Simple Pleasures

Simple Pleasures

Simple Minds’ Jim Kerr reveals what gets him through the day.

Morning Has Broken.
At the risk of sounding a ponce, when I get up I listen to The Lark Ascending, by Ralph Vaughn Williams. As I love the early morning this is the great awakening piece that just fits. I now live in Sicily and my view is the Aegean and Mount Etna. Add this track and who needs drugs?

I listen to my iPod while running around an overgrown football park. The other day I played Alex Harvey’s Boston Tea Party almost 20 times in succession and before I knew it my pain was over.

On the beach.
I was sitting on the beach the other day listening to You Are My Sister by Anthony & The Johnsons and it blew me away. I had heard the hype about this guy and for once it was deserved.

There’s a lot of music that takes me right back to my mum’s Formica kitchen table and, though it is sometimes painful to hear, I like to play Blackbird by The Beatles.

Dinner party.
I go for classics, such as Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On and Stevie Wonder’s Golden Lady. I grew up in Glasgow where there wasn’t much black music for us — that was what girls bought in Boots on a Saturday — but there is no denying the heat, the sexuality and the politics of both these songs.

Dancing and prancing.
Although obvious, Bob Marley’s Exodus still does it for me. It is so spiritual, so political but so rhythmic. I also love The Supremes and Four Tops. It’s impossible not to dance to their stuff.

Coming Home for Christmas by Joni Mitchell could be seen as Hollywood canyon music, but her musicianship puts it into another category. This track is about a couple who have been apart for too long. It’s just beautiful.

Guilty pleasure.
For me it has to be Harold the Barrel by Genesis, about a guy called Harold who cuts his toes off and serves them for tea. It’s a mixture of the Scaffold meets Emerson Lake & Palmer. I was 13 when I first heard it – and then I liked anything that made your parents ask: “What the hell is that?” That was enough validation. I played it recently and am such a saddo I still loved it.

Feeling sad.
Being a Glasgow Celtic fan I would always go for one of those great old Irish rebel songs such as Wild Rover or Off to Dublin in the Green to pick me up when I’m down. “And we’re all off to Dublin in the green, in the green/ Where the helmets glisten in the sun/ Where the bayonets flash and the rifles crash/ To the rattle of a Thompson gun.” I grew up with these and they remind me of great nights out after Celtic had won . . . yet again.

Simple Minds’ new album Black & White 050505 is out now.