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Simple Minds in secret comeback bid

U2 went to Berlin to re-invent themselves for landmark album Achtung Baby.

But long-time rivals Simple Minds have been holed up in Moate for the last few months creating what they hope will be the comeback record to return them to the height of their 80s glory.

Having sold 40 millions albums in their 30-year career, the Glasgow band have followed in the footsteps of REM and Snow Patrol by recording their latest album in Grouse Lodge Studios, Co Westmeath.

However, a studio insider said that it was the setting of the facility near the Hill Of Uisneach, the royal residence of the High Kings of Ireland, and also the location of the pagan festival Bealtaine, which brought the Celtic rockers to the Midlands.

Locals have reported sighting of Simple Minds singer Jim Kerr on the Hill Of Uisneach in the past few weeks seeking inspiration as he writes new material with guitarist Charlie Burchill.

"Simple Minds could have recorded in the South of France but Jim and the lads wanted to immerse themselves in the Celtic World whose centre is the Hill Of Uisneach," the insider said.

Veteran drummer Mel Gaynor has also rejoined Simple Minds for the big comeback record, their 17th, which is due to be released early next year.

Although Simple Minds are now taking a break from recording, aspiring bands and musicians can tour Grouse Lodge studio this Saturday when the renowned studio hosts an open day

Scottish singer Paulo Nutini and local Mundy are among other artists working in the facility in the past few months.