Sunday, June 10, 1984
The Michigan Daily
Simple Minds blast music
By Larry Dean
F RIDAY NIGHT'S show at the
Michigan Theatre couldn't have
been more of a study in opposites; for,
while both China Crisis and headliners
Simple Minds claim home turf in the
pop realm, the differences in how they
presented their material were star-
China Crisis took the stage fairly
close to the appointed hour of 8 p.m.
This was swell, since I, as least, am get-
ting tired of the small-club shows that
start late and end even later, all for the
sake of selling as much booze as
possible. Most traveling performers
woulld like to grab a few extra winks
between gigs, too, so the promptness of
Friday's show was heartening.
The bandmembers seemed to take
this time lag too seriously, though, by
proceeding to sleep through their entire
set! Granted, the fellows were probab-
ly quite bushed after flying stateside
from their native Liverpool to "do"
America, but I found their sweetly-
snoozeable presence dull. Even
repealed squeals from nuwaved-up,
gyrating groupies couldn't rouse the
guys; they played each song like a
special variation of the Muzak theme,
keeping themselves in check
throughout, and when the tumultous
applause died out, I just knew they
were backstage, forsaking an encore to
take quick catnaps before once again
hitting the stage. Sweet dreams, C.C.!
The Michigan was abuzz with an-
ticipation for Scotland's tartan-
heritaged Simple Minds. A number of
fans were seen in the lobby, celebrating
beer co-promoter Miller Highlife,
splashing their faces to wake up, and
wearing the gleeful smiles of those
sporting a secret. So it was no surprise
when "Shake Off the Ghosts," from
Lead singer, Jim Kerr, of Simple Minds showed he is a clear thinker, after all, in the bands concert at the Michigan
Theater Friday night.
Sparkle in the Rain, blasted over the
PA, and everybody got on his feet, eyes
glued to the drawn curtain, waiting.
After vocalist Jim Kerr gave a jovial
"hello!" to the drapery, it parted effor-
tlessly to the live-in strains of "East At
Easter," also from Sparkle. "Easter"
is a rather odd choice for an opener, in
that it's more controlled and intense
than some of the others; and aren't
raucous beginnings the thing of rock 'n'
roll? Nonetheless, Simple Minds made
their motivations clear by beginning
with four minutes of tightly-wound
See SIMPLE, Page 11
Streets of Fire' doused
By Byron Bull
STREETS OF FIRE finds director/writer Walter Hill
still trudging through the same old thematic territory.
This "Rock and Roll Fable", like Mr. Hill's other work, The
Warriors, The Long Riders, and Southern Comfort, is
another load of mock heroism and mythic pretentions in the
John Ford school of indulgence. Those familiar with Mr.
Hill's forgettable The Warriors will note this as little more
than an expensive remake. But while Mr. Hill's budget is
larger this time around, his scope is still annoyingly myopic.
Hill's frontier setting here is an unnamed, sprawling urban
graveyard. A decaying megalopolis of crumbling buildings
covered in inches of soot, under a perpetual night.
Essentially it's Ridley Scott's Blade Runner landscape sans
the retrofitting. The sole inhabitants seem to be under the
age of 21 (but for the obligatory adults in authority roles).who
have the city broken up into little bits of turf.
Interestingly, everything is designed in a funky mixture of
'50s nostalgia and what one supposes Hollywood considers
"new wave" fashion. The kids sport greased back
pompadours and bobby socks, the cars are wild cartoon
exaggerations with massive grills and swooping curves.
Into the scene comes the protagonist, Tom Cody (Michael
Part). He's the classic hero icon from a mile away. A
brooding loner with handsome carved features and sensitive
eyes, he rides into town in a glistening maroon convertible
with a Winchester gripped in his right hand. He's back after a
stint in the army (much as gunslingers once rode back into
town from the Civil War) and he's here to find the woman he
ran away from and tried to forget.
The woman is Ellen Aim (Diane Lane), a rock singer of
virtually demogogue popularity, whose preoccupation with
her career alienated Cody years before. Only she's gone,
been kidnapped by a gang of black leather bikers called The
Bombers. No one else is about to go after her, because of
Rave (William Defoe) the pale skinned but imposingly
muscular head punk who is the movie's warrior brave.
To rescue her, Cody and his gravel voice, butchy female
sidekick McCoy (Amy Madigan) have to infiltrate the
Bombers lair deep within a gargantuan factory complex. It's
like entering Indian plains, those who go in never come out.
Walter Hill and his collaborator, Larry Gross, reputedly
banged out this screenplay within a matter of weeks. It
shows. What they have is strictly B-movie material, a
pastiche of apocalyptic sci-fi, westerns, and biker movies
all rolled sloppily together. The story is predictable to its
death, devoid of even one surprising plot twist or subplot.
See 'STREETS', Page 10
You could be a star in this sum-
mer's Medieval Festival! The Ann
Arbor Medieval Festival is looking for
actors, clowns, dancers, jugglers,
musicians, puppeteers, and
storytellers to perform in the fair this
August. Set designers, backstage
crews, and prop people are also
On Monday and Tuesday, the 11th
and 12th, at 7:30 p.m./ the festival
organizers will be running an orien-
tation and holding try-outs for the
plays at the Performance Network at
408 W. Washington (663-0681).
The Medieval Festival comes to life
each summer during the first two
weekends of August. The fair, which
is free to all, is held outdoors in the
Ann Arbor city parks and at the
University's School of Music.
The festival has a medieval theme
and includes music, theater, dance
and crafts from the Middle Ages. This
summer a comedy, a farce, and a
mystery play are planned, for which
actors are needed.
For those people interested in dan-
cing, the festival organizers will be
training people in court and country
dancing, and for those who want to be
musicians, the organizers will be
helping in the selection of medival