Barrowland Star – Simple Minds

My personal favourite production on the Walk Between Worlds album is the epic, Barrowland Star.

As youngsters growing up in Glasgow, The Barrowland venue represented the pinnacle for Jim and Charlie – much as the thought of playing somewhere like the Hammersmith Odeon in London was for me. It was impossible to think as far ahead as somewhere like Wembley, but if you could get to play a 2000-seater like either of those two venues, you’d know you’d really made it (or so we all thought!)

I really fell in love with the whole idea of the song, with its dream of a bright future ahead – bearing in mind the huge success Simple Minds went on to, and the massive stadiums they filled all over the world, it somehow seemed even more poignant – a snapshot from a time when none of that seemed possible.

Charlie Burchill’s wonderful backing track had been put together in the late 90’s and had resurfaced at a time when Jim had felt inspired to write a nostalgic retrospective lyric about their childhood dreams.

In the studio we built everything around Charlie’s original parts, adding new drums, guitars and bass. Completing the picture we added a full orchestral arrangement written by Peter Vetesse and recorded in the legendary Abbey Road Studio 2.

We mixed the track in Glasgow at the Gorbals Studio – and it became one of only eight songs on the album. Walk Between Worlds was incredibly well received, and entered the album chart inside the top five, Simple Minds’ highest position in more than twenty years.

Among the wonderful things about it for us, was that they chose to launch the album at the Barrowland – and invited Gavin and I up to Glasgow celebrate the release with them and to share in the whole experience.

The song and the dream came full circle. It was great to be a part of it with them.