Its Celtic Connections 2014 and the crowd are gathered at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro the venue for the return of Scotland’s very own Del Amitri with their first ever Celtic Connections appearance after a small hiatus of just over 10 years for their ‘A to Z of Us’ Tour but the first act of the night was The O’s from Dallas, Texas with their brand of Folk, Blues and Country. The duo consist of John Pedigo and Taylor Young and begin with “We’ll Go Walkin'” followed by, “A song from our brand new record ‘Thunderdog’ it’s about where were from. It’s called ‘Dallas’.” The songs are upbeat and include some great work on the variety of instruments at their disposal including some great Steel Guitar from Taylor Young. The audience give them wolf whistles and applause as the two complement each other and begin another song from their Electric Honey release “Found the One” and “Deep Inside”. The audience get into the spirit and begin to mimic Hoedown dancing and seem to have enjoyed the half hour set provided. The O’s thank their audience and remind them that they are playing The Arches the following night before playing their last song of the night “Everything’s Alright” providing an upbeat start to the night’s event.
Next band up this evening are The Big Dish another Scottish band that have reformed not too long ago nearly 20 years after their last release “Rich Man’s Wardrobe – A Concise History” was released. The arena is more filled to capacity by the time they come onto the applause of the crowd and start off the set with “Swansong” from their album Creeping Up on Jesus and with bass lead into “Slide” from the album Swimmer. Lead singer Steven Lindsay and the band stop briefly to say hello before going straight into “Wishing Time”, the band are definitely cut from the same cloth as Del Amitri and Big Country and their fans make themselves known as Steven introduces the next song “Shipwrecked”. Once over the band thank the audience and begin the first of their next two songs “Jealous”, “Big New Beginning” both from their 1986 Swimmer album and “Miss America” from Satellites. The band joke before playing new track “Cherry Blossom Falls”, “That wasn’t too bad. This is a new song, our first new song in about 20 years. It’s probably rubbish”. The last two songs of the set were “25 Years” and “Swimmer” closing a brilliant set and a great primer for what was to come.
Del Amitri take to the stage to roars of applause and start of their UK tour with crowd pleasers “Always the Last to Know” and “Kiss This Thing Goodbye”. The seated crowd are on their feet and up on their chairs chanting, wolf whistling and this is them for the night. Lead Singer Justin Currie pauses to introduce the band, “Hello Glasgow, we used to be Del Amitri and we used to be whoever the fuck we used to be”. The band start up and launch into “The Ones That You Love Lead You Nowhere”, and then slowing the set down with “Just Like A Man” both from their album Change Everything. The songs band are firing out tracks fast as “What I Think She Sees” and “Not Where it’s At” soon follow. The band stop for breath and Justin addresses his audience “The tour is called ‘The A to Z of Us’ and therefore has a bit of everything from our existence. This next song was written I was still a virgin, it’s called ‘Hammering Heart'”. After, Justin talks to crowd again thanking the people who paid for their tickets “as the money is going towards a big fucking yacht” as the band start playing what is to become “This Side of Morning”. There is a switch to acoustic for the next segment of the bands set and begin with “Sleep Instead of Teardrops” and “Be My Downfall”. Del Amitri is on top form and Justin Currie can still croon with the best of them. Next up is “Food for Songs” and “Tell Her This” from their Twisted album. The set turns to the more cynical side of the bands work with “In the Frame” and “Nothing Ever Happens” before the band play probably their most well known song globally “Roll to Me” which some thought would be kept for the encore only to go back to the melancholy “Driving with the Breaks On”. Currie tells the crowd “This next song is the favourite of almost every Glasgow Taxi driver”, before playing “Spit in the Rain” and the penultimate song of the set “Being Somebody Else”. The band thanks the crowd before playing their last song of the night “Drunk in a Band” saying that “They’ve made it worthwhile”.
The audience of course demand their encore which comes in the shape of “In the Meantime”, “Here and Now”, “Just Before you Leave” and finally “Move Away Jimmy Blue”. Some people had hoped to hear one or two more from the band showing that their back catalogue is indeed of value and the fans left happy. The A to Z of Us judging by tonight will be a tremendous return for the band and the live CD that will follow will make a great souvenir for everyone who went.