Thirty Years Live Tour
Liverpool Summer Pops
Liverpool Echo Arena
July 21, 2009
Simple Minds certainly know how to set a gig off with a bang. With the band celebrating its thirtieth anniversary this year, could there be a better song to get things up and running than Waterfront which was then quickly followed by She’s A River, both of which being powerhouse anthems with an instantly recognisable beat that get the audience to its feet and keeps them there.
Jim Kerr, dressed in an all black suit and shirt, prowls the stage like a hungry panther, cracking jokes with the crowd and delivering faultless vocals. “Nobody told me Liverpool people could sing. You’ll put me out of a job,” he said with a wry smile on his face.
With See The Lights from the superb Real Life album and Love Song rolling back the years to the Sons & Fascination outing which really brought the band attention, the crowd responded in kind, punching the air and bouncing along to other oldies such as East At Easter, Promised You A Miracle, Somewhere In Summertime, Glittering Prize and a glorious Don’t You Forget About Me.
With Charlie Birchhill ripping riffs from his guitar like a man possessed whilst Eddie Duffy strutted his stuff, legs apart, on Bass, Mel Gaynor thumped out a remorseless rhythm on drums that resounded amongst the packed throng.
Only Andy Gillespie on keyboards seemed removed, or at least did so up until the opening strains of Belfast Child filled The Arena. Such a beautiful song, it was given full respect as the crowd fell silent whilst Kerr gave it all he could to reproduce a near-perfect version of the band’s only Number One.
There were new songs from their latest Graffiti Soul album, including Stars Will Lead The Way and Rockets, which in time will surely remain within the live pantheon, but its incredible, with so many songs to fall back on, that it took Simple Minds seven albums to really make it big.
With one of the songs from that self-same Once Upon A Time album closing the show, Alive & Kicking brought the already strained vocal chords of the audience to the fore once again, with many of us older ones remembering the time the song launched The Premier League on Sky.
During the first encore, which sandwiched Belfast Child between a stripped down version of Home and the raucous, out-and-out rocker, Sanctify Yourself, the band returned to finish the night on a high with This Is It and a truly memorable Ghostdancing.
Simple Minds know how to put on a show, that’s for sure and here’s to another thirty years of their doing it live.