Simple Minds @ SSE Arena, Belfast, Northern Ireland, March 19, 2024 | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Simple Minds

Simple Minds, Del Amitri

Simple Minds @ SSE Arena, Belfast, Northern Ireland, March 19, 2024,

Mar 22, 2024 Photography by Lee Campbell Web Exclusive
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About five songs into the gig, Simple Minds talisman Jim Kerr tells the Belfast crowd that he needed to put something to a vote. His on-stage jacket is causing him some bother. Backing singer Sarah Brown and drummer Cherisse Osei think it looks the part. Jim, in typical Glaswegian dead-pan humour, says he feels more like Boomtown Rat Johnnie Fingers in a set of pyjamas. The frontman feels completely at ease, in a city that is close to his heart.

Prior to this, fellow Glaswegians, Del Amitri, led by Justin Currie are warmly received, even though the majority of the crowd still seem to be hanging out at the bars around the arena. Currie only announced a number of weeks ago that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Despite being in the face of such adversity, Currie and the boys belted out some great tunes on this March evening by the Titanic docklands.

Del Amitri
Del Amitri

The first quarter of the set included two deep cuts for the Simple Minds hardcore fan base, “Life in a Day” from their debut album, and the electrifying, “This Fear of Gods” from the Empires and Dance LP. Aside from the celtic infused “Solstice Kiss” from their most recent album, Direction of the Heart, the 18-song performance is peppered with the band’s biggest songs through the decades.

Last October, they released New Gold Dream - Live from Paisley Abbey, to help celebrate their fifth and arguably their best record from 1982. With its sumptuous bass lines, now delivered by Ged Grimes instead of Derek Forbes, its legacy lives on in this 2024 World Tour. Six songs feature, with “Someone, Somewhere in Summertime” always managing to captivate the senses through its mystery and melancholy.

Simple Minds
Simple Minds

“Once Upon a Time” gets a great reception from the crowd before a run of “Glittering Prize”, “Promised You a Miracle” and “New Gold Dream”. Kerr introduces drummer Cherisse Osei as the “baby” of the band. She really is a force of nature and has brought so much positive energy to Simple Minds in the past couple of tours. Her jaw-dropping drum solo is lapped up by the Belfast faithful.

Simple Minds
Simple Minds

Kerr and guitarist Charlie Burchill, both now 64, wear the aging rock stars badge very well. Hearing “Belfast Child” in the very city that it was written for is pure, poignant emotion both for the fans and the musicians. “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” remains the anthem that it has grown to become, especially in a live setting, with that famous Mel Gaynor drum fill now perfectly executed by Ossei.

Simple Minds
Simple Minds

The rousing “Book of Brilliant Things” is first out of the gates on the encore, sung exclusively by vocalist Sarah Brown as Kerr takes a breather, watching with pride and in awe of his colleague’s vocal performance. “See the Lights” from 1991’s Real Life album is a surprise inclusion with “Alive and Kicking” and “Sanctify Yourself” bringing the curtain down in Belfast.

Simple Minds have now managed to endure for close to fifty years from their genesis in 1977, with two childhood friends from Glasgow at the helm. Their music still means so much to so many, stirs up a rainbow of emotions and ultimately speaks to the heart.

Simple Minds
Simple Minds

The current tour will run through to August with various festival dates throughout the summer across Europe.




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