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Simple Minds - Jardins del Reial-Vivers, Valencia, 24/7/2022

  by Philamonjaro

published: 5 / 10 / 2022

Simple Minds - Jardins del Reial-Vivers, Valencia, 24/7/2022


Philamonjaro finds Simple Minds to be on fiery form as he watches and photographs them on their '40 Years of Hits Tour' in Valencia in Spain.

Simple Minds’ ‘40 Years of Hits Tour’ is their first tour since COVID and had no signs of a lockdown interruption. Contrary, this band is flawless and gave all it had for the audience. At the core of the band are founding members Jim Kerr (lead vocals) and Charlie Burchill (guitar), childhood mates, best pals and constants in the band. In addition to Kerr and Burchill, the current line-up features Gordy Goudie (guitar and vocals), Ged Grimes (bass guitar), Berenice Scott (keyboards and vocals), Sarah Brown (vocals and guitar), and a rhythmic force-of-nature on drums, Cherisse Osei. This ensemble performed faithful arrangements with wonderfully added live moments unique from the original recordings. Alchemy comes to mind. The band took sound, melody, rhythm, lyrics, stagecraft and a blissful abandon to connect with the audience. An older audience, who after decades, and growing up with their music, treats this band with notable affection. These hit songs were from our time of discovery and coming of age. They have a very personal resonance. Memories cast in the moment of first hearing them. They are unique, streetwise, raw, danceable, flush with catchy melodies and thoughtful lyrics. The music from the 1980s was OUR music. After years of listening to the bloated ‘70’s rock of our older siblings, we found a new sound (or it found us) and it represents our youth. But in the case of Valencianos something more memorable is at work. In a local concert preview a couple days beforehand, El Confidencial’s post titled "Simple Minds in Valencia in 1986: the concert that marked the Turia boomers" elaborated the long history and affection that Valencia music fans have for the band. "The Scots showed that the Simple Minds constitute an imperishable element in the identity collective of the Valencian baby boom generation" The first time that Simple Minds performed in Spain was in Valencia in 1986 at the height of their popularity. It was so memorable a concert that even Kerr mentioned it from the stage. He still remembers that concert. The eighteen song, hour and forty five minute concert was back-to-back hits. There are so many that it was easy to overlook other favourites not performed. Opening the set they pulled out one of their first original songs ‘Act of Love’. It is an edgier dance song that exemplified the earliest, rawer sound of the band. According to the band, “‘Act Of Love’ is a new recording and one-off single to mark the anniversary of Simple Minds very first performance at Glasgow’s Satellite City on 17th January 1978.” Next came ‘Love Song’, the single from their 1981 release, ‘Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call’. Two great songs that gave a nod to their beginning. From the start, Kerr rallied the audience to clap, cheer, sing-along and engage. In the way he smiled, pointed, cheered, clapped lofted his mic stand and made eye contact, he seemed intent to connect with everyone within his view. As for Burchill’s guitar work, he could likely be the most overlooked guitar talent within his chart-topping status. Given his melodic defining guitar riffs, he should be hailed alongside The Edge, Jack White, Slash and others. Well represented in the set were songs from their rising years, starting with the 1982 album ‘New Gold Dream (81–82–83–84’). They played the title track, the haunting and cryptic ‘King is White and in the Crowd’ and fan favourite, ‘Someone Somewhere in Summertime’. More early hits, ‘Waterfront’ and ‘Book of Brilliant Things from their 1984 album ‘Sparkle in the Rain’, appeared back to back early in the set: The latter was powerful. Starting as an instrumental breakdown, it was completely different from the original recording, and stripped out the 80’s dance beat in favour of a sparse and focused dynamic. The intro was a slow, sombre build-up of synth strings that broke into Berenice Scott’s crisp, piano playing, which involved luscious moments of a single-note melody and big chords with lots of open space. Burchill softly noodled guitar riffs as Sarah Brown was centre stage singing lead. Brown’s gifted voice defined the song. Drummer Osei used padded mallets on the cymbals slowly building volume as Grimes’ four-four bass line built up the song to a powerful, full rocking crescendo. It was incredible. Their career’s fulcrum point came with wide success in 1985 with the ‘Once Upon A Time’ album and the soundtrack single ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me’ from John Hughes’ film ‘The Breakfast Club’. They were both central to the set as they played both the single and the title track as well as ‘Alive And Kicking’ and ‘Sanctify Yourself’ as two of the three closing encores. While Simple Minds looked back celebrating four decades of music, they are also looking forward to a new CD titled Directions of the Heart slated for release this October 21st and available for preorder. Mid-set they performed the new single ‘Vision Thing’. “Raised with revolution, I could find no solution inside I'd fall and fail a million times before the day when I get it right I walked into an empty room and came across a version of me You opened up the world you know and told me 'bout that vision you see” The end of ‘Vision Thing’ brought forward stage Scott, Goudie and Brown singing vocal ease harmonies as the song faded out softly. These blended voices made the hair on your neck stand up. An unexpected touch. Rounding out the show were late 1980s/1990s hits, ‘Mandela Day’, ‘Belfast Child’, ‘See The Light’ and ‘She’s a River’. Notably was Osei’s brief two-plus minute drum solo that ushered out ‘She’s a River’. A mention of a drum solo can elicit yawns, but not in this case. Her prowess commandeered the kit. With three encores, the crowd was satisfied and hyped at what they just experienced. This night represented what concerts should be all about, the power of live music. A power that rekindles out greater humanity and unity. Set List: Act of Love Love Song King Is White and in the Crowd Waterfront Book of Brilliant Things Mandela Day Once Upon a Time Let There Be Love Vision Thing Belfast Child She's a River Someone Somewhere in Summertime See the Lights Don't You (Forget About Me) New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84) Encore: Speed Your Love to Me Alive and Kicking Sanctify Yourself Photos by Philamonjaro www.philamonjaro.com

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Simple Minds - Jardins del Reial-Vivers, Valencia, 24/7/2022

Simple Minds - Jardins del Reial-Vivers, Valencia, 24/7/2022

Simple Minds - Jardins del Reial-Vivers, Valencia, 24/7/2022

Simple Minds - Jardins del Reial-Vivers, Valencia, 24/7/2022

Simple Minds - Jardins del Reial-Vivers, Valencia, 24/7/2022

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