CONCERT REVIEW : Simple Minds – OVO Hydro Glasgow 6th April 2022

Simple Minds – OVO Hydro Glasgow 6th April 2022

A rainy night in Glasgow , queues outside the venue were snaking around it, tail backs of traffic on all approaches to the venue, there was only one reason, Simple Minds, Glasgow’s favourite sons were back in town, Jim Kerr & Charlie Burchill were bringing their 40 years of hits tour to the OVO Hydro. Outside the venue the crowds were gathering, arriving for the early start to be sure to get the best spot, some fans will have travelled from far and wide, as is the norm when Simple Minds are on tour. The cold and damp night was not affecting the mood, the atmosphere of excitement in the steadily building queues was testimony to that, when Simple Minds hit the stage,  the amassed crowd will soon be warmed up.

The venue filling up fast, the time was nearing time to welcome Simple Minds back to Glasgow with their massive stage set up and circles on the backdrop showing the bands albums covers and singles, added to the excitement that was building within the Arena. AS songs from the 80’s were being played through the PA system the gathering fans were getting in the mood singing and dancing along to the old favourites from a decade that had an abundance of musical talent.

The lights dimmed, the roar from the audience was like a freight train approaching the venue, the wall of sound from the Glasgow audience was the perfect welcome for the band. Opening the set with the excellent Act of Love as Jim wandered around the large stage taking in the view of the Glasgow crowd from the top tiers to the fans in the standing section on the floor, greeting them all with a smile of appreciation for their support. As Jim announced the words of I Travel the stage glowed with the stage lights highlighting the band members. The band line up a little different from when they first started out, but today’s band are not going through the paces, they are creating new memories for the adoring fans with Ged Grimes (Bass), Gordy Goudie (Guitar), Cherisse Osei (Drums/Percussion), Sarah Brown (Vocals) and relatively new-comer Bernice Scott (Keys/Synths/Vocals).

The band were on fire as they performed Celebrate, Glittering Prize and Promised You A Miracle. Jim had the fans in full voice, encouraging all to sing along to the hits. Jim was joined on stage by the amazing Sarah Brown taking over vocals for the excellent Book Of Brilliant Things, video flashbacks to the Once Upon a Time tour back in the SeCC in Glasgow and the Ibrox Stadium show around the same time were visible on the large screens around the arena. Sarah’s vocals were stunning as she delighted the Glasgow audience.

Tonight’s set was split in to two halves, to enable the band to have a slight break, and audience to fill their glasses up. A few more songs before the break, next up was Up on the Catwalk from the Sparkle in the Rain album. The band were using the back drop screens and side of stage screens to show old graphics of the albums and single covers layered over images of the band members performing on the stage. The light show tonight was second to none, the use of the media visuals captured the moments of the songs being performed. As the opening chords of Hunter and the Hunted slowly filled the venue, the slower pace allowed the crowd had time to take breath, this stunning version was just capturing, it was always a surprise why this was never a single and only a b side to the legendary Waterfront. The crowd were able to catch their breath before long time fan favourite Love Song had them dancing and singing along.

The band took a moment to slow things down a little, with Belfast Child, with great visuals and Jim’s vocals grabbing you as the song built, the drumming from Cherisse Osei was first class, powerful and hard hitting. That delighted the Glasgow audience. Jim took a moment to chat with the audience and said since this was Glasgow’s and a hometown show they would play a little extra song for the fans, some fans had followed the band since the Mars Bar shows from the early days, as Jim announced  this was Chelsea Girl, the roar of delight from the crowd was deafening. The music was perfect and Jim vocals were on top form as they played through the 1979 song. The song had to be stopped mid-way due to someone falling in the audience, when Jim was reassured that all was well in the audience, they restarted the song and created new memories for the fans along the way. The band announced they were going to take a short break and will be back shortly.

The band return to the stage and opened with the instrumental Theme For Great Cities, a firm favourite of many fans. The famous bass line for a Waterfront evoked a cheer that blew the roof clear off the OVO Hydro, the audience, on their feet in the seated areas around the venue, was a sight to see, the awesome Waterfront and the band had raised the bar and the audience followed as Jim and the band had them in the palm of their hands.

This was a party to celebrate 40 years of hits and the band delighted the Glasgow crowd with She’s a River, Dolphins, and the amazing Once Upon a Time. The Glasgow audience in full voice turned the volume up with the excellent Someone Somewhere in Summertime from New Gold Dream album. It was clear to see that Jim and Charlie  were on cloud nine, performing the music they created and entertaining people of various age groups and families listening to their heroes perform in front of them. The second set was getting close to an end but they still had a few surprises up their sleeves for the hometown audience with See The Lights, All The Things She Said before the 1985 hit from Breakfast Club Don’t You Forget About Me, that had the Hydro vocal range increased to max. Closing the set with Let It All Come Down before leaving the crowd in awe with the excellent New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84), as the band said goodbye you knew there had to be more, this was after all a hometown show, there would definitely be more to come.

After a few minutes the band were back on stage as Sarah Brown and Bernice Scott took to the front of the stage Jim gave way to the girls and took a step back as  they performed a brilliant version of the excellent Speed Your Love To Me, it was different, full of passion and emotion. Working well within the set list capturing the audience, taking the show to a different level, showing the audience they were much apart of the band now as Jim and Charlie. It was time for a sing along as Jim introduce Alive and Kicking taking the roof off the venue in the process. It was that time, one last song from what, has been an excellent night of music from Simple Minds there was only one way to end the show, the awesome Sanctify Yourself clearly did that with the entire venue singing along with the band, as the song came to a close, the band members took to the front of the stage to take a bow in front of their hometown audience.

Tonight’s gig was scheduled to take place two years ago, reshuffled with all things music due to the recent pandemic, tonight the band truly blossomed and entwined with the Glasgow audience making new memories and capturing  the New Gold Dream.

Review by Karen Edmond