Music interview: Justin Currie

Justin Currie.
Justin Currie.
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“You have no idea where songs come from,” says Del Amitri frontman turned solo star Justin Currie on the inspiration behind his latest creative efforts.

“You can’t plan these things. I may write a phrase down and hopefully then others may follow. But it’s a mystery how these things emerge creatively. You can’t over think it.”

Lower Reaches is set to be Currie’s third solo album following in the footsteps of What is Love For and The Great War.

“It’s different from the last two solo albums as I bit the bullet and hired a producer in Texas,” says the singer-songwriter.

“You have less control, but it worked really well. And I’m really pleased with it.”

Prior to the release of the ten-track offering sees Currie hit the road for a series of live dates including stop-offs at the City Varieties in Leeds and Memorial Hall in Sheffield.

And he says the fans can expect a mix of new songs as well as classics from the Del Amitri back catalogue which saw the band enjoy more than a dozen top 40 hits over a 15 year period including Kiss This Thing Goodbye, Always The Last To Know and Roll To Me, a song which also charted in the US top ten.

“I was I will be up there on my own on stage,” he is quick to point out. “When you are on your own, you have to go with the flow otherwise it won’t work. You have to work with the audience.”

Looking back on his Del Amitri days Currie speaks with a understandable fondness.

“We never broke up. We just stopped doing gigs, he points out. “No-one offered us a gig.”

And when asked to name a standout highlight from the he is quick to rattle off a few examples.

“1990 was great when we broke into the top 40 with Nothing Ever Happens. More people started to come to our gigs and life got a lot easier, he recalls, before adding gigs at the band’s spiritual home - Glasgow Barrowlands - to the list.

“The noise the audience makes sounds is louder on stage, than being in the audience,” he says. “The atmosphere that generates is incredible. It’s like a chain reaction. You feed off that energy.”

With a career spanning more than two decades does he have any musical ambitions still to achieve?

“A double number one album both sides of the Atlantic, simultaneously,” he laughs. “ I could take that to my bank manager”

Justin Currie is due to play City Varieties, Leeds, on Tuesday, February 19, and Sheffield’s Memorial Hall on Tuesday, February 26.