Festival', Stoke Park, Guilford 17th July
- www.efestivals.co.uk (UK)
Okay I was secretly
quite looking forward to seeing the Eighties
heroes again, but I was expecting them to
be dire. I was very wrong it was a great choice
of headliner and Jim and the boys may be older
but they still put on a strong performance.
Each song was
extended to draw in audience participation
with few gaps between them for us to even
applaud! Even those of us who pretended not
to know any Simple Minds songs soon discovered
they were singing along to this greatest hits
set. Greatest hits indeed!
that 80's sound that everyone from Spandau
Ballet to Roxy Music had then it was a case
of hit after hit with an encore of yes, even
more hits! Add some great music, lights, smoke
and some classic rock poses and there you
have it a worthy headliner and we all walked
Festival', Stoke Park, Guilford 17th July
James Hirst -
I came straight
to Simple Minds from the acoustic set by the
Levellers, a major contrast and another example
of the way in which Guilfest continues introduce
festival goers to new sounds on a daily basis.
Where the levellers
had hand carved their performance from the
recycled timber of English pub furniture,
Simple Minds had a polished chrome and black
leather sofa and it certainly felt comfortable.
As the cashmere chords of Mark Taylors keyboards
wrapped around my festival weary body I luxuriated
in the warming touch of the Simple Minds.
For more than
twenty years Simple minds have been producing
chart topping albums and sell out tours worldwide.
Despite 30 hit singles to their name, they
have always suffered a little from the perception
that Simple Minds are the spaghetti hoops
to U2's Heinz Baked Beans, the hoops a variation
but the Heinz beans a staple.
are of course futile, the key to good health
is a varied and nutritious diet and a regular
portion of Simple Minds is recommended by
leading nutritionists and this reviewer alike.
Jim warmed up
the crowd with a selection of the Minds favourites
and it wasn't long before the crowd were dancing
and singing to "Don't you (forget about me)"
and "Belfast Child". Even a few confirmed
Minds cynics standing by me were soon joining
in the festivities and when Jim stopped singing
and the band stopped playing the whole of
Guilfest carried on the chorus and could be
heard acapella on Radio 2.
With an encore
that included "Alive and Kicking" only the
most cynical of musical snobs would have declined
a seat on the Simple Minds sofa, even if it
did look slightly 80's.
Kerr enjoys the fruits of Simple Minds' success
Chris Brown -
'Liverpool Daily Post' 23rd July 2004 (UK)
When Jim Kerr
walked his band Simple Minds on stage of the
Summer Pops last year it marked a considerable
amount of time since he last played Liverpool.
When they were at their peak of the stadium
rock circuit, Liverpool was just too small
for them as the city didn't have the venue
to fit a band of that size.
But after a
five-year break from music, they decided to
make Liverpool part of their comeback. The
result was a riotous return with a crowd eager
to welcome them back to the city. It was such
a success that they are playing the big top
"Last year we
played Liverpool and it was just an incredible
gig," says Kerr. "We just took the roof off
that night. Sometimes it all just seems to
click together and the crowd know it. That's
what happened when we played last year. "After
that we had to come back. It was such a good
gig that when we asked we had to say yes.
"There is a bit of pressure on us to do the
same thing again. I'm not too worried about
playing it. I think that there is some expectation
on us but I'm sure that we will be able to
shares his time between homes in Italy and
Scotland. It helps because the group have
been together for more than two decades now,
so when they work together it is always preferable
to have somewhere to run off to. Last year
saw a 50-date tour and the group are not letting
up much. Now just to throw more into the mix
they have decided to add a record as well.
Kerr says: "We are slowly getting through
the album. We have got plenty of songs and
we are just picking the ones we want. "It's
a good thing to get back into the studio.
We work well together and and we are enjoying
the work. "We had these songs ready to record
so we decided to get in there and start to
It has been
25 years since Simple Minds originally appeared
out of the explosion in punk rock. Kerr and
Charlie Burchill both met in a sandpit in
a housing estate. They are best known around
the world for their 1985 hit, Don't You Forget
About Me. But that was only the tip of the
iceberg for the band with a huge back catalogue.
have always been characterised by a relentless
energy which is why it was so surprising during
the success of the Nineties they decided to
quit. Kerr explains: "The Nineties for us
was a period of success but then I lost the
desire to keep playing and I didn't feel connected
to the music. It wasn't vital to me any more.
"Everyone has a period when you feel like
that I suppose but I sat out instead of faking
it by keeping on playing."
a hotel room in London, Kerr adds: "The thing
is we are all over the world now and we all
meet up to work. It is not like when you first
start off and you are in each other's pockets
like when you start. "Now we meet up and work.
It is not just a business arrangement. We
are not just a company. We do this because
we want to. This is pretty far from an office
"When we meet
up and work it is like it always was. "We
have got so many songs in the back catalogue
that we can always play a set list that has
a few tracks that the public might not have
heard life for a while.
"We always have
certain tracks that we play every time but
beyond that there is a bit of freedom. At
least it keeps it interesting for us.
"We won't necessarily
play anything new though. People pay the money
to see you and you play a new track and the
crowd can be a bit like 'eh? What this all
about'. We want to make it as fun as possible."
Kings Dock Arena, Liverpool 24th July 2004
- 'Liverpool Daily Post' 27th July 2004 (UK)
frontman Jim Kerr is a man of few words while
on stage. Repartee with the crowd has never
really been his thing. But on Saturday night
he had one thing to say - over and over again
- "We love you Liverpool".
by the audience's reaction during this barnstorming,
1980s-inspired gig, Liverpool loves him. Promising
to "destroy this place tonight" Simple Minds
launched into a nostalgia tinged-set that
had the big tent rocking from first song to
This was what
concerts should be - the band were on top
form belting out classic hits from their back
catalogue leaving the crowd to do nothing
else but enjoy themselves and indulge in some
communal handclapping and singalongs.
No set changes,
only one change of shirt for a sweat-drenched
Kerr, and a glitch free set meant that all
that mattered was the music, and Glasgow's
finest did not disappoint on that score.
were hailed by many as the best performers
at last year's Summer Pops - when they appeared
in Liverpool for the first time in 20 years
- and those lucky enough to have a ticket
for Saturday's gig will have walked away thinking
exactly the same thing.
out during a European tour to record their
latest album, due for release this autumn,
the show was a deft mix of classics and future
releases. The show rattled along at a frightening
pace with no let up for the band or the audience.
both age and human physiology with a display
of hip swirling stage gyrating that left him,
and everyone else, gasping for breath at times.
But the highlight of the almost two-hour long
show was the encore. Simple Minds had undoubtedly
saved the best until last. Waterfront, Someone
Somewhere in Summertime, Alive and Kicking
and Sanctify Yourself brought the set to a
shuddering crescendo and left the crowd screaming
And, for the
record, the big top was left standing - but