Justin Currie | The Picturedrome | Holmfirth | 11 May 2012

Reviewed for Get To The Front.

It’s been almost ten years since Del Amitri, the popular Scottish pop troubadors last released an album and toured, but former frontman Justin Currie retains a loyal following of fans who love his bittersweet, angst ridden songs of failed relationships and “death” as he succinctly put it on stage at the Arc in Stockton. The show was the second in a short acoustic jaunt around the country and attracted a full crowd in an intimate setting.

Armed with just a couple of acoustic guitars, electric piano and an iPod containing some backing accompaniment on several songs Currie won over the crowd immediately with his easy good nature and a setful of, frankly, outstandingly good tunes. Whether pulling songs from his solo albums such as ‘Anywhere I’m Away From You’, ‘If I Ever Loved You’, ‘Walking Through You’, and ‘No, Surrender’, performing new material such as ‘Little Stars’ and ‘My Soul Is Stolen’ or giving some much-loved Del Amitri classics such as ‘Move Away Jimmy Blue’, ‘Empty’, ‘Sleep Instead Of Teardrops’, ‘Whisky Remorse’, ‘Just Like A Man’, ‘Always The Last To Know’, ‘In The Frame’, ‘Kiss This Thing Goodbye’ and the evening’s closer ‘Be My Downfall’ Currie demonstrated throughout his hour and a half set just what an excellent singer/songwriter he is. If anyone harbours any doubt about this, check out YouTube for his performance of ‘If I Ever Loved You’ from BBC’s Songwriter’s Circle during which Currie’s performance of the song reduces Squeeze’s Chris Difford to tears.

He gamely took a few requests from the audience making several attempts to remember the chords in order to comply with a request for ‘Stone Cold Sober’ without success, but fared better with a rendition of ‘Hatful Of Rain’, aided by the audience who were happy to occasionally remind of the lyrics. The show was impressive enough to seek out Currie again later in the week when he performed at the Picturedrome in Holmfirth, where he again delivered a superb set at this excellent venue throwing a bundle of other songs into the set including ‘Nothing Ever Happens’, ‘Gold Dust, ‘Sleep Instead Of Teardrops, ‘Falsetto’, ‘Spit In The Rain’, ‘Where Did I Go’, and again performing adhoc requests from the audience. All in all, these were two hugely enjoyable shows both with interesting and varied setlists, and covering a wide cross section of old and new material.


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