Jim Kerr: My Life In Travel

'I like fringe places. Sicily is almost in Africa and you can feel it'

First holiday memory?

When I was five, my parents took me to Bray in Ireland. We took the overnight boat to Dublin and stayed in a B&B. It was the first time I had a knickerbocker glory, which was even more exciting than going away for the first time.

Best holiday?

In my late teens I hitch-hiked down to London to see the Sex Pistols with my band. We didn't end up seeing them, but the lifts went so well that we ended up travelling around Europe - it was quite spontaneous. Until then I'd enjoyed my life in Glasgow but that was when I realised there was a bigger world out there.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

I'm very fond of the Trossachs, where I lived for a while. It is genuinely magic around there, the landscape is amazing and if you don't go in August there's usually no one around. That's the sort of place I like going to these days.

What have you learnt from your travels?

The first 18 years of my life were shaped by the values of being a Glaswegian. Since then I have met some of my best friends while travelling and everything else has been influenced by travel - the things I eat and wear, and my mode of transport, which is a Vespa.

Ideal travelling companion?

My daughter Yasmin, who is 20. We have a great time and it's rare that I get to travel with her. I also love travelling with my son James.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

Beaches and culture. Sicily is great because there's culture all around and lovely beaches to flop on. The coconut-island concept bores me; I don't know what to do after a few days.

Greatest travel luxury?

I'm very particular about drinking good coffee because I've been spoiled in Italy. So I take an electric espresso machine so I can start the morning with a coffee that I like.

Holiday reading?

I get a lot of time to read while I'm on tour; I like reading historical books about Sicily, because I'm obsessed with it. I'm also learning Spanish. My favourite book is The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov.

Where has seduced you?

Sicily - I spend half of my time there. I love the culture, the weather, the food and the people - there's just something in the air. I like fringe places. Sicily is almost on the African continent and you can feel it.

Better to travel or arrive?

Even with a business-class airline ticket travelling is still tedious and fraught. When I hitch-hiked it was great fun, but that's no longer possible.

Worst travel experience?

We had to get to Brittany for the last gig of a tour, but I had confused the departure time. We had a mad dash to Heathrow and missed the plane. When we finally landed in France we had to get a helicopter to the venue, where we arrived with about 15 minutes to spare.

Worst hotel?

There used to be a hotel in Manchester where bands stayed. I got into bed one night and was greeted by a hardened sock at the end of it.

Best hotel?

Hotel La Raya, on an island off Sicily called Panarea. It's gorgeous, there are no cars on the island and the hotel is so relaxed. I like to go in May when there aren't many people around.

Favourite walk/swim/ride/drive?

My favourite walk is Monte Venere, just above Taormina. The panorama is just incredible - you can see all the way to Catania; at night you can even see the lights from the Italian mainland. There are eagles and hawks, too.

Best meal abroad?

A trattoria called La Botte in Taormina. My business partner's grandmother started it. My favourite dish is penne pistachio, which shows the island's Arab influence. It's heaven.

First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?

Take a shower.

Dream trip?

My favourite tree is the cherry blossom so I'd love to go to Japan for the cherry blossom festival. It looks magnificent.

Favourite city?

Rome - there's nowhere on Earth like it. You walk out in the street and it's fantastic; you've got the Circus Maximus, the Appian Way and the Tiber.

Where next?

London, to promote our record.

Simple Minds' new album 'Black & White 050505' (Sanctuary Records) is in shops now

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

world cup 2014A history of the third-place play-offs
Tommy Ramone performing at The Old Waldorf Nightclub in 1978 in San Francisco, California.
peopleDrummer Tommy was last surviving member of seminal band
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

The Mexico chief finally lets rip as his emotions get the better of him
world cup 2014
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Spectators photograph the Tour de France riders as they make their way through the Yorkshire countryside
voicesHoward Jacobson: Line the streets for a cycling race? You might just as well watch a swarm of wasps
Life and Style
lifeHere's one answer to an inquisitive Reddit user's question
Life and Style
Several male celebrities have confessed to being on a diet, including, from left to right, Hugh Grant, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ryan Reynolds
...and the weight loss industry is rubbing its hands in glee
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Yaya Touré has defended his posturing over his future at Manchester City
Detail of the dress made entirely of loom bands
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Life and Style
There were mass celebrations across Argentina as the country's national team reached their first World Cup final for 24 years
transfersOne of the men to suffer cardiac arrest was 16 years old
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Sales Manager (Fashion and Jewellery), Paddington, London

    £45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

    Volunteer Digital Marketing Trustee needed

    Voluntary, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Are you keen on...

    Java Swing Developer - Hounslow - £33K to £45K

    £33000 - £45000 per annum + 8% Bonus, pension: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: ...

    Corporate Events Sales Manager, Marlow,Buckinghamshire

    £30K- £40K pa + Commision £10K + Benefits: Charter Selection: Rapidly expandin...

    Day In a Page

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
    Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

    A writer spends a night on the streets

    Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
    Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
    Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

    Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

    Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
    Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

    Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

    This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
    Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

    Why did we stop eating whelks?

    Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
    10 best women's sunglasses

    In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

    From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
    Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

    World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

    No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    The German people demand an end to the fighting
    New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

    New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

    For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
    Can scientists save the world's sea life from

    Can scientists save our sea life?

    By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
    Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

    Richard III review

    Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice