Surreal event of the week – Simple Minds play 300 capacity venue in hometown!
Simple Minds, whose new album ‘Black and White,’ marks not the great return to form heralded in the press release, but rather an attempt to return to the sounds of a largely unlamented decade, have decided to mark their reappearance with a series of ‘low-key’ back-to basics gigs in small venues across Europe. If some of their early records sounded futuristic (and granted, even those of us with Simple Minds block would admit they did a worthy Glaswegian take on Moroder for about five minutes in the early eighties), then these keyboard sounds presented now sound faintly ridiculous.
Of course, the point of this, along with their choice of venues is to prove their authenticity, to reclaim their roots (again if you believe the press release) rather than an attempt to whore themselves to oldies’ radio stations, who seem to be recording most of the shows. Of course, the days of the Minds’ selling 60 000 tickets in Glasgow (and indeed most of Europe) are long gone.
So, this show makes no sense. Rather than map out either a new direction or a degree of intimacy it is the same old bombast, complete with a total lack of emotional resonance transported on to a small stage. And it looks for the most part preposterous. Jim Kerr asks to see the hands in the air after one song, he applauds the audience at the end of the second. They don’t want to be remembered as a satdium band, but play ‘Waterfront,’ ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’ and ‘Ghost Dancing.’ It is shiny, superficial, hollow and more than anything, completely unnecessary.