On Sunday night, the o2 Academy played host to 80s legends, Simple Minds- their set? Simply Mind-boggling.
The 80s superstars opened the show with ‘Let the Day Begin’, a real foot stomper- originally a song by The Call, Simple Minds have made it their own with their distinctive retro twist. This song really set the tone for the rest of the night.
Their set was a real hommage to their loyal fans, most of which are now into their 40s and 50s, which saw them playing music new and old. Starting off with a song from their 2014 album ‘Big Music’ was an interesting move, as it, for one, is a cover- yet it was a good choice- and set the crowd dancing.
As someone who hadn’t heard any of their music before (yes I know…) I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but was assured that I was in for a treat.
In the first of 2(!) sets, they played a bit of everything, with older songs such as the infamous Breakfast Club soundtrack ‘Don’t You Forget About Me’ and newer material such as ‘Honest Town’- however it seemed that the first half was indeed geared towards their classic material.
One thing that really struck me was the energy of Jim Kerr, one of the two remaining original members, who was energetically prancing around the stage and giving every note his all, which was quite something to see. Charlie Burchill, the original guitarist, also put on a blinding show- with his performance note perfect.
That, however, is not to say that the rest of the group weren’t as good because they really were- from the infectious smile of drummer Mel and rockstar performances by Andy and Ged, this was really a show for the fans.
The group were joined by two female singers, Sarah Brown and Katherine AD, whose unique vocals really added something to a touching performance.
For me, the second half was slower. Opening with ‘White Hot Day/Bassline’ was slightly too anthemic sounding for a second half opener and would have been better used to open the first half in order to rouse the crowd rather than re-introduce themselves to a crowd that had already just been listening to them. As well as this, giving the lead vocals to Sarah Brown, before Jim started to sing struck me as odd.
I have nothing but admiration for their two female vocalists, Katherine was arguably gorgeous and her voice was so beautiful and gave so much depth to the music, and Sarah’s powerful soul voice and amazing stage presence left nothing to be argued with.
Although the second half was slower, it was undoubtedly still brilliant and from the crowd reaction, they seemed to agree.
Their second to last song was a cover of The Doors’ ‘Riders on the Storm’, which was an odd choice and for me, didn’t quite work with their distinctive synth sounds, however, ‘Alive and Kicking’ got the entire crowd going, and ended the show on a high note.
It is clear that 30-odd years on, they still have it.