The Del boys

Brian Donaldson catches up with the latest news, gossip and facial hair tips with Del Amitri.

if you've been wondering why you have heard nothing of Del Amitri for a while then it's because they have spent the majority of this year touring the land of the free. Lack of television exposure and that elusive all-conquering hit are the only things preventing Del Amitri from making that leap from mid-table respectability to title contenders over the Atlantic. But Justin Currie. The Dels‘ hirsute frontman. remains humourously optimistic about their chances. ‘In certain places the audiences have got bigger and bigger and in others they haven’t.’ says Currie. ‘The last time we toured America it went under the hilarious euphemism of Touring Secondary Markets, which was the equivalent of doing Kilmarnock every night. which was quite frightening. it was back to playing to a couple of guys in wheelchairs.’

Since arriving on the scene in 1989 with the terribly fine Waking Hours. Glasgow-based Del Amitri have assembled a reputation for themselves as an accomplished. mature. reliable combo. For some this has been perceived as dullness personified. All very dandy, but all a bit safe and dignified, each outpouring appearing to be a carbon copy of the previous one. Between now and starting a new round of American touring in January. the Dels will be holed up in a studio, putting the finishing touches to

Some sldebums. And Del Amitri

‘We always set out to make a radically different record from the last one because it‘s a bit boring making the same record every time,‘ confesses Currie. ‘And then. of course. we finish up and it sounds exactly the same as the other ones.‘ What can it all mean? ‘I don't know what that means. Perhaps it means that we have integrity or that we have no other ideas than the first three we started with. We think the next one will be totally different but I'm sure it won’t

American extravaganza, it showed a band on the brink. the pressures of constant touring getting too much with one band member handing in his notice. This could have been read as the signal for a split and the green light for a Currie solo assault.

‘Never do a solo album. that ‘s my motto.‘ states Currie. ‘It just seems like a lonely arduous task. Why would you want to be a solo artist? I‘ve always wanted to be part of a band. the gang mentality. i suppose at the age of 32 you should be getting all

‘Never do a solo album, that’s my motto. It just seems like a lonely arduous task. Why would you want to be a solo artist? I’ve always wanted to be part oi a band, the gang mentallty.’

artistic and serious but. personally. I cringe when pop singers look desperately for artistic credibility and want to look serious. Besides you have to record so many B-sides these days that if you want to do something a bit different and everyone in the band hates it. you can stick it on the B-side.‘

Aside from a spot as guest band on Glasgow Green in the summer, the Dels have been absent from Scottish stages since June 1995. They will mark their live return with a brace of shows over the festive period.

‘They‘re kind of anti-Christmas shows because we‘re a godless bunch.‘ confirms Currie. ‘We'd do Barrowland every time but the geezer who promotes us in Scotland had just got fed up promoting us there so as a kind of trade-off we agreed to do the Concert Hall for another Barrowland. Theatre shows are a bit weird for us but it does give you an opportunity to play all the good songs which are worth listening to in that environment. So we'll play a couple ofthings we don‘t normally do while Barrowland will be more


their fourth album. Radical reinvention of the Dels' sound or carbon copy? Justin Currie. how do you

w 9

In last year's Ex-S documentary, Legends Of The Mail. which followed the lads on their latest

of a greatest hits live kind of vibe.’ Del Amitri play Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Thurs 26 Dec; Barrowland. Glasgow. Fri 2 7 Dec.

CLASSICAL music oi the 16th and 17th centuries, instruments. Praetorius’s Dances the ensemble also Includes cometts From Terpsichore are there, as well - early trumpets - and recorders. as his In 00ch Jubilo and a number oi They have given many highly christmas pieces by the German I _ successiul concerts, Including one at composer Michael Altenburg, and

the South Bank in tendon where they Samuel Scheidt’s Iiymnus do Adventu

gave the ilrst periormance oi their Domini.

Christmas programme In 011ch Jubilo, For the Individual members oi the

which they now bring to Edinburmr. lloboys And Shegbuts, it is all in a AIicionados oi early muslc are sure Director Paul Bevan, a shagbut and day’s work which can take them irom to be pleased at the Georgian Concert recorder player, belleves that the any number oi leading period Society's Inclusion oi the somewhat popularity oi period periormance is, ensembles, such as the Sebrieli curiously nned lloboys And he explains, ‘partly because there are Players, The liuiay collective, Ilia Shagbnts 0i tendon in their current a lot oi tunes still currently in use Malestles Sackbuts And Cornetts to season at St Cecilia's llall In which people will recognise. it is a the brass section oi The Edinburgh. Int beiore those less very popular sound world and I think Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra talllar with the terminology oi the that people's ears iind lt reireshlng. and the Scottish chamber Orchestra. history oi musical Instruments get It’s a change irom orchestral tlmbres Switching irom modern trombone to the wrong Idea, a word oi and an appealing mixture oi the old shagbnt, says Paul Bevan, ‘ls not a explanation. The heboy, a term oi the and the new.’ a compromise - lt’s lost a dlilerent French Irautbois, is, an early oboe In iiulci Jubilo will certainly provide angle.’ (Carol Main) ad the shagbut is the sackbnt or ample opportunlty ior audiences to l .. 7" v. iioboys And Siregbuu play Si trombone. hear well known Christmas carols "on", gm .u m i. “no. Cecilia’s Iieii, cowgate, Edinbaryr,

Formed in 1989 to periorm the wind played on less irequently heard as part oi a 15th century orchestra Sat 14 Dec.

«The'usi '13—-De'c 19’96-9 Jan 1997