John Murray on the continued resurgence of Simple Minds
The Simple Minds story continues to impress with a new album and tour just announced.
The remastered reissue series plus the 5X5 Live album and tour has won new fans and reaffirmed original fans of their status in music.
In recent weeks on BBC Radio 2 Jim Kerr announced the new album on Chris Evans breakfast show and performed a couple of timeless hits with nothing more than an acoustic guitar for company.
Although (Don’t You) Forget About Me and Alive And Kicking were huge stadium anthems the intimacy of raw voice and guitar showed their lasting quality.
I do believe they are still on the ascendance having played to 130,000 in the UK last year their most ever for them.
Big Music (Caroline International) is their 16th album and opens with as classic a Jim Kerr song as its gets as Blindfolded has all the hallmarks of classic electro rock.
The first single is Honest Town co-written with Iain Cook of Glasgow band Chvrches has the echoing starkness from Jim’s memories growing up in the South Side of Glasgow in a way only ever heard on Blue Nile compositions in Tinseltown.
Let The Day Begin is a rewritten Waterfront and why not? while Big Music the title track, while being simpler in lyrical terms, has all the character of previous big dance hits when they were a 12” club band (did I mention I Travel yet?) being played in the anti-disco clubs where it was still okay for the boys to wear eyeliner and be Jim Kerr, Gary Numan or Steve Strange at least on the dance floor.
Returning to Edinburgh Usher Hall on April 7 and Perth Concert Hall the following day they promise us a miracle with a showcase of the new material and the greatest hits together in one evening.
Meantime the new album can be had as a double 12” vinyl edition and a limited Deluxe Box Set with bonus 6 track CD with covers Dancing Barefoot and Riders On The Storm, DVD with videos and interviews, poster and booklet in a nice foil box.