THEY’VE mutated into a strange amalgam of their past selves of late, but fortunately Simple Minds’ live show combines their evocative, mould-breaking early New Wave period with the anthemic mid-80s era, rather than the later, more self-regarding years which saw in the ‘90s. There was volume, a light show and grinding, almost industrial riffing from guitarist Charlie Burchill, a combination which worked evocatively in the Usher Hall.
Simple Minds - Usher Hall, Edinburgh
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There were also, somewhat unexpectedly, a pair of female vocalists who occasionally took the lead on lesser-known tracks including Rivers of Ice and the ravey Book of Brilliant Things. The different vocal tones changed the dynamic somewhat, but largely for the better, with Kerr’s voice having moved towards the deeper end of the scale over the years.
The set was split over two halves and extensively revisited the hits, with the crunching early cult favourites I Travel, New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84) and Love Song appearing in the first half and material from last year’s Big Music spread throughout, including the single Blindfolded, the title track and their exuberantly reverential cover of the Doors’ Riders On the Storm. Amidst it all, of course, came enduring and gamely committed anthems like Waterfront, Don’t You (Forget About Me) and Sanctify Yourself, with the crowd’s collective fighting hard to wrest the choruses from the singers on the stage.
Seen on 07.04.15