Review: Simple Minds at Portsmouth Guildhall

Simple Kinds' Jim Kerr
Simple Kinds' Jim Kerr
Guest speakers at the conference will include Mikey Demus from the band Skindred

Going underground as free music conference at Portsmouth Guildhall aims to help new acts

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This was, as they say in football, a game of two halves.

To begin with, Simple Minds were loud, larger than life and reasonably enjoyable.

Throwing in two of my favourite songs in the first half dozen warmed me up nicely (Waterfront and Up On The Catwalk since you ask).

My concern was that Jim Kerr seemed to be holding a little back.

After a brief interval around the hour mark he returned a different man.

In the second half Kerr owned the stage.

He delved deep into the lengthy back catalogue to play not only crowd pleasers like Promised You A Miracle, Don’t You (Forget About Me) and Sanctify Yourself but also fan favourites like I Travel (from their excellent 1980 LP Empires And Dance) and The American, which sounded fresh and was garnished with some sterling guitar from Charlie Burchill.

Burchill also shone on the sublime Love Song, another old song given a new lease of life.

With a songbook that covers post-punk, synth pop and stadium rock, a Simple Minds hits show is an eclectic mix and this evening Kerr and co really tried to cater for everyone.

Whilst I could easily live without War Babies or the dull This Is Your Land, the crowd, me included, went home happy.