Formed in Glasgow in 1983, Del Amitri have released four Top 10 albums and a string of memorable hit singles including ‘Nothing Ever Happens’, ‘Always The Last To Know’ and ‘Roll To Me’. Returning from a hiatus in 2014, the band continue to sporadically tour and release new material when they chose to do so. Damian Robinson caught up with frontman Justin Currie about their new tour and the bands future.
Hi Justin, I was just thinking that it’s almost 20 years to the day since I saw you at Whitley Bay for the BBC live tour.
Ha, ha. Yes it would be. We did a few of those in the 90s. Usually hungover.
And then I saw you at Newcastle’s City Hall on the last tour, ‘The A to Z of Us Tour’. That was such a great show; absolutely packed out with great songs.
Thank you. We were apprehensive when we came back in 2014. We came back on quiet a large tour and were nervous if anyone would come to the shows. As it happened, the tour went really well and we settled back easily.
So the motive was to come back and see if there was still an audience?
Not really no. We just decided the time was right. In some ways not having a new album to tour, and the extra pressures that come with promotion, really helped us to focus on the live show.
So what’s the motive for the tour this year?
It felt like a good time to get out on the road, plus we got a good offer where we would play a shortish tour in places we enjoy playing. Ian, and the rest of the band, were available so we thought why not.
There’s a rumour that there will be some new material for the tour?
We’ve got probably an albums worth of material written. But we’re not sure if it’ll ever get released. There’s some ideas of releasing an album on vinyl, but again these are just thoughts at the minute. We’re certainly planning to rehearse 1 or 2 new tracks and see if we can make them sound good live. If they do we’ll probably play them on the tour, if they don’t then they may not make it.
So you’re not placing any pressure on yourself for new material?
Not at all. Ian is quiet keen on the idea, as am I, but we’d only put something out if it sounded good and if we thought there was value.
Where do you see Del Amitri fitting into today’s music scene?
To be honest we never felt like we fit in with any particular scene, and we’re probably the same now. We were inspired by the Postcard crowd, like Orange Juice and Aztec Camera but as a band we morphed a few times, initially quiet a melancholic band and then more poppy. Too soft for grunge and too early for Britpop we were our own entity I guess.
I always felt you were quiet similar to the Lemonheads in that regard.
Wow, that’s a compliment, thanks. I’m a great fan of that band. He’s a brilliant songwriter and has such intelligent insights.
Apart from the tour, what’s the future looking like?
There’s a feeling that it may be some time before we tour again after this tour. We certainly don’t want to make this a once every two year nostalgia trip sort of thing. We’ll see as band when we tour how we feel and what we feel like doing next.
Del Amitri play the Newcastle City Hall on July 20.