Music review: Simple Minds

What better way for Simple Minds to mark their 40th birthday than returning to the beloved ballroom they inaugurated as a gig venue back in 1983? This celebration show had the air of An Audience with the Minds, kicking off with a terrific opening trio of their freshest futuristic Euro odysseys, I Travel, Celebrate and Love Song, all baring the blatant Berlin-era Bowie influences and innate dance/stompability of their younger years.

Barrowland, Glasgow ****

Frontman Jim Kerr and guitarist Charlie Burchill were showing their age a little more than these songs, so a couple of brief sit-down interview interludes were convened to divide up the next portion of the evening – a chronological run through their new album Walk Between Worlds.

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Despite the distillation of the signature Minds sound on recent single Magic and distinct shades of their mid-80s pomp to the title track, this new material could not compete with the old classics. Instead, they appealed to the emotions with the nostalgic Barrowland Star, a big, bombastic number with some heroic riffola from Burchill.

Better still and far mightier was Waterfront, the song which launched the good ship Barrowland when the band filmed the video here in November 1983 – quite possibly with a good number of this show’s audience in attendance as extras.

The encores were given over to their biggest arena rock hits – Sanctify Yourself, Alive and Kicking and Don’t You (Forget About Me) – and the one misfire of proceedings, an overblown rendition of Ewan MacColl’s Dirty Old Town, before Kerr took a well deserved moment to survey his spiritual home with the lights up.