Though they have never really been away, Simple Minds are most definitely back. With a top ten album and a major European tour ahead of them this summer, the band are, quite rightly, ensuring that they will never be forgotten.

As well as adding more dates onto their current tour in Italy, Belgium, Denmark and Holland (see below), Simple Minds will also be playing their breakthrough album “New Gold Dream” in its entirety at Edinburgh Castle on July 18.

Jim Kerr turns 50 next week and recently took time to reflect on the past and his present.

I blinked and now it’s here. It is July that I am talking about and with me being the Cancer that I am, this July in particular will be a little more of note than usual — given that I will become 50 years old.

I am not one that celebrates birthdays in any major way; I get kind of embarrassed truth be told. But those birthdays that have a zero in them are of course a wee bit more special I guess, and that is probably why people have been asking me how significant it is for me to be 50, and how it feels to be continuing to make music at this age.

The answer is that I have no idea yet how it feels to be fifty, ask me in twelve months time and I will have more of a clue. It felt great being 49 however and I will always look back on this last twelve months as the definitive rebirth period of Simple Minds, as well as being the year where I personally felt more energised creatively than ever.

Proof of that is not only the amount of songs I have worked on over this period, but hopefully the quality inherent. With energy to burn I feel that I could easily be involved in not one – but two groups at the moment – and come to think of it, what is there to say that that could not happen. I would not mind another challenge to keep me fresh and sort of rejuvenated, that’s for sure. I am certainly enjoying singing more than ever and the kind of satisfaction that comes from sending an audience home happy still has no equal.

And what can I say about the journey I have been on over the years leading up to this day? So much to tell, but that will have to wait a bit yet. There needs to be calm to reflect and I am too much on the move at the moment. As for the wisdom’s that may have come with all the experience. What wisdom? I am no teacher; still a scholar scrapping around trying to make whatever sense there is to be made in all of this. In fact I am as much the ‘Lost Boy” now as I was when we dreamed this thing up all those years ago. Lost in music. Lost in the desire to get better. Lost in a journey that has no image or idea of what it feels like to even begin contemplating a final destination. I travel with no map, no schedule, little baggage, and no respect for borders.

Am I, as I like to think, a long distance runner who cares not a jot where the finishing line is meant to be. Or do I delude myself, staggering around happily, a punch drunk boxer who does not know when he is beaten? The chances are I am probably a bit both.

And so to the important issue of birthday presents? What would I want on this special day? Nothing is the answer! I already have the gift that I have wanted for so long, thank you very much. It came earlier this year, it is called Graffiti Soul and according to the radio station I was listening to while in the car yesterday, “It is as good, if not better than any other record released this year!”  (Wow! He must have got the cheque!!!) And with that I move on into the future, no fixed route, and no big dream. Only a desire to be ready for whatever it is that lies around the corner.

The stars will lead the way after all!

Jim Kerr at www.simpleminds.com

Simple Minds new single “Stars Will Lead The Way” is released on July 20, on UMRL.

Tour dates below

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