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After 22 years toiling in the successful pop-rock outfit Del Amitri, Justin Currie made the rash decision to go it alone in 2003, spending the next four years messing about writing, drinking and doing any weird non-rock gig he was invited to participate in; jazz shows, folk shows and soul shows added more saggy strings to his collection of bows.
In 2008 he finally pulled his finger out and pushed the button on a solo career with the release of his masterpiece of maudlin, What Is Love For. The question mark was missing, perhaps denoting an answer reached: “the future is miserable and I shall sing it”.
His fourth album of this series, This Is My Kingdom Now is released this spring and follows on from The Great War (2010) and Lower Reaches (2013). The pop sensibility of Del Amitri’s sprightly hits was largely missing from this solo oeuvre, replaced by a tone Currie himself describes as “suicide in a saucy shirt”.
Over time audiences have begun to divine hit-type hooks buried within the gloom and now flock to hear epics such as No, Surrender, If I Ever Loved You? and Falsetto with an alacrity some find surprising in an age where distraction from modernity’s inferno is a kind of medical emergency.
Currie lives and breathes in Glasgow, collects beer mats and makes his own cushions.