Bournemouth International Centre

Since forming in the late 1970’s Simple Minds has been a very versatile band who have gone on a fantastic journey since forming out of the Punk-influenced “Johnny & The Self-Abusers” around the tough streets of Glasgow. Founder members Jim Kerr (Lead Vocals) and Charlie Burchill (Guitar) have found ways of reinventing themselves with a host of rejuvenated line-ups and have become the real survivors of the music industry. Tonight the band arrive at the Bournemouth International Centre after a warm-up opening night in London Town at Wembley Arena! The band line-up for this tour features Ged Grimes (Bass), Gordy Goudie (Guitar), Cherisse Osei (Drums/Percussion), Sarah Brown (Vocals) and relative new-comer Bernice Scott (Keys/Synths/Vocals).

Fans have had to wait over two years to see this show after a couple of date changes due to the pandemic. It’s now finally time for the band to take to the stage and they enter the arena to a huge welcome from the Bournemouth faithful. The kick-off with a re-working of a song called “Act of Love” that the band recently released as a single prior to the tour. It’s a brave move by a band that has a plethora of big tunes that usually sets the early momentum, somehow though they get away with it and the new version has been made into more of a big anthem than the 1978 Post/Punk version. After all these years Jim’s voice is sounding as powerful and clear as it ever did and it looks like he has kept himself in good shape during his 62 years and has not succumbed to the excesses of stardom.

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One of the band’s huge tunes “Book of Brilliant Things” is given over to Sarah Brown’s divine vocals while Jim takes a rest and the musicians all recreate the track’s uplifting characteristics with ease, with it not sounding too far away from the ultimate version on “Live in The City of Light”. The crowd despite being all seated; seems really up for the show and despite a few shorts lulls during some lesser-known songs, they are noisy and excitable throughout.

There is a huge backdrop and it’s used to great effect with an incredible lightshow, which is dispersed with screens displaying the individual artwork from the tracks being played. The ever-popular “Belfast Child” is brought back into the set and Jim says that the lyrics are even more relevant today than when the song was first written. The first set comes to a close with an infectious cover of The Call’s “The Walls Come Down”, before the band leaves for a 15-minute break to recharge their batteries.

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The lights go down once again and the band (minus Jim) arrive on stage for a full live version of the wonderfully atmospheric instrumental “Theme for Great Cities”, before going straight into the wondrous “Waterfront”. This gives the crowd exactly what they want and transforms some of us older fans back to some of the huge early shows of the 1980’s in stadiums; where the unmistakable bassline of the song radiates, before everyone in unison sings the lyrics… Jim looks across the arena at the excited Bournemouth crowd and says his catchphrase “Let me see your Hands”. Another highlight is “Once Upon a Time”; a huge song perfect for big venues like this with Jim and Sarah leading the crowd sing-a-long, which is just a warm-up for “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”. The band and the crowd up their game and as I pause for a few moments and ponder my surroundings; I cannot help but think how amazing it is to be in this place with this band and the audience tonight, with hopefully the worst of the pandemic behind us.

One of my personal all-time favourite Simple Minds tracks is “New Gold Dream”; this is because not only is it a wonderfully engineered track, but once I heard a bootleg tape from Glasgow Barrowlands in 1985 when my other hero Bono joined the band onstage for an amazing extended version of the song. Since then, each time I hear it live I live in hope that Bono may just wander onstage and recreate that moment once again……well I can dream can’t I!!

The band leave the stage and return after a huge amount of noise and clapping from the demanding crowd, who of course wanted more. They return with a reworked version of “Speed Your Love to Me”, where Sarah and Bernice show off their incredible vocals on a more slowed-down version of the song. This causes a mixed reaction from the crowd with some wanting it to be just like the original version on the album. I’m personally happy that the band feels they can recreate their songs to make their shows interesting and keep things fresh. I wouldn’t want to hear the same versions over and over, plenty of Simple Minds fans have seen the band on multiple dates of tours and lots of times over the years and most appreciate the variety that the band bring. The set closes with two big guns “Alive & Kicking” and “Sanctify Yourself” giving the audience one last chance to let themselves go. It’s been one truly amazing night with 26 songs performed, with this very spoilt Bournemouth audience who came and saw a band who after over 40 years are still creating music that thrillingly uplifts.

Set List
Act of Love
I Travel
Glittering Prize
Promised You a Miracle
Book of Brilliant Things (Bernice Scott & Sarah Brown Lead Vocals)
Up on the Catwalk
Hunter and the Hunted
Love Song
Belfast Child
The Walls Came Down (The Call cover)

Theme For Great Cities
She’s a River
Once Upon a Time
Let There Be Love
Someone Somewhere in Summertime
See the Lights
All the Things She Said
Don’t You (Forget About Me)
Let It All Come Down
New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)

Speed Your Love to Me (Sarah Brown Lead Vocals)
Alive and Kicking
Sanctify Yourself



Words by David Chinery (Chinners)
Pictures by Lynn Burt.

Simple Minds