Summer Tour 2004 Articles & Reviews

Life In A Day
Real To Real Cacophony
Empires & Dance
Sons & Fascination
New Gold Dream
Sparkle In The Rain
Once Upon A Time
Live In The City Of Light
Hollywood Rock Festival
Nelson Mandela Concert
Street Fighting Years
Themes (Volumes 1-4)
Real Life
Glittering Prize 81/92
Good News The Next World
Neon Lights
The Best Of Simple Minds
Early Gold
Alive & Kicking Tour 2003
Summer Tour 2004
Silver Box
Black & White 050505
46664 Concert
30 Years Live Tour
Graffiti Soul

'Guilfest Festival', Stoke Park, Guilford 17th July 2004

Scott Williams - (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!

Encapsulating 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 away happy.



'Guilfest Festival', Stoke Park, Guilford 17th July 2004

James Hirst - (UK)


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.

Such comparisons 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.



How Jim 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 again tomorrow.

"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 do it."

Kerr usually 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 do them."

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.

Simple Minds 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."

Speaking from 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 job

"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."



'Summerpops', Kings Dock Arena, Liverpool 24th July 2004

Tony Barrett - 'Liverpool Daily Post' 27th July 2004 (UK)


Simple Minds 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".

And judging 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 last.

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.

Simple Minds 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.

Taking time 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.

Kerr defied 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 for more.

And, for the record, the big top was left standing - but only just.



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