I’M done, " says Jim Kerr. It's the end of a long day's promotion for the new Simple Minds album and live dates.

The 58-year-old frontman has guided the Simple Minds’ ship since its formation in 1977, and along with guitarist Charlie Burchill, is still the band's focal point.

February sees the release of the band's first album of new material since Big Music in 2014.

Walk Between Worlds is a pretty concise album, rattling through the eight tracks in just 42 minutes.

The band is well-known for such great anthemic numbers such as Promised You a Miracle, Waterfront, Sanctify Yourself and Don’t You (Forget About Me) and this album will certainly add to the canon.

There are two halves to the album, which harks back to the old vinyl albums where there were two sides.

“That’s right,” says Glaswegian Jim. “The first half of the album has songs that have more ‘poppy’ arrangements and they remind us of when we were kids just starting out.”

Tracks like the opener Magic and The Signal And The Noise certainly have a feel of the hunger and desire of youth.

The second half sees the band turning more melodic with some layered strings, especially on the track Barrowland Star which is a tribute to The Barrowlands – an iconic ballroom in the east of Glasgow where the band has played many times (and indeed do so this February).

“Yes, later on in the album, we get a bit more expansive – like we’ve grown up.”

And the album was actually recorded in two halves as well.

“That’s right,” Jim says. “It’s not like the old days when you had six weeks to record the album.”

He explains further.

“There’s always a lot of ideas and we tend to work on stuff for over a year and then halfway through we tend to have a break – usually a tour or a holiday.”

“On our break during recording the ‘Walk Between Worlds’ album we went on our acoustic tour.”

“We were so impressed by the musicians we used on the acoustic tour, we decided to use them on the rest of the album – and they’ll be touring with us again this year.”

During last years’ acoustic tour, the band played in Manchester; the night following the bombing at The Manchester Arena.

Jim tells me that the decision to play was an easy one to make.

“The was no hesitation, not for us. We all wanted to play the date but we had to wait to see if we could actually go ahead.

"In the end, the city wanted to promote the idea that things would continue, but we had to be sensitive to the wishes of others.”

The focus of the February dates is the premiere of the album.

“The new album is the focal point, so we’ll play a lot of it, maybe all of it. I’ll also be doling a bit of chat and explaining about the album.”

“And of course we’ll be playing the best of Simple Minds.”

The overall impression is that Jim is proud of the album.

“Some of the tunes are spectacular – and I didn’t write them. Charlie’s guitar work is phenomenal.”

“The whole thing sounds like classic Simple Minds and contemporary. I realise that that sounds weird, but it does manage to tick all the boxes.”

The set-list will be slightly different for the summer festivals though, as Jim says.

“Yes, the festivals are different, but that’s mainly because they’re not your crowd. You have to win them over. People will know all the big songs, but we will show the whole career of the band.”

“We’ll have worked the new line-up well by then. They’re all amazing players and characters.”

And now the band has the option of throwing in some acoustic songs.

“Yes, we have now got the confidence to do it and it’s nice to break a song down. Yes, I can see us doing some acoustic songs from now on.”

As for the future, Jim is optimistic.

“Well, we work every week. The album is just a part of what we do. We’re writers and musicians; and we’ll go on being us.”

Simple Minds premiered their new album Walk Between Worlds at three special shows this week.

They will be headlining Camp Bestival at Lulworth Castle in Dorset, which takes place from July 26 to 29

Tickets are available from the box offices and all the usual agencies.



In their 30th year of releasing music, Simple Minds have produced an assured and steady 19th album full of the hallmarks of their former success.

The 80s band reached an international stage after their hit song Don't You (Forget About Me) provided the soundtrack to one of the 1980s' most enduring pop culture moments: Judd Nelson's raised fist in The Breakfast Club.

While none of the tracks of Walk Between Worlds can hold quite the same chart potential, Simple Minds have avoided the classic gaffes of bands still at work three decades into their career. This most recent collection of songs stays true to their synth-pop roots, while adapting the subject matter to better suit modern sensibilities. The songwriting in standout tracks like Utopia and Barrowland Star is outstanding, with catchy hooks and an atmosphere that eschews overstatement for quality.


Zander Sharp