Live Review: Simple Minds / Del Amitri – The 02 Arena, London 21.03.24

Michael Hundertmark

Simple Minds brings new energy to the 02 arena with a hits laden nostalgic tour date. Back in 2020, the band was 10 days into a world tour when the rest of the tour dates were cancelled because of Covid, and now the band is back in full force. Frontman Jim Kerr grew up in a Tower block in Glasgow’s Toryglen dreaming of being a rock star.

Since then the band a produced a sing of hit singles becoming best known for their international hit ‘Don’t you (forget About Me)’! and hit singles like ‘I Promised You a Miracle’ In a Guardian interview Kim Kerr describes that he drove past Stadiums they used to sell out in the early 2020’2 on their way to a very small venue play to a smallish crowd.

In 2014 Simple Minds was awarded the ‘Q Inspiration Award’ for their contribution to the music industry and an award in 2016 for the outstanding song collection from The British Academy of Songwriters. Now that guitarist Charlie Burchill and Jim Kerr are in their 60’s there are back on a huge sell out arena tour starting in the UK pleasing fans old and new alike with their timeless hits.

Tonight’s special guests ‘Del Amitri‘ are more than adequate for a Simple Minds show. Their songs have style and still sound fresh as they did back in the day with Jim Currie’s outstanding voice, evident in the catchy opener ‘The Last to Know’. The audience showed their appreciation for the melodic set, with guitarist Iain Harvie throwing his guitar around like a young rock star throughout delivering tight riffs and solos.

In complete darkness, the band slowly take their place with Jim Kerr waving his hands in the air to a huge applause. Meanwhile, the band is a revamped seven peace outfit with Sarah Brown sharing the occasional lead vocals and Cherisse Osei being an outstanding drummer. She even takes centre stage at one point delivering an impressive drum solo. Decade old songs still sound polished and contemporary with the new band members!

The set list draws on 1980s glories to the delight of the ecstatic audience even with the seated front of the arena floor rising to the occasion. The opening chords of Waterfront are unmissable with big hits ‘Once Upon a Time’ and ‘New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)’ keeping the momentum going.

Charlie Burchill and Jim Kerr are in a playful mood to set the tone with wall to wall quality musicianship with ‘Belfast Child’ being played powerfully. The whole arena is amassed with a near ten minute sing along…‘la, la, la’s,’ of the classic ‘Don’t’ You (Forget About Me). After a short interval For the last encores ’Alive and Kicking’ and ‘Sanctify Yourself’, Kerr jokes to the audience “Are you still here and want more but where is my Pizza delivery for Dinner!.”

With tonight Simple Minds still have it in them to perform a momentous uplifting show with a back catalogue of songs to show for it did not fail to deliver.

Simple Minds Set List:
Love Song
Sweat in Bullet
Big Sleep
This Fear of Gods
Terrible Things
All the Things She Said
Vision Thing
Once Upon a Time
Glittering Prize
Promised You a Miracle
New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)
Belfast Child
Someone Somewhere in Summertime
Don’t You (Forget About Me)
Book of Brilliant Things
See the Lights
Alive and Kicking
Sanctify Yourself

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