Simple Minds Live – Hampton Court Palace 16th June – Review

July 26, 2011 at 07:33 Leave a comment

I was lucky enough to be asked to record Simple Minds in June and here are what some of the fans thought of it. Many thanks one & all.
“Rain keeps falling down, down”

5 Stars

by J Patten | 23-06-2011

Hampton Court Music Festival, June 16, 2011 It had been raining off and on all day in East Molesy, threatening to ruin a planned Simple Minds concert and pre-concert picnic at Hampton Court, the castle and home of Henry VIII. In the hours before the show, the sky cleared enough to allow picnickers to dine on the lawn. At 7:30, just as Jim Kerr and Simple Minds took the stage, the skies let loose and the rain poured heavily down for a good twenty minutes, thoroughly soaking the audience in what Kerr announced was a typical Scottish summer day: “Get used to it. We are.” Surrounded by the historic brick walls of Henry’s home, Kerr led the audience through the comparitively shorter history of Simple Minds, plucking songs from older albums like Sons and Fascination and New Gold Dream and, of course, drawing heavily from the Once Upon A Time album. While the bulk of the concert was made up of both obscure and famous oldies (Moscow Underground and Stagefright being the only modern songs performed), I never got the feeling that this was an oldies package tour of aging rockers. Kerr’s amazingly energetic performance, plus some heavily reworked and rearranged older songs, made it clear that we were seeing a major arena rock band still in control and still at the height of their creative powers (this in sharp contrast to a rather tired sounding and lame performance of Don McLean, who had played at the Hampton Court Music Festival on the prior evening). And Henry’s home, the majestic Hampton Court Palace, whose walls surrounded the band and the crowd that had come to see them? Even Kerr was noticably awed, acknowledging that the Scots had come a long way since Henry’s time: “I can’t believe they let a bunch of Scotsmen in here” were the first words out of Kerr’s mouth as he took the stage and looked up and around, marveling at the historic structure. Henry’s house returned the favor in a strange way. Kerr’s voice, both at the show and in the recording, is gently echoed by the surrounding brick walls, adding a richness and depth to the sound that would be missing in a more open venue, while, strangely, the band’s sound is echoed much less, ever so slightly in fact, thus avoiding a potentially cacophenous sound while adding a richness and depth to the recording in a subtle way that is only noticable when you listen for it. As a result, this is a gorgeous sounding recording, one of the best live recordings the band has made, of a memorable and historic performance. Whoever the engineer on the evening this recording was made (uncredited in the sadly non-existent liner notes), kudos to you on an utterly brilliant job. As for Simple Minds, if this performance is any indication, they still have a successful and long rock n roll ride ahead of them. Now if only they would wander over to the U.S. once every decade or so, I wouldn’t have to travel all the way from America to the U.K. just to see them again.

and

Hampton Court Concert

5 Stars

by Gary Charman Review | 17-06-2011

One of the best concerts I have seen from them, the rest period from touring has done them the world of good as concert was full of energy. Jim Kerr vocals was superb and is one the few lead vocalists who interacts with the crowd throughout. The song’s rolled off one after another and were as clear and crisp as ever, would quite happily stand in the poring rain again to see them. Ive got a copy of this cd already and it’s superb quality.

Big thanks to Pete Austin and his mighty Ethos Audio truck.

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Entry filed under: Music Events, Reviews. Tags: , , , .

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