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Liverpool Summer Pops
Saturday July 24th 2004.

Jim Kerr - Simple Minds

Jim Kerr - Simple Minds live

To be a true follower of The Minds (as they are affectionately known, with sparkling originality), you must be a) old enough to remember the 80's b) young enough to keep up with the pace that they set on stage c) understand that, though they were once deemed BIG, only they and their true followers think that they still are.

Simple Minds are a truly professional outfit that can rub shoulders with the best of them. Here, in this festival which boasted such performers as Peter Gabriel, Bryan Ferry, Bonnie Raitt & Busted (?) in previous days, they certainly did not let anybody down.
Jim Kerr belied his age with seemingly effortless aplomb as hit after hit was thrown from his larynx. Don't You Forget About Me, Sanctify Yourself, Somewhere In Summer Time, Waterfront, New Gold Dream & Alive And Kicking were all delivered with a breathtaking power and energy that was lapped up inside the packed marquee.


'It's great to be back in a real city.' Said Kerr halfway through the set, who only twelve months previously had threatened that he might be getting 'too old' for touring and gigging. Given the response he got at the end of the show, 5,000 people hope he's reconsidered.

Charlie Burchill on Guitar was immaculate and as unpretentious as he likes to be. No flashy solos or over the top bravado. Just plain, good old fashioned, slick guitar work that never fails. Mel Gaynor pounded out a ceaseless rhythm behind them that is almost remorseless in its ability to drive over the vocals, though never quite goes that far.
Kerr though was everywhere, his energy undying, as he ran non-stop left, right and centre, urging the crowd to keep up by having the house lights turned on full so he could see that they were doing just that. Who is going to forget his encouragement of the crowd to sing 'from the sides, to the back, to the front' during the seemingly endless 'Don't You Forget end bit (you know how it goes 'la, lalalala, lalala, lalalalalalalalala etc. etc. etc) and his twenty five minute version of Ghostdancing ( mixed with a fine version of Gloria in the middle).

Highlight of the night though was - in my humble opinion - the singing of the band's finest tune, which was sadly omitted from last year's set list, Belfast Child. Here is a song of true classic status that, when played live, takes on a life of its own. Kerr's haunting, powerful vocals, alongside Burchill's smooth guitar, fills the arena with a sort of misty eyed reminiscence of times past. We all remember them don't we? Days when Number 1 in the charts was earned, not bought or made by agents?
Overall, this was a class act, well worthy of anybody in the world. I personally hope that 'The Minds' make the Liverpool Pops an annual event in heir calendar. They'll be most welcome if they do.





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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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