/ Reviews | Interactive
'SIMPLE MINDS TO PERFORM AT HYDE PARK, LONDON ++++
Simple Minds have been invited to perform at
a special concert to celebrate the 90th Birthday of Nelson Mandela.
The '46664 Concert' will be held at Hyde Park, London on Friday
June 27th where other invited bands include Queen + Paul Rodgers,
Annie Lennox, Leona Lewis, the Sugababes, Dame Shirley Bassey,
Razorlight, Andrea and Sharon
Corr, Eddy Grant, and Jamelia.
Along with musical guests numerous world figures will make an
appearance including President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Gordon
Brown, Will Smith, Ms. Oprah Winfrey, Robert de Niro and Forest
Whitaker are amongst those who will attend some of the events.
Lewis Hamilton, British Formula 1 driver for the Vodafone McLaren
Mercedes Formula 1 team will attend his very first 46664 event.
The concert will feature numerous unexpected appearances, with
several major artists keeping silent about their involvement in
order to take both Mr Mandela and the audience by surprise.
Among the specially chosen artists are many whom Nelson Mandela
is recognising for having voiced their support for him over the
past 20 years, dating back to London’s historic Free Mandela
concert of June 1988, which called for Mr. Mandela’s release
from incarceration on Robben Island and which Mr Mandela has said
gave him and his fellow prisoners great inspiration. Simple
Minds were instrumental in making the 1988 event happen.
Annie Lennox appeared with The Eurythmics and has since become
of one of the most active ambassadors for Mr. Mandela’s
46664 AIDS organisation.
Lennox, along with Dave Stewart and Queen’s Brian May and
Roger Taylor played a key part in the foundation of 46664 in October
2003. Since then, Queen and Paul Rodgers have gone on to write
songs especially for the organisation, including the track Say
It’s Not True from their forthcoming album which the band
donated to 46664 for World AIDS Day 2007.
46664 Nelson Mandela 90th birthday concert ticket information:
Tickets on public sale Friday 9th May 9am at www.livenation.co.uk
General admission tickets are £65.00 (plus booking fees).
For further information on '46664' events and projects please
visit the offical website www.46664.com
'SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE (IN SUMMERTIME)' COVER VERSION BY PETER SIMCOE
A truly breathtaking cover version of 'Someone, Somewhere
(In Summertime)' has been made available on the popular
'Simple Minded' website. The following press
release was supplied by Peter Simcoe.
"After taking a break for several months, the Simple
Minded blog is now kickstarted again with a fantastic
new version of Someone Somewhere in Summertime.
The keyboards / bass / vocals are by Christophe Avril [France]
with guitars from Pete Simcoe [UK]. To download this track please
go to http://fascinations.wordpress.com.
There should be more collaborations like this in the near future
and Pete Simcoe is bringing out a new collection of original material
with a 'Simple Minds' feel available for download in mid May featuring
collaborations with Simon Hayward of Sample Minds.
This will be available from www.simcoe.co.uk".
'Simple Minds Celebrate 30 Years Live' TOUR 2008' ++++
Simple Minds have announced plans
to perform a number of UK shows to celebrate 30 years in the music
business. The band will perform their legendary album 'New
Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)' in its entirety for the very
first time. The second half of the concerts will focus on the
bands more well known hits.
An excited Jim Kerr explains on
that they couldn't let this milestone
go by without performing live. "Strangely enough, now
that the time has probably come for us to maybe give a nod to
the past and the journey that has evolved over three decades,
I find that I am enthusiastically up for it."
Simple Minds Celebrate 30 Years Live UK TOUR 2008
27.11.2008 - MEN Arena, Manchester
28.11.2008 - NEC, Birmingham
29.11.2008 - Wembley Arena, London
01.12.2008 - Hallam FM Arena, Sheffield
02.12.2008 - International Arena, Cardiff
04.12.2008 - SECC, Glasgow
'Night Of The Proms' Tour Dates
Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill
have also announced plans to play live at the annual 'Night
Of The Proms'.
18.04.2008 - Spiroudome Charleroi, Belgium
18.04.2008 - Spiroudome Charleroi, Belgium
25.04.2008 - Pabellon Fuente de San Luis, Valencia, Spain
26.04.2008 - Plaza De Toros, Benidorm, Spain
24.10.2008 - Antwerps Sportpaleis, Antwerp, Belgium
25.10.2008 - Antwerps Sportpaleis, Antwerp, Belgium
30.10.2008 - Antwerps Sportpaleis, Antwerp, Belgium
31.10.2008 - Antwerps Sportpaleis, Antwerp, Belgium
01.11.2008 - Antwerps Sportpaleis, Antwerp, Belgium
06.11.2008 - Antwerps Sportpaleis, Antwerp, Belgium
07.11.2008 - Antwerps Sportpaleis, Antwerp, Belgium
08.11.2008 - Antwerps Sportpaleis, Antwerp, Belgium
14.11.2008 - Gelredome, Arnhem, Netherlands
15.11.2008 - Ahoy, Rotterdam, Netherlands
19.11.2008 - Ahoy, Rotterdam, Netherlands
20.11.2008 - Ahoy, Rotterdam, Netherlands
21.11.2008 - Ahoy, Rotterdam, Netherlands
22.11.2008 - Ahoy, Rotterdam, Netherlands
'JIM KERR POP ART PAINTING FOR SALE' ++++
A pop art painting of Jim Kerr has been placed for
auction on ebay. The painting which took 6 days to complete captures
Jim performing live in Switzerland in 2004. To view the picture
and auction details please click here.
About the painting
• Original painting of Simple Minds' Jim Kerr
• This is a real original painting and not a print of any
• The painting uses high-grade acrylic paint on a staple
free stretched canvas.
• The canvas measures 16 inches x 20 inches (406.4mm x 508mm)
on a box canvas of 0.5 inches deep, the sides of the canvas are
painted and is ready to hang.
• Title: Burning Gold Memories
• Size: 16" x 20" x 0.5"
• Medium: Acrylic
• Colours: Various
• Artist: Shaun Edwards
• 100% Hand Painted
• Painted Sides Wrap Around Effect
• Ready To Hang
• Original and not a print
• International bidders PayPal only
• Tracking codes are provided with all paintings
• A phone number is required for courier
All paintings are carefully packed. Your painting will be wrapped
in layers of bubble wrap then surronded by either corrugated card
or corrugated paper until there is a solid and strong box around
the painting. Finally they are wrapped in brown paper.
'CRASHING BEATS & FANTASY' NOW ON 'FACEBOOK'++++
A group dedicated to Crashing Beats & Fantasy
can now be found on the popular 'Facebook', spread the
word and join by clicking here.
KEYBOARD PLAYER REQUIRED FOR SIMPLE MINDED ++++
Ian Balm is able to join the group
as the lead singer and is currently looking to recruit the rest
of the band. Ian said, "What we're
currently aiming to do is to get something really amazing together
for fans of Simple Minds. There are other great Minds covers
bands out there but we hope to bring a refreshing take on Simple
Minds with some great musicians and a fantastic live show. Currently
I m looking for exceptional musicians to complete the line up
of Simple Minded.
We both have additional projects running alongside so we are looking
to "tour" twice a year - a Summer tour comprising of
Theatres, Arts Centres and Tribute Festivals in Europe and a Winter
tour taking in the best tribute venues and Theatres / Arts Centres.
We will rehearse throughout the weeks running up to a tour and
then whilst touring will play between 1 and 3 times a week. Because
the Simple Minds sound live is so unique we are looking for exceptional
musicians. I would also expect that you would need to be a fan
of the music to understand the complexities of the wall of sound
that is Simple Minds.
We will only do this if we can truly find the best musicians to
replicate the sound, so if you love the band and the music contact
us with your details and an MP3 demo and we can take it from there.
With Summer almost upon us preparations will begin in earnest
in the Autumn for a Winter tour but prior to that we would like
to get gig tight in other venues over the Summer and Autumn.
We are looking for:
Keyboards - the most essential and possibly one
of the hardest positions to fill. If you have heard Simple Minds
live you will appreciate the complexities and samples that are
happening in their live performance. You really will need to program
the intros and sample loops with perfect sounds such as the intro
to "Love song".
Drums - Mel Gaynor, always introduced as probably
the best drummer in the world and whilst a lot of people may contest
that he certainly is an awesome drummer. Without him, Simple Minds
would struggle to deliver the dynamic, forceful and driving beat
that they do. You will need excellent gear and great attention
Bass - Unsung hero of the Minds sound. Behind every Simple
Minds song there is a driving bass line. Again a critical part
of the band.
So there it is, thats what our wish list is. Probably nigh on
impossible to source but there must be someone out there somewhere
(in Summertime - corny I know, sorry).
We will push this hard to ensure that the sound is right as we
want to be competing with the other Simple minds tributes across
Europe as it is them currently that are playing the tribute festivals
across France, Germany and Holland that we want to be doing.
Apply now with your details, demos and any links to your
myspace / websites and hopefully with a bit of luck we could be
on to something good.
Check SIMPLE MINDED WEBSITE http://fascinations.wordpress.com
to hear some early stage demos of the band!!!!
OLD SIMPLE MINDS FOOTAGE WANTED ++++
Any Minds fan that has visited youtube
recently would of no doubt come across Stuart's superb Simple
Minds site with its collection of rare footage from over
the years. Stuart has asked for help in hunting down rare footage
of the band from the 'Street Fighting Years'
& 'Real Life' years and if possible any earlier
Anybody that can help should email Stuart at email@example.com.
With over 170 videos available for viewing Stuarts site is a
must visit for any Minds fan and can be found at http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=stuartbluenose
Keep up the good work Stuart.
Simple Minds To Tour Down
Minds are considering a surprise return to live concerts in Australia
and New Zealand early next year.
Although as of yet no contracts have
been signed and therefore no dates absolutely confirmed, serious
negotiations are however underway.
Despite the fact that some agencies
are already announcing dates currently, we can asssure again that
as from today nothing has been 100% confirmed.
Q The Essential Music Quiz
Vision has teamed up with EMAP to create their first interactive
DVD “Q: The Essential Music Quiz”.
The iDVD will have a very limited pre-release,
in the form of table gifts to the artists and celebrities attending
the Q Awards on the 30th October, prior to the nationwide release
on 27th November.
The interactive DVD features Simple
Minds amongst other all-time favourite artists with more
than 800 questions in 8 sections. All the artists and clips featured
were vetted by Q’s editorial team, and are organised around
eight different sections based on the key features from the magazine
(Words Of Wisdom, Excess All Areas, Cash For Questions, Q Radio,
Rewind, Rising, Undercover and Behind The Song).
For a chance to win a Electric Epiphone
Guitar then visit the Q Interactive DVD website http://www.qtheessentialmusicquiz.com.
Release Date: 27th
Links page updated
The Crashing Beats & Fantasy 'Links'
page has finally been updated, if your site is not listed then please
me with full details. To visit the links page then please
James Dean Bradfield (Manic
Street Preachers) - Simple Minds 'Empires & Dance'
bought it because I heard [the song] I Travel on an old Radio
and I couldn't reconcile it with the band that had done Don't
You Forget About Me.
You've got this vaguely soul voice
making a cold, glacial, European album. There's hardly any machinery
on it. It's one of the truly futurist organic records, cold-sounding
but engaged - a massive contradiction but it works. It has the
courage of its convictions from the first track to the last. I
tried referencing it so many times on The Holy Bible and it didn't
You can't understand what Simple Minds
were after they made this or what they were before they made it
- it came out of nowhere. It's like if somebody saw Robert De
Niro in The Fan, they'd never assume he'd made Taxi Driver.
It really is one of the lost British
albums but nobody will ever quote it because they can't stand
the idea of a fashionable Simple Minds record.
The Guardian 6th October 2006
SIMPLE MINDED TRIBUTE BAND LATEST NEWS ++++
Peter Simcoe's new tribute band Simple
Minded have released their first demos via their newly
launched website and I urge you to take a listen. With vocalist
George Porter now on board the guys have delivered
a cracking version of Hypnotised along with instrumental
versions of War Babies, One Step Closer
and my personal favourite, Come A Long Way. If
people are still interested in this exciting project then they
can contact Peter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read Peter's first Simple Minded blog and
to listen to the impressive demos then visit http://fascinations.wordpress.com
Keep up the good work guys.
T on the Fringe, Edinburgh
Review, The Sunday Times
the usual scheme of things, any band that could be described as
a nostalgia act will find itself subject to the laws of diminishing
returns. Where once they stayed in the best hotels and hit arena
stages running, heroes of bygone may find themselves booked into
a last-minute B&B on the edge of town and shuffling into small-scale
venues to face dozens of fans whose interest in popular music
died many years ago.
By this admittedly narrow definition, Simple Minds cannot be discounted
as a nostalgia act. While their recording career was put on hold
towards the end of the 1990s, to take time out of a changed musical
landscape and to concentrate on family, the band’s broad
and memorable back catalogue ensures that, as a live act, they
remain much in demand. Add to that the success of two recent albums
— Cry from 2002 and Black & White 050505 in 2005 —
and you get large and appreciative crowds still turning out to
While recent dates around America and Europe have attracted healthy
ticket sales, it is surely in Scotland that the Glasgow outfit
find their most emphatically dedicated crowds. Jim Kerr, the lead
singer, realises this and made a point of noting it here. This
is the last night of our tour, he told us breathlessly. What a
place to end it. What a crowd to end it with.
Further comments about Scottish audiences being the best in the
world somehow didn’t seem like empty platitudes and there’s
no denying there was something suitably epic about the surroundings.
On the last day of the fringe and in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle,
a set by one of Scotland’s most successful bands reverberating
over the packed-out crowd and around Princes Street felt like
both a noisy send-off to the Edinburgh festival and a welcome
back to normality for the city’s natives.
The years haven’t diminished Simple Minds as a live act.
Kerr was never the most glamorous frontman, eschewing the leather-jacketed
rock-star posturing of their contemporaries U2 in favour of a
far more endearing blokey casualness.
In jeans and a T-shirt, he looks as if he has just stepped out
of the bookies round the corner. But there’s still something
rabble-rousing about the way he struts across the stage and pumps
his fist in the air at all the best bits.
While the rest of the band are even less attention-seeking than
Kerr, they also approach their music-making with a zestful immediacy.
Charlie Burchill, guitarist and the other fulcrum in the Simple
Minds songwriting axis, has a flair for guitar riffs that are
almost as memorable as choruses in their own right, while Eddy
Duffy, a recent addition on bass, steals a few minutes in the
limelight with the hammering, nerve-tingling bassline of Waterfront.
At a show like this, it is always a pleasure to recall just how
many great songs a band you haven’t listened to for a while
have produced. Kerr turns and points his mike stand out over the
crowd as the familiar intro to Don’t You Forget About Me
kicks in, but this song was only one of the lesser highlights
of a show played with energy and excitement.
Waterfront was another, as was the medley of Ghost Dancing and
Gloria, but Sanctify Yourself sounded the most fresh and energising.
Amid the traditional anthems (Alive & Kicking, Glittering
Prize), the Giorgio Moroder-like synthesizer stab of New Gold
Dream also reminded one of Simple Minds’s beginnings as
part of the new wave movement. Given the style’s rediscovery
in modern music today, there are far worse candidates than the
Minds for a full-scale revival.
David Pollock, The Sunday Times
3rd September 2006
Sparkle Through The Years Fanclubday 18th November
GUITARIST SEEKS SIMPLE MINDS TRIBUTE BAND ++++
I'm looking to get a Simple Minds tribute band together and need
fans who have singing talents, can play bass or keyboard and have
a reasonable knowledge of how to play Simple Minds songs. Basically,
I learnt to play guitar 17 years ago by playing along to Simple
Minds and have a good knowledge of their back catalogue. Whilst
I m not quite as good as Burchill, I m not a million miles off!
Looking to do some gigs. Obviously this on a 'not-for-profit'
basis but if you ve ever seen Simple Minds and want to run around
karate kicking your way across a stage - then this might be the
Email me: email@example.com
with your demos / discussion / ideas.
I have some original demo material [no Simple Minds covers] at:
Look forward to hearing from you.
The Big Issue In Scotland
August 24th - 30th
no longer the firebrand he once was, but Simple Minds’ front
man Jim Kerr has left his comfortable house in Sicily to hit the
road – and it’s feeling good, he tells Leon McDermott
Back in the 1980s, when such thingswere in vogue, there were two
bands who defined politicised, commercial rock music.
One was U2 – you can still picture
Bono, waving that white flag, or saying “fuck the revolution”
during the live renditions of ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’,
the righteous young man come to speak truth to power.
(Today, of course, Bono is the self-styled
saviour of the developing world, who’s moving from Ireland
to avoid paying tax.)
The other band was Simple Minds. Jim
Kerr – the Scottish Bono, as he was inevitably dubbed –
was every bit the firebrand that Bono was, singing about apartheid
and the Troubles, glorying in the celtic bond across the Irish
These days, though, Kerr allows politics
to take a back seat. There are no meetings with George Bush or
the Pope for him; no joint press conferences with Geldof calling
the masses to make poverty history, but it’s for the better.
You can only play the iconoclast rock star here to save the world
for so long, before you descend into self parody. Which Kerr was
guilty of when ‘Belfast Child’ became Simple Minds’
first number one in 1989.
“We were so drenched in Labour,
because of my dad, we were soaked in that working class industrial
culture of Scotland,” he explains now.
The 1990s were quiet times for Simple
Minds, the last half-decade less so. The band – Kerr, his
schoolfriend and cofounder Charlie Burchill, long-time drummer
Mel Gaynor and bass player Eddie Duffy – released a new
album last year, Black & White 050505. It was more of a success
than its dismally-selling predecessor, 2002’s Cry. So, with
a massive gig at Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens approaching,
is this a comeback?
“To an extent I suppose it is,”
says Kerr. “It’s always a bit of a double-edged thing,
the comeback: if you’re making a comeback it implies you’re
coming back from somewhere. You might be coming back from making
material which didn’t work so well, or won’t hold
up.” He admits that for most of the 1990s, music took a
backseat for the members but adds that “by the time we get
to Edinburgh, we’ll have done a year of solid touring, which
is something we’ve not done in quite a while, and it feels
days – when he’s not touring – Kerr lives in
Sicily, far removed from the kind of tabloid circus which defined
his life in the 1980s. He was married, first, to The Pretenders’
Chrissie Hynde, and then to Patsy Kensit.
Kerr speaks in long, clause-filled
sentences, full of asides and qualifications – it’s
as if he wants to make sure he’s always understood. But
he’s a realist about the past 30 years, which have seen
him go from a kid in Toryglen, on Glasgow’s south side,
to a restaurant-owning expat, fluent in Italian and happily settled.
“It’s a fringe place, it’s still the badlands,
it’s parched and it’s dry and it isn’t manicured,”
Kerr says of Sicily. “It’s between Africa and Europe,
it’s where the trade winds come together, and those places
are always the most interesting to me. There are places you can
go in Sicily where the diet is Arabic, and then there’s
a tiny church at the end of the road I live on, and the back wall
of it is the original wall from a temple to Apollo. Now, this
might sound like I’m being a wanky pseud, but I can’t
take that sort of thing for granted, you know? It’s very
Back in the late 1970s, when Simple
Minds were finding their way, emerging as a band whose cold, European
modernism was gradually being forged into something more heartfelt
– not to mention more pop – Kerr wasn’t thinking
of longevity, of being a middle-aged rock star.
“I just don’t think we
had any conception of what was going to happen,” he says.
“I mean back then, words like ‘career’ –
they just didn’t even enter into it. You just thought about
your next single, or your next album, or the tour you were about
“And we were young, we were 18
or 19- year-old kids and that’s the way you think anyway:
you just want to get stuck into it and you don’t necessarily
think about where it’s going to take you.”
The years of the band’s initial,
moderate, success saw them produce a series of albums that still
stand up. They were filled with sleek electronic melodies, enchanted
by the driving rhythms of Kraftwerk and full of wild experimentation.
In fact their second album, Real To Real Cacophony, was originally
rejected by their label as “the most uncommercial record
we’ve ever been given”.
They were also far removed from the
stadium-filling hits that saw Simple Minds play the Philadelphia
leg of Live Aid in 1985. That show came on the back of the success
of ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’, the song they
recorded (after it had been rejected by both Bryan Ferry and Billy
Idol) for the soundtrack to teen movie par excellence The Breakfast
Kerr has recently been interviewed
for a documentary about director John Hughes’ teen films,
named after the song. Still, in their early albums there were
the kernels of the sound which would see them sell 25 million
records – not that they knew what was in the offing. “In
some senses, we knew we were growing towards it but at the same
time, there’s a defining day where you walk in and it dawns
on you that your band is not your band anymore, or it’s
not just your band. That your band, rather than being part of
an industry, has become an industry in itself, and I don’t
think there’s any way you can prepare for that.”
At the same time as this explosion
– Live Aid, The Breakfast Club, the huge success of 1985’s
Once Upon A Time album – Kerr increasingly became a media
presence, though he’s sanguine about the gossip columnists’
modus operandi. “I would complain,” he says, “but
I’m not going to because first, it’d be pointless,
and second, it’s part of the deal.”
As Simple Minds were working to become
the biggest band in the world and using their platform to further
political causes, a creative rot started to set in; their songs
became vehicles for politics. But politics, says Kerr, has changed
so much since then, Scottish politics particularly so. “That
working class industrial culture in Scotland doesn’t exist
anymore. Whatever has replaced it I don’t relate to,”
he says. “And I have to say I’ve lost faith with the
political process, in the sense that I think what a politician
has to do, to even get voted in, negates the endgame. Any sort
of idealism has to be beaten out of people.”
Of course, Kerr, a multimillionaire
with property all over Glasgow and a nice house in Sicily, can
say this without consequence. Until he starts thinking about it.
“I was going to say that I can afford to run up to the hills
and fucking forget about it, but I don’t know if I can.
My family are there. My ma and da are
getting old. My kids [two with Hynde, another son with Kensit]
are growing up there. You might think that because you’ve
got two bob in your pocket, you can escape, but you cannae.”
Politics, which was once “a party
thing – you voted and whenever the conversation came up
in the pub, you made it clear for whom” is now something
bigger. “With globalisation, politics is what you have for
your breakfast; if you have this coffee rather than that coffee,
it can make a difference. “And if you buy a T-shirt from
this place as opposed to that place… that’s something
that’s worth far more consideration than some local skirmish.”
Kerr’s Scottishness, though,
remains intact. “We’re Glasgow through and through,”
he says, with a hint of defiance, “having said that I think
it’s interesting that we’re one of that bands that
have least played the Scottish card.” The clichéd
perception of Glasgow’s past – the No Mean City of
ill-repute – meant “journalists assumed that the band
was a means of escaping”.
In truth, says Kerr, “we enjoyed
every minute of our upbringing in Glasgow. It’s a rock and
roll city, and we loved that environment. But right from the early
years, we realised there was a bigger world out there, and it
wasn’t so much about conquering that world, but experiencing
At 47, happy to plough his own furrow,
rather than protest in public about how others should, Kerr seems
restful. No longer the youthful idealist, but someone who has
been there and done that, and recognises things for what they
Ashton Court Festival Review, Bristol Evening Post
Eighties Rock Icons
Hold Their Own With Young Guns
two days that were dominated by the young guns of the local music
scene it was left to a bloke in his late 40s to finish off the
weekend and show the younger bands just how it is done.
It may be some years since Jim Kerr
and Simple Minds were filling massive stadiums and arenas, but
they showed that they were still more than capable of putting
on the big show.
And the adulation from the huge crowd
But Simple Minds didn't go for the
easy option. It wasn't a set completely dominated by nostalgia
for their 80s heyday.
The Scottish band are experiencing
something of a revival thanks to their current album, Black
& White 050505, and a number of newer songs, including
a powerful version of Home were given an airing. And a large section
of the crowd knew all the words. But it was the classics that
we had all come to hear.
And the gems from the past like Sanctify
Yourself and a spellbinding version of Waterfront.
Inevitably it was their big hit Don't
You (Forget About Me) that had the audience singing along
with real enthusiasm.
Kerr looked in good shape and still
does all the dance moves and the full gambit of extravagant rock
singer poses but his voice no longer has the full strength of
the old days and it was sometimes difficult to hear him against
Charlie Burchill's big guitar riffs.
The set closed with Alive &
Kicking and that summed it all up. Simple Minds may not be
the big hitters that they once were but they are still very much
alive and kicking.
(5 out of 5)
Keith Clark, Bristol Evening Post
July 24th 2006
Don't You Forget About Me
Simple Minds will appear in “Don’t You Forget About
Me” - a major new feature documentary about the rise and
fall of the teenage movie.
The documentary pays tribute to director John Hughes’ coming-of-age
teen movies, including 1985’s The Breakfast Club.
The 90-minute feature documentary, is named after Simple Minds
best selling US single Don’t You (Forget About Me) which
topped the US Billboard Singles Chart in 1985. The original cast
and director John Hughes will be interviewed for the release.
During the eighties John Hughes was the quintessential teen movie
director in Hollywood and scored a successive number of so-called
“Brat-Pack” hit movies that were aimed at the teen
market - The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink!, Ferris Buller’s
Day Off and Sixteen Candles.
Out of all of Hughes’s films, The Breakfast Club continues
to represent a timeless voice to a new generation of teenagers
as well as the original teens who were touched by the message
of the movie 20 years ago.
“When we were asked to participate in the documentary, at
first I was surprised the Breakfast Club movie had became such
a cult since it was originally released 20 years ago,” says
Jim Kerr, lead vocalist with Simple Minds. “The song has
become our biggest hit in America, and when we heard the rest
of the original cast from the movie agreed to be interviewed for
the documentary, we felt it was only fitting to participate.”
Simple Minds will be filmed for the documentary when they play
their final concert on their current world tour in at the T on
the Fringe festival in Edinburgh, Scotland on August 28th. After
the concert, the band will start writing material for their next
album which will coincide with their 30th Anniversary in 2007.
Noble PR / simpleminds.com
In at number 5 it's 'Saints & Sinners' by
Johnny & The Self Abusers!
Stylus Magazine recently published a Top Ten Scottish
Punk Singles compiled by their own staff. Johnny & The Self
Abusers' 'Saints & Sinners' made it to number 5 and the
following short article was penned by Ryan Foley. For the full Top 10
Johnny & The Self Abusers – “Saints And Sinners”
/ “Dead Vandals”
No Scottish punk act has ever achieved the same mythical status
as Johnny & The Self Abusers.
A lead singer who went by the pseudonym Pripton Weird, band members
decked out in Lou Reed-like mascara, a pint-glass-smashing and
furniture-breaking gig (only their second) which became one of
the seminal, early moments in Scottish punk—in early 1977,
the band took conservative, punk-leery Glasgow by storm. However,
as music journalist Billy Sloan declared, “The group’s
legend far outweighed their musical ability.”
The six-piece outfit, which relied on a tiny clutch of cover songs
during its short existence (including tunes by Doctors Of Madness
and Brian Eno), cut just one single: the hyperinfectious “Saints
and Sinners,” which was released in November of
‘77 on Chiswick Records.
In true punk fashion, the band called it quits the day of the
single’s issue. One half of the defunct act formed the short-lived
Cuban Heels, while the other half went on to
achieve international success as… Simple Minds.
Ryan Foley, Stylus Magazine
Seven Magazine, Bristol
Alive & Kicking
Minds, who are headlining this year's Orange Ashton Court Festival,
have been on a year-long tour that has taken them across the world.
And they are thoroughly enjoying being back on the road again,
as frontman Jim Kerr told Keith Clark After a three-year hiatus,
Simple Minds returned with their highly successful album Black
And White 050505 last September, and it has been business as usual
For the Scottish band embarked on a year-long tour of the world's
arenas and festivals playing to massive crowds of devoted fans
who showed that the band needn't have worried when they sang Don't
You (Forget About Me) all those years ago.
One of the gigs on this tour will see them headlining the Orange
Ashton Court Festival this weekend and, special though this will
be, we just can't hope to compete with one of their recent shows
- playing beneath Berlin's Brandenburg Gate in a concert to herald
the start of the World Cup.
"We love playing anyway but to combine that with the football,
and we are obviously huge football fans, made that something not
to be missed once we were asked," said frontman Jim Kerr.
"It was kind of overwhelming because the stage was literally
under the Brandenburg Gate. It brought back memories of the first
time I went to Berlin in 1979 and going to the Brandenburg Gate
and seeing the wall. We couldn't have imagined then what was to
"This World Cup event was more a TV event than a rock 'n'
roll event, it was like Top Of The Pops from the Brandenburg Gate,
but it was something not to be missed."
three decades - during which time they scored more than 20 Top
20 hits, including All The Things She Said and Alive And Kicking,
sold 30 million records, had five number one albums, a number
one single in America and three American Top 10 singles - Simple
Minds have been major worldwide attractions, gaining them the
accolade from Q magazine as "the world's best live act".
But despite relentless touring for so many years, Jim says he
still enjoys being out on the road with the band.
"Thankfully, I still enjoy touring; in fact I enjoy it immensely.
I'm probably enjoying it more now. For a while, although we hadn't
actually quit, we had certainly stepped back from any real momentum
and although we did occasional gigs here and there this has been
a real bona fide tour, a year long and we will have played on
almost every continent, and I think you can only do that if you
"It must be hell for the people I've come across who love
playing but don't love touring. Even if you work in a bank you
can go home at the end of the day and get weekends off and holidays,
but on a tour you have to wave goodbye to things like that. It
is part of the deal."
Many bands will tell you that the worst part of touring is the
hours they spend just waiting around with nothing to do, but Jim
doesn't see this as a problem.
"You do spend so much time hanging around waiting, but if
you've got three hours to spare and you're in, say, Amsterdam
and you choose to spend it in your hotel room rather than visiting
one of the museums around the corner then you've only got yourself
to blame. Many people would kill to do that."
The latest album has a big, sweeping, multi-layered sound that
recalls everything you ever liked about Simple Minds. However,
despite the size of their sound, Jim says they always felt confident
that they could translate this onto the live stage.
"We are a band who have toured a lot and, even if I say it
myself, we're pretty good at it, and we've always been pretty
good at not only getting stuff translated onto stage but actually
making it better, because inherently I think Simple Minds are
a live band.
"For this album the approach to the recordings was like the
early days. It was band-like, with everyone in the same room as
opposed to lots of computers, and because the album was recorded
almost in a live way it meant that the translation was much more
"We then used the computers to enhance it and stuff, but
fundamentally it was four or five guys in a room playing, and
that is what it is live."
The Eighties was a time when so much new technology was introduced
and the music world took it all on board, especially in the studio.
The feeling was that because it was there it had to be used, sometimes
to excess. Jim feels that Simple Minds went through a period when
they were as guilty as any of them in relying too much on technology.
"The technology has been both a blessing and a curse for
us. I suppose we embraced it at a point when we had got bored
with the band, which was about eight or nine albums in. The technology
came out and we went 'wow' and embraced it. But then you began
to see after a while that there are gains and losses.
"However, once we got to these songs and writing them they
seemed to suggest that they should be approached in a live way.
"We got all excited and went 'let's do it as a band, just
plug in and make it just sound like a band'. In a way it is easier
said than done but I think the songs were really good to begin
with and the dynamics were great and the band pulled it off with
The result was some of the best reviews that Simple Minds have
had for years; even some of the trendiest music papers, who in
the past probably would have written off a band this well established,
had to admit that, while it was classic Simple Minds, they had
come up with something that is every bit as relevant as all the
modern bands who have been influenced by them.
"Yes, I think we got a fair crack of the whip, people got
behind it and said the kind of things we would have hoped they
"I think the net result of the album and the live tour, and
the commitment by the band to both those aspects, has been that
even our biggest critics would hesitate a wee bit before writing
us off as some Eighties band that was just churning it out. For
that reason alone, I have to be happy."
Keith Clark, Seven Magazine, Bristol
Evening Post July 20th
Minds to headline Ashton Court Festival
Simple Minds are to headline the Orange Ashton Court Festival
in Bristol on Sunday 23rd July.
Event organiser Steve Hunt said: "We have been incredibly lucky
to book one of Britain's biggest and most established rock acts to play
at the festival this year. Simple Minds have been around for almost
30 years and have had some massive hits. Over the years, the festival
has had some pretty big and diverse acts, and Simple Minds definitely
rank alongside any others. We are very excited about an act this size
playing at the festival." Tickets can be purchased on the door
for a mere £9 and if brought in advance are just £7. I will
see you there! More details can be found at the offical Ashton Court
Festival website www.ashtoncourtfestival.com.
Carling Academy, Birmingham 9th February
People remember disasters, not triumphs.
Back in 1981, when Simple Minds played the Birmingham Odeon, Jim
Kerr lost his voice. That memory is whispered from punter to punter
tonight. They've forgotten the later success, the sold out nights
at the NEC, the top ten hits, the glory years. They just remember
feeling embarrassed for Kerr one warm September night some 25
years ago. They forget that this is a band that sold albums by
the million. They forget that Simple Minds were the biggest Scottish
band of their time. Don't you forget about me? Sorry, gentlemen
- there's a few thousand Brummies having a memory blank tonight,
sitting at home, watching Corrers.
It's the success of that song which
continues to hang round the band's collective neck like an albatross.
Played over and over on the radio, no wonder the youngsters think
they're sick of Simple Minds before they've tried to listen. That
mid-80s hit, which had Molly Ringwald kicking up her heels in
The Breakfast Club, wiped out all they did previously and overshadows
all they've done since. Earlier gems such as 'New Gold Dream'
and 'Sons & Fascination' are buried away in the lofts of James
Blunt listening middle-aged fathers all over Britain. If they
hadn't played 'Don't You' tonight, heads would have rolled, yet
they manage to leave their biggest hit, 'Belfast Child', off the
set and no one even raises an eyebrow.
Having released albums for the last
four decades, Simple Minds have an abundance of other spine-tingling
rock anthems to choose from, and the choices are good. Opening
with 'Sleeping Girl' from their 2002 album, 'Cry', they're soon
alternating oldies such as 'Love Song', 'East at Easter', and
'Big Sleep', with new tunes such as 'Home', 'Stay Visible', and
'A Life Shot in Black & White'. Kerr's energy is infectious, his
voice gruffer, grittier and fuller than in production. Charlie
Burchill is a solid guitarist, nothing too fancy, nothing overlooked.
The new tunes are delivered with true affection, the band obviously
love the songs, and they want us to love them too. The climatic
'Dolphins' rounds off the set perfectly, and the crowd go mad
for more. Encores include their latest release, 'Stranger', and
the exquisite, never-aging 'Seeing Out The Angel' - a song which
never saw a single release, but screams "hit" as much
now as it did then.
The mainstream used to view Simple
Minds as a "poor man's U2". A bit too teenyrock, a bit
too attractive, a bit too light-hearted to compete with their
Irish brothers. Now, whilst U2 are grossing over $250million for
a tour, Simple Minds are playing the modest Carling Academy. A
reflection of times and tastes, marketing and madness - Kerr proved
himself as good a front man as Bono tonight, Burchill as competent
as The Edge. The band are 'Alive & Kicking', getting better and
better with age.
Sarah Eaglesfield, www.gigwise.com
Jim Kerr to appear on BBC Breakfast
Jim Kerr will be interviewed on BBC Breakfast News (BBC1) tomorrow
morning between 8:35 and 9am. Jim will be special guest on the
sports segment of the news programme, where he will be giving his predictions
about the forthcoming World Cup, Jim will no doubt take the opportunity
to yet again flirt with weathergirl Carol Kirkwood! It has now been
confirmed that the Minds will be peforming three songs at the
World Cup launch party in Berlin on June 7th. The three
songs in question the band will perform at the Brandenburg
Gate are: Home, Don't
You (Forget About Me) and Alive And Kicking.
New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Originating from a Glasgow punk band called Johnny
and the Self-Abusers, Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill formed Simple
Minds in 1978 and moved into experimental avant-garde pop with
progressive and Krautrock influences through early albums such
as Reel to Real Cacophony (1979), Empires and Dance (1980) and
Sons and Fascination (1981). By the time the band came to record
New Gold Dream (1982), they had picked up the pop sensibilities
of Giorgio Moroder's Euro-dance rhythms and the sophisticated
poise of Roxy Music, also being explored by the more experimental
pop bands of the 80's, Propaganda and Japan.
After New Gold Dream the band would go on to greater
success, breaking in America with their single Don't You Forget
About Me from John Hughes' film The Breakfast Club before going
on to rival U2 and fill stadiums and with tediously drawn-out
bombastic anthems recorded by the then in-vogue radio-friendly
producers, Steve Lillywhite, Jimmy Iovine and Bob
Clearmountain (see the review for the DVD-A of Once Upon A Time).
Simple Minds are still active as a band with a new album Black
& White due to be released in September 2005.
New Gold Dream however is the sound of a Simple
Minds at their peak, their tendency towards excess restrained
here under the lush, warm, sympathetic production of Peter Walsh,
focussing the songs into tight arrangements, yet allowing them
space to breathe, improvise and explore the soundscapes they operate
within. New Gold Dream is remastered and remixed for 5.1 sound
by Jeff Levison and released on DVD-A format, but has a number
of other high-quality sound format options that will make it compatible
with most DVD set ups, including DTS 5.1 and PCM Stereo. As I
am not equipped to test out the DVD-A track, this review is based
on the DTS mix. Each of the surround mixes is 24bit at a 96K sample
rate, the PCM Stereo 16bit at 48K. The video aspect of the disc
is in NTSC format and the DVD is not region encoded.
The DTS mix of Someone, Somewhere In Summertime
lifts Charlie Burchill's chugging, echoing guitar out more clearly
in the mix, but the drums are almost completely submerged, losing
the considerable impact they have on the song. The bass is similarly
heavy and unclear. This muddiness of bass and drums in the mix
is unfortunately prevalent throughout the album. Jim Kerr's echoing
vocals are reasonably distinct, at least as much as they ever
where, making use of the rears alongside Michael MacNeill's keyboard
flourishes. The poor quality of the rhythm section aside however,
this captures the character of the original song very well.
The bass is a little more solid in Colours Fly And
Catherine Wheel, but as if Kerr's vocal mannerisms and mumbled
delivery weren't already incoherent enough they are practically
reduced to solfege here in another rather muddy mix.
The springy keyboard riff of Promised You A Miracle
holds the song's structure together, but otherwise it's a mess
in 5.1 with no clear directional sounds, just echoing from the
front speaker out and swamping everything in reverb. This is very
In contrast to much that has gone before, Big Sleep's
vocal is clearer than I've ever heard it on album before, and
with the keyboards pushed to the rear speakers it has much more
room to breathe - at least until Derek Forbes indistinct bass
arrives in. Burchill's guitar however also benefits from the wider
mix, the chiming, echoing chords flitting from rear speakers to
front in between the Kerr's chanted refrain. "Where did you
go, immaculate friend?". The brooding, ambient magnificence
of the song is intact here on one of the best mixes on the DVD,
although the crashing punch of the drums is sadly toned down.
Things continue to improve with the airy, floating
dreamscapes of the instrumental Somebody Up There Likes You, Derek
Forbes' coming to the forefront with some Mick Karn-sounding fretless
bass frills. Burchill's guitar soars and chimes, coming through
much clearer than on the stereo mix of the track.
This in turn sets the mood perfectly for what used
to be the opening track on Side B of the vinyl version of the
album, the title track New Gold Dream (81, 82, 83, 84). A pulsing,
rumbling track, this sounds quite different in 5.1 and there is
perhaps too much going on for the mix to handle. Underlying layers
of keyboards and occasional flourishes are practically swamped
by the thumping, muffled bass, which even drowns out the punch
of the drum and percussion tracks, while Burchill's guitar echoes
somewhere off in the distance. This sounds a complete mess, but...
it pulls together somewhere around the "81, 82, 83, 84"
mid-section and Kerr's vocals sound better and clearer here than
in any of the other tracks on the disc.
What the poor mix can't disguise though is just
how good this song still is - six minutes of sheer brilliance.
What should be a driving, chunky bass rhythm on Glittering Prize
is again lost in the mix. However, some angelic backing vocals
(Sharon Campbell) that I hadn't really detected before, are clearly
audible here. Again the husk of a good song can be identified
here, but it feels like the soul has somehow been taken out of
When left on its own, the bass opening to Hunter
And The Hunted can sound strong enough, but anticipating the crash
of Mel Gaynor's drums, I was severely disappointed again by how
weak they are presented here. All impact is completely lost. The
mix plays around with Kerr's layered vocals, his whispers and
interjections thrown backward and forward across the speakers,
but this is MacNeill's chance to shine, swirling around lush swathes
of backing keyboard rhythms for Herbie Hancock to deliver his
wonderful jazzy solo.
King Is White And In The Crowd is the one track
that appears most noticeably remixed. I didn't recognise the intro,
with its count-in brought to the forefront and the track stops
abruptly with a "yeah, that's the one", which has never
been on any mix of the song I have heard before. The underpinning
rhythm moreover is completely flat when its metronomic precision
should be the structure for the other instruments and voice to
work within. I didn't like this mix at all.
A previously unreleased track, In Every Heaven,
has the clearest mix on the album - drums have impact and the
bass has body and definition. I have never heard this track before
and its pop-iness doesn't have the same majestic quality as the
rest of the album, but it clearly of the period and fits in well
as a welcome extra.
As far as the album's transfer to 5.1 goes, I can
only hope that the DVD-Audio track, which I was unable to listen
to, is better than the DTS mix. Either that or my equipment is
somehow incompatibly calibrated with this particular album, but
I have no reason to think so, as the PCM stereo mix is much more
accurate, clearly defined, and faithful to the original mix with
a fuller, rounded bass and stronger, solid drums. Saying that,
it never sounds as good as my original vinyl copy of the album.
There is certainly an attraction to having New Gold Dream mixed
to 5.1, and for one or two moments, when I really let the DTS
mix boom out, it took me back like never before to the sixth-form
discos at the King Arthur in Belfast in the summer of 1982, and
made me want to go up and hassle the DJ to play the 12" of
'The American'. While it replicates the muddy bass of an 80's
disco, from a strictly audiophile viewpoint, the bass and drums
on this DVD-Audio should really be much more solidly defined than
they are here, and it would have made all the difference to this
remix. For an album that relies on a strong rhythmic backbone,
this weakness in the 5.1 mix is nothing less than criminal.
One other point to make is that evaluating an album
in DVD-Audio is highly subjective and reliant on the particular
strengths or weaknesses of individual audio setups. Personally,
I got more accustomed to the 5.1 mix after a number of listens
and found that my opinion on the mixing changed slightly depending
on different external conditions. Things like the time of day
and the room temperature also have a significant affect on the
Lyrics are included for all songs except the instrumental
Somebody Up There Likes You and the extra track In Every Heaven.
Considering Kerr's often mumbled delivery and obscure imagery,
it is surprising that my understanding of the lyrics is pretty
close with only some minor differences - what I always thought
was "Eyes golden in great wondering" in Promised You
A Miracle is actually "As golden days break wondering".
I think I prefer my own interpretation, although neither makes
any great sense and working out your own meanings is part of the
fun here. A Discography presents cover images for other Simple
Minds albums, without tracklistings. Videos are included for Promised
You A Miracle and Glittering Prize, in 4:3, NTSC format with both
DTS 5.1 and PCM Stereo mixes. The video quality is very good indeed.
There is some slight shimmering of aliasing artefacts, but otherwise
they are clear, spotless and colourful. Links are provided to
New Gold Dream isn't a perfect album, at least not
in terms of it being made up 100% of 9 perfect songs - some tend
to drag and show less sparkle or imagination - but as whole this
is a magnificent album, one of the defining albums of the whole
1980's music scene, wonderfully coherent, influential and, most
importantly, standing the test of time better than any other album
from this period. This is one of the best albums ever recorded
and, although for the most part the 5.1 mix is woefully inadequate,
New Gold Dream still sounds as brilliant and timelessly fashionable
as it did back in 1982.
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