Gig review: Simple Minds & Ultravox, Glasgow

Jim Kerr and Simple Minds were joined on the bill by Midge Ure and Ultravox. Picture: Greg Macvean

Jim Kerr and Simple Minds were joined on the bill by Midge Ure and Ultravox. Picture: Greg Macvean

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For the home leg of their current Greatest Hits tour, Simple Minds were joined by their 80s peers Ultravox, who slammed through a greatest hits set of their own, only briefly drawing breath to accommodate a massed rendition of Flower Of Scotland.

Simple Minds & Ultravox - Hydro, Glasgow

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Billy Currie’s crashing piano chords, proggy synth arpeggios and flourishes on violin were only slightly stunted for being delivered at support band volume levels and, although Midge Ure often strained at the vocal leash, he came through powerfully on the marvellously overwrought Vienna.

Simple Minds, meanwhile, chose their first visit to their hometown’s bespoke concert arena as the occasion to film a promo for self-referential new song Big Music. Discreetly deployed cameras sprang into action as they launched into a thunderous Waterfront, inspired by the very shoreline beside which the Hydro sits. “We’re just warming up,” declared frontman Jim Kerr. Then, five minutes later, following a supercharged I Travel, “we’re knackered already”.

Mid-80s stadium rocker All The Things She Said may have been written for such environments as this, but came across as more of a shouty din than the hook-laden likes of Promised You A Miracle and Glittering Prize, the latter majestically played by birthday boy Charlie Burchill.

Being a Simple Minds show, there were incidences of pretension, some a bit arty and some verging on the corny, but the brawny electro-funky Love Song came along at just the right point to cut through the mid-set bloat, the singalong Don’t You (Forget About Me) brought the crowd back into the game and New Gold Dream made for a suitably epic finale.

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