Review: Simple Minds at Portsmouth Guildhall

Simple Minds. Picture by Paul Windsor
Simple Minds. Picture by Paul Windsor
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Despite starting at the ungodly hour of 8 o’clock, Simple Minds, who are experiencing something of a renaissance with their new album Big Music, were soon in the groove at a sold out Guildhall.

Lead singer Jim Kerr, resplendent in a tartan coat, was in fine voice as he glided almost on tip toe across the stage.

Side-kick guitarist Charlie Burchill is the perfect foil crashing out the big chords that characterise the band’s bombastic sound.

Playing two sets, the opening half harked back to the earlier material before the massive hits. A sublime acoustic American, and one from my student disco days Love Song, were particular highlights. However it was inevitably the clap-along big-hitters like Waterfront and Don’t You (Forget About Me) that take the roof off.

After a quick 10 minute break, it was back to business with a slightly more subdued set that didn’t quite hit the heights as previously. Even Kerr imploring ‘Come on let me see your hands!’ didn’t seem do the trick. A curious cover of The Doors’ Riders on The Storm seemed at odds with the rest of the set.

However it was left to a final encore of a storming Alive and Kickin’ to prove the band still indeed are and have enough fantastic songs in their locker to warrant their legendary status.