Self Released (label)
20 December 2016 (released)
30 December 2016
Lovingly put together by fans of the band, with the blessing of del Amitri, this collection of covers has been released to raise money for Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland. Appeals via social media during the year led to a number of the artists coming forward and top of the list are the likes of Travis and Deacon Blue's Ricky Ross. Fran Healy's take on Nothing Ever Happens (del Amitri's first hit single) and Ross's version of Be My Downfall both stay pretty true to the originals and as always with cover versions, it's where tracks are given a different take that things are most interesting.
Glasgow's del Amitri are perhaps one of the most underrated bands of the Nineties, with lead singer Justin Currie not only having a fine soulful voice, but his clever stories of broken hearts often contain lyrics of pure poetry. But as the band themselves admitted on Not Where It's At, they were just never very cool. Here that song is given an intriguing re-working as a duet by Kris Drever and Julie Fowlis. Much of the album has a country tinge, with Naomi Bedford's rendition of Whiskey Remorse full of Celtic flavour, a treatment also handed out to the intricate It's Never Too Late To Be Alone by Blue Rose Code.
Folk duo Zervas & Pepper provide a sumptuous version of Move Away Jimmy Blue, while The Voice (Series 1) star David Julien, who's talked about the band being one of his biggest influences, delivers a surprisingly fresh spin of Cry To Be Found. Highlights though are the stripped down jazz of heart breaker Sleep Instead of Teardrops from Frances Thorburn and David Farrel and former Speedway singer Jill Jackson's toning down of Always The Last To Know. The song is turned into a weeping tale of lost love, with the original twist of infidelity removed.
As for the Redux reworking of Nothing Ever Happens that opens the album, perhaps Jeremy Corbyn ought to be listening. The late eighties sneering at greed and capitalism seems just as pertinent right now as it did in the immediate post-Thatcher era. The actor Tam Dean Burn delivers the lyrics as a poem and lines like "while American business men snap up Van Gogh's for the price of a hospital wing" could punctuate a party political broadcast. The album is a fabulous display of hard work from fans for a terrific cause. It's also a great way to remind us of the mighty talents of one of Glasgow's finest songwriters of the last three decades.