SIMPLE MINDS

Published on October 29th, 2018

Simple Minds by Dean Chalkley

If any song just sounds like the 1980s, the decade when rock and disco — guitars and synths, drum kits and drum machines — figured each other out, it would have to be “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” by Simple Minds, a worldwide smash and the signature track of “The Breakfast Club,” director John Hughes’ 1985 high school confidential.

It was, and is, one of the most eighties-ish of ’80s songs — big, yearning and danceable. And there were more where that came from: “Alive and Kicking” and “All The Things She Said” were follow-up singles in a similar vein — open-hearted unions of new wave, rock and soul, with lots of sonic space for singer Jim Kerr and his stretchy voice.

But for all their hits, and even with the advent today of the streaming playlist, tailored to every listener whim, co-founding guitarist Charlie Burchill tells PureHoney in an interview that Simple Minds will always be an album band. Making albums “makes you relevant,” he says, “and people also appreciate the fact that you invested in it.”

Burchill calls the band’s 18th studio album, “Walk Between Worlds,” optimistic music for dark times. “There’s enough misery out there,” was the band’s attitude, he says. “Let’s not focus on that. Let’s focus on what can be positive and uplifting.”

Before Simple Minds, Kerr, Burchill and their mates were Johnny and the Self Abusers, an entertaining punk band from 1970s Glasgow. The group joined a label, released a single and promptly fell apart, but the implosion left an indelible smudge. The Cocteau Twins got their name from one of the band’s songs. More importantly, Kerr and Burchill moved on from the wreckage to become what they are today.

Simple Minds was not immune to changing times and tastes that sooner or later push every band off its peak. But Kerr and Burchill still flew the flag. “Jim and I just kept going, kept going, and we kind of had a resurgence in the late 2000s,” says Burchill, who is his first cross-country U.S. trek in two decades. “People were saying its a comeback. We were saying no, we never stopped.”

Simple Minds play 7:30pm November 8 at the Fillmore Miami Beach, $42 and up. simpleminds.com ~ Tim Moffatt

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