Celtic Connections 2014: Del Amitri Reunion Gig, The Glasgow Hydro – review P. Keightley

the hydroDel Amitri Reunion Gig review by Pauline Keightley

After a twelve year break this reunion gig, by Del Amitir, one of Glasgow’s favourite bands, kicked off a twelve date tour. Celtic Connections’ biggest show so far – it attracted a crowd of over 8.000. It was also the first Celtic Connection gig to take place in Glasgow’s shiny new venue – The Hydro.

 As the band took to the stage the audience’s excitement for this return gig was palpable. Del Amitri particularly delighted fans with their 80s favourites and had the entire audience of the vast Hydro on its feet – they sang along with gusto and the venue rang with calls of ‘Brilliant’ and ‘We’ve missed you!!
Del Amitri started the show with some of their best known numbers – The Last To Know, Kiss This Thing Goodbye and then the driving rhythms of The Ones That Lead You Nowhere. Other songs included: Driving With the Brakes on, Being Drunk in a Band, Not Where It’s At, Hammering Heart and  In The Frame. 
Fiddler player extraordinaire Aidan O’Rourke joined them on stage for several songs; adding that extra Celtic magic for a lovely take on the songs This Side Of The Morning, Sleep Instead of Teardrops and Be My Downfall. 
Tell Her This was played acoustically giving the enthusiastic crowd a chance to sing along and vent their vocal energy. This number attracted some of the loudest cheers of the night.  

The audience also sang along with – Nothing Ever Happens, Roll To Me (top ten UK Billboard), Driving With the Brakes on and Spit In The Rain; apparently Glasgow taxi drivers’ favourite song! 
The band’s mix of rockier songs and poignant acoustic, more folksy songs such as: Be My Downfall, What She Sees and Driving With the Brakes also worked well.
There were quite a few encores: In The Meantime, Here and Now, Just Before You Leave and Move Away Johnny Blue,
The band were on top form as front-man Currie’s rich vocals, enhanced by the band’s tight harmonies, rang out over the vast arena. Del Amitri’s songs are full of emotion, rhythm and soul. The band centres round Justin Currie and co-composer, Ian Harvie; sensitive story tellers, who have a way with words.

The marrying of rock and Scottish lyricism creates a unique sound and honesty in the music of Scottish bands. I was over in the States when Scottish bands such as Del Amitri, Deacon Blue and Simple Minds came to the fore. I remember seeing Simple Minds on MTV when there was a revival of Scottish arts and music in the 80s. So some (not all) of Del Amitir’s songs were new to me but afer this gig I am a newly converted fan! 

Del Amitri were well supported by The Os from Dallas and The Big Dish, another first rate Scottish band, who reunited just last year.

Photos and Review by Pauline Keightley –  http://pkimage.co.uk/

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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