Category Archives: Music

The One Who Got Away – Justin Currie

…and here’s why.

Justin Currie is the lead singer of Del Amitri – one of my favourite bands of all time till they began to conform to crap – and also precisely the kind of straggly, strungout Gaelic guy I would find irresistible because he is ALL about the lyrics and NOT about the baths and that sort of thing.

You never really lost me, Justin – you just won me all over again with your priceless MySpace site. And bring DA back!

Justin Currie was born in a van near Paisley in 1964 in a hailstorm so vicious that it took a team of panel beaters a month to separate his forehead from the roof. Later on, perhaps in the nineteen eighties he started to sing in a strange breathless way, cramming too many words into odd amounts of bars and found himself, with his group of twee schoolboy punks, Del Amitri, getting firmly up the collective nose of the Glasgow white-soul cognoscenti. Much more loathed than loved, and revelling in their outsider status, Del Amitri attracted a dense little coterie of followers in the United States of America who duly set up a nationwide tour funded by busking, badge selling and the refrigerators of those fans’ generous parents.

Driven half-mental by their experiences the group came home, ditched their indie twiddling and embarked upon a course of songwriting so sickeningly mainstream and Americanised that it led to a long career being spoilt stupid by the radio and recording industries of the English speaking world. Limos to the pub, ponds full of chips, week-long parties in Bognor, that sort of thing. By 2002 the thing had run it’s cliched course; the group’s fortunes were dwindling and, dropped by a record firm grown weary of their whining, the two chief writers put the band into cryogenic suspension and set about writing two LPs; a Justin Currie Alone affair and an entirely co-written electronic pop masterpiece.

Justin’s solo record is called “What Is Love For?” and features eleven thunderously dreary dirges many of which he is currently airing live to pained looking crowds of people in dingy Glasgow basements. When forced by penury, politeness or acute fear he can sometimes also be heard to trawl out tired versions of his withered hits.

Justin is unmarried and lives a quiet life of standing up and sitting down in Scotland with his two pet television sets.

Imcomplete post without my favourite Del Amitri songs, no?

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Norway Has More Than A-ha

Thomas Dybdahl is one of my favourite singers. Its wonderful to be awash in the velvet of his voice.

He is a boy from the local Norwegian hood. His hometown is now mine and the very fact that I can see him at a cafe on an occasional Saturday makes me ridiculously happy for no reason. Because, even after all the accolades he’s received, he is still painfully shy and hides behind all his facial hair. He smiles with awkward sweetness when people go over to him and..

Man. It makes me want to stick my tongue in his ear just to make him giggle. It’s that cute.

Some extra notes.

1. The video is from Monster Thursday – a lovely, sweet and sad film also made in this town. I’m going to go all out and say that we have some of the best acting talent Norway has seen and some of the most amazing small-budget commercial films you can pick up.

2. The purrty girl in the video? That is Silje Salomonsen. She is so talented that it makes your head spin. She’s an actress and a musician and she’s also my yoga teacher. Silje is a thousand shades of fabulous because she is the only woman I know who stands on her head effortlessly when she is seven months pregnant.

3. That beach in the first shot? Thats where I love to escape to.

4. That wierd language they speak? Thats Norsk. They are speaking the local dialect that is my norsk too.

5. When Thomas performs in town, his family, all his uncles, aunts and cousins come along and cheer him on. And by that I mean they practically stand on their tables and clap. You couldn’t see a more enthusiastic family or a prouder artist. Going to these concerts never gets old!

Enjoy this little taste of Norway!

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