Gig review: Simple Minds, T in the Park

MANY in the audience might have had Simple Minds pegged as Saturday’s nostalgia act, a band whose relevance has long since passed and whose catalogue exists merely to be torn apart by the nostalgia-fixated for the rest of its life.

Simple Minds

Main Stage, Saturday

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None with this opinion in mind, however, will surely be aware of 5x5, the recent re-release of the Glasgow rock group’s first five albums from the early 1980s, when they were pioneers of the British post-punk scene. To everyone’s enjoyment, both incarnations of the group turned up here.

Wearing denim jeans, a white T-shirt and a long black coat, Jim Kerr looked very much the elder rocker, but he and fellow fifty-something Charlie Burchill, the band’s guitarist, exercised time-honed moves with the confidence of guys who have seen the inside of plenty of arenas.

From those early days they played Love Song, Celebrate and New Gold Dream (81/82/83/84), all received somewhat equivocally by the bystanders in the crowd but cause for real excitement among the band’s most adoring fans, their stark, motorik synthesiser grind an unacknowledged template for many contemporary synth-pop groups who pay unwitting tribute. For those who hadn’t come for a history lesson, meanwhile, Don’t You (Forget About Me) and Alive & Kicking provided enduringly welcome singalong material.