FORMER Del Amitri frontman Justin Currie is back with a new solo album and tour – Lower Reaches is the first release on Justin's own label Endless Shipwreck, through Ignition Records.
During his long and distinguished career with Del Amitri, Justin released four Top 10 albums, including Waking Hours in 1989, which sold more than a million copies in the UK alone.
Justin will be stopping off at Exeter Phoenix on Wednesday, September 18, to perform a blend of new songs and well-loved material. Tickets for the gig, starting at 8pm, cost £20. Call 01392 667080 or visit www.exeterphoenix.org.uk
What was the first record/CD you bought?
I was about nine, I think. My big sisters were quite into pop – David Essex and middle-of-the-road stuff like New World. I joined The New Seekers fan club using my sister Rachel's name as I thought it was embarrassing being a boy getting sent fan club mail.
I found myself in a record shop in Leicester with my mum, at a kind of 7in-single bar with a menu of chart hits handwritten on a large board.
I plumped for Sylvia's Y Viva Espana because I was attracted to her slim frame and wide-brimmed hat on TOTP. I was impressed to see it appear in Stuart Maconie's recent list of pop's cultural milestones, The People's Songs.
Who was your first musical crush?
The woman from 5000 Volts, who sang Dr Kiss Kiss. Well, after Sylvia, naturally.
What's the best gig you have enjoyed?
There are two that stand out. The Fall and The Cramps at Glasgow Tech & Buzzcocks, and Joy Division at the Glasgow Apollo. Don't ask me what year, everything's gone fuzzy.
What is your guilty music pleasure/cheesiest CD?
Sometimes I'll stumble across Classic FM and not switch it off immediately. Other than that, music is guilt free. If it moves you it's valid. Even Mumford and Sons.
Who are you listening to now in the car or on your iPod?
I've been enjoying Sun Kil Moon's Ghosts of the Great Highway. And Lloyd Cole's Standards is fun. I adore an artist called Withered Hand whose Good News remains a frequent resort.
What is your favourite karaoke song/song to sing in the shower?
I always sing America by Simon and Garfunkel when things go quiet. As for karaoke, I usually do Yesterday or Like A Rolling Stone.
I once did a version of God Only Knows in a bar in Philadelphia and on the way out the barman said to me, "Nice pipes". I've never received a greater compliment.