Hogmanay 2012: 5 reasons we love Simple Minds
The 1980s pop-rock titans are set to headline Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations
At the height of the band’s career, approximately 1980-84, Minds frontman Jim Kerr was thought the biggest pseud in rock. Boundless was the glee generated whenever Kerr discussed his newest cultural crushes, as with this 1981 example in the NME: ‘Visconti, Volker Schlondorff – and anything by Laurel and Hardy.’
As dire as the Minds’ records have been for three decades now, there’s no gainsaying the teutonic ice-funk majesty of the band’s best work: from the early Roxy Music flash of Life In A Day (1979), via the wondrous Sons And Fascination (1981) to the big-league breakthrough of Sparkle In The Rain (1984).
A side-effect of fame was the Minds’ attempt to become a kind of stunt U2, always ready for a spot of geopolitical handwringing wherever the downtrodden were gathered. Cue some nightmarish moments: ‘Belfast Child’ and ‘Mandela Day’ particularly.
Though inherently a band for blokes who appreciate guitar effects, raincoats and songs about der autobahn, the Minds created also a clutch of unbeatable toe-tappers: ‘Promised You A Miracle’, ‘Love Song’, ‘The American’ and the deathless ‘Don’t You Forget About Me’.
All Glaswegian males silently applauded Kerr’s progress through the boudoirs of pop music’s sisterhood, most famously Patsy Kensit and Chrissie Hynde. This success may not have been unconnected to the dimensions of Kerr’s trouser parts, alleged to be not inconsiderable – as Hynde herself later sang: ‘Autistic, repetitious / People-phobically suspicious / With an oversized schlong’.