Simple Minds released a live version recorded at their show in Manchester, England on May 23, 2017, the day after the bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in the city. "The concert was allowed to go on and we wanted to play because that's our response to everything," lead singer Jim Kerr told Songfacts
. "'Dirty Old Town' was written by Ewan MacColl back in the 1950s about Manchester. But even within that, he's loving the city. He's loving the town, despite the grime, the dirt and the industrial landscape. We did it and we recorded it at the soundcheck. Played it at the gig and caught the moment. We just felt it would be good to let the world hear it, especially with the vocal Sarah Brown did on the track."