Spellbinding and spectacular, the veteran Scottish rock band Simple Minds rolled into Bournemouth with an absolute bang. The group were on sparkling form and their eighteen track setlist which was predominantly centered around the 80’s entertained from start to finish.

The sold out crowd were also treated to a fantastic set from fellow Scottish rockers Del Amitri who did a sterling job in warming up the crowd. Lead singer Justin Currie regaled the audience with his story of his trip on Bournemouth’s wheel which was ‘shit!’ (apparently as all you could see was the beach! )Fair point Justin!

Pithy observations aside, Justin and the rest of the band put on a soulful and mesmerising set which included ‘Always the Last To Know’, and exquisite version of ‘Driving With The Brakes On’, ‘Missing Person’ and a rousing rendition of ‘Nothing Ever Happens’ which included a beautiful accordion solo. 

With over 40 years smashing the music industry, the band led by Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill (two of the original members) opened the show with fan favourite ‘Waterfront’ which got the enraptured crowd onto their feet and dancing like it was 1983 all over again.

This was superbly followed up by ‘Love Song’ and a fantastuc surprise inclusion in the shape of ‘Sweat In Bullet’ which was performed for the first time since 2013. Their career-spanning set ignited excitement from the get go with the inclusion of ‘Big Sleep’, ‘All The Things She Said’ and the stunning ‘Promised You A Miracle’.

Jim Kerr as always was charming and jovial, regularly conveying his gratitude to the audience for ‘coming to see Simple Minds. Of course, there was some dancing from the charismatic frontman and he traversed every single inch of the stage to connect with the excited crowd.

There were quieter moments such as when the band performed ‘Belfast Child’ which captures the heart and imagination from the first few notes. Always hauntingly beautiful, Jim Kerr stripped it all back to deliver a heart-wrenching version of what is already an emotive song, all eyes were on Jim and he effortlessly managed to combine both delicacy and strength into a perfect vocal. It was powerful, poignant and absolute perfection lyrically and performance wise.

As true musical pioneers, the band are no strangers to touring the world and remain a prolific touring band that delivers both epic music complete with an expansive production. Every band member played their part and had their chance to shine from the phenomenal drummer Cherisse Osei who poured every iota of passion and power into her drum solo and nearly tore the roof off.

Vocalist Sarah Brown delivered a breathtaking performance of ‘Book Of Brilliant Things’ which showcased her pristine vocals and similarly to when Jim performed ‘Belfast Child’, you could have heard a pin drop.

Throughout the show, Jim, Charlie and the band delivered a masterclass in performance and storytelling. It was energetic, majestic and thrilling throughout with even more fan favourites being expertly delivered such as ‘See The Lights’, ‘Alive and Kicking’ and of course, the one that always brings the house down ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’ which spanned a whopping seven minutes long.  Jim joked with the audience that he didn’t want them to go home yet with the offer to perform ‘one more song’ which then segued into three or four! 

We didn’t want to go home one bit and their fantastic encore concluded with the ever-wonderful ‘Sanctify Yourself’.

With Simple Minds, it’s always a tour de force performance, and their gig in Bournemouth was an exhilarating and sublime experience. 

Photo Credit: Allan Jones @rockstarimages

Boisterous, brilliant and breathtaking, the highly-anticipated tour to showcase Liam Gallagher and John Squire’s titular album catapulted its way into London at the O2 Forum Kentish Town and what a night it was!

With palpable energy, the sold-out crowd were crying out for their musical heroes long before Liam, John and the rest of the band even set foot on the stage. The audience were suitably calmed by the presence of singer-songwriter Jake Bugg who put on a stellar performance, with just him and his acoustic guitar taking centre stage.

Jake’s set which included ‘Trouble Town’, ‘All Kinds Of People’ and a rousing rendition of his much-loved track ‘Lightning Bolt’ was the perfect way to soothe the soul and it certainly got the crowd into the mood for the main event.

A little after 9pm, the Madchester masters sauntered on stage, with Liam resplendent in a white adidas Spezial cagoule alongside the rest of the band which included Barrie (Little Barrie) Cadogan, Joey Waronker and Christian Madden.

Opening with the euphoric ‘Just Another Rainbow’, the crowd sang along enthusiastically during the song’s refrain whilst John Squire, enigmatic as always served up a swirling psychedelic-infused guitar which effortlessly complimented Liam’s vocals. 

The colour theme continued with Liam asking ‘Hands up who wants the blues?’ to which the crowd responded with an unequivocal yes (who could possibly say no?!), saw music’s most exciting partnership segue into the brilliant ‘I’m a Wheel’ with its distinctive 12-bar riff and its driving, sultry bass line delivered superbly by Little Barrie.

The punk puissance-infused ‘I’m So Bored’ saw Liam complete with plenty of swagger and punchy, acerbic soundbites describing all the things that bore him (war, peace, your kids and the buses to name but a few!)

His contempt for things can also be found in ‘Make It Up As You Go Along’ with the sucker punch of a line ‘Thank you for the thoughts and prayers, and fuck you too!’. Who knew that snarky bon mots and fuck yous could be so utterly absorbing?!

In full throttle and with the crowd in the palm of their hands,  the Gallagher Squire set navigated from the hook-filled chorus of ‘Mars To Liverpool’ to a formidable and emotional rendition of ‘Mother Nature’s Song’, delighting fans at every single note and chord. Liam remains a tour de force both in delivering pristine vocals but sublime showmanship too. 

Their self-titled album is only ten tracks long, so invariably it was only ever going to be a short but sweet set, but good things come in small packages and whilst the crowd were hankering for more, the band reappeared for a barnstorming encore which showcased the only cover of the night, a blistering rendition of ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ which saw Liam toss his maracas into the crowd (not a euphemism!) at the finale where he, John Squire and the rest of the band received a roaring standing ovation.

Without a doubt, the partnership of Liam Gallagher and John Squire translates effortlessly into a live setting and their 50 minute set was an electrifying and unmissable experience.

Photo Credit: Adam Hampton Matthews