Sunday, 19 July 2009

Castle Rock

Once upon a time – a good two decades ago, admittedly – I would have been very, very excited indeed about going to see Simple Minds. And on Saturday I was still a little bit excited about seeing them at Edinburgh Castle, partly out of plain old sentimental nostalgia, and partly because I knew they were likely to play a few bona fide classics from the glory days. And they did: it was particularly thrilling to finally hear the likes of "I Travel", "Love Song" and "Big Sleep" live, and I remembered that I quite liked "See The Lights", but much of the rest of the concert sounded a little like aural Polyfilla, filling in the large, empty cracks between moments of inspiration with large, empty songs.

They’re polished, and undeniably good at this big-music, bigger-gestures kind of thing, but it didn’t touch me emotionally in any way whatsoever. And I just can’t warm to Jim Kerr as a frontman – every move he makes seems like a cliché from the Stadium Rock Textbook, his voice is shockingly one-dimensional, and all in all he’s never less than faintly ludicrous (Exhibit A: the above picture).

Although I’m glad for my thirteen-year-old self that I finally saw them, I wouldn’t rush to repeat the experience. And that’s before I even mention the rain. My God, the rain! The kind of apocalyptic deluge I’ll be boring my grandkids about another few decades hence. You can read my Herald review of the gig here. I’m off to listen to Sister Feelings Call.


Anonymous said...

I was there and they were bloody awful, worst i've seen them in over 25 years of watching. "Taxi for Kerr" indeed!

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

Well, bloody, said on a few of your points about Kerr and the group. Still, I do love them and appreciate them in my car to this day. And, well, at least you can say you finally saw them. Unfortunately, until I can get my ass across the big pond it's unlikely I'll get to hear the Big Sleep for some time. Once again, enjoying your shots!