JENNA CORDEROY: feared that the performance would be more like listening to Magic FM, but was proved wrong by Justin Currie.
The Junction, 27th January. £17.50.
As the founding member of Scottish rock group Del Amitri, Justin Carrie was responsible for the one hit wonder Roll To Me, which was featured in possibly every ’90s American feel-good movie. Now going solo as a traditional folk/soft rock singer, I feared that his performance would be like turning on Magic FM for an hour. Thankfully, I was wrong.
Supporting Currie was Heidi Spencer, a folk singer all the way from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After stumbling onto the stage, breathless and shy, her opening song Alibi revealed her talents. The audience quickly embraced her strong, unique vocals and quirky stage presence. Emotionally raw with hints of Bruce Springsteen, the closing Red Sky was exceptional.
It was quite clear I was sitting amongst Currie’s hardcore fans – they roared as the folk singer took to the stage, clapped appreciatively at the guitar intros and whooped with delight to even his most mellow songs. Opening up with a selection of romantic ballads, Currie was pitch perfect, possessing an impressive vocal range. After some acoustic renditions of old Del Amitri classics, including Always The Last To Know, a bluesy stint on the piano provided a nice contrast, although it was slightly heavy going at times.
Back to the guitar for some more uplifting songs, the set became a little repetitive, and I felt my concentration was beginning to waver. Currie’s did the same, stopping midway through a song, exclaiming: ‘Fuck! Wrong verse!’ He quickly recovered, entertaining the audience with his funny anecdotes about Leonard Cohen and his supporting ‘twiddling fucks from LA’ band, and his call to the crowds for requests provoked a barrage of song titles.
Currie ended the gig back on the piano with some cool jazz, this time introducing a refreshing whirring electronic accompaniment. An encore was not needed, and could have been avoided if the set had been tighter. But, nonetheless, Currie’s performance was intelligent, crafted, and at times inspiring, and certainly not at all like one-paced Magic FM.