Gig Scene - Perils of interviewing stars!

justin currie
justin currie

By Gig Scene Editor Graham Chalmers

I have a confession to make. I was conned by Justin Currie of Del Amitri.

Not that I hold it against him at all. He was under no obligation to tell me the whole truth and nothing but the truth when I interviewed him for this paper in the run-up to his recent show at the Royal Hall in Harrogate.

This very minor hoo-ha was prompted by a question I put to him towards the end of the discussion.

“Would Del Amitri ever reform?” I asked.

From the way Justin replied to this simple query, I came away convinced he did want to reform his hit 1990s band but that it was highly unlikely to happen for a good, long while.

I was fairly surprised, therefore, to see in the next issue of Mojo magazine (or was it Uncut?), an advert for a string of forthcoming concerts across the UK by Del Amitri.

It may be that talented singer and songwriter Justin wanted to keep the news exclusively for a modern media outlet even bigger than the Harrogate Advertiser series.

Always the last to know, indeed.

Not that it really matters and, perhaps, I had it coming in a way.

In the past, I’ve gotten away with winding up some major names in the music world during phone interviews - purely in an effort to shake them out of the same old answers to the same old questions.

I once provoked the ire of folk queen Joan Baez by telling her just how popular her former 1960s paramour Bob Dylan was in Britain these days.

And I asked 10cc’s Graham Gouldman if he would consider apologising to the nation for Dreadlock Holiday.

When he replied he was sorry after an unnerving chasm of a pause, it was me who felt the idiot, especially as I actually like 10cc!

It’s good to see Monteys Rock Café in Harrogate living up to its name.

The only venue in Harrogate which only plays rock and nothing more has been contributing to the town’s live music scene with a few gigs of late, most recently a Hallowe’en special featuring covers kings MFOR.

Next up are exciting young rockers The Wilde who launch their new single with a special show at Monteys on Friday, November 8.

Called Growing Pains, the single is available now via the band’s Bandcamp page which you can find at

The band also have a video for the single at

I was a big fan of Idle Maestro, Harrogate’s answer to the Black Keys and was a bit sad when they split up in 2012, so much so that I asked for Champagne to be taken to the band on stage at their farewell show at Monteys.

But their demise was actually everybody’s gain for they spawned two new bands.

Hell Fire Jack, who include Alex and Max Trewhitt, have already shown how good they are with a string of blistering performances in the last six months.

Now, the second Idle Maestro spin-off are about to enter the fray, too.

The Rocketeers, who play the Blues Bar tomorrow, Friday, describe themselves as “Jim Jones Revue inspired up-tempo rock n roll for the 21st century.”

Featuring not only former Idle Maestro bassist Richard Clark but also a lead guitarist who’s had the great honour of actually swapping guitars with a member of the Jim Jones Revue, it sounds like The Rocketeers may be one damn hot band.

RipleyBlues’s latest promotion at Ripley Town Hall is yet another coup for organiser Andy Herrington.

Appearing next Thursday, November 14, Eric Bibb was recently described by Blues in Britain magazine thus:

“Seeing Eric Bibb live is a beauty to behold. He holds his audience with his rich, soulful voice, his wide-brimmed hat and natural presence. Praise the Lord for Eric Bibb!”

After the recent sell-out show starring Andy Fairweather Low, it looks like another full house for RipleyBlues.

From the sublime to the ridiculous (well, not really, I do like a lot of ABBA songs), Scotton Village Hall holds a fundraiser shortly starring ABBA Magic.

Proceeds from the concert on Saturday, November 16 will go to the restoration of the roof which means audiences can literally raise the roof!