Simple Minds





I FIRST met Jim Kerr in room three hundred and something of the Columbia Hotel. A pale, thin figure topped by a grisly mass of greasy backcombed black hair. Simple Minds were about to make their Top Of The Pops debut with a song call 'Promised You A Miracle' and the album, 'New Gold Dream', was seven or eight weeks away.

Eighteen months on and I'm back at the Columbia Hotel although in a different room (101 actually – I sniffed edgily for rats), facing a Jim Kerr looking fitter and sharper despite a continental shirt combination that makes his slender frame appear almost chubby. His natural brown hair has once again been allowed to grow through and it forms two semi-fringes, one uncomfortably perched over each temple.

After nearly a year of vinyl quietness, Simple Minds have issued the 'Waterfront' single, seen it vault chartwards a have an LP set for release next February.

"When I spoke to you before it was right on the eve of 'New Gold Dream', we'd just done the single and it was great when it came out, we were really pleased then. For the first time we sat back and didn't panic, being sure that it was in control, like a complete, focused thing.

"We went off for six months, toured, came back and wrote these new songs feeling very chuffed and smug. But a week later we found out all we were doing was writing 'New Gold Dream' part two, which was really awful. It was big problem at the beginning of the year. I was drying up, at least everything I wrote seemed to be either the same as 'New Gold Dream' or a parody on it. So we kept touring and touring, and that's why this is the first record this year and why there's been no album, because this mental block came on.

"Then in September all these manic songs started coming out that could never have been on 'New Gold Dream'. There's one called 'Kick Inside' which could be a Sex Pistols backing track. And I don't know how we went from 'New Gold Dream' to that, but we have, and we're really up with it. We played this unannounced gig in Glasgow at the weekend and it just sounded so rough and raw, but still with an underlying classiness to it."

To continue reading this article and to discover many more (over 140,000 words-worth!), purchase Mick Sinclair’s Adjusting the Stars: Music journalism from post-punk London. 


mick sinclair

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