SIMPLE MINDS’ HAPPY RETURN
Simple Minds, Scotland’s finest rock export, return to South Africa this November with their Greatest Hits Live and with it comes a wall of hits and memories that run close on four decades deep.
Since 1977 Simple Minds’ frontman Jim Kerr, along with his fellow band members Charlie Burchill, Mel Gaynor, Andy Gillespie and Ged Grimes have committed themselves to being of the worlds greatest live acts. 36 years on and the music of Simple Minds remains as important, vital and loved as all of their many chart topping hits combined.
On Friday 1 and Saturday 2 November the Big Top Arena at Carnival City will play host to the five-piece that brought us director John Hughes The Breakfast Club’s powerful anthem “Don`t You (Forget About Me)”, “Alive and Kicking” and the UK Number One hit single “Belfast Child”.
Next stop for the quintet will be Cape Town, on Sunday 3 November. The Grand Arena at GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World will play host to the band and capacity crowd keen to hear the likes of the1989 game-changer “Mandela Day”, the track that arguably played a critical role in highlighting Madiba’s contribution and sacrifice for the freedom every single South African enjoys today. “We were rocking against racism,” Kerr recalls. “Peter Gabriel did it with “Biko”, and we found our voice in a man who’s a living legend.
We were young, filled with idealism and possibility. Hopefully that’s what rubbed off and helped in making South Africa a great country and one we love coming back to.”
Besides helping shape our reality, Simple Minds is currently touring almost every country they’ve ever had a Number One album in. The band arrives in South Africa having just played sold out shows across North America. Post Cape Town they’ll fill two nights at the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam. The Greatest Hits Live show started in Ireland in March this year, and will, after more than 80 shows, wrap up in Poland, almost a year later.
Loved for their ballads as much as their rich, guitar-driven rock, Simple Minds has always successfully sidestepped being locked into any one style or mood. “One of the things I’m most proud of is that people say to me what Simple Minds are you talking about?” Kerr explains.
“The avant-garde, the art-rock, the pop, the ambient, the instrumental group, the political, the folk, the stadium band? We’ve been on one hell of a journey. To play all those different styles, but at the same time be quintessentially Simple Minds, is an amazing thing.”
Relevant and as dynamic as they’ve ever been, Simple Minds may have a wall of greatest hits that go back decades, but what’s even more amazing is they continue to make new memories in a time that’s radically different from when they first started out in. “We’ve seen a lot, played our hearts out, and we keep coming back for more,” Kerr confesses. “The best part for me now is being able to enjoy so many of songs in the places that inspired their creation. Better still is seeing just how each has grown, just as we have.”
The music of Simple Minds continues to attract and influence new fans, many of who have become incredibly success bands and artists in their own right.
From Manic Street Preachers, Primal Scream, Moby, all the way through to relative newcomers The Horrors, they all took a cue from Kerr and crew. Nicky Minaj, David Guetta, Joey Negro and Freddy Bastone have also all sampled a Simple Minds hit, and movies too have benefited from their inclusion. From directors Christian Carion (L’Affaire Farewell), Gregor Jordan (The Informers), Cameron Crowe (Elizabethtown) and, of course, John Hughes (The Breakfast Club), each movie reminds us just how Simple Minds’ music permeates every aspect of pop culture.
As the tours name suggests Simple Minds will be unpacking and delivering all the hits and memories from each of their critically acclaimed studio albums including 1984’s Sparkle In The Rain, Once Upon A Time (1985) and Street Fighting Years, as well as the Ballad Of The Streets EP (both originally released in 1989).
In keeping things a little more current fans of the band’s 2009 UK Top ten album Graffiti Soul are also sure to be rewarded too for heading out to either of the band’s three-night, highly anticipated, return. “When we started Simple Minds, our objective was to be considered as one of the great live bands,” Kerr concludes. “We wanted to be a band that had the desire to go all around the world – playing everywhere and anywhere. We’re still living the dream and are looking forward to sharing it with as many people as possible.”
Friday 1st November – 8pm at The Big Top Arena, Carnival City.Saturday 2nd November – 8pm at The Big Top Arena, Carnival City.
Sunday 3rd November – 7pm at The Grand Arena, GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World.
Tickets are available from Computicket.