Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Happy Talking Happy Talk - Justin Currie

Lps like buses , well a load have come along that I've bought so over the next couple of weeks I'll share what I've spend my ill begotten gains on.

I was a big Del Amitri fan , well except when they let their neil young obsession take over and loved Justin Currie's first solo lp "What is Love" which his own myspace page describes as "eleven thunderously dreary dirges" . There wasn't a lot of joy in them and they included one of the best musical rants going in "No Surrender".

Well things have lightened a tad on "The Great War", there are even a couple of tracks that at a push could be described as breezy pop songs especially "I can't let go of her now". As ever though even these hide lyrics of self loathing and despair. The centre piece track is another 8 + minute state of the nation address with the cheery chorus of

"I hate the world they gave me"

Whilst not as good as "No Surrender" it is a bit of a sister song to this track although this time the bile is addressed internally rather than to the world as a whole

"My body's a riot, my minds the police
I feed myself lies to enforce some peace
Tell people I love them, shake idiot's hands
And sometimes I hug them as custom demands

However it is the ballads where the lp comes alive , helped by the fact that Justin Currie's vocals are better than ever.

I can't imagine this lp will get him any new fans which is a shame because the rather than 11 dreary dirges ,there are 11 examples of classic songwriting

You can here a couple of the tracks at his myspace page here
You can buy "The Great War" here

On a separate note I've got to quote his biog from his myspace site , which really made me laugh

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.

To end a reminder of when the jangle in Justin's life was king

The King is Poor - Del Amitri

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