Simple Minds - 1979

Simple Minds - in 1979, a band on the rise.


Simple Minds - 1979
Simple Minds – in 1979, a band on the rise.

Simple Minds – in concert at The Paris Theatre, London – 1979 – BBC Radio 1 In Concert Series –

Simple Minds, before they became synonymous with John Hughes films and before they became a household name in the U.S.

Together since 1977, after a short-stint as a Punk band going by the name of Johnny & The Self-Abusers, renamed themselves Simple Minds, ditched the Punk posturing and started getting a serious fan following.

From a name change to new management to a label deal, Simple Minds were on the fast-track to establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with. This concert comes around the time of their debut album, released on Arista Records in April of 1979. Their first single off the album was Life In A Day, also the title of the album. It reached 62 on the British charts, while the album reached 30 on the lp charts. It was followed that same year with their second album, Real to Real Cacophony, which was a departure, even from the first album from only a few months earlier. It was darker and edgier, and would have the new wave experimentation with electronics which would be their trademark over the coming years.

From their formative beginnings to the band still gigging today (with only founding members Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill as the remaining members), Simple Minds continue to gig and perform, in fact they finished up their first series of unplugged gigs ever in Zermatt, Switzerland at the Zermatt Festival in April of this year.

But this is the earlier stuff – the period of time the band were still experimenting and getting their sound together, and building an audience and critical praise in the process. As always, it was recorded in concert at The BBC’s Paris Theatre in London for BBC Radio 1’s In Concert Series.

If it wasn’t for their prominent connection with John Hughes and his teen-angst films so closely linked to the 80s, it’s possible they would still have achieved the huge popularity they did – but it may have taken longer.

In any event, if you remember them from the beginning, this will be a reminder – if you’ve never heard their early stuff, here’s a good opportunity to start.

Crank it up and get ready for the week.

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2 thoughts on “Simple Minds – Live At Paris Theatre 1979 – Past Daily Soundbooth: Concert Edition

  1. Aah, the Simple Minds. This gig includes tracks from their second album ‘Reel To Reel Cacophony’ which I had borrowed on spec from my local library.

    I was hooked by the development from prog-rock through punk rock and into a new hybrid, and immediately purchased the album, and the next three: Empires and Dance (’80), Sons and Fascination (’81) and New Gold Dream (’82). There was a driving groove which I wanted to experience live.

    Come the evening of the gig, I rode my motorbike through the pouring rain into central London, parked it in a secure spot a short walk from the Drury Lane Theatre and set off head down, still helmeted, trying to not get any wetter as I walked down the middle of the traffic-free road. I was a bit puzzled by a line of barriers to my right with people standing behind them, and was further surprised when a policeman asked me where I was going, which was just along to the turning to the right.

    He said ok and let me walk on. I glanced to the left as I walked past a limousine and realised that Princess Diana was getting out the other side to where Prince Charles was waiting. I was passing the Royal Opera House, the venue for their choice of an evening’s music, but I was focussed on my gig, not theirs

    Pint in hand, I went on to the floor in front of the stage and was soon lost in my own world … bah,dum, bah,dum, bah,dum, bah,dum … as I Celebrated with the band driving me along with their familiar grooves.

    At some point it crossed my mind that I’d paid to see the band, so I looked up and, yes, there was Jim Kerr cavorting at the front of the stage … and I was the only one looking at him. Everyone else was ba,dum, ba,dum, ba,dum, ba,dumming along, head down.

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