IT was packed, but neither Currie nor his support Naomi Bedford were at ease in the library's auditorium.
"Welcome to my series of lectures on insect taxonomy," announced the perennially youthful floppy-haired and sideburned dude, disproving his later assertion that "my patter is rank". The hall reminded him of end-of-term school shows, he said, but there was more sober reverence here than even proud parents bring, at least until the ovation at the end.
Support Naomi Bedford, with whom Currie has written and recorded, is a great English folk-singing talent, and, she revealed, a veteran of the Pollok poll tax protests, which will be another blow to BNP aspirations to appropriate the music. With partner Paul Simmonds (of The Men They Couldn't Hang) and guest spots from Currie and the excellent Alasdair Roberts, her litany of murder and death ranged from the traditional to Warren Zevon, as well as bespoke originals, even if the respect she was accorded did not seem to help her nerves.
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Currie's set majored on his Del Amitri years (particularly 1992's Change Everything) rather than his recent solo discs, thus missing some of his best writing but confirming his catalogue is impressive. From the opening Always The Last To Know to the singalong Nothing Ever Happens from 1989 – the dated imagery of typewriters, styluses and drinking-up time now contradicting the title – this was what folk had come to hear, and, for all his self-deprecation, Currie delivers. His voice is distinctive and adaptable and his lyrical gift embraces conceits both clever and instantly appreciable. With Stuart Nesbitt adding live guitar and sparing use of technology, it was a lengthy value-for-money performance too.