White Hot Day—Simple Minds Fan Convention 15th October 2022: Guest Blog by Gordon Machray and George Porter
White Hot Day, the brilliant Simple Minds Fan Convention takes place at the Classic Grand in Glasgow on Saturday 15th October and features special guests plus a charity auction. Ahead of the big day we chatted to the organisers Gordon Machray and George Porter…
Gordon and George met properly for the first time at a Simple Minds Hogmanay gig in 2012 in Edinburgh, they were friends online but decided to meet for a pre-gig meal and chat. Gordon was running the most successful Facebook fan page Simple Minds International and George’s tribute band Simple Minded had already been going for 3 years. They became friends immediately, discussing their passion for music, politics, and the arts. It was clear that they’d followed the band devotedly from 1980 and were soon comparing notes — like kids in a primary school playground, they’d correct each other and argue over who knew the most. From that moment on Gordon and George were lifelong friends — since then they’ve have attended each tour together and even met their wives at Simple Minds gigs.
Their journey with Simple Minds began to take a different road when Gordon’s sterling work in setting up Simple Minds International was recognised by Jim Kerr ‘s manager. Gordon was asked for his help with a new Official Facebook band page for fans: Simple Minds Official Group and he continues to be involved.
George went on a similar journey and formed another Simple Minds band — studio project Empires That Dance — working with Andy Inniss and top man Gordy Goudie. They’ve reimagined old Simple Minds classics in Gordy’s studio bringing them to life with promo videos created with other Simple Minds fans — Martin Poschinger based in Germany and John Provyn from Belgium. To date they’ve released: ‘Another Room’, ‘Changeling’, ‘Boys from Brazil’, ‘New Gold Dream’, ‘Love Song’, ‘Someone Somewhere in Summertime’ and George has just released a solo version of War Babies . You’ll find them on the YouTube channel and all digital platforms.
The songs have been well received by fans and current/past members of Simple Minds with cameo appearances from Brian McGee and Mick MacNeil. George took up a temporary position as lead singer with Ex-Simple Minds/ XSM a few years back . Sharing a stage with Derek Forbes & Brian McGee was an amazing adventure — one of the many highlights was being mistaken for Jim Kerr by the guys from Run DMC in Los Angeles! George is currently back on the road with XSM and his own band Simple Minded with full schedules for this year.
And now Gordon and George are onto their third venue for the fan convention, White Hot Day takes place at the Classic Grand, Glasgow and they’re as determined as ever to make it a complete success. Two charities close to their hearts have been chosen as beneficiaries from the proceeds: CHAS Children’s Hospices Across Scotland and Music On Prescription (of which George is a trustee). There will be an online charity auction featuring many unique items including signed guitars, artwork from the band, an ultra-rare gold disc and Jim Kerr’s backstage pass from Live Aid. An amazing collection of memorabilia has been donated by all current and some ex-band members as well as fans. They have the full support of Jim and Charlie, current members, management past & present .
Sixteen months ago, Gordon’s life was turned upside down when he was diagnosed with a rare brain cancer lymphoma that was inoperable and metastasised. Two operations, a brain aneurysm, stroke, twenty-one chemotherapies and a bone marrow transplant later, he is miraculously in remission in time for White Hot Day. Jim and Charlie sent gifts with Jim remaining in contact throughout treatment. Gordon puts that and the drive to make White Hot Day as main factors in his recovery.
Fans will be travelling to Glasgow from across the UK, Europe, Australia, and the USA to attend what will likely be the last convention of its kind. Key to the event is the unique set of guests who include Derek Forbes, Mick MacNeil and Bruce Findlay. Live sets, Q&A with Simple Minds biographer Graeme Thomson and a special charity auction for CHAS make for a unique once in a lifetime event. Current band member Gordy Goudie is participating, and they plan to announce another special guest soon. This will be the first UK convention in over 20 years and surely the last. All are welcome to celebrate the music of Simple Minds.
Next up for White Hot Day we’ll have words from contributors Bruce Findlay and Graeme Thomson.