Best State of Minds

Best State of Minds

Best State of Minds – Billy Sloan.
SIMPLE MINDS have played gigs in venues all over the world. But frontman Jim Kerr says fans who see them tonight at Glasgow Academy are in for a special treat. The singer reckons the current lineup of the band – formed in 1978 – is the best yet.

I joined the Minds as they kicked off a world tour in Dublin last week.

“It’s only right to give respect to every previous Simple Minds line-up but in some ways I think this is the best we’ve ever been,” Jim told me. “It’s guitarist Charlie Burchill’s and my band. But now, it’s our bass player Eddie Duffy who calls the shots on stage. His input is incredible.

“Mel Gaynor is one of the world’s best drummers and keyboard player Mark Taylor is doing some amazing stuff. Even with years of experience, I still have moments of insecurity. The other night at rehearsals a bit of that insecurity reared its head. But I just stood back and thought, ‘Wait a minute … the drummer, bass player, guitarist and keyboard player are incredible. We can’t go wrong’.”

The Minds wowed 2500 fans at the Ambassador Theatre performing classic hits including Factory and Seeing Out The Angel. Later at the plush Clarence Hotel – owned by U2 – Jim said: “The show felt really good but we’ve had some terrible first nights over the years.

“In the early days, we were still learning our game. We went from clubs to venues, arenas to stadiums and it was a great learning curve. This set is a combination of hits and new album Black & White 050505. A few songs are older than some members of the audience. It’s a testament to the fact the band’s imagination was bigger than our technical ability. Now when we go back to these really inventive songs we can execute them better.”

The group will play gigs in Hong Kong, Singapore, Croatia, Poland and Russia for the first time. “I’ve always wanted Simple Minds to have an international aspect. It feels great after all this time to go to places we’ve never played before,” said Jim.

The follow-up to Black & White is scheduled for next year. Jim said: “We’ve still got a lt of new music to raise our game. You can get beaten up psychologically if you have a bad night. But we’ve always had a fighter’s mentality in as much as if you come and see us we’ll be on our game.” The Minds have been vibing up audiences by playing El Presidente’s debut album over the PA system.”

Jim said: “El Presidente have taken great influences and shaped them into something amazing of their own. “You don’t hear great melodies or hooks like that too often. They’re gold nuggets. I saw the band play live on French TV recently. They were on a show with Robbie Williams, Richard Ashcroft and The Strokes – and wiped the floor with them.”