Glasgow Bands: The early days of Simple Minds in 11 of the band's archive photographs

Simple Minds were formed in Glasgow in 1977, finding their sound in the city before going on to global success.

The band’s own archive of images from their early days date back to first local gigs, through to early tours as they began to make a breakthrough.

Jim Kerr explains: “We learned our trade in Glasgow’s pubs in clubs. There was a pub called the Mars Bar at St Enoch Square and we played there every Sunday night. It was free to get in and folk would queue round the block, our pals would tell their pals. It was a big crowd and we knew we had to be good and we were doing our own stuff. 

“We recorded some songs onto cassettes and people would make copies of them, that’s how we got the word out. I hiked down to London with some of these cassettes and there was a good reaction, the record label people said, come down here and do a showcase gig for us. Here’s the bit where I don’t know were we had the gall to do this - we didn’t have a manager or anything - I said to them, no you will need to come up to Glasgow.” Seeing Simple Minds perform in the wild with a Glasgow crowd was enough to secure them their first recording contract: “When they came up, people already knew every word because they came to see us every week and they had the cassettes, it was as though we were already playing hits. So Glasgow and the audience and the support, that was the oxygen we needed then.”

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