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Baker's Dozen

Reel To Reel Cacophony: Jim Kerr Of Simple Minds' Favourite Albums
Mark Eglinton , November 4th, 2014 13:44

With their sixteenth LP Big Music just out, the Glaswegian new wave veterans' frontman gives Mark Eglinton a Baker's Dozen of his top 13 formative influences


King Sunny Adé - Synchro System
We were working at Rockfield Studios and we were staying in a house in the nearby countryside. I think it was around the time of New Gold Dream or just after. We'd just played a festival in France, can't remember where, and we heard that King Sunny Ade was going to play. We thought it might be interesting but we certainly weren't ready for what was to come. The dressing rooms were on a hill above the field, so we went down to the field to check this out and these African drummers came out and stood on the hill above the stage. They started beating on what were, as I found out later, talking drums. They gathered together there then moved down the hill onto the stage as one. There were what seemed like easily a dozen people on there and this was King Sunny Adé. There were these incredible grooves, but as well as that there were these pedal steel guitars played with weird echo effects. It sounded like future Africa or space age Africa and we got really hooked on that and managed to track down the albums. Thereafter, whenever we were sitting eating while we were away recording, we would play King Sunny Adé.