IF you’ve ever watched a Hollywood film made in the ’80s the chances are you know that iconic “hey, hey, hey, hey...oooo woah.”
That unmistakable intro of Simple Minds’ monster hit Don’t You (Forget About Me) is almost as ’80s as teased hair and spandex.
Of course the song was made famous by the seminal “Brat Pack” film The Breakfast Club in 1985 and launched Simple Minds into super stardom in the US.
However, here in Australia the anthemic power of the Scottish band’s brand of new-wave rock was already established. Since the early ‘80s original members Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill have been wowing audiences in Australia, which included an 1981 show at the former Newcastle Workers Club, now Wests NEX.
“It was a small place but it felt big to us, and Australia is particularly important to us because at the time we hadn’t broken through anywhere,” Kerr recently told the Herald of that 1981 Newcastle debut.
“It’s not a big deal now but back in the day there were bootleg tapes around and one of our best was from Newcastle Workers Club.”
Saturday night’s return to Newcastle will be anything but small. Simple Minds headline the second Newcastle 500 Supercars concert - and the first held at No.1 Sportsground - in their only Australian show.
Usually the suburban Cooks Hill ground is home to cricketers and a handful of passive spectators, but from 6pm the oval is expected to be heaving with Supercars race-goers ready to belt out Simple Minds classics like Alive and Kicking, Belfast Child, Promised You A Miracle, Waterfront, Sanctify Yourself and of course, Don’t You (Forget About Me).
A high bar has already been set for Simple Minds. Last year’s inaugural Newcastle 500 concerts featured Delta Goodrem and The Veronicas on the Friday, followed by Aussie pub rock icon Cold Chisel and Spiderbait.
An estimated crowd of 20,000 jammed into the Newcastle Foreshore for Chisel’s triumphant performance, described as a “fuel injection” of rock’n’roll.
READ MORE: Cold Chisel rock the Supercars in 2018
The shift to a venue situated outside the Supercars precinct will likely produce a reduction in last year’s crowd figure, but Simple Minds remain a popular live act.
Last year Simple Minds co-headlined A Day In The Green at Bimbadgen with The B-52s and the performance received a rave review from the Herald’s Lisa Rockman.
“Kerr is an impressive frontman: talkative, generous, humorous, engaging and a damn fine singer,” Rockman wrote.
“It didn’t matter that he was sweating so much he looked like he had just jumped into a swimming pool, he just kept going and going.”
For those with more contemporary tastes, Melbourne rockers The Delta Riggs kick-off the party at 6pm, followed by Plans and Lanterns hit-makers Birds Of Tokyo at 7pm. Simple Minds take the stage at 8.30pm.
Entry to the Supercars concert is free with a Saturday race ticket.
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