band, in the other just their ‘Silver’ box set and a couple of copies of the ‘Best Of’. Simple Minds, in truth, have slipped off the radar, arguably since 1985’s ‘Once Upon A Time’. By their own admission, things have been a bit rubbish in the past decade with a slurry of patchy albums and one of cover versions.
Will ‘Black And White 050505’ put them back in circulation? Damn right it will. If you can tolerate the U2 vibe (on the opening track ‘Stay Visible’, and it has to be said throughout the album) you also have to pinch yourself to remember that Simple Minds were stadium fillers in the eighties in their own right. U2 have also had their fair share of iffy albums but managed to maintain their profile, and I suggest that ‘B&W;’ may be Simple Mind’s ‘Atom Bomb’.
If Duran Duran and Depeche Mode can still hack it, there must be a market for Simple Minds. Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill form the core of the current band, with long-time drummer Mel Gaynor and Eddy Duffy on bass. The first single ‘Home’ has a wonderful rolling rhythm, Kerr’s distinctive burr,and Burchill’s always tasteful guitar. Ditto ‘Jeweller’ which first appeared on 2003’s legendary ‘lost’ ‘Our Secrets Are The Same’ CD. One hopes that on this track, Burchill is permitted to let rip with an extended solo in the live context.
‘Kiss The Ground’ is yet another classic, a ‘Come Together’ bass riff, and keyboards augment the wonderful hook. One might have hoped for some Burchill power chords to underpin matters but, hey ho, we’re talking economy and taste here, with everything in its perfect place. ‘Stranger’ actually reminds me of ‘Beautiful Stranger’, the Madonna track, but has a catchier chorus, whilst ‘Different World’ segues into ‘Underneath The Ice’ which perhaps best offers up the band’s blend of atmospheric electro-pop rock. If there is a formula on this album, it is economy. Although a short album, at a mere 41 minutes, on this comeback Simple Minds never overstay their welcome, maintaining the consistency and quality of the songwriting and each track worming its way into your consciousness with successive plays.
The band propose to tour this in smaller venues in the autumn, this could be a shock to their system but a wonderful opportunity for the punters to show their respects without watching a big screen. Empty browser racks? They’ll be filling up with back catalogue after the release of ‘Black And White’.
Review by David Randall
Billy Sloan Clyde 1 Radio show
Billy Sloan played four exclusive tracks from ‘Black & White 050505’ on his Clyde 1 Radio show last night. The tracks were:
- Stay Visible
- Black & White
All four tracks were received with positive reaction from the Minds community and the signs are pointing towards a ‘classic’ Simple Minds album, roll on September 12th!
Sunday July 17th 2005
Billy Sloan ‘Black & White 050505’ Article/Review > Sparkle* Through The Years Fanclub Day >
Scottish Sunday Mail ‘Black & White 050505’ article/review
DON’T YOU FORGET ABOUT US
In 1983, Simple Minds scored one of their biggest hits with the classic song Waterfront. Singer Jim Kerr wrote the epic track after a walk along the banks of the River Clyde in his native Glasgow. Now the Scots rock superstar hopes a song about his new adopted home in the Italian mountains will rocket his group back into the charts. On September 5, the Minds release the single Home – a track written about the beautiful town of Taormina in Sicily.
‘I turned up in Taormina five years ago and fell in love with the place,’ Jim told me. ‘It’s been a great inspiration and I really rediscovered my love for writing songs here.’ The single is taken from the Minds’ new album, Black And White 050505, which was recorded in Holland and Los Angeles The title refers to the date Bob Clearmountain – who has also worked with Bruce Springsteen, The Who, The Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney – finished mixing the album.
Jim said: ‘We wanted to make an album again which was full of dramatic, atmospheric pop music. We needed a record that proved as much to ourselves as anyone else that the big beating heart of Simple Minds was very much alive and driving us on. I believe Black And White 050505 is classic Simple Minds… with a whole new energy.’
Here’s my exclusive track by track preview:
STAY VISIBLE: The opening track sounds like the theme from an espionage movie. Kerr recorded the passionate vocal in just one take. Destined to become a great song live.
HOME: A throwback to the Minds’ 1981 album Sons And Fascination. This slice of experimental pop is a cross between electronic Bowie and early Magazine. Will be a killer single.
STRANGER: The intro reminds me of Moby before Mel Gaynor’s power drums kick start the track. The ‘stranger beautiful stranger’ hook has the makings of another live Minds’ anthem.
DIFFERENT WORLD: The piano start leads into a driving mid-tempo rocker fuelled by trademark Charlie Burchill guitar and great double-tracked vocals.
UNDERNEATH THE ICE: There’s a tribal feel to the backing vocals as Kerr sings: ‘When I saw you skating by/ I was underneath the ice.’ The album’s BIG slow song.
JEWELLER: The original version was included on the Minds’ great ‘lost’ album Our Secrets Are The Same. The group have updated the track and it fits in perfectly.
BLACK AND WHITE: A brilliant haunting epic destined to succeed classic Minds’ hits such as East At Easter and Let It All Come Down as a live finale. I think this is one of the best things they’ve done in years.
KISS THE GROUND: Opens with more fine Burchill guitar leading into another moody Kerr vocal. Low-key verse which doesn’t really come to life until the hook.
DOLPHINS: The electro-intro is a nod to their great heroes Kraftwerk. Kerr’s vocals are eerily reminiscent of former mentor Peter Gabriel. Musically, this track is a real leap of faith but they have saved the best until last. Fantastic.
Billy Sloan, Scottish Sunday Mail
Sparkle* Through The Years Fanclub Day
On the 3rd of september, 2005, on the eve of the release of “Home”, the first single from “BLACK & WHITE 050505” (release date: 050905),Simple Minds Belgian Fanclub, Sparkle* Through The Years vzw, proudly presents: … yet (or should we say: finally!)…. another… Sparkle* Fanclub Day ! Saturday, September 3rd, 2005 from 16.00 CET on…
Place to be: Paddy’s Celtic Bar, Sationsstraat, Aalst (B).
• DJ sets by dj moon* and a yet to be confirmed act
• LIVE MUSIC by the awesome dutch simple minds tribute band 1984! (http://www.1984-music.com/)
• More detailed and updated information about this event, to follow soon…
Keep checking http://www.sparkle.be regullarly to find out more!!! SPARKLE* HOPES TO MEET YOU AT IT’S SPARKLE* FAN CLUB DAY !!! You are most welcome!
Mark Van Mullem Chairman Sparkle* Through The Years vzw Simple Minds Belgian Fanclub
Saturday July 16th 2005
Saturday July 16th 2005
After more than two months of non-activity simpleminds.com has a new temporary home page. The eye catching design incorporates the artwork for the forthcoming single ‘Home’ along with the final design for ‘Black & White 050505’.
5th September 2005 (SANXD388)
Thursday July 14th 2005
Billy Sloan >
Billy Sloan, Radio Clyde 1
‘Scottish radio DJ Billy Sloan will be playing three tracks from the new Simple Minds album “Black & White 050505” on Clyde 1 Radio in Glasgow (Scotland) – Sunday July 17th between 7-10pm. To listen to Billy’s radio show on Sunday in real time, all you have to do is click on the following link –
• Once you are on the home page, go to the top left hand corner of the page.
• Once there you will see Billy’s photo, and it will say “On Air Now”.
• Once you see this, you will also see the words “Listen Now”. Simply click on “Listen Now”.
• Do not panic if you do not see Billy’s photo in the top left hand corner if you go on the site in advance, as the website automatically changes the photo of the DJ’s just as soon as their radio show starts on air.
• There is no facility to playback the shows as an audio stream. The only way you can listen to the show is if you tune in when the show is live on air.
• Once you click on the “Listen Now”, you’ll link into a web page where you can listen to the show in
“Real Player” or “Windows Media Player”. If you do not have the software already on your hard drive, you can download them from this link on Clyde 1’s site – http://www.clyde1.com/article.asp?id=13209 To find out more about Billy Sloan and his weekly radio programme, click here: http://www.clyde1.com/showdj.asp?DJID=19426 Billy has confirmed that one of the songs he will be playing will be the first single, “Home”, taken from the forthcoming album. For further info about the forthcoming album, click here: ‘
Noble PR Ltd.
Tuesday July 12th 2005
Sanctuary Records German Website > Festivalbar Festival >
Sanctuary Records ‘Black & White 050505’ review
The following ‘Black & White 050505’ review has been added to the German Sanctuary Records website, note yet another version of the cover artwork. The full review can be found here. ‘Don’t You… Forget About ME… who still believes, the Simple Minds now have its best times behind itself, will be surprised. After three years time-out and in the middle in a time of the Duran Duran, Depeche Mode and New Order revivals submit the Scots again a classical Simple Minds album.
Black & White 050505 is large emotional Pop, lets optimistic sounds with the musical spirit of the 80’s ring out again. The old fans enthusiastically, new to be won. Black & White is “typically Simple Minds however with a completely new energy”. More appropriate than of front man Jim Kerr could not be able to be described the recent large work. Affected by Roxy Music and often compared with U2 the Simple Minds – post office Punk volume Johnny and the Self Abusers into the Glasgower – to success history wrote: More than world-wide 20 million albums sold as well as numerous Top 20 hits occupy its grandiose position in the Popwelt.
After a three-year time-out and several less successful albums the simple Minds with full strength acknowledges: Let you convince of the epischen “Stay Visible”, the strong “Different World” or the melancholischen “Dolphins” – best in full volume! First single uncoupling will be “Home”‘ Festivalbar Festival, Arezzo apperance News of Simple Minds apperance at the Festivalbar Festival, Arezzo in Italy have been slow to surface. The band premiered the first single ‘Home’ from the forthcoming album ‘Black & White 050505’ on Sunday night (10th July). Details of the performance will be uploaded soon.
Saturday July 9th 2005
Stay Visible > Festivalbar Festival >
The opening track from the forthcoming album ‘Black & White 050505’ was premiered on France’s Pop Rock Station on RTL 2 on July 7th. The uplifting ‘Stay Visible’ has got the Minds’ community salivating in anticipation for the new album. With a pulstating bass line, driving guitar, thumping drums, an addictive keyboard riff and Kerr’s vocals full of passion and energy ‘Stay Visible’ sounds as good as anything the band have produced in many years, classic Simple Minds. If the album opener is anything to go by then we are all in for something very special on September 12th. ‘Stay Visible’ can be downloaded here.
Simple Minds will premier ‘Home’, the first single from ‘Black & White 050505’ this Sunday (July 10th) at the Festivalbar Festival, Arezzo, Italy. Check back on Monday for full details of the event.
Tuesday July 5th 2005
Noble PR Offical ‘Black & White 050505’ Press Release >
Noble PR ‘Black & White 050505’ Press Release
“Sanctuary Records are pleased to announce the worldwide signing of Simple Minds. The band will release their first album on the Sanctuary Records label in the UK and rest of Europe on Monday September 12 (US release date – September 13). Entitled “Black & White 050505”, the album is being hailed as a return to form to their classic atmospheric albums – 1982’s “New Gold Dream” and 1984’s “Sparkle In The Rain”. Recorded in Italy and Holland, the album and was mixed in Los Angeles by the legendary Bob Clearmountain (Roxy Music, Rolling Stones, INXS).
The first single taken from the album, ‘Home’, is released September 5th. To mark the release of the album, the band are planning a series of intimate concerts around the UK during September (dates will be announced in the coming weeks). The 2005 line-up includes original founding members, Jim Kerr (vocals) and Charlie Burchill (guitar), with longtime drummer Mel Gaynor, and bass guitarist Eddy Duffy.”
Noble PR Ltd
Click here for the full press release including news of possible UK tour dates in September, alternatively click on the banner at the top of the page.
Sunday July 3rd 2005
Simple Minds Go ‘Black And White’ On New CD
With new wave revivalists like the Killers and the Bravery storming the U.S. charts, first wavers Simple Minds have picked a splendid time to drop their first all-new studio album in three years. Due Sept. 13 via Sanctuary, “Black and White 050505” was recorded in Italy and Holland. Nearly 30 years after forming in Glasgow, founding members Jim Kerr (vocals) and Charlie Burchill (guitar) are still on board. “We can honestly say that we are delighted with the results and look forward with a totally revitalized outlook to this next phase of our ongoing creativity,” explains Kerr. “We feel with some certainty that people who grew up with Simple Minds will share our enthusiasm for this new work.”
Best known in the U.S. for the chart-topping love song “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” the group proved even more popular in Europe, where it has scored countless hit singles and albums. And while some classic rockers are attempting to keep pace with the young bucks by overhauling their sound completely, Kerr and company had a different mindset for their latest. “We wanted to make an album once again that was full of dramatic and atmospheric pop music,” he says. “We felt that we needed an album that proved as much to ourselves as anyone else, that the big beating heart of Simple Minds was very much alive and driving us on once again.”
The set will be preceded by first single “Home.” According to Kerr, it was a tough call. “There are a number of songs on the album that will make great singles. But I feel that the way ‘Home’ kicks in with Charlie’s signature soaring guitar riff, there could be no better way off announcing to the world that Simple Minds had recaptured the kind of uplifting musical spirit that defined our best work.”
Here is the track listing for ‘Black & White 050505’
- Stay Visible
- Different World
- Underneath The Ice
- The Jeweller (Part 2)
- Black & White
- Kiss The Ground
Greg Prato, N.Y.
Tuesday June 28th 2005
Bruce Findlay ‘Scotsman’ Article > Black & White 050505 Artwork > Home >
Bruce Findlay Interview
It’s one hell of a hard act to follow
TWENTY years ago, Bruce Findlay was standing at the side of a stage in Philadelphia, watching 90,000 music fans cheering on the top rock acts of the day. The former Edinburgh-based music producer and record shop owner was manager of one of Scotland’s most popular bands, Simple Minds, whom he had taken under his wing after seeing them perform in a tiny Glasgow venue in the late ’70s. On stage, the group’s frontman, Jim Kerr, was limbering up for their biggest performance, still in awe from what he and the enormous crowd had witnessed on a giant TV screen.
Across the Atlantic in London, rock giants Queen had just finished one of the greatest performances in music history – a gig that had been broadcast live across the world as part of Bob Geldof’s Live Aid spectacular. A crowd of thousands at Wembley stadium and many more watching the live link-up inside the JFK stadium in Philadelphia had been united by the music, clapping in unison to the chorus of Radio Ga Ga and entralled enthralled by Freddie Mercury’s immense stage presence.
For the Scottish band and their Capital-born producer, it was a tough act to follow. “That was probably the best live performance ever,” enthuses Bruce from his current base in York Place in Edinburgh. Twenty years on, although he has parted ways with Simple Minds and now manages new Scottish bands such as Aberfeldy, he still recalls the Live Aid show with tremendous fondness. “Just to be a part of that moment, where so many people raised their hands and started clapping to that song, was so special. I think we all knew right then that we were involved in something that was going to be legendary.
“I don’t think I ever saw Jim as nervous as he was then, though. I mean, how on earth do you follow something like that? “In the end, they stormed through Don’t You Forget About Me, which had been a number one record in the United States, and got the crowd singing along to the chorus. It was breathtaking. “But it was also chaotic. The whole Live Aid thing had to be so carefully planned and timed because it was going out simultaneously around the world.
“We’d been allocated a certain amount of time to do our set, but two songs in the band ended up running over. Bill Graham, who was promoting the US show, came over to me raging about it. He was just shouting: ‘Bruce, what the hell are you doing? Get them to stop. Get them off!’ “I signalled for the band to stop and they came off stage after finishing the song. But the next moment, Bill was screaming at me to get them back on because there’s still three minutes of their set to fill. It was total madness. No-one had a clue what was going on, but that’s what made it so much fun to do.”
Just a month earlier, Bruce and the band had been holed up in a recording studio in New York following the success of their chart-topping US hit. At that time Live Aid was just a pipe dream in the mind of an eccentric Irish punk rocker who had organised Band Aid – a collection of musicians who had made one of the biggest-selling records of all time. But as the live charity concerts started to become a reality, Bruce admits that Simple Minds the band were half-expecting to be asked to perform at them.
“I’d known Bob since his early Boomtown Rats days,” he recalls. “So I had a hunch that he might be planning a charity show. We were a little miffed that he hadn’t asked the band to be on the Band Aid single, but we jumped at the chance to do the Live Aid show. “Bob gave me a call and asked if we wanted to play in Philadelphia, because we had just had a really big single in the US. We didn’t hesitate – we said yes straight away. How do you turn something like that down? It was going to be huge and we wanted to be a part of it. “When we found out that Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton were going to be performing, and that Led Zeppelin were reforming especially for the gig, it started to sink in that this was something far bigger than we had ever imagined. We even shared a bus to the venue with the Rolling Stones.”
When the band arrived at the venue, Bruce says that both he and Kerr were like a couple of starry-eyed teenagers as they found themselves surrounded by rock legends and Hollywood A-list actors. “I’m a self-confessed groupie when it comes to things like that,” Bruce admits. “There are so many people who would give anything to be in that position, so we had to make the most of it. I was going up to as many really famous people as I could find and chatting to them.
“I remember that, at one point, all these security guys and this big entourage came through and told us to clear the way for this girl – who turned out to be Madonna. I’m standing there with Neil Young and Jack Nicholson and I’m just like: ‘Do you know who I’m talking to? There’s no way these guys are going to move for you’. “It was just such a great atmosphere. Bob probably managed to pull off something that the older Woodstock generation had been trying to do for years and it really did help to raise awareness for Africa across the world.”
However, with Geldof planning to bring the phenomenon back to life during the G8 summit next month, Bruce admits that he won’t be taking part in this yearÕs Live 8 concerts. He said: “I admire what he’s doing but, to be honest, I don’t think Edinburgh needs it. We’ve got all of the G8 marches going on anyway, so we don’t really need someone urging a million people to come to the Capital. And I don’t think it will have anywhere near the same impact as 20 years ago.
“The other problem is that people are going to look at the line-ups and compare them, which is unfair to bands like Travis and Texas who are playing at Murrayfield. I don’t understand why there needs to be a Hyde Park concert either. “It’s all taking place in Scotland, so why don’t all these huge guys like Coldplay, U2 and Elton John come up and play here? I wonder whether they’re doing it for their careers rather than the cause.
“I’ve got no doubts that what Bob is trying to do is right, but it could have been done better. Africa is such a talented continent and we could have put on so many other shows that demonstrate all of that culture. As it is, I’m concerned that Edinburgh might just have too much going on during that week and it won’t be anywhere near as special as Live Aid was.”
‘Black & White 050505’ artwork and single news
The cover for the new Minds album ‘Black & White 050505’ has started to appear on numerous web based shops, the below image was taken from amazon.co.uk and continues the ‘Claddagh’ theme from recent years. The new single ‘Home’ which is scheduled for release on August 29th has also appeared on pre-order at amazon.co.uk, the site as yet has no artwork or track listings for the aforementioned single so check back soon for more details.
Sunday June 19th 2005
Bruce Findlay ‘Live Aid’ Documentary > Sanctuary Records >
Bruce Findlay TV Apperance
Bruce Findlay made a welcome apperance on last night’s BBC2 three hour Live Aid documentary. Celebrating 20 years since the fund raising concert was performed in London and Philadelphia the documentary explains how the project was put together in just 10 weeks and recounts the enormous persusaion needed to bring together the world’s biggest rock stars whilst also focusing about the logistical and technical problems that were encountered.
Bruce explained how the Minds’ three song slot was nearly cut short due to US promoter Bill Graham. Graham was started to panic as he thought the band were overrunning resulting in Jim going to walk off stage after ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’ as Bruce had passed a message on stage that their slot had to end due to time restrictions. More confusion backstage followed and a bemused Jim Kerr then returned from the back of the stage and the band launched into ‘Promised You A Miracle’, all this infront of a TV audience of 1.5 billion!
A cracking documentary and it was great to see you again Bruce.
Sanctuary Records Profit Alert
‘Music Group Sanctuary, whose artists include Iron Maiden, slumped by 30pc as it issued a second profit warning this year. It blames a ‘slippage of record releases’ and higher costs from overseas expansion. Underlying earnings for the first half will be around 40pc below last year’s £10.5m. Full-year earnings are likely to be ‘very subsatantially lower’ than expectations. Sanctuary fell 13.5p to 29.25p. The group, in bid talks with a number of firms thought to include EMI and Warner Music, plans to review all of its divisions to ‘improve cash generation and profitability and reduce long-term debts’.’
Daily Mail Saturday June 18th
Friday June 17th 2005
Black & White >
New Album ‘Black & White’
Simple Minds’ long awaited album will be released on September 5th. There is some confusion as to its title as it has appeared on play.com as ‘Black & White’ but has also appeared on Sanctuary Records German site with the title as ‘Black & White 050505’ (the numbers appear to represent the actual date that the album was finished, 5th May 2005). The nine track album will be preceeded by a single release in August, the tracklisting is as follows:
Simple Minds – Black & White (Cat No: SANCD390)
- Stay Visible
- Different World
- Underneath The Ice
- Black & White
- Kiss The Ground
Monday June 6th 2005
McLive 8 > Marquee ’79 Review > Malcolm Foster Interview >
Simple Minds to perform at McLive8? The following article, written by Billy Sloan was published in yesterday’s Scottish Sunday Mail. Scotland Says make Poverty History: My Murrayfield Of Dreams EXCLUSIVE MIDGE URE has revealed the acts he wants to headline the Scottish Live8 gig – and it reads like a Who’s Who of pop.
The singer has lined up top bands Travis, Garbage, Wet Wet Wet and Texas to appear at a massive outdoor show at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh on July 6. Band Aid founder Midge hopes to confirm more big names this week including Bono of U2, Bryan Adams, Razorlight, The Killers, Simple Minds, Feeder, Teenage Fanclub and Maroon 5. He will also ask The Proclaimers to close the gig with a rousing version of their anthem I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles Midge revealed: ‘Travis are already on board. I spoke to Fran Healy and he told me they’ll be there no matter what. I want them for the main stage at Murrayfield.
‘I’m hopeful Shirley Manson of Garbage will fly in from their European tour. ‘I’m pushing for bands to join together, so you’d have Maroon 5 jamming something with The Killers. ‘We’ve got a chance of world figures such as the Dalai Lama or Nelson Mandela being there, too. It’s getting bigger by the day. ‘Wouldn’t it be absolutely amazing to hear tens of thousands of people sing along to 500 Miles by The Proclaimers? What a perfect song to finish with.
‘We’re hosting an event which will be unique and you cannot miss. You’ll want to be able to say, ‘Yes, I was there’. ‘There were 70,000 people in Wembley Stadium in 1985 for Live Aid. Only 70,000 in the entire world can truthfully say, ‘I saw Freddie Mercury of Queen steal the show’. You won’t want to miss this show in Scotland.’ Midge and his Band Aid partner Sir Bob Geldof hope to tempt up to one million people from around the world to Edinburgh.
They aim to stage a huge Make Poverty History rally to put pressure on the eight world leaders meeting at Gleneagles for the G8 Summit to wipe out Third World debt. Midge has slammed claims he is irresponsible for organising such an event. He said: ‘If it is irresponsible, it’s irresponsible for all the right reasons. ‘This isn’t about inviting a bunch of anarchists to smash McDonald’s window or trash some old ladies’ gardens. ‘The G8 is synonymous with that element but we’ve spoken to the police about such problems. We’re confident it won’t blow up in our face. ‘I’ll tell you what’s irresponsible – letting those leaders come here to sit in the lap of luxury then walk away after doing nothing.’
But what will Midge and Geldof do if leaders such as George Bush and Tony Blair ignore their pleas? Midge said: ‘I’ll tell you what people will do, they won’t vote for them again. ‘They’ll stand up and say, ‘I’ll actively vote against you because you’ve let us down. ‘Don’t for a second think Blair and Gordon Brown weren’t sitting in front of their TVs watching Live Aid. They were. I think Blair and Brown will do the right thing. As for the rest, I’m not sure.’ Midge has been overwhelmed by the public’s positive reaction to the Make Poverty History campaign – even though some of the messages have been hostile.
He said: ‘Yesterday, I got an email from a school teacher in Glasgow saying, ‘I’ll be there with the kids in my class’. How cool is that? That’s what it’s all about’ I also got personal emails from angry people saying, ‘You wanker. You idiot. If there’s a branch broken off a tree in my back garden I will hold you responsible’. ‘Others have emailed me saying, ‘Why don’t you hold this rally in the grounds of your big estate?’ What estate? I’ve got a modest family house in Bath.
‘For Live Aid, we all had a bit of spare cash in our pockets which we could put into the box for the cause. We also had six months to plan the event. ‘But we’re all so proud to have been a part of it and happy we were there.” Marquee, London 3rd July 1979 review Another rare early Minds review has been added to the ‘Life in A Day’ reviews/articles section. The review by Nick Kemp appeared in the July edition of ‘Superpop’. “My favourite song live was ‘Life In A Day’, charged up a bit but basically the same as on the album. This song makes The Cure & Co sound about as beefy as a side of pork!”
The full transcript can be found here.
Malcolm Foster Interview
A rare Malcolm Foster interview has been added to the reviews/articles section. The interview from the September 1990 edition of the ‘Guitarist’ can be found here. “Joining Simple Minds must have been Foster’s biggest musical challenge to date. Not only did he have to take over from Giblin, but there was also the legacy of Derek Forbes, whose fluid lines had a central melodic role in the band’s earlier material. Was it difficult getting to grips with their various styles? “Well, something like Someone, Somewhere In Summertime is a classic bass line, but very clanky, very Rickenbacker. I just play it as i would have always played it – a lot more bassy than Derek would have used. But then the band’s progressing, the bass is more of a foundation now.”
Wednesday June 1st 2005
Guinness Book Of Records >
Simple Minds make Top 100 chart
Simple Minds have been announced as the 67th most successful act of all time. The ‘Top 100 Most Successful Acts Of All Time’ book published by ‘The Guinness Book Of Records’ collates the number of weeks that each band/artiste has spent on the offical UK Singles and Albums charts since 1952, the Minds have notched up a total of 544 weeks ahead of such acts as The Eagles, Guns N’ Roses, Led Zeppelin, The Who, T.Rex and Bryan Ferry. The full list can be found here and the final Top 10 is as follows:
(1st) Elvis Presley 2,463 (2nd) Cliff Richard 1,972 (3rd) The Beatles 1,749 (4th) Queen 1,725 (5th) Madonna 1,653 (6th) Elton John 1,615 (7th) The Shadows 1,578 (8th) Michael Jackson 1,477 (9th) David Bowie 1,459 (10th) U2 1,402
Sunday May 15th 2005
Life In A Day Article & Review >
‘Life In A Day’ article & review
Simple Minds’ first UK article/interview has been added to the reviews/articles section. The article titled ‘Strangers In A Strange Land’ appeared in the ‘NME’ in its 17th February 1979 issue. Tony Stewart interviews the band just days before the Minds recorded their debut album ‘Life In A Day’ at Abbey Road, click here for full transcript. Also added is the first UK review for ‘Life In A Day’ taken from the 21st April 1979 edition of the ‘NME’, a relatively positive review by Tony Stewart can be read here.
‘Kerr’s lyrics create tension and an atmosphere not of warmth but a cold, cruel detachment that prohibits wishy sentimentality. They’re snatches of real life: remorse, resentment, frustration and – surprisingly – an old-fashioned morality: “Is it true you’re running around now/Is it true they’re calling you the Chelsea Girl”, Kerr primly sneers. Sharply pithy, his words also portray vivid scenarios. ‘Pleasantly Disturbed’ is theatrical, an aural thriller that’s not so much stated as suggested by the second verse in particular. “Meanwhile Susan goes out all alone/So many reasons but they’re not all her own/bend till you break, scream if you must/Someone’s in her room someone she don’t trust.”‘
Thursday May 12th 2005
Life In A Day Advertisement >
‘Life In A Day’ advertisement
A rare full page advertisement for the Minds’ debut single/album ‘Life In A Day’ has gratefully come into my possession. The simplistic design was featured in the 21st April 1979 issue of the ‘NME’ which also carried the Minds’ first UK review. The ‘Life In A Day’ album review by Tony Stewart will be uploaded into the reviews/articles section in the next couple of days.
Wednesday May 11th 2005
Reviews/Articles > mixthis.com > Ispwich Town FC > Messageboards >
A rare article from ZigZag, a late ’70s fanzine has been added to the ‘Life In A Day’ reviews/articles section. The article which was published in March 1979 is passionately written and a superb read for any Minds fan, enjoy.
‘I have never been this goddam excited about a rock ‘n’ roll band for ages. The monster media called New Wave is almost finished and the climate is right for an upheaval to break the monotony of bandwagonning ex-heavy metal losers and bozos that overindulge in calculated weirdness’.
Click here for full transcript.
Bob Clearmountain’s mixthis.com website has added a small piece dedicated to the Minds following their recent stay at the Los Angeles studio. The word ‘brilliant’ sounds very promising! Back in the ’80s Bob teemed up with the now record-mogul Jimmy Iovine to produce one of the Minds’ biggest albums, “Once Upon A Time” which is why he was excited when they asked him to mix their latest brilliant album, which has been masterfully produced by Jez Coad. It will be released in September on Sanctuary Records.’
Ispwich Town FC inspires ‘Sparkle In The Rain’
The following story was found on the below mentioned Today I Died Again messageboard.
‘Kerr’s headline grabber – Rock star Jim Kerr has revealed that the inspiration for the title of Simple Minds’ 1984 album, Sparkle In The Rain, was a Standard Sport headline. “Robson’s Ipswich sparkle in the rain” was our verdict on an impressive win by Bobby Robson’s high-flying Suffolk side and the phrase struck a chord with the songwriter.’
The story can be found at the ‘Evening Standard’ website.
With the temporary closure of simpleminds.com due to a re-design, a number of messageboards for the Minds faithful have appeared over the last week or so. If you are suffering from forum withdrawal symptons then you can post away to your hearts content at: Today I Died Again messageboard, Minds Alike forum or at Crashing Beats & Fantasy.
Sunday May 8th 2005
New Album Complete >
New album complete
Mixing has been completed on the eagerly awaiting new album. Mixed at Bob Clearmountain’s Los Angeles studio the album is on course for its September release date and will be the Minds’ first studio album since ‘Cry’ (2002). The long awaited album will be released via a licensing and distribution deal with Sanctuary Records and is “a return to form, a classic Simple Minds album, full of energy and atmospheric rock songs” (Jim Kerr).
Thursday May 5th 2005
MacNeil, Forbes, McGee > sm.com > New Album > Some Sweet Day 2005 > Crashing Beats & Fantasy >
Mick MacNeil, Derek Forbes and Brian McGee to work together on forthcoming project?
Mick MacNeil has hinted on his offical website that he hopes to start work with former Simple Minds members, Derek Forbes and Brian McGee in the near future. Check out the former Minds keyboardist’s messageboard for more information. Simple Minds’ offical site will be shut as of Friday 6th May ‘for a re-design’ and ‘will be back on line in the near future’.
New album being mixed
Simple Minds have moved on from their eight week stay at Wisseldoord recording studios and are now mixing new material at Bob Clearmountain’s Los Angeles studio. The album which is being produced by Jez Coad, engineered by Michiel Hoogenboezem & Arjen Mensinga and mixed by Clearmountain has a planned release date of September with a single release preceeding it in August. More information of the groups stay at Wisseldoord can be found here.
Some Sweet Day 2005
Todd Richards and Aaron Burke will again co-present 18 hours of Simple Minds music on August 4th. The Minds marathon will be aired by Cleveland’s WBWC and will feature material from last year’s ‘Silver Box’ release, the show will also be available via Real Audio. More information as it becomes available can be found at www.ebwc.com
Crashing Beats & Fantasy
Regular visitors will have noticed that I have made a few alterations to the site. A new designed home page influenced by the ‘Empires and Dance’ era has been created along with a new contents page which hopefully loads a bit faster than the previous one! I am still frantically trying to upload as many Minds articles and reviews as I can. A few gems have been added including a great interview (by Paul Morley) with Jim and Charlie from the ‘NME’ (January 1980),
also included is an article from ‘Sounds’ (September 1981) titled ‘It’s time we got our crown’, there is also a rare review of the ‘Rock City, Nottingham 17/09/81’ concert. More articles will be added soon. As you will be aware of by now a News section has been added to the site and I will try to update it as much as possible, so keep visiting! A big thank you for all the emails I have received regarding the site, your kind words are much appreciated. Keep dreaming the dream.