banner ad
banner ad
banner ad

LIVE: DEL AMITRI – Perth, WA, 15 Feb 2023

| 16 February 2023 | 1 Reply

LIVE: DEL AMITRI – Perth, WA, 15 Feb 2023
With Vancool, The Astor Theatre, Perth, Western Australia – Wednesday, 15 February 2023
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
Photography by Stu McKay

It’s been thirty-three years since del Amitri’s last visit to our sunny shores, and the love for the Scottish band is enough to have scored them this extra show, tacked on at the start of the tour. That means they’re playing to a slightly less-than-full house to start their Aussie run, but the warm reception more than makes up for the few empty seats up the back.

Dion Mariani’s newish outfit Vancool open the night’s entertainment with a lively and impassioned set of sunshiny and jangly guitar pop, with hints of Britpop and garage influences. It’s impossible to mention this talented young man without referencing his revered uncle Dom, shining light of The Stems, The DM3, The Someloves, Datura4 and more: the musical Force is strong in this family.

Already well known to supporters of local bands through The Flairz, Custom Royal, et al, Dion is a born entertainer yet still showed a lot of grace and humility on stage, congratulating his parents on their wedding anniversary, and admitting how thrilled the band were to be playing the gorgeous old Astor Theatre.

Just Because You Like It, Save It For A Rainy Day, It’s Gonna Be Alright and For The Rest Of Your Life are all catchier than your average coronavirus and infinitely more fun to have in your life.


The lights dim and with zero ado Iain Harvey and Justin Currie deliver a sweetly subdued When You Were Young, then with a change of guitars and Harvie shaking his flowing locks out of his man bun they launch into the meaty riff of excellent new track Musicians & Beer.

There’s a lot of new material in tonight’s set, showcasing latest album Fatal Mistakes, their first in almost twenty years. At one point Currie admits that they don’t mind if you go to the bar during these less-familiar tracks, but having done due diligence our investment in the new record pays off in spades, and there’s no hint of new stuff versus old stuff: it’s all just del Amitri stuff, and damn fine stuff at that.

It’s the Currie and Harvie show, really: they’ve kept del Amitri alive through the years, though they’re ably supported by new drummer Jim McDermott, guitarist Kris Dollimore (a founding member of The Godfathers, which may explain his suit, tie, and sunglasses on-stage combo, he’s been with del Amitri since 1997), and long-time keys & accordion player Andy Alston, who joined in 1989.

Currie and Harvie are diametric opposites on stage: the guitarist is the band’s secret weapon, all scarecrow thin and Catweazel-like as he energetically provides a dervish-like focal point, whilst the bass playing frontman is the eye of the storm in double denim, calm and relatively still – shy, even – though with a worryingly noticeable tremor in his right hand.

If Currie chooses to let his voice do the heavy lifting, he’s more than entitled. His vocals, even thirty-plus years after their biggest hits, are warm and resonant. If anything, they’re more nuanced, like a warm hug from a loved one.

Kiss This Thing Goodbye gets dancers up and the audience choir in full voice, which is not bad for a breakup song, and it’s only after this track that Currie finally addresses the audience directly.

“It’s lovely to be here, lovely to see you, and all that patronising shit.” It serves to break the ice and perhaps help him out of his shell, and although never approaching garrulous he does interact more from this point.

There’s a warmth, a deep soulfulness, which sets del Amitri above most of their contemporaries, and there’s nowhere that is more evident than when seeing the band live. The musicians and even their road crew are so well-honed they hit the sweet spot where being well-rehearsed and also spontaneous co-exist in perfect harmony.

“This song is much too fast to play in your fifties,” Currie quips of Roll To Me, before jokingly asking Harvie “should I do some drugs, Iain?”

Turns out the song is exactly fast enough: lively and engaging, and of course Currie delivers it seemingly effortlessly.

Tremendous run throughs of Spit In The Rain and Stone Cold Sober finish the main set, before amassed stomping and chanting bring the quintet back on stage for a genuinely moving Empty followed by Gone In A Second, the latter of which is a rarity from the Fatal Mistakes sessions of which Currie declares they’d “never played this one in front of an audience.”

It sounded great from our seats, but the singer notes good humouredly, “as long as we start at the same time, finish at the same time, who gives a fuck what happens in between?”

Old favourite Nothing Ever Happens, one of del Amitri’s biggest chart hits, has The Astor Theatre choir in full voice, before another great newie, I’m So Scared Of Dying. The entire band down tools apart from Alston’s accordion for a semi-acapella Be My Downfall, ending the night as they started it, semi-acoustically.

We simply couldn’t have hoped for a better del Amitri gig, even all these years later, and the band couldn’t have hoped for a better response to their first Antipodean show in thirty-three years. If we could go back again for night two and experience it all again, we would.

When You Were Young
Musicians & Beer
All Hail Blind Love
Always The Last To Know
Not Where It’s At
Kiss This Thing Goodbye
It Might As Well Be You
Mockingbird, Copy Me Now
Driving With The Brakes On
Missing Person
Move Away, Jimmy Blue
Roll To Me
You Can’t Go Back
Here and Now
This Side Of The Morning
Before The Evening Steals The Afternoon
Spit In The Rain
Stone Cold Sober

Gone In A Second
Nothing Ever Happens
I’m So Scared Of Dying
Be My Downfall



Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

About the Author ()

Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

Leave a Reply

Please verify you\'re a real person: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

banner ad
banner ad