Simple Minds toasting 40-year vintage with A Day On The Green at Bimbadgen

IN DEMAND: Simple Minds hope to showcase new material when they return to Australia in 2020.
IN DEMAND: Simple Minds hope to showcase new material when they return to Australia in 2020.

THE last time Scottish new-wave royalty Simple Minds played Bimbadgen in February 2017 there were genuine fears the show would be cancelled.

It was a far cry from frontman Jim Kerr's native Glasgow.

"They had pulled a few of the outdoor sporting events," Kerr remembers.

"We've never cancelled a gig in our life, it's one of the things I'd put my hand out and say we're proud of.

"I thought, 'Can you imagine going home and saying to people we cancelled the gig cos it was too sunny'."

Thankfully, Simple Minds played and triumphed, despite the heat.

And, in 2020, Kerr, guitarist Charlie Burchill and co are returning to Australia to celebrate their 40-year anniversary with another A Day On The Green tour, plus two indoor shows.

Joining Simple Minds will be English synth-pop pioneers Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark for their first Australian tour since 1987 and '80s pop band Eurogliders.

Simple Minds' 40-year history is littered with some incredible highs.

A US No.1 single in Don't You (Forget About Me) in 1985, a Wembley Stadium concert to mark Nelson Mandela's 70th birthday in 1988, seven top-five UK albums - including the undeniable classics Sparkle In The Rain (1983) and Once Upon A Time (1985) - and sales of 60 million records worldwide.

How has Simple Minds and Jim Kerr changed during those four decades of rock'n'roll?

"We've changed, the world's changed, so much has changed," he says.

"But funnily enough, intrinsically what we do hasn't changed at all.

ALIVE AND KICKING: Jim Kerr is bringing his Scottish rock band Simple Minds back to Australia in 2020 to celebrate 40 years since their debut album Life In A Day. Picture: Casey Steinmiller

ALIVE AND KICKING: Jim Kerr is bringing his Scottish rock band Simple Minds back to Australia in 2020 to celebrate 40 years since their debut album Life In A Day. Picture: Casey Steinmiller

"It's still about a melody, it's still about a song, capturing that in a recording and inevitably it's taking it around the world.

"It's 42 years ago this November that we first got in a room together, and of course, we had no idea.

"My parents weren't even 40 years old then. We were very much living for the moment and the only agenda we had was trying to become a great live band, which meant we'd have to write great songs to take it around the world."

Despite musical trends constantly changing over the past four decades and Kerr turning 60 in July, Simple Minds remain in demand.

In 2017-18 Simple Minds completed a 31-date US tour, their most extensive yet, and they were lured to Newcastle to perform a one-off show for Supercars.

"There was probably a period 10 to 13 years ago where things were getting a bit quiet," Kerr says.

"The energy was dissipating and I wasn't sure if we would continue.

"If you'd said then we'd have the vitality and the momentum we're feeling just now I'd doubt I would have believed you. But I'm very glad that's come to pass."

Simple Minds' 2020 A Day On The Green Tour comes to Kings Park & Botanic Garden, (November 26); Rochford Wines, Yarra Valley (November 28), Bimbadgen, Hunter Valley, (December 5), Sirromet Wines, Mount Cotton (December 6).

Pre-sale is now available.