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I can still draw positive feelings from it 13 years later. They were playing at the Club and as it turned out, there was no support act. The performance was a revelation. The set list is below and a review that I wrote at the time follows. The holy ticket to see Simple Minds in at the club. June 25, New Gold Dream 81,82,83,84 2. I Travel 3. Speed Your Love To Me 4. One Step Closer 5. Love Song 6. See The Lights 7. Hypnotised 8. Glittering Prize 9. Ghostdancing Spaceface Someone Somewhere In Summertime Belfast Child-Waterfront Theme For Great Cities New Sunshine Morning Promised You A Miracle Sanctify Yourself Alive And Kicking.
Just looking at this set list raises the hairs on the back of my neck! The club was in a rough section of town and by the time the show started it was about half full. It looked like it would comfortably hold about people. About half of the crowd were there to hear the three hits and the other half were real fans.
Some lucky Europeans were going nuts at their fortune of seeing the band in a relatively intimate club. Charlie and Jim were abetted with Mel Gaynor back on drums along with their then-current bass and key players, Andy Gillespie and Eddy Duffy. The live arrangements stayed close to the originals this time and Simple Minds delivered the goods in the biggest way possible. What could I possibly single out as highlights? It provided rousing start to the show. Following it with my favorite Simple Minds song ever was almost too much to handle. My energy level was peaking and it seemed like I was levitating by this point.
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But not for long. Far less ragged than many recordings they released over the years. And there was a dramatic difference to his stage presence as well.
He was wearing normal clothes that were barely stagewear, which suited him for a change, and he seemed to be at ease on stage. A far cry from the perpetual awkwardness that was the rule at least up until I saw them in The moment the sequencer kicked in with the intro I was on my feet bouncing. Those dramatic chords never sounded so powerful! I appreciated the lack of dragging the tune out to ridiculous lengths as they had upon its early globe-spanning success.
The big hit single delivered, the main set was now over. The band proffered the funkier arrangement.
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The group that I took great pains to see then were 16 years younger but seemed 30 years older. The group on offer in Tampa were old men before their time — a veritable disgrace to the once proud name of Simple Minds. This evening, in comparison, had been an embarrassment of riches! With virtually every tune a personal favorite or at least an example of their acceptable side, the band played like they were 20 years younger and still eager for adventure. Against all odds, and after a decade of evidence to the contrary, Simple Minds were once again a band with a future.
Simple Minds Cry — 3. It was refreshing to hear the band plunge fearlessly into the shallow waters of pop with such gusto. It sounded as if the weight of the world was truly removed from their shoulders for them to record this song.
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Another potential single left on the vibe to rot in what was still a strange time of re-finding their footing for the band. The synth patches recalled the timbres of flutes that would not have been out of place had they dug up a flautist while recording this. That Kerr once again delved deep into his lower register while singing this tune gave it even further gravitas.
Trackwoman Number Two Revision of Four Years of Track Life by Wood & Frances Armstrong | Fruugo
It was yet another potential single that came from this influx of new creative DNA for the band. The tempo had been cut to the bone and spare acoustic guitars threw new light on the lyrics, which had been sung by Kerr to support, rather than contrast with the downbeat lyric. The melody was kept as evasive as possible while the various elements of the song meandered along pokily; never quite synching. If Kerr had wanted to present an album of tightly written and arranged pop material, then someone forgot to remind him that this was on it as well. It remains one of the two weak points of this album.
Simple Minds had featured many instrumentals on their albums before. What made this one stand out was that it, technically , was a cover. The track was credited to Vince Clarke! Maybe all along it was Burchill who was low on sauce. In spite of the failure of that record to get a release, the idea of bringing in fresh blood must have resonated with Kerr, since it has been a hallmark of Simple Minds going forward to this day. In what was swiftly becoming an endangered species, there were a pair of CD single, with differing B-sides released in Germany at the time. The A-side was an atypically lighter-waving bit of dance pop as cowritten with Italian DJs from his Italian home turf.
It was a tad cloying, and the inclusion of an incongruous soft-synth Hammond organ below the surface of the tune stuck out like a sore thumb. Names that would figure in varying amounts in the Simple Minds story for almost the next decade.
Perusal of the credits revealed no involvement from guitarist Charlie Burchill. For one thing, it was neither foreboding Post-Punk nor bombastic stadium anthems. Jim Kerr had stated that his interest at the time was a move to tightly written and arranged songs with strong melodies.
Presumably, the bands connected when Simple Minds had become hitmakers down under in , but that marked Kelly as a more likely peer than the Italian DJs who figured elsewhere on this album. How exactly he re-connected with Kerr over 2o years later has not been divulged. The low-energy throb of the synth loops and eerie atmospheres harken back to the Berlin school of Krautrock, albeit imbued with the rock energy that Simple Minds usually brought to the table on such endeavors.
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The result was an ebullient pop song that was yet another German CD single release from the band. The track was co-written by Italian band Planet Funk and I really wish that there were more collaborations in the can between those two. The verses are built on a throbbing rhythm track that sees Kerr employing sprechtgesang vocals in a very appealing lower register voice that I had not heard from him in about 20 years. His vocals on the verses are treated with delay that lends his voice tremendous gravity even as the choruses have him singing more melodiously in a higher register.
Thus far, this has been an incredibly diverse, successful, and different Simple Minds album, that had me floating along effortlessly with its pop dance vibe.