02 Mar, 2014 As The Band Plays On
I don’t need to tell you how much Simple Minds enjoy playing live, the thousands of gigs we have done throughout our career should be testimony enough to that. That said, “playing live” by its very nature usually implies touring and “touring” involves a lot more than getting up on stage.
To state the obvious, touring means packing our bags, putting the rest of our lives on hold as we wave bye to family and friends, and then set out on journey’s that over the months and years add to up to a mind boggling amount of miles.
It is a life that Simple Minds have become accustomed to since our earliest days, it also incorporates a touring lifestyle where each and everyone of us on stage is now “looked after” – in terms of comfort – at a level that sadly most people could only dream of. In the event any of us forget that, or take it for granted, I would hope that we would soon come to our senses, in doing so feel ashamed.
It is of course also a life full of appreciation, bestowed on us by those who come to see us wherever in the world our trucks roll up and our equipment set out. That appreciation comes initially in the way the audiences roar at our arrival on stage, and before we have even played a note usually. (How does that feel? Well, just try and imagine how you’l feel if you were applauded to the max as soon as you turned up for work every day. It would make you feel special, make you want to give your best no doubt. Same here then.)
And yet the touring life, is not a life suited to everyone, evidenced by the fact that there are as many musicians who dislike touring as there are those who delight in the experience. The probable most common reason is that they do not adjust well to the time spent away from home. Or, they cannot cope with the pressure of constantly playing in front of audiences, particularly if they are not natural performers. And let’s remember, just because you might be a talented musician, singer, songwriter etc. That does not mean that you are a talented performer. A number of my musical heroes, sent me to sleep during their shows.
I would like to think that it is obvious from our body language on stage, that nothing pleases us more than making our audiences happy, glad that they came to see us, and that the considerable effort we put into our shows is tangible. Fact is, more than ever Simple Minds want to deliver more than necessary on our side of the bargain whenever we invite people to buy a ticket to see us. And incidentally, we are never under any illusion re the sacrifices people make when they do so.
This current “Greatest Hits” tour, which is due to come to a halt in a few days from now, began 12 months ago in Dublin. I know that we gave our all in every single show over this period. That is not a matter of pride, that is just as how it should be, and what our audience deserves.
A huge and heartfelt thanks goes out to everybody who has come to see us over this last year.
Let us get off now, recharge ourselves, finish this new album…and see some of you again firstly in Summer, and then the future beyond. As The Band Plays On!
Pic Vincenzo Nicolello