23 Mar, 2007 They Are All Great !!
They are just great!
Who am I talking about? I am talking about the guys in our band of course. They way they turn up barely having seen or even heard from each other in over six months, and yet after casually plugging in and hitting the first chord in rehearsals, they manage to pick up instantly from where we left off at our last show in Edinburgh way back in last August. No rust. No forgetfulness, no slackness at all!
Having conjured up intensity capable of lifting me off my feet, the effect of it all coming together again last week in the Perth rehearsal room was something like an awakening call to me. Calling me to throw my heart into the ring again, it was a call I had truly been waiting for.
For too much of these recent past months I have felt like I have been sleep walking in the opposite direction from the rhythm of Simple Minds. That happens when you have other things on your mind, and I have had other things on my mind recently. Important things and good things! But the music and the band is still the thing that gives me the greatest sense of purpose, and being back on tour confirms this to me more than ever.
Talking of which, I now think I know and understand why someone like Bob Dylan literally tours endlessly. And my guess would be that within a world and a society that really has gone off the scale and lost all sense of balance, at least having the focus of a show gives sense to the performer’s day. It of course also offers some sort of real escape, not in a superficial sense, more in the way that meditation offers a release from distortion, the humdrum and the banal.
Others of course will surmise that too many artists also live to perform because fundamentally they are addicted to the supposed kick that derives from the kind of adulation that they receive, not to forget the financial rewards that can go with it. Undoubtedly that will be so with some! But with the sort of people that I have in mind I do not think that is their prime motivation at all.
I believe that what drives true artists/performers is that at their core they feel at their most validated when giving of themselves totally to an audience. Being of service – if you like! All else is secondary, a mere bonus. But I am talking about really genuine performers, the kind that make a special and quite rare connection with an audience through their gift, those who get lost in themselves when they perform, those equally who can seemingly transport us throughout the enduring moments of a show while making us forget “that it is only rock n’ roll!” Because what they do adds up to so much more than that.
At any rate, speaking for myself it feels wonderful to be out here playing with the band again, and when I see the obvious pleasure within so many of the audience who come to see and hear us. The on-going existence of Simple Minds still continues to make great sense!