Simple Minds celebrate the anniversary of their debut gig by reworking a lost 1978 track ‘Act of Love’ – the first song the band ever played live.

The one-off single is released 44 (!) years after the band’s first gig Glasgow’s Satellite City on January 17, 1978.

The track, one of the first songs Jim Kerr and guitarist Charlie Burchill wrote together, is mixed by Alan Moulder (Suede, Arctic Monkeys, The Killers).

Jim Kerr explains: “Over the years people have asked: ‘When did you think Simple Minds had the potential to make it?’ My stock answer was always, ‘Oh, we didn’t really think about that’.

“But I realise now that I wasn’t telling the truth. I believed we had something special as soon as I heard Charlie play the riff on ‘Act Of Love’.”

‘Act Of Love’ was also the opening track on the demo tape that won the band a record deal later in 1987. “I always loved the song,” says Kerr. “To all intents and purposes, it was the first thing anyone heard of Simple Minds. It became our rallying cry, our banner.”

However, by the time Simple Minds recorded their debut album, ‘Life In A Day’ early in 1979, the song had “disappeared into the mist” without ever being properly recorded. In 1980 the title phrase was recycled as the opening line to ‘Celebrate’, but only really existed on bootlegs of the 1978 demos.

“Through the years, I always wanted to go back to it,” says Kerr.

Eventually, Kerr and Burchill returned to the song, a couple of years ago while Burchill was in Thailand. The guitarist sent Kerr the outline of an updated version of the track. “It was ‘Act Of Love’ with a new bit, and it sounded great,” Kerr recalls.

While recording the next Simple Minds album in Hamburg during 2020 & 2021, the follow up to 2018’s ‘Walk Between Worlds,’ periodically they returned to ‘Act Of Love’. “We tinkered around with it,” says Kerr. “When we listened to the original demo, we loved its spirit and its general form, but it sounded like a youth club band song. How could we do that now, adding extra pieces without losing the essence?”

“I was thinking about the excitement of what we were setting out to do. We would rehearse in the afternoon in a derelict building in the Gorbals and I’d walk past Govanhill Library, thinking about the idea of the muse: a voice within that will appear and provide inspiration. That’s what the song was about originally.

“Now I’m looking back, reflecting on how the belief was real. When Charlie played that riff, it made me think we could do this. From that belief becomes your attitude, your body language, the whole culture of the band.”

“What a thing: merging the very first Simple Minds song and where we are now,” says Kerr. “There’s a story there. I think we’ve managed to tell it well.”

The band aim to re-commence their world tour, curtailed in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic, this spring.

Simple Minds 2022 UK & Irish Live Dates:

31 March London – The SSE Arena Wembley
01 April Bournemouth International Centre
03 April Brighton Centre
05 April Aberdeen P&J Live
06 April Glasgow Ovo Hydro
07 April Birmingham Resorts World Arena
09 April Leeds First Direct Arena
10 April Newcastle Utilita Arena
12 April Nottingham Motorpoint Arena
14 April Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
15 April Hull Bonus Arena
16 April Liverpool M&S Bank Arena
17 April Dublin 3Arena
18 June Blenheim Palace – Nocturne Live
09 August Belfast Custom House Square
12 August Edinburgh Summer Sessions
13 August Edinburgh Summer Sessions

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