Big Minds prepare towering set

Derek Forbes.
Derek Forbes.
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Derek Forbes rode rock and roll’s roaring tiger with one of Scotland’s greatest bands, Simple Minds, and his brand-new act will make their debut in the county at the Grand, Clitheroe later this month, writes Tony Dewhurst.

Scots’ super group – Big Minds – includes Forbes, voted his country’s greatest ever bassist, and Big Country guitarist Mark Brzezicki, who has played with The Cult, The Who legend Roger Daltrey and Procol Harum.

And they will be joined by Simon Hough and Scott Whitley from Big Country and Brian McNeil, the ex-keyboardist for The Proclaimers and China Crisis.

And the veteran rockers will be celebrating the musical heritage of Simple Minds and Big Country with a special concert to mark the second anniversary of community radio station Ribble FM at the York Street venue on September 29th.

Their towering set will be sure to include classic hits from Simple Minds: Don’t You Forget About Me, Promised You a Miracle and Alive and Kicking.

And, from the Big Country archives, Fields of Fire, In a Big Country, Harvest Home and many, many more.

“When you hear those songs, they are mighty anthems which helped define a generation of music in Britain,” said Forbes.

“When I listen to them on the radio or live, I think they still stand the test of time. They are songs with great passion, heart and meaning.”

Big Minds will also be showcasing songs from their forthcoming album, Think Alike.

“The concept of Big Minds is a fantastic one and we are really looking forward to playing in Clitheroe - we’ll get the place rocking,” promised Forbes.

Forbes enjoyed two spells with Simple Minds, and later sung with David Bowie, Iggy Pop and strummed bass on Kirsty McColl’s hit A New England.

“It was absolutely mad, that incredible period when I was with Simple Minds, it really did feel like we were at the heart of a musical maelstrom,” he said. “I had six weeks off in four years – but it was a dream come true for a young guy from Glasgow who loved his music.

“Simple Minds played to sell-out crowds all over the world, and we were on the front of The New Musical Express, Smash Hits, and all sorts of magazines and newspapers.

“I met some amazing characters too: David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Robert Plant and my hero Mick Ronson (guitarist for Bowie) who showed me how to play Ziggy Stardust on his guitar.

“But when I left Simple Minds, I didn’t expect to be still playing music 30-odd years later. I just love performing, though, and I do it for the art and enjoyment.”

Big Minds, Clitheroe Grand Theatre, September 29th. Box office: 01200 421599 or