When Simple Minds interrupted the recording of a new album of original songs to embark on an unscheduled acoustic project, the rewarding detour they took fundamentally changed their attitude to music. The band were already on a high following the enthusiastic response to 2014’s Big Music, a swaggering collection that reiterated the Glaswegian group’s world-class credentials. But it was the reaction that greeted 2016’s Simple Minds Acoustic, an organic revamp of hits such as Promised You A Miracle and Don’t You (Forget About Me), that prompted frontman Jim Kerr and guitarist Charlie Burchill to reassess how they went about their business.
‘There was so much space for invention when we played the acoustic numbers live,’ says Jim. ‘And I noticed a real difference in Charlie’s playing. He has always been a reluctant guitar hero – a lot of people think his guitar parts are actually keyboards, because of the effects he uses – but he sounded amazing. There was so much emotion in his playing. Within a few days, I realised that this needed to be the sound of the new record, with Charlie more prominent. I wanted our music to be leaner, meaner and more emotional, so we put together a different kind of band. It’s been great coming back to these new songs after the acoustic tour. Standing back has given us clarity.’
‘It’s great doing different projects,’ adds Charlie. ‘Making the Acoustic album informed the making of Walk Between Worlds. We went back to our new songs in the studio with our live performing heads on. On the surface, you have two different projects, but they really bled into one another.’
Tickets to their forthcoming performance at the Moore Theatre can be found here.