SINCE the release of his first solo album in 2007, Justin Currie has peddled his well-crafted, acoustic-driven tales of love and loss to varying degrees of enthusiasm and indifference.
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Taking to the Queen’s Hall stage to rapturous applause last night, the lanky, side-burned singer, dressed all in black, greeted the crowd like an old friend.
“Thanks so much,” he said at the end of set-opener Every Song’s The Same, a self-depreciating number which builds nicely on the premise of its “Let me teach you how to write a song” opening verse and is, in itself, something of a masterclass in songwriting.
“It’s a bit like church this,” he told the front of the venue, who were sat at cabaret-style tables. “Actually, how would I know? I’ve never even been in a church. I bet this must be what church is like,” he added. “You know, some c*** standing on a stage telling you how to live you life.”
It’s not big nor clever to use the C-word in church, but Currie’s adoring fans roared their approval anyway.
The 48-year-old Glaswegian followed up with Food For Songs, and also performed several songs from the Del Amitri back catalogue, much to the delight of the crowd.
Fans don’t go to see an old-stager like Currie for an entire evening of new material, and it was no surprise that he threw in Always The Last To Know, Driving With The Brakes On, Move Away Jimmy Blue and Tell her This – the majority of them now sounding like classics.
That said, Currie was in town to promote third solo record Lower Reaches – he recently revealed that Del Amitri will play their first gig for more than a decade at January’s Celtic Connections, so no need to overdo the oldies here – and it was songs from that album, along with his previous two efforts, 2007’s What Is Love For and 2010’s The Great War, that made up the majority of the set.
Del Amitri moments aside, standouts were the Bob Dylan-esque No Surrender, Priscilla, I Hate Myself For Loving You and Half Of Me.
He also did a pleasing cover of Withered Hand’s Hard On.
All told, this was an entertaining night of music from a man who probably doesn’t get the credit that his accomplished songwriting deserves.