26 Nov, 2009 Neon Nights
Farewell and thank you to Scandinavia! So enjoyable, the welcome and encouragement that came our way was most appreciated. The sun even shone for most of the time, surprising us as we imagined that the glorious days spent in San Sebastian would have been its curtain call for the year.
As experienced earlier this week, a walk in either Copenhagen or Stockholm fills the lungs with the same kind of air that we were brought up with.
Likewise if I were to be blindfolded and led through the streets of Oslo, I am certain that something in the surrounding atmosphere would have had me believe that I was in Edinburgh.
The Scandinavians and the Scots as close cousins? Well its been mentioned before and of course through history we also shared some ancient kings. Either way I have so much respect for these countries that we have just visited. Put simply, I admire the way they handle their affairs. I also like the people and the way they set out to enjoy themselves at our concerts.
And so we move down to the lowlands of Holland, Belgium and Germany, before starting off our UK and Irish dates this coming Monday night in Newcastle. To say that we are excited about it all is an understatement, I suspect that this also applies to those who bought their concert tickets some while ago and have been counting down the days.
While it would not be right in any sense to refer to the string of previous dates as warm ups. (We just don’t do warm ups. Each and every show has an attached importance for us) There is nevertheless no getting away from the fact that the first two or three weeks of any tour have an element of the trial about them. Particularly so as we search for ways to make the best of things by constantly testing rrangements, running orders, and ever changing set lists, until a satisfying pattern emerges. Then we get bored by it so quickly and start out all over again, keeping it fresh and hopefully anything but dull.
This is something that is much easier to do in the small or clubbish type gigs, or gigs say where there is little additional production. In those situations you can be much more spontaneous, ad hoc, flying by the seat of your pants. In the bigger arenas this is not the case, as you are forced to consider the already programmed lights/video screens, and even more seriously, those time curfews that are enforced particularly in the UK venues.
(Incidentally, although we will play two hours in the UK, we will not be able to go over that, as we have been doing in most cases over the last weeks. Oslo clocked in at nearly 2.5 hours for example, but that was manageable because the venue was lax about any curfew. So there it is, the UK gets a bit less music unfortunately, but it will get a much more spectacular looking event. It also gets OMD don’t forget!)
After these December dates. I have no idea when Simple Minds will be back on stage.
It is this that makes me want to savour every moment of these remaining weeks of the tour. Hopefully you will as well.
As always, we thank everybody who already has or is making the effort to come and see us, it is you who makes these magical nights possible!