Interview With Del AmitriKiss This Thing Goodbye, Nothing Ever Happens and Always The Last To Know are all songs that Del Amitri had hits with which are still played on the radio today. The band have released a new album Fatal Mistakes and are going on tour in September.
I asked founding member and guitarist Iain Harvie about the tour and the band's career to date.
Where has the band been all this time?
We did a couple of tours then Justin (Currie) suggested to me that we record a new album so I said yes. We started writing songs together and the ideas really flowed. It’s weird we finished doing the album just as the first lockdown came in, we had the tour booked too but that couldn’t go ahead so it’s now starting next month.
The tour covers Blackpool, York, Manchester and Sheffield are you looking forward to coming back to these places?
Yes, we all are. We are easing ourselves back into playing live again so we have some festivals coming up and some acoustic shows in Scotland as a route back in to playing live again. It is hard to gauge though how it will all feel - for me it will be a challenge. I have never set foot in Blackpool before so I am looking forward to playing there as I understand that the Opera House is a big theatre and is a special venue.
Are you playing a show just for NHS workers?
That’s right - we are playing a gig just for them at the Barrowlands in Glasgow. It is a legendary venue in the city. If you have never been to a gig there I would urge you try and go. The audience is close to the stage, the sound acoustics are excellent and it has a spring loaded floor - it feels like playing a huge club though it holds 3,000 people.
Does it surprise you that your old hits are still played on the radio today?
It is bonkers really. When we recorded those songs we never thought that they would still be played on the radio 30 years later; the tracks are not just played in the UK but all over the world. Of course we will be playing the hits on the tour but we will also be playing stuff off the new album - we will gauge it and see how it goes, playing the new songs in rehearsal is a false setting so this will be the true test.
Did you appreciate success the first time round?
We did, as before we were successful we spent ten years being an indie band in Glasgow doing the rounds, so when success came we took it very seriously. We were not blasé, we were not concerned whether it would last or not, things just rolled on so yes, it was a privilege.
Many bands complain about touring all the time and recording albums but success opened many doors for us, to be doing a job you enjoy is not something many people get to do.
The new album is called Fatal Mistakes, have you made any mistakes when playing live?
We were playing a festival and I started playing the song in the wrong key!
Would it be more difficult to start the band now as opposed to in the past?
It is difficult for young musicians as people do not seem to support the arts in general as they used to do. Many young artists cannot support themselves so it becomes more a middle class rather than a working class thing. When we started the band I used to get up at 6am to deliver fruit to the fruit market then go straight to rehearsals - and do it again the next day and the next.
Do you still buy albums?
I do and I have a great record collection though I do stream a lot. A good new band which I am listening to is Mush from Leeds, they are influenced by Devo from what I can hear but they are definitely an exciting new band to check out.
Dates in the North
17 September - Opera House, Blackpool
18 September - Barbican, York
20 September - Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
21 September - City Hall, Sheffield
22 September - 02 City Hall, Newcastle