Del Amitri at Hammersmith Apollo
The Scottish alternative rock quintet – featuring original members, singer/guitarist/bassist Justin Currie and guitarist Iain Harvie – are touring the UK for the first time since 2014. With no new album to promote, the band drew from their tried and tested back catalogue and also threw a few surprises into the set at Hammersmith Apollo.
Following wonderful support from fellow Scots the Trashcan Sinatras – who charmed the crowd with their gorgeous melodies – Justin Currie and the rest of Del Amitri were given a very enthusiastic welcome. “Good evening,” said Currie. “I was just about to say something really f***ing stupid – it involved the words ‘ready’ and ‘rock’. Don’t ever do that…”
Starting with Be My Downfall, the opening track of 1992’s Change Everything – probably still the group’s most popular record – and continuing with the popular Nothing Ever Happens, the “Dels” performed the first three songs acoustically, switching to electric instruments just at the right time, before the energy level wavered.
The tune chosen on which to make this step up was the gloriously catchy Kiss This Thing Goodbye, which had most of the audience up on its feet. Currie then thanked those who were standing up. In contrast to its upbeat tempo, the beautiful Driving with the Brakes On was another shining moment from a band truly on form and clearly enjoying themselves. This was followed by the equally tender It Might As Well Be You, off their 1995 LP, Twisted.
You Can’t Go Back was a new track – “So the bar’s that way,” joked Currie, commenting on the fact that people tend to go and get the drinks in whenever an act with a long musical history unveils new material.
Indeed, the frontman was all too aware of the fact that most of the room had come to hear the old songs. “We’re gonna do something from our last and unloved album [2002’s Can You Do Me Good?],” he quipped ahead of Wash Her Away.
A pleasant surprise came in the form of the excellent B-side The Verb to Do, while Always the Last to Know – one of their best-known hits – was another high point. This writer was sure they were going to play Roll to Me – a US top-10 hit in 1995, even though they don’t consider it among their best work – and also hoped that they would find room for 1998’s football anthem, Don’t Come Home too Soon. Neither featured, sadly.
That said, Spit in the Rain and Stone Cold Sober closed out the main set well. The one-song encore was Move Away Jimmy Blue. The Trashcan Sinatras and Del Amitri have both been around for over 30 years but, judging by tonight’s gig, both bands still have a great deal to offer.
Photo: Del Amitri Facebook
For further information and future events visit Del Amitri’s website here.
Watch the video for Always the Last to Know here: