Simple Minds performing their Acoustic Live 2017 Live Tour at The Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on Friday 26th May 2017.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

With extra security and bag checks, it was a packed Royal Concert Hall that turned out last night to see Simple Minds perform a set that was only put together after a man in Switzerland offered them a lot of money and two Toblerones to put an acoustic slant on over forty years of their music. And it worked.

With only a bespoke chandelier as their set dressing, drummer Cherisse Osei opened proceedings with a dramatic drum solo on a pretty comprehensive standing kit and when front man Jim Kerr came onto the stage the crowd cheered in recognition of a man who has fronted Simple Minds since 1977.

Opening with a rousing rendition of New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84), Kerr ventured into the stalls to the delight of the audience. Taking the opportunity to breathe new life into classic Simple Minds songs, there were no keyboards, just acoustic guitars turned up to max as See The Lights followed before Glittering Prize saw the first sing along of the night.

You would have expected an acoustic set to be moderately paced almost sedate, but Simple Minds were having none of that. There was a subliminal version of Someone Somewhere In Summertime, a moody Mandela Day, and a radically stripped back Big Sleep which started off slowly but built up to a fantastic crescendo.

With the opening chords to Waterfront, the crowd went wild whilst The American seemed to go on forever with the audience singing along to the chorus. A tribute to the late David Bowie saw rhythm guitarist Gordy Goudie take lead vocals on Andy Warhol and backing singer Sarah Brown powered through a bouncy version of Let The Day Begin.

For their first encore, Don’t You (Forget About Me) had the crowd belting out the chorus whilst Sanctify Yourself saw a lot of dad dancing. Encore two saw the brilliant Promised You A Miracle before they finished with a fabulous Alive And Kicking.

In a week that has seen much sadness, Simple Minds treated us last night to nearly two hours of musical happiness, proving that just sometimes, music can be a great healer; and it helped that they were a great band.