Core Collection Twofers: Now it’s Simple Minds and Ultravox, Together As They Never Were

fractal-grid-OMD-SM-HF+TM-VOXI saw on the official Simple Minds website this morning that the band was now booking shows for the year end wrapup season and wouldn’t you know, the opening act they are doing four arena dates with are none other than Ultravox. There was a time that I would have been flabbergasted that the once mighty Ultravox would have been reduced to an opening act status, but after their last album, that’s about where they can do the least damage. If anything, having 45 minutes to play would moderate the amount of poor material possible to include in their set off of their last album. Why, I’d even attend one of these gigs if they were being held driving distance away from where I live. I can’t say much more than that. Here are the dates:

Simple Minds/Ultravox ‘Greatest Hits +’ Arena Tour 2013

27 November 2013 | Glasgow | Hydro
28 November 2013 | Manchester | Arena
29 November 2013 | Birmingham | NIA
30 November 2013 | London | O2

This got me musing on a thread that is now gaining critical mass. Namely, the pairing up of long-favorite bands in “combo packs” with two great bands that taste great together. I first noticed this in 2008 when Simple Minds [again!] did a tour with none other than the recently re-activated OMD as the opening act. At the time, I felt that this show was likely to cross the pond, as it was, since both acts had 4-5 US hits each. Touring separately might be dicey, but the 80s bundle could have worked out financially. I felt that it would have been a commercial tour that not just I, but many others would have eaten up, given half the chance. It made a crazy kind of sense in that both acts gained entry to the upper reaches of the US charts via a mid-80s sellout soundtrack hit from a John Hughes teen film. Alas, the tour only ever played in the UK that summer.

OMD/JOHN FOXX + THE MATHS ‘English Electric’ UK tour 2013

28 April 2013 | Margate | Winter Gardens
29 April 2013 | Birmingham | Symphony Hall
1 May 2013 | Nottingham | Royal Centre
2 May 2013 | Ipswich | Regent Theatre
3 May 2013 | London | Roundhouse
5 May 2013 | Bristol | Colston Hall
6 May 2013 | Oxford | New Theatre
8 May 2013 | Sheffield | City Hall
9 May 2013 | Leeds | Academy
10 May 2013 | Manchester | Academy
12 May 2013 | Glasgow | Royal Concert Hall
13 May 2013 | Gateshead | Sage
14 May 2013 | Liverpool | Empire

I’ve writhed/written earlier about the imminent OMD/John Foxx + The Maths UK tour. The OMD forum is rife with pained Americans desperately wanting the tour to cross the pinned, but it’s not to be. It look like OMD have settled on some sort of one-man Erasure to pull opening act honors in The States. That’s just as well. I can imagine that seeing a Maths show truncated to 35 minutes after all of these years might count as some sort of torture to me! It’s not just that John Foxx has been my favorite artist, but it’s the caliber of work he’s doing right now. Frankly, it is best of breed work that not only blows away the efforts of the competition [OMD – middle-upper echelon with caveats, Simple Minds – middle echelon, Ultravox – lowest eschelon] but I find it stands as a career best. Name another 66 year old you can confidently state that about.

The next tour I guess we’ll see is John Foxx + The Maths opening up for Simple Minds. Goodness knows that Jim Kerr is a fan of Foxx, but did you know that Foxx was a fan of Simple Minds? With the mutual appreciation society established, don’t think it may never happen. Kerr’s head has been in a good space in the last several years and he’s trying to trim the sails of the SS Simple Minds to the best of his ability. But if they do, Kerr will have to watch his back. Foxx is a heavyweight contender. In this matrix of band teamups there’s also the possibility of an OMD/Ultravox pairing. I can’t think of a reason not to. But the last possibility is so remote we might as well stop here. There is no way in hell we’ll ever see John Foxx + The Maths on a bill with Ultravox!!

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About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | media design • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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6 Responses to Core Collection Twofers: Now it’s Simple Minds and Ultravox, Together As They Never Were

  1. “Name another 66 year old you can confidently state that about.” Um … Bowie?!

    And there you have my idea of a great music festival — instead of 127 acts of which 120+ are crrrrrap, how about a long afternoon (4-6) of say four great bands doing four full sets?

    OMD then John Foxx then Simple Minds then Bowie (not ranked in order of greatness, obviously, but rather to show the apprentice and then the master). Nobody caked in mud or dead from a drug overdose, just a half-day of pure bliss. NO FILLER, ALL KILLER.

    What 80s fan — even if they are less familiar with Foxx than they should be — wouldn’t pay dearly to see that? On either side of the pond? Why can’t promoters try quality over quantity for once?


    • postpunkmonk says:

      chasinvictoria – Well, I still haven’t heard the new Bowie, so I’m reserving judgement. Based on the two videos, it sounds like he made an album that slots in nicely with the last one. Quite good, and better than his “EMI trilogy,” but best of career? I don’t think that’s likely. But I love your suggestion for MonkFest®! All of the bands from the Core Collection that are still active… so get Magazine in there, too!


      • Echorich says:

        With further listening of The Next Day, I can easily slot it in among my favorites. Lodger and Station To Station are my favorite albums, Heroes, Scary Monsters and Low follow closely. Ziggy Stardust is the first album I ever bought with my own money – yes I am THAT OLD…lol – but I turned away from glam at the advent of Punk and my late teens. I returned to in in my late 20’s and certainly give the Ziggy trilogy it’s due.
        But The Next Day hits so many of the points that I love about mid/late 70’s and pre Let’s Dance 80’s Bowie – low ebb in his career tide for me.


  2. Echorich says:

    I would take a leave of absence from work to see a 2000 seater only tour of SM, JF+TM, OMD & even ULTRAVOX. Promoters could charge $100/ticket – $25 per band seems fair, and I would go to at least 5 shows on the tour. Then maybe I could wake up and realize I’m damn lucky I’m getting OMD this year, even if I’m flying up to DC to see them.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Echorich – I’d pay $150. Maybe $200. I anticipate the new OMD will be a step up from the last one. And the last one was pretty amazing, even considering its flaws. I would like to pop up to D.C. but can’t find the money.


  3. postpunkmonk says:

    Geez, OW! I forgot all about the Simple Minds/DEVO tour in Australia last Fall! Paint me embarrassed!


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