Simple Minds Newcastle City Hall 3rd March 1984
By 1984 Simple Minds had reached mega status. They released their sixth album “Sparkle in the Rain”, which was a big major breakthrough commercial success for the band, reaching No 1 in the UK album chart, selling well around the world and becoming certified double platinum. I remember this City Hall gig sold out very quickly, and the concert was excellent; it felt like we were witnessing a band at their peak, and on the verge of major world wide success, the audience knew it, the band knew it, and it came through in the power, passion and perfection of their performance. This was easily the best Simple Minds concert I attended. Within the space of five years they had grown from a quirky engaging new wave band experimenting with electronica and rhythm, to a full blown professional pop pomp band, riding high alongside new romantic contemporaries like Duran Duran, and new classic rock outfits like U2.
Support for the City Hall concert came from Silent Running, a Northern Irish rock band, who emerged from the Belfast punk scene. However, all was not well in the Simple Minds camp. Jim Kerr: “We were knackered. We were desensitized. The band started to fracture. We were lads who had grown up together, we were meant to grow together, politically, spiritually and artistically. But we were getting tired with each other. There was an element of the chore creeping in. We were coasting and this whole other thing was a challenge.”
Setlist: Waterfront; Up On The Catwalk; Book Of Brilliant Things; Glittering Prize; The American; King Is White And In The Crowd; Speed Your Love To Me; Someone Somewhere (In Summertime); Promised You A Miracle; Big Sleep; New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84); Love Song
Archive for the ‘Simple Minds’ Category
Simple Minds Newcastle City Hall 3rd March 1984
Simple Minds Live in Newcastle 1979 – 1982
I first saw Simple Minds when they supported Magazine at Newcastle City Hall on April 25th, 1979. There was already a buzz about the band; I’d seen them perform on the Whistle Test, and was looking forward to seeing them live: “”Having appeared on the Old Grey Whistle Test quite recently, Simple Minds show style and panache. Their perception is discerning, composed stealthfully of a balanced power and access ability. Musically they don’t have limits set by social statements, but rather produce songs to last any test of time whatever the current vogue. Jim Kerr, the articulate lyricist shines on Chelsea Girl one of the strongest compositions.” (Peter Escrett, NME). So this was one of those gigs where we got to our seats early to watch the support act, and they were just great. Their set on the tour consisted of early songs: Hell; Take Me To The Angels; Life In A Day; Destiny; Chelsea Girl; Special View; Garden Of Hate; Pleasantly Disturbed; Murder Story. “Chelsea Girl” and “Life in Day” were my early live favourites.
Jim Kerr: “And then we went straight into the Magazine tour, and we were already getting the Magazine soundalike tags, even though we’d got our sound before we’d even heard ‘Real Life’. And we went on this tour with no LP and no single… and we got out there and really there seemed to be no pressure on us and we just went out to enjoy ourselves.”
The next time I saw Simple Minds was at a gig at Newcastle University on November 24th, 1979. There was trouble at the gig and the band left the stage at one point. “The gig was unique in as much as that half way through Wasteland (about the 4th track) the band have a fight with a few members of the audience and walk off for about 15 minutes. They do return but only to play another five or so songs.” (from http://www.simpleminds.org/sm/tours/t1979-2/index.htm ).
Simple Minds next returned to Newcastle to headline at the City Hall on September 21st, 1981. Support was provided by Australian band Icehouse. I am pretty sure I was at this gig, but can’t find my ticket stub, so maybe my memory is playing tricks again.
I was, however, definitely at the City Hall to see Simple Minds when they played on November 20th, 1982, and I have my ticket and programme from the gig (pictured here). Support this time was the excellent China Crisis. By this point Simple Minds had found their own style, having moved from a sparse, rhythmic, electronica band to a much more pop sound, and they were starting to hit the charts with their singles “Promised You a Miracle” and “Glittering Prize”. One of my favourites from this early period was “The American”. This was the band at their peak, and a powerful live act.
Setlist: In Trance As Mission; Colours Fly And Catherine Wheel; Hunter And The Hunted; Glittering Prize; Someone Somewhere (In Summertime); Sweat In Bullet; Promised You A Miracle; King Is White And In The Crowd; I Travel; Celebrate; The American; Big Sleep
Encore: New Gold Dream; Love Song; Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)
I saw Simple Minds once more, in 1984 as they began to achieve mega status. I’ll reflect on that gig tomorrow.