SimpleMinds950

IN SIMPLE terms the word ‘acoustic’ means not having electrical amplification. But as Glaswegian new-wave act Simple Minds triumphantly demonstrated to a packed house at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre, definitions are subjective.

You would be forgiven for expecting longstanding Minds members Jim Kerr, the idyllic vocalist and endearing frontman since the group first formed in 1977, and Charlie Burchill, the cooling influence of an act synonymous with towering ballads and infectious electro-pop, to be sat aloft two stools. Burchill with guitar in hand; Kerr draining a glass with a microphone in his other. Yet as their Simple Minds Acoustic show began and Cherisse Osei stood behind a reverb soaked drum kit and the opening of ‘New Gold Dream (81–82–83–84)’ bellowed out – it appeared this would be a slick, effervescent night rewinding across the decades. The only difference was the guitar.

It was typical Minds. Kerr serenading, dancing and twirling audience members by the dozen – a flashback to the 80s and the band in their pomp. ‘Mandela Day’ – the rhythmically alluring b-side to 1989’s ‘Belfast Child’ saw the audience dazzled by a sea of South African colour – and ‘Chelsea Girl’ – a jaunty number off the band’s debut, which gave a snapshot into the initial post-punk sensibilities of the outfit, whilst demonstrating the hook-laced sounds that would become their hallmark – got the audience bouncing before the hit onslaught began.

‘Stand By Love’, ‘Someone, Somewhere in Summertime’, ‘Sanctify Yourself’ and ‘Promised You A Miracle’ all primed to get the audience aroused for their finale.

Truth be told it was a beautiful spectacle. As Kerr began humming the lead line of ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’, the crowd standing, arms waving in tandem with his, the simmering excitement evolving as the realisation of what was to come became apparent. The wavering bass, hushed passages of acoustics. Boom. ‘Alive & Kicking’ wasn’t far off that either.

This acoustic excursion, which was a real opportunity for the die hard fans to get up close and personal to their often stadium-filling favourites, showed exactly why this band was as defining to the eighties as any other. Removal of some electric, some synths, but at the heart are a set of songs more direct, yet resounding than we first ever imagined.

Words by Clive K Hammond

MORE

BLOSSOMS, INTERVIEW, CAMP BESTIVAL
FOR many the last few years have absolutely flown by. Election after election, tragedy after tragedy, humane coming together of community, solidarity, Iceland, the year of the celebrity death, Pokemon Go. Too much to remember. Yet for four lads, who unbeknownst to them spent the whole of their lives living within 2km of each other, […]
NICK MULVEY, INTERVIEW, CAMP BESTIVAL
“WHEN you’re finished changing, you’re finished,” is how the antiquated adage from founding father Benjamin Franklin goes. That ability to be flexible and change when the time is right. Hundreds of years-ago that famous line was uttered, but it’s never felt more relevant, and for former modern-jazz-turned-songwriter-come-newly-christened-father Nick Mulvey, changing and maturing has always been […]
JOE INNES & THE CAVALCADE, FOREIGN DOMESTIC POLICY, INTERVIEW
“You know with this climate at the minute everything is changing,” London-based Joe Innes tell Quenched Music. With his new album ‘Foreign Domestic Policy’ taking years to finally arrange, it’s hardly surprising it’s become a labour of love for the self-confessed post-Brexit indie songwriter. “It took it’s time but that’s because in the time I […]
COMMON PEOPLE, SOUTHAMPTON, LIVE
AS THE final stragglers danced their way from the Common People main stage, the filthy sounds of favourite headliner Sean Paul still ringing around the ears, it was time for the organisers to reflect on how successful this year’s festival was. 40,000 flocked to Southampton’s Common in anticipation of yet another Bank Holiday jaunt on […]
CARELESS PEOPLE, CHARLOTTE OC, ALBUM, RECORDED
FOR SOMETIME, Charlotte Mary O’Connor – aka Charlotte OC – has been the electro-soulstress on the cusp of brilliance. Her 2013 track ‘Colour My Heart’ remains one of the darkened pop classics that finally distanced her from the bratty pop career Sony had once dreamt she would have. And in the four-years since, critics, fans […]
AETHERLIGHT, MT WOLF, ALBUM, RECORDED
NOT SINCE Sigur Rós landed in 1997 with their maiden release ‘Von’, has a debut album created such an anthemic buzz that every shard of the body quakes in sorrow, ectascy and electricity. And within minutes of London trio Mt Wolf’s ‘Aetherlight’ the very nature of the listener’s spirituality and existence is bought to question. […]