History revisited, reinvented and revigorated,
This review is from: 5x5 Live (Audio CD)
Obviously Simple Minds are not the fresh faced post-punk provocateurs who chameleon-like shed their skin with each album back in their early days, filtering their influences - Roxy, Eno, Bowie, Neu, Magazine et all - through a distinctly European-looking Scottish prism and delivered some searingly influential albums before the breakthrough album of New Gold Dreams finally gave them the success they sought and deserved.
But neither are they guilty of the crimes of excesses longer-in-the-tooth artists like the Stones with their awful brassy, showbizzy rendition of Satisfaction, or Van Morrison's brassy sing-a-long version of Them's Gloria or, heaven forbid, Dexys recent comeback with a bonkers bossanova version of the classic Geno!
No, these guys have went away, relistened to their early classics and staked their reputations as a superb live act by taking the essence of these songs - from the stark Forbes bass-propelled trance songs like This Fear of Gods or Today, I Died Again to the Burchill guitar driven Sweat In Bullet or Changeling to the synth-tinged Calling Your Name, Scar - all touched by the genius of Michael McNeil - and injecting energy and vitality into these tracks but, crucially, resisting the temptation to change or party-up even the starkest of moments like Celebrate.
With Mel Gaynor's drum skills honed and adapted to drive these tracks along with superb rhythmic timing, these songs sound as alive and vital as they ever did. Infact, songs like Factory gain a dimension that was only hinted at on the original recording.
Both discs have been on repeat/swap/repeat in my car CD since release. Absolute brilliance from a band who had both critical and commercial success in their long career and deserve to be rediscovered anew.