Justin Currie

Justin Currie photo 1

Del Amitri lead singer Justin Currie (photo: Colin Mearns)



Justin Currie playlist



Contributor: Dave Ross

I’ve had my name down to do a Justin Currie Toppermost for some time. Justin’s recent Parkinson’s diagnosis galvanised me into action. I also decided that I should invite his fans to choose songs via Facebook and Twitter. He’s a man of the people after all. I’ve collected some wonderful stories as die-hard fans recall their favourite Justin Currie solo songs and share why they mean so much. Some have said more than others but I’ve left them unedited as to do so would diminish the stories they tell. Justin’s songs really mean something to those who love them. They get to the core of what makes people tick, how they feel and how they think. His is a unique talent for seeing inside the human condition as each one of the stories prove.

So, what does Justin Currie mean to me? I once wrote about Del Amitri:

Imagine a band from the 90s who weren’t a boy band, weren’t Brit Pop, weren’t from Manchester, you couldn’t rave to and wrote songs, proper songs with lyrics that meant something. That band was Del Amitri. So uncool that they attracted a certain fan, a fan who didn’t fit anywhere else, a fan who was going through some personal drama and a fan who didn’t quite ‘get’ the latest thing.

Also …

All the talk of the new music has sent me on a journey back to the years before, during and after the time that the band went beyond being purveyors of pleasant songs about life, love, regret, sadness with a country feel and gorgeous sideburns to become the very essence of my existence.

When they split in 2002 or as Justin puts it “the phone stopped ringing” I felt bereft. A band, singer and most pertinently a songwriter who seemed to know me better than anyone, gone. Yes, I had that incredible back catalogue but no more new music therapy? How would I cope? Well of course I did. When I discovered in 2006 that not only did Justin have a Myspace page but he was posting music, mostly covers I was ecstatic. Someone kindly sent me the MP3s of several of the covers which I converted into little YouTube videos. One of the songs was a heart-wrenching cover of Gilbert O’Sullivan’s Nothing Rhymed a song I love. At the same time out of the blue my mum showed me some papers, postcards and telegrams my dad had sent home to his parents from Singapore during his time as a POW during WW2. In a moment of rare inspiration, I combined them all to produce this. It’s not on Spotify so I think my little video is the only place you can still hear it. This video puts me there with my old man; I can never suffer what he did, but I can feel some of it when I watch and listen to this. I’ll make it …

The fact Nothing Rhymed can’t be added to the Spotify playlist allows me to discount it as my selection. That allows me to choose this with no explanation needed given Justin’s current situation. The Fight To Be Human from 2010’s The Great War. What. A. Song.

I’m not a master of what I survey
To death and disaster I am a slave
But I am the author of the words that I say
But why do I bother; it’s all trash anyway.

I try to be truthful- or I think that I try
I may not be useful but at least I’m alive.
And millions of letters spill into the hive
And all of them worthless except for this line:

I hate the world they gave me,
I hate the world they gave me




Justin Currie photo 3

Before moving on to the top ten I just wanted to include this last minute submission. Superfan Teresa Couch flew in from Atlanta this year just to see Del Amitri. She took some great photos of the great man including the one above. She explained:

Yep! Came over just for ‘our Justin’. Gotta support the lad, especially now.

He looks amazing and from Teresa’s feedback he sounded incredible too. She missed the original deadline for this article but she told me:

Our 6-year-old grandson loves Chiding Moon. He says it’s the prettiest song he’s ever heard.

Chiding Moon is one of four unreleased songs featured on Justin’s MySpace page some years ago and one that I used to create this video. Teresa’s commitment to Justin and love of this song (along with her grandson) tells you all you need to know about the unique connection Justin has to his fans.


THE SECOND TRACK in our 10 comes from Melbourne resident Stuart McPhee who writes about the song Sydney Harbour Bridge from 2017’s This Is My Kingdom Now. What Stuart has done is alerted me to how the song applies to my son who now also lives in Australia. Currie’s ability to see inside my soul and write about what lurks in the depths never ceases to amaze:

We here in the antipodes love to sing about our country. We love it even more when others sing about it; whether that be metaphorically (see Australia by Manic Street Preachers), actually (see New South Wales by Jason Isbell) or, in the case of Sydney Harbour Bridge, a bit of both.

Australia (for the most part) remains a refuge for those wishing to escape their current predicament. Give us your tired, your poor, your lovelorn. Come work in our bars and cafés and you will forget about him/her soon enough. Maybe.

The ones left behind certainly won’t.

Instead, they have to contend with understanding the vastness of the land in which you now occupy, the cold depths of the harbour which you traverse, the unique wildlife that is now your soundtrack. The foreignness of it all. You no longer share the same city or feel the same sun.

Sydney Harbour Bridge is a song that needs the fullness of time, a decent life lived, in order to unfurl. It’s a memory unlocked of someone from another life, that distracts you from your daily malaise and may make you smile for a fraction of a second before you feel the burning strains at the pit of your stomach.

It’s a weight as heavy as a granite pylon, built by stonemasons from the Mother Country, searching for a new life away from the interminable Caledonian rain.

But maybe the remembering accelerates the forgetting? If, each time you recall them, the Bridge sinks a little too, then there may well come a time where it is completely consumed by the magnificent harbour. Where Dawes Point is cut off from Milsons Point and you now no longer have a way to travel to meet them, actually or metaphorically.

And you can move on with your life.


FOR THE NEXT ONE Jason Burt picks up on one of the great Currie themes. Love. He asks a question I’m sure many of us who’ve lived a full life have asked ourselves. We still don’t have the answer, but Currie helps us to understand it better and reminds us we’re not the only ones:

Music comes in waves for me. It has a really powerful impact when it works but I don’t find myself playing the best stuff over and over again, instead preferring to return to it occasionally, partly for fear of it losing its magic.

Picking a favourite JC solo tune is a really tricky business. I loved The Great War (which for me still sounds like a lost Dels record) but I’ve gone for the title track of the debut album, What is Love For?.

When I first played What Is Love For, I admired the album more than I loved it. It had no touches of the Dels’ lighter side to balance the darkness. The songwriting was clearly lovely, the music beautifully played and produced. But it didn’t hit me until much later.

And then one night (inevitably) I stuck it on for reasons I don’t care to remember and ‘something changed forever’.

I think it’s his best work and stands up as one of the greats of the genre.

I’ve picked the title track because it encapsulates the best of the album. Orchestration and arrangement fit the lyrics perfectly and his voice soars. The key moment is when his voice changes register for the line what do I do with love I can’t use for her anymore?. It’s terrific writing.

Stylistically, I can hear influences from all over the place (Bacharach/David; Scott Walker) but it still sounds like Justin Currie uniquely (if that is possible).

Anyone seeking proof of What Is Love For’s power need only look up his performances of several songs on Songwriters’ Circle. Probably not an album for the barbecue playlist but it’s wonderful nonetheless.

One final point. The vinyl pressing is absolutely brilliant and has become a treasured possession for me.


NEXT CHOICE from Maggie Brown is extraordinarily powerful and has made me see a song I’ve always loved in a very different light. Music eh? Bloody hell. Also from The Great War:

I could choose just about any of Justin Currie’s songs and I’d be able to relate it to some point in my life. When I listen to A Man With Nothing To Do a couple of lines hit me hard:

When good men do nothing, it’s true what they say
The devil is rolling up his sleeve

They take me back to a very dark period in my life when a man close to me committed a terrible crime, which I can’t go into here. Suffice to say, he was a man with nothing to do, and the devil got his way.

But that song, for all its doubts and fears and angst, has just the happiest of tunes. So though it reminds me of a dark time, it also makes me tap my feet and smile.

So am I passing the time?
Or letting time pass over me?

Time has passed over me (and us all), and JC’s music is still the constant in my life that it always was. He can make me cry, sigh, smile and laugh, all in one song.


THE NEXT ONE is also from What Is Love For. No, Surrender was a popular choice so I’ve put in all three as I don’t want anyone who wanted to contribute to be left out. My abiding memory of this song is watching Justin do it live word perfect. Not about love this time but a protest song from his heart and soul:

From Arjav Arwal: Justin Currie is a master of songwriting, and nowhere does it show better than his biting political songs. I’ve always viewed No, Surrender as somewhat of a spiritual successor to Nothing Ever Happens – something of an expansion on that general theme of apathy and disillusionment, plus a great descriptor of how things evolved between 1989 and 2006 (the endless wars, the consumerism, the rise in media manipulation, and the drastic rise of inequality). Ideally, these are not songs that should remain relevant – but so long as the world is in fucked-up shape, it’s a damn good thing that Justin Currie is around to function as a musical release valve for our collective anger.

From Neil Carney: My favourite song is No, Surrender. The lyrics matched with Justin’s amazing voice, just sublime. I can listen to this song over and over and always pick up on something I’ve missed before. One of my favourite songs of all time!

From Paul Healy: When asked “What’s your favourite Justin song?” I am lucky that I have an immediate go-to. I can appreciate that it is not that easy for some, given how great his solo output has been over the years, but one song grabbed me on first listen and has never ever let go. If anything, it strengthens its grip on every listen or when I recommend it. That song is “No, Surrender”.

As per usual with Justin, it has a touch of the tragic and a touch of the flippant. The title, No, Surrender, from 2007’s great LP What Is Love For is a flippancy partner to the Currie song You’ll Always Walk Alone which appears on The Great War album of 2010. Both songs were written due to a Currie twist on phrases associated with either side of the West of Scotland religious divide.

While some artists can play the pithy and comical to generate a quick smile, Justin prepares to set up the gag and just as you prepare for something light and frothy, he sweeps the legs right from under you and leaves you in a heap.

If you need a comparison, then this is Nothing Ever Happens but with no holds barred and no pretty pictures to ease the listeners’ conscience.

The lyrics to No, Surrender are in my humble view, quite possibly the greatest lyrics ever written by a Scottish artist, maybe any artist.

And no, I’m not exaggerating. Let me explain.

The song is over seven minutes which given this is Justin’s take on global society is probably a song that could have ran for fifteen minutes or more. It’s over seven minutes yet there is absolutely no filler, no time wasted. It’s just perfect.

It opens with the musical intro, low and brooding. The sound creeps forward and then as Justin begins singing, all the wonderful words seem to crouch down before the truth within springs up and grabs you by the throat and never lets go.

The lyrics are sheer social dissection. Justin is in full rant mode but the rant is controlled and crystal clear. There are no screams or hysterics here. Instead, he calmly delivers the song like a Seer pointing out all the problems in modern society and asks the listener to look within. This is very much The Abyss looking back.

With every verse, the picture layers dark upon darker. Society norms are revealed as horror. The images get more and more real yet are often veiled under classic Currie comic finesse. How much of a smile did Justin have writing the line Caviar kickbacks for the citadel denizens knowing folk would love it or hate it. Or course he maybe just wanted something to rhyme with Japanese snacks for the choice-spoilt citizens; that right there is the brilliance and way of our man Currie.

Structure-wise it’s incredibly simple given the intricate lyrics. No, Surrender has only a few very long verses and a chorus and outro.

The verses though are more early Bible than early Beatles. These verses are sermons on self-protection and self-denial and shame. These verses are poetic words painting forensic pictures that cause the listener true moments of painful introspection.

If there is a more gobsmacking slap in the face from a lyric than the one generated by the lines …

Beggars beat ’round the cash machines
But you just slip between them with the usual lie

… then I haven’t yet heard it.

When I first heard that line, I honestly stopped and stared into the distance in awe.

There is a chorus which eventually kicks in but just when we expect a break from being called out so clinically, it takes on another twist to leave us standing there, listening all open ears and open-mouthed.

The usual approach for pop music is of course to provide an escape. To pick us up and show us the way forward. A nice escape. Not here.

Justin doesn’t let us off the hook. No way. After throwing up all the wrongs to which we all contribute, He then suggests we forget the futility of hope. He tells us to forget the fight. He dismisses any thought of throwing off the weight upon all our shoulders. He shrugs and says surrender. The damage is done.

I’ve been lucky enough to see Justin like eight times, more than I’ve been to see any other artist. I’ve seen him in venues ranging from The Hydro to upstairs in HMV and every time it was wonderful. I’ve got to hear this live. I know that I’m a very lucky man.

Thank you Justin.


ANOTHER CONTRIBUTOR from Melbourne, Nick Short, has selected Crybabies from This Is My Kingdom Now (2017). Again, he’s shown me a side to a song I hadn’t seen before. As you can tell with Nothing Rhymed my relationship with my dad was hugely important to me. This song now takes on a whole new meaning. Thanks Nick:

One of the most important barometers a man in the world has, apart from his relationship with a partner, is how does he stack up against his own dad and how is the relationship? Is there love? Is there competition? Is it antagonistic? Is there jealousy? Most vitally, do a father and son know exactly what they mean to each other at a time in both of their lives when they can equally and cognitively appreciate it?

Or is it, don’t cry, don’t show your emotions, don’t let your guard down and certainly do not ever compromise that stiff upper lip, echoing a little of Behind The Fool.

Justin explores the most complex relationship a man can have, without the pomp, ceremony and melodrama of Mike + The Mechanics’ The Living Years, in a reflective yet a battle against time where the protagonist battling a sense of impostor syndrome, emotional distance and not knowing where to begin needs to tell his father that all he would need to do is “pick up the stick and tap the time” and he’d immediately be in his choir and/or by his side.

Within the journey, containing the most striking analogy of anyone who medically isn’t what he used to be, and that’s being trapped on your own inside “the castle of your skin”.

Justin’s solo songs have a distant isolated starkness, unlike the songs that he writes for the band, where there is that twist or that definitive conclusion. With Crybabies there is the open punctuation of a man driving through a barrier to unlock the emotion or region never visited before. We never know if he successfully accomplishes it. Does he stick to the safety of the public roads he’s travelled before, or like Move Away Jimmy Blue is this just another story of wet feet not finding anything new.


YOU MIGHT WANT to get yourself a cup of tea for this one. I’ve known Niall Brannigan for a while now and his mental health struggles about which he’s always been incredibly open and honest help him to write in an incredibly powerful way. Is music important? Absolutely it is:

Ready To Be is a song from Justin Currie’s second solo album, The Great War, which came out in 2010. The song’s lyric is one of Justin’s ‘I know you love me but I might be the terrible person your friends all think I am’ and the character seems to be about to cheat on her, with the chorus:

ˈCause I’m ready to be the devil they’ve been seeing in me

The situation comes, literally, to a climax with the wonderful break-down after the second chorus, as producer Mark Freegard turns up the reverb on Justin’s mic and the character sings:

Whatever they’ve been seeing I know him
He lives between the moments
When I’m an angel in silence
He’s climbing over the railway fence
Trying to dispose of the evidence
Trying to compose it so it all makes sense
Trying to get ready to be, ready to be,
The devil they’ve been seeing in me

Underneath this almost threatening vocal is Mick Slaven’s guitar, adding to the air of menace and reigniting the spirit of Iain Harvie, JC’s partner-in-crime in Del Amitri. In fact, to my ears, Ready To Be is the most ‘Dels-sounding’ track on the album.

I’m not a great one for unravelling a song’s meaning; I agree with Justin that, once the song has been recorded and put out into the world, it means whatever the listener thinks it means to them.
So, let me tell you what Ready To Be means to me in 2010.

In 2010 I was a 54-year-old man 34 years into a career with a large food-wholesaler in the UK. 32 of those years had been spent ‘at the coal-face’ in cash & carries around the south of England as a store manager in Byfleet, Sunbury-on-Thames, Aldershot and finally in the open sewer that is Slough.

Slough felt like punishment. It felt like I’d done something wrong, (I hadn’t; Aldershot was a profitable, successful branch, much bigger than Slough,) and I resented every second of the four years I spent there; the thefts, the court-cases, (mostly staff), the HR issues, the recruitment problems and the overwhelming stress of it all.

In January 2007 my Mum died and I didn’t deal with it at all. I had suffered from depression since I was 18 but had lied and cheated my way out of every situation which might have helped me for fear of being sectioned, which had very nearly happened in 1994.

After yet another breakdown in the autumn of 2007 I put myself through some therapy which I found very rewarding. Then, in the November, someone threw me a lifeline. A vacancy had come up at the Northampton Head Office which, as my ex-boss, (the one who had transferred me to Slough and knew how unhappy I was) said ‘had my name all over it’.

I applied for it and, after some resistance by HR to the travel involved, got it.

The journey was a daily round-trip of 180 miles but it was nearly all motorway and, after a few weeks, I got into a routine of it taking exactly 90 minutes each way. If I left home in Berkshire at 6.30am I was at my desk by 8.00am. If I left the office at 5.30pm, I was home by 7.00pm.

The drive to work was usually filled with podcasts or audiobooks; I discovered that music was too much at that time of the morning. However, for the drive home I was consumed with music from my big old iPod; 16,000 songs, dozens of playlists, all of my 70s albums, all of the new music I was discovering, all of the joy.

Del Amitri had been one of ‘my bands’ in the 90s. When I say ‘my bands’ I really mean me and Des, my best friend. We tended to like the same stuff and would swap compilation tapes/CDs of music we’d discovered. We both loved Del Amitri – great songs, terrific band, wonderful singer – what’s not to like?

Somehow I had missed Justin Currie’s first solo album but a fellow contributor to The Afterword, my favourite website, was a big JC fan and had recommended the second album, The Great War, so I went out and bought it.

In 2010 I was two years into my new role but it had not been a happy time. Of course, I was delighted to get out of Slough and get out of the daily grind of store-management; the 14-hour days, the security alarm-calls at 3.00am, the faulty heating, the leaking roof, the forklift truck accident, the three-day court cases, the stress, the stress, the stress. No, my problem was I had no idea what I was doing. I had been dropped into the world of marketing and promotions and brief-writing and spreadsheets and meetings and I had no idea if I was doing it right, if I was any good. In my previous life I knew how I was doing every day when the sales and profit-figures came in, when the accounts came out, when the quarterly stocktaking results came out; if you were still in a job then you were doing okay. But now? Life seemed unmeasured until, suddenly, I got a bollocking. My boss was a loose cannon, a nutjob, (hey, I suffer from a mental illness so I can say that; you can’t) but, in 2010, he suddenly left the business.

Rumours were rife; a senior Director suddenly disappearing was a big deal; but I was so chuffed that I just spent the first few days with a big cheesy grin on my face. His replacement was an internal promotion for someone I knew fairly well and knew to be as big a music fan as me. I was to be his right arm, (he was now responsible for a multi-million pound sales budget, with just me for help) and we quickly became joined at the hip, a two-man steamhammer driving our part of the business forward, at some speed.

I fell in love with my job.

So it was that, at the high-point of my work-satisfaction, JC’s new album came up on my company-car stereo, on a sunny drive down the M40, and Ready To Be came on.

I think I played it half a dozen times, back-to-back, at ear-splitting volume. I wasn’t examining the lyric at all. I had simply taken the phrase ‘Ready to be,’ and turned it into a joy, a desire to enjoy my life, to be excited again, to feel that I was on solid ground, back in my comfort-zone, (the safest place for a depressive) and in control of my job, rather than the other way round.

That’s what the song meant.

I was ready to BE.

I was ready to be ME

The following ten years were the happiest of my working life. My boss and I had as many conversations about music, gigs and albums as we did about the price of cooking oil and the sales-rep in Stirchley and even now, four years after my retirement, we are still close friends, linked by music.

I had another bout of therapy in 2018, when Des died, and I finally put my hand up and asked for meaningful help from the medical profession, which came in spades. Of course, the song still resonates and it takes me right back to that early-evening, as the sun was setting and the car-speakers were jumping out of the doors as I sang, at the top of my voice:

ˈCause I’m ready to BE …


WHAT AN ABSOLUTE GEM this one is. Cyprian Piskurek threw me with his choice of In The Rain as it’s a little known ‘lost’ song at the end of What Is Love For:

One adjective that crops up again and again when people write about Del Amitri’s and Justin Currie’s lyrics is ‘cynical’. From Nothing Ever Happens to No, Surrender (or even the Scottish World Cup anthem Don’t Come Home Too Soon), there are innumerable lines which hint at Currie’s doubts that mankind is inherently good, that humanity makes sense, or that love is forever. There is a constant feeling of disillusion and wariness and the cynicism in his words seems like a shield against further disappointment. Even (or especially) the love songs are testament to this sentiment: What I Think She Sees or It’s Never Too Late To Be Alone are prime examples, and even the immortal Be My Downfall is as heartfelt and vulnerable as it is cynical.

Currie’s first solo album, What Is Love For, seems to continue this tradition with the title track listing a number of rhetorical questions: What is love for? What does it change? Did Joan of Arc drag anyone back from history’s flames? or What does love do? Does it make life worth going through, Keep you safe from the suicide crew? Despite tracks like the yearning Only Love in the middle of the album, the title track seems to set a tone of cynical resignation. But then, after the seven-and-a-half-minute emblem of contemporary futility, No, Surrender, there follows a hidden track: only ninety seconds long, a low-fi recording of nothing but Justin’s vocals and a couple of fragile piano chords. In The Rain describes just a second of all my time but one that he will take from here. It is just one brief moment in a doorway in the rain, when you said ‘angel’ and that is all, but it is the simple and disarming and completely uncynical response to the album’s initial question: this is why we do it, this is why we hang on to it despite all the disappointments. This is what love is for.


THE NEXT CHOICE goes some way to explaining Justin Currie as a songwriter. Constant self-deprecation, you can do better, I can do better, I’m a fake. Of course, he’s none of these things and we all love him because we recognise his perceived failings in ourselves. My Soul Is Stolen is championed by Graham Lobb:

Look into my throat
Whoever’s singing isn’t me
‘Cause I’m a prisoner of
Who all you listeners might be

‘Cause my soul is stolen
Taken in my shallow youth
And I’d love you all to look but
Hate if you mistook it for truth

It seems strange to be writing about the exquisite lyrics of a song where the songwriter has talked about how, when a listener looks into the singer’s throat and through that into their soul, they don’t actually see the truth of the singer’s life, and that’s what it appears My Soul Is Stolen is telling the listener. The lyrics also tell how this songwriter wants the listener to believe the lyrics could be about them, as they’ve covered the lyrics in trinkets.

Musically, My Soul Is Stolen is a beautiful acoustic song with guitar, piano, and then a delightful, tremelo’d guitar solo near the end as an intro to the third verse with Currie’s soulful voice soaring over the top.

Amazingly, My Soul Is Stolen, which started appearing in 2012 and was not included on the 2013 album Lower Reaches, didn’t appear until 2017’s This Is My Kingdom Now. Few songwriters would ever consider leaving a gem like this off any next release!


IN COMMUNICATING with Mali Korsten she changed her mind during the process. Easy to do with a writer as prolific and consistent as Justin Currie. I’m so glad she chose Gold Dust for the simple fact it’s never been one of my favourites. Reading Mali’s wonderful dissection of the song the penny has dropped. I listen but sometimes I don’t hear:

The thing that makes your eyes glitter isn’t always gold dust,
The wings you think life’s given you, they couldn’t lift a bread crust

It’s difficult to choose a favourite song by your favourite artist. After hundreds of listens, the initial attention-grabbers inevitably take a backseat for a while and allow the more subtle beauties a chance to ride shotgun.

Which is a long way of saying that a couple of weeks ago, Gold Dust wasn’t even in my top 10 – yet now it sits securely at number 1 (at least until it gets edged out by the next underdog).

I don’t want to get too analytical as I think the song is pretty self-explanatory – the merry sparkle bestowed by a-few-too-many has worn off, leaving a dreadful apathy in its wake:

The confidence of kings leaches from my hands,
Where Jupiter did sing a drunken janitor now stands

If that doesn’t make your insides churn with melancholy, I don’t know what will. Perhaps this:

To figure who you are you look in every single car

It takes a special kind of talent to make stumbling home from the pub sound so wistfully beautiful. But my favourite moment is the bridge:

Alone – that ain’t the word,
It’s just a groan in the morning nobody ever heard

No one can tell a tale of drunken woe quite like Justin, and this one might be his finest. The words are deeply moving, the melody is mesmerisingly beautiful, and the vocal is utterly gut-wrenching in the best possible way. So, fickle though I may be, I don’t see Gold Dust moving from my top spot anytime soon


SO MANY TRACKS could have been chosen from Justin Currie’s four studio albums. I’ll leave it to huge fan David Spencer to go through some of them:

As for JC and his solo catalogue. I was lucky enough to interview him when What Is Love For came out and he said his solo songs were those he could never make with Del Amitri. It means that many are more introspective and harder to love. But he has written some outstanding solo songs.

Here’s my top 5!

No, Surrender (What Is Love For)
This is one of the best ‘list’ songs ever created and watching him do it live was always a joy.

If I Ever Loved You (What Is Love For)
A typical JC twisted lyric about the end of a relationship and telling the other person they didn’t mean as much as they thought – as they start a new relationship. I was the interim, between nothingness and him – so how is that a crime is one of his finest lines. I have never heard interim in a song before lol.

Failing To See (This Is My Kingdom Now)
Right out of the Just Before You Leave camp of Del’s songs – this is a sublime reflection of a bad relationship.

Little Stars (Lower Reaches)
This makes me cry every time I hear it … the image of wedding cake being walked up the stairs and people dividing into pairs is stunning. The drum machine sound adds to the song’s vulnerability.

At Home Inside Of Me (The Great War)
This is perfect. 2ˈ31″ and not a bad moment. It’s close to a Del Amitri song. The tune, lyrics and his voice … it has everything.


I’m just going to go back to a song David mentioned, If I Ever Loved You. There is a classic YouTube clip of Justin singing this on a Songwriters’ Circle episode with Boo Hewerdine and Chris Difford. He brings Chris to tears with his rendition. I posted the clip on Twitter recently and none other than music writing royalty Pete Paphides wrote: “I’d never seen this before. Extraordinarily beautiful. Thanks Dave.” This led to many more first-time watchers messaging to say how it had moved them in many cases to tears. THIS is the power of Justin Currie’s songwriting.

How he’s not one of the biggest stars on the planet I don’t know. I’m just glad we’ve discovered him and his music. News of his Parkinson’s diagnosis has shaken me, a reminder that none of us are masters of our own destiny. Fate and fortune could play their hand at any time. Few of us though can enter a situation that Justin has to face knowing that his work has absolutely affected people’s lives for the better. Knowing that we are all rooting for our man to get through this. For himself and selfishly for us too we need this man’s music in our lives helping us navigate our own fight to be human.


The Fight To Be HumanThe Great War
Sydney Harbour BridgeThis Is My Kingdom Now
What Is Love For?What Is Love For
A Man With Nothing To DoThe Great War
No, SurrenderWhat Is Love For
CrybabiesThis Is My Kingdom Now
Ready To BeThe Great War
In the RainWhat Is Love For
My Soul Is StolenThis Is My Kingdom Now
Gold DustWhat Is Love For





Justin Currie photo 5

Tremolo – produced by Phil Smith for BBC Radio 4
Songwriter Justin Currie reflects on the impact of a recent Parkinson’s diagnosis, and the effects of the disease on his work as a performer.


Justin Currie official website

My Life Is Good: On tour with Justin Currie (2022)
(Words by Justin Currie, Photos by Geoff Young)

Del Amitri official website

Del Amitri – The Opposite View: FB group

Toppermost #940: Del Amitri

Justin Currie biography (AllMusic)

Dave Ross lives near Windsor and hides under his online pseudonym @DaveAmitri to talk mainly about cricket and music. He has written a drama “Jimmy Blue” featuring the music of Del Amitri and has recently published his first book “12 Bowie Albums In 12 Months” based on a series of posts on The Afterword website. Follow him on twitter @DaveAmitri. His other posts for this site are on The Associates, Rick Astley, The Blow Monkeys, The Coral, Nick Heyward, The Lotus Eaters, Tears for Fears, Then Jerico, Thompson Twins, Wham!.

TopperPost #1,109


  1. Teresa Couch
    Mar 23, 2024

    Excellent work! Justin is SO special.

  2. Scott
    Mar 23, 2024

    Great read, pal. Thank you.
    Scott in Glasgow

  3. Mark W
    Mar 24, 2024

    Great work, thank you so much. How can you choose a few from so many. And I’m with Mali, an underdog will suddenly shoot to no 1 on relistening.
    However, I would say Into a Pearl for all its deliberately grating drum track is one of the greatest, most underrated songs of this century.

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