10 Dec, 2008 OUR CAUSE
Within hours of the last notes ringing out at the ABC in Glasgow both Charlie and myself had boarded a flight to Los Angeles where we will spend the next couple of weeks with Bob Clearmountain as he sets about mixing the songs that we recorded in Rockfield studios during August and September.
Even allowing for the fact that we sat motionless on the runway at Heathrow for four laborious hours as technicians tried to solve the problems preventing us from rising to the skies, we both felt high as could be from the lingering rush of the previous night’s Cash For Kids show.
That said with every passing hour the last eleven days including of course the nine magnificent concerts experienced throughout the latest short tour will gradually start to seem a dream as already we move on into a new year and with that yet another chapter of Simple Minds.
To say that we have been delighted with the tour and the response to it would be a huge understatement, but it is very difficult to see how it could in any way have gone better, especially with some of the shows truly having an air of the magical about them
Apart from celebrating 30 years Live, the goal of this short UK tour was to get the band back to what they do best. That for me means playing highly charged emotional sets in front of audiences who know how to reciprocate and can clearly tell when a band is firing on all cylinders. Within that the crowds that come to see Simple
Minds are second to none, and although I have said it many times, the success of a concert depends every bit as much on the enthusiasm of the audience as it does the act.
I was literally blown away in Manchester on the first night when the house lights went down and our own towering neon lights flickered into action. And what special lighting it was too, thanks to Stephen Pollard who exceeded his previous great work. Bringing us out of the darkness so coolly and framing the ambience of each and every song so appropriately, that awesome roar was surely as much for his effect as it was for us.
To be met with such warmth is the perfect incentive, if any was needed, to ensure that we would want to give our very best. That same roar occurred nightly as we criss-crossed the UK, never once letting us down, never failing to signify how excited people were to be at a Simple Minds show.
Hardly being blind to what is in front of us, it was absolutely amazing to see among the waves of fans, so many familiar faces belonging to those who have supported the band throughout the decades. I am talking about people who have spared so much of their time and finances whilst making a parallel journey with us over the years. Of course I have to give a special mention to those who travelled from all over the country, the continent and indeed the globe to be with us during this last week – obviously deciding at some point that they just “had to be there etc.”
We were thrilled to also meet up with various personalities who had worked with us particularly in the earlier days and helped so much with their skills and advice. They were the original champions of “our cause” and plainly there would be no 30 Years Live of Simple Minds to celebrate without them and that kind of support.
Although we have a long way to go still within our aim, undoubtedly there is now in many quarters a reappraisal of Simple Minds going on and with that it is tangible that we are being reconsidered more frequently as an entity with a forward motion and not only a very proud past. That is exactly what we and all who work with us have sought to achieve with “our cause” over these last years as we have admittedly fought our way from being a band struggling to survive under the weight of our past glories.
It has not been easy but we relish every inch of progress and with that every new convert we make to “our cause.”
I also have to mention how pleasing it was to notice the increasing number of younger faces at the gigs also. We rely more and more on new followers coming through that are also passionate and willing enough to go and spread the word about Simple Minds to their friends etc.
This newly completed tour has gone a long way in pushing us on in the future direction we want to be going and I look forward with great anticipation to the next part of the story that is being set out in front of us at this very moment. With that I am already itching to get back out and playing next year as we will certainly do, pushing ourselves at the same time as ever to become even better than we are currently!