Going back to their roots
Rockers pay homage toToryglen
They might be capable of selling out stadiums and arenas across the world, but rockers Simple Minds looked back to their Toryglen roots as they launched their new album.
Guitarist Charlie Burchill told the Reformer last week how growing up surrounded by music helped inspire his own desire to be a rock star.
The band released their 17th studio album Walk Between Worlds last week, and will bring the record to the Glasgow Barrowland later this month.
However, it was in Toryglen that Charlie met frontman Jim Kerr as children, kick-starting what would become one of Scotland’s biggest ever bands.
“For Jim and I, we have great memories of Toryglen. Our memories are because we knew so many people there who were into music. “Normally it was about football or something, but I knew so many people who could play guitar – my brother, his friends, my friends and when I think about Toryglen it’s always music. “There were so many people with different musical tastes that you could get into. People had been relocated there but a lot of folk were happy about this new place and what it offered. “So much of any area is about the people and we were lucky there.” The band went from playing local gigs to becoming one of Scotland’s hottest acts, before eventually conquering the rest of the world in the 1980s, buoyed by massive hits like Don’t You Forget About Me, Alive and Kicking and Waterfront.
Their popularity dipped in the 90s, but recent years have seen a renaissance for the band.
“When people talk about Simple Minds, we feel there’s been five or six different versions of the band,” says Charlie.
“So several years ago we talked about making sure everything we do was of real quality, and we pushed ourselves a bit harder.
“There has been this new burst of life since then. We’ve never really changed though, we just write songs and try to be a great live band, but it does feel like there’s been a renewal of sorts recently.” Charlie points to their acoustic tour and album in 2016 and 2017 as helping the creative process this time around. “We did the acoustic album and although that was a different format, that came in the middle of making this album, and there were loads of lessons we’d learned from that tour that shaped the record. “It’s hard for me to analyse the record in full, but a lot of people have thought it goes back to the sound of New Gold Dream (in 1982) or something like that.” Walk Between Worlds is out now, and Simple Minds play the Barrowland on Tuesday, February 13.