Still active and on tour this week Simple Minds longevity continues to astonish.
Few saw the original inception of Johnny & The Self Abusers but taking the new name from a line in David Bowie’s 1972 single Jean Genie ‘so simple minded’ the originators Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill had moved on to be focused on a shedload of influences from the US but also to the krautrock industrial dance outfits from the underground.
Signing to Bruce Findlay’s (I found it at Bruce’s) Zoom Records, it was then they came to play our own lamented Dutch Mill during one of our all day festivals in 1978 which ran noon to midnight.
I’m often asked how they played first when doors opened as if bottom of the bill but I’m sure this was only because we got them for a good price as they had another gig that day and quite possibly the Cuinzie Neuk in Kinghorn.
Building a reputation back then through Chelsea Girl and Life In A Day they followed an Ultravox template whom they often supported. By the time of Changeling and then I Travel every disco in Scotland anyway had them as their pet pleasure and it had to be the extended 12” version.
Now they were innovating and even New Order would pick up this formula that carried on with Love Song and The American.
Crossing to mainstream Glittering Prize and Promised You A Miracle both cracked the UK top 20. Live Aid in 1985 cemented their now stadium appeal but when their cover of Don’t You (Forget About Me) was included in The Breakfast Club movie they cracked the top ten here but was a US No. 1.
Belfast Child would score them a chart topper here too as the continued with Alive And Kicking and All The Things She Said scoring.
This week Celebrate – The Greatest Hits+ (Virgin), does just that with 50 songs over 3 CDs including the brand new Blood Diamonds and Broken Glass Park which could have been an anthem from any year. They play Dundee Caird Hall on April 2.