Loading Events
Monday Jun 5

Del Amitri

$35 - $40
HI-FI Annex
Indianapolis, IN
Jun 5
Monday
6:00 PM
Doors Open
All AgesBuy Tickets

More about this event

Learn More About This Show
Add to Calendar 06/05/2023 07:00 PM06/05/2023 10:00 PMDel AmitriMore Information: https://mokbpresents.com/event/del-amitri/HI-FI Annex
Jump to Venue Details

ARTIST PROFILE | Del Amitri

AlternativeRock

Almost two decades on from their last album, Del Amitri easily remember the good old days, when a Glasgow indie band "who never really cut it as Orange Juice and Josef K copyists, which is kinda what we were" became, in effect, overnight successes.

Suddenly, after a still-born first album (1985's Del Amitri), with 1989's Waking Hours, hit single 'Nothing Ever Happens' propelled them to sharing a Top of the Pops stage with Phil Collins, then in the imperial phase of his solo career, newcomer Sinead O'Connor singing 'Nothing Compares 2 U,' and the premier of Public Enemy's 'Welcome to the Terrordome' video.

Two years later, Del Amitri were still regulars on the nation's favourite chart show. Promoting 1992 hit 'Always The Last to Know,' the band appeared on an episode alongside an En Vogue video ('My Lovin'), Shakespears Sister ('I Don't Care') and, performing smash US hit 'Jump,' adolescent rap duo Kriss Kross, they of the backwards-jeans.

"I remember hearing their manager shouting at someone from the BBC," says guitarist Iain Harvie, "complaining about the sound: 'Even that fucking Scottish rock band sound better than my guys!'"

Del Amitri also remember the other side of the good old days. That happens when being successful enough to bag a stadium support with one of the biggest bands in the world isn't quite enough success to insulate you from the indignity of a breakfast TV outside-broadcast from Blackpool and being upstaged by a dancing omelette.

"We did a gig with REM in Cardiff Arms Park, third on the bill with Belly and The Cranberries," begins singer/guitarist Justin Currie. "And REM were mingling round the catering area after and invited us to their aftershow. We're like: 'Oh yes! We're going to get to party with REM!'"

Alas...

"Oh no -- we had to get on the bus at midnight, drive through the night to Blackpool, sit outside the beach on the tour bus, waiting on the 5.30am call-time, then got put in a Portakabin, ignored for three hours. What the fuck are we doing here? We could still be partying with REM!

"Then at three minutes to nine, Danni Minogue comes in and yells at us to get onstage! So we get up there -- as the credits are rolling -- and it's chaos. There's a Nolan Sister, all these kids waving inflatable toys, us miming, in front of a dancing chicken and egg -- I still don't know who came on first -- waving kitchen utensils. Then Frank Carson comes on just as we're about to down tools. He spots how pissed off I was, so starts dancing behind me, occasionally leaning into my ear going: 'You're a wanker! You're a wanker!'"

"It was a travesty," Harvie laughs ruefully. "But at least our tour manager enjoyed it -- he was at the side of the stage, pissing himself laughing."

Still, "the Dels" had the last laugh. In America the song they were promoting on TVam, 1995's 'Roll To Me,' hit Number 10 on the Billboard Hot 10. It became a soundtrack favourite (everything from Family Guy to one-boy-and-his-dolphin "abomination" Flipper) and US jukebox staple that resonates (and generates royalties) to this day.

Equally, selling six million copies of half-a-dozen studio albums between that mid-Eighties debut and 2002's Can You Do Me Good? does a great job of enabling you to, firstly, laugh about the cheap digs of Northern Irish comedians and, secondly, quit while you're ahead.

Which is exactly what Currie and Harvie, the consistent core of the band since 1982, did after that sixth album.

"Iain and I took a hiatus after 2002 because we'd been dropped by Mercury and we thought: 'Well, that's a bit of a milestone -- we've had major deals since our late teens,'" relates Currie. "So it felt like a good moment to take a bit of time off. And I just did anything that was offered -- a bit of jazz singing with a big band, a bit with a folk-orchestra..."

"Ha, I missed that one!" chips in Harvie. "I spent a time as a record producer. I did three or four albums with Rough Trade, then worked with a young band from Berwick-upon-Tweed, then tour-managed them a bit, then worked in studios. So I'd drifted off the other way, which I quite enjoyed. But then the bottom started falling out of the studio industry as well, as bands started recording themselves. Which just started to make me miss our band."

Currie similarly oscillated between feeling disgruntled and... gruntled?

"I did four solo albums," the frontman says, "and some touring, including one on my own which I absolutely hated. You can't look round at anyone and go: 'Well, this is weird.' And you're meant to be a raconteur when you do solo shows, and I can't do any of that. Then, after, you're standing in the dressing room on your own. There's no one to talk to! It's horrible. So, aye, I really missed the band, too."

In 2014 and again in 2018, Currie, Harvie and their band embarked on sell-out UK reunion tours. But by the time of the second run, the appeal of playing solely songs from the past began to pall slightly.

"It's great fun doing those gigs," says Currie, "but if there's not something current you're really happy with, you start to feel like a human jukebox. Which is great but you wouldn't want to do that too many times. You start to feel dead inside."

Heading into the 2018 tour, Harvie suggested they try their hand at some new songs. Currie had been writing solo songs, "but they're all dirges, which you can get away with solo," the singer admits cheerfully. But as it has been a long time since he'd written songs with the band in mind, he took himself off to a borrowed cottage on the Isle of Lewis and started writing songs that would suit a two-guitar set-up.

Down south, Harvie was writing, too. The pair realised that, without forcing it, they had created a bunch of songs that sounded "very Del Amitri."

By the time 2019 came around, those songs had turned into the core of a very Del Amitri album and a new deal with Cooking Vinyl. Then, the night before lockdown in March this year, recording of that album was completed.

Fatal Mistakes is their first collection of new songs in 18 years, it was recorded "pretty much live" in three quicksmart weeks with producer Dan Austin (Biffy Clyro, You Me At Seven), and it's the brilliant sound of a 35-years-young recording band settling into what they do best: melodic rock songs with lyrical bite, soulful comfort, heart-swelling uplift and the occasional just-the-right-side-of-gnarly guitar solo.

First out of the traps was the instantly hooky You Can't Go Back, performed on that 2018 tour, the opening track on the album and pegged as one of the lead singles for the album. It's a song about embracing reality -- ever pithily self-aware, Del Amitri are always the first to know if something sounds or feels wrong or crass.

"It's very open about the fact that we've moved on and it's not the same thing," observes Harvie, even as he's somehow managing to still rock the same luxurious locks as he did on the sleeve of Waking Hours, "and how the audience have moved along with us."

"And it works as a love song, too," adds Currie, equally still no slouch in the hair department. "I like lyrics that double-up like that."

The band's intent to record like a "proper five-piece rock band" -- by plugging in amps rather than booting up laptops -- is there to hear in the excellently and pithily titled Musicians and Beer. It's a proper driving rock tune, with crunchy riffs courtesy of Kris Dollimore and the jolting line: "At least Muddy Waters can't fuck with your kids."

"That was written on the piano, funnily enough," explains Currie. "But I had the title for a while, and I thought it would amuse all the musicians we know. And I like the idea that we have some purpose in the world: actually, you do need musicians and beer in your life -- especially this year!

"And those are both things that fundamentalist religious people hate. I come from a family, on my dad's side, of fundamentalist Christians who don't allow organs in church, or harmony, because that's decadent. And there are obviously still strains of that in the world."

"It's our anti-Caliphate song," adds Harvie, "although we don't want an ISIS fatwa... It could help the publicity, mind."

In counterpoint is the skeletal, aching Lonely, a song that echoes with emptiness and is flecked with CSNY-style harmonies.

"Not the kind of thing we've done before," says Harvie. "I wrote that not thinking it would work -- it's the most fragile way you could write a song, just playing chords on the acoustic guitar as quietly as possible. And that created space for the lyrics."

Then there's It's Feelings, another big tune that's classic Del Amitri, with Currie's soulful tap-room rasp reverberating down the years.

"Iain wrote that music," says the singer, "it was the last thing we did, and I just thought it felt very sunny, so I just wrote some really sweet lyrics. It has a wee bit of that Cure, New Order-y vibe -- it drives along in a Nineties alternative radio lane. And that lightness really balanced out the darkness elsewhere in the album."

Cue the mordant, Neil Young-ish I'm So Scared of Dying. "For the mix we gave Dan references like Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere," says Currie, "which are quite brittle, quite toppy records. You don't hear that so often anymore because in a digital world it's easy to make things sound warm and comfortable. We wanted this to be spiky."

And cue, too, the what-a-state-of-the-nation lament Close Your Eyes and Think of England. A classic Dels ballad, the creative spark was lit for Currie during a solo tour of Brexit Britain as he pondered the state of English nationalism ("and also, 'Scotland' didn't scan"). There's similar lyrical ambition in the near-eight-minute, two-chord wonder that is album closer Nation of Caners. Harvie remembers with a chuckle Currie coming into the studio in Warwickshire with "five pages of closely-written lyrics."

"I just fancied having a long, quite political song," shrugs the lyricist, "and I just wanted to write about the madness we're living in right now."

"And once we learnt to play it, we just did it as a groove -- and, again, we don't really do groove-based things," observes Harvie. "It was heading towards The Fall or Can. And we played it completely live, all eight minutes of it. I think that's about take five."

Now that they're back, Del Amitri aren't rushing -- they've waited 18 years, after all. Songs from Fatal Mistakes will be rolled out over the coming months and into 2021, ahead of (they hope) a full UK tour.

What does it mean for a band to come back after so long away? It means embracing your past to create a new sound for a fresh tomorrow.

"Once I'd got my head round the idea of not sounding like the band we were then, I was much less paranoid!" admits Currie with a laugh. "You're never gonna recreate that energy of when you're 20. So you have to do what we're doing now."

That, Iain Harvie elaborates, means "shorter songs, with no big rambling guitar solos. We don't need that big bollocks swagger that you felt you had to pull out when you were on the Rolling Stones' stage at Wembley, or whatever other stupid things you ended up doing. It's just us, and the songs, all of it played by all five of us -- no guest players or session guys. We've never done that before!" he marvels. "So it's a clean sheet, a new album, from a new band. It felt really free to make it."

"You know, when we made Waking Hours," reflects Justin Currie by way of conclusion, "we knew there was no one else at the time who was doing that: a classic rock-pop record, very song-based, but with guitar solos and proper melodic performances. And it occurred to us a couple of years ago that, again, in Britain there's a space for this. No band of any generation are doing this. So this feels like the right time."

Right time, right place, right band: Del Amitri are back and ready to rock with Fatal Mistakes. Although if you want to book them for a breakfast TV slot, they may have some questions.

READ MORE >>READ LESS >>
CONNECT:

Supporting Acts

SHOW BY SIMILAR ARTISTS

Friday June 21
HI-FI Annex
Indianapolis, IN

Red Wanting Blue

Presented by: MOKB Presents
Tuesday June 25
HI-FI
Indianapolis, IN

Pedro The Lion

Presented by: MOKB Presents
Thursday June 27
HI-FI Annex
Indianapolis, IN

The Church + The Afghan Whigs

Presented by: MOKB Presents
Sunday July 7
HI-FI Annex
Indianapolis, IN

BoDeans (New Date)

Presented by: MOKB Presents
Thursday July 18
HI-FI
Indianapolis, IN

Icon For Hire

Presented by: MOKB Presents
Friday July 19
HI-FI Annex
Indianapolis, IN

Guided By Voices

Presented by: MOKB Presents
Wednesday July 24
HI-FI
Indianapolis, IN

Blind Pilot

Presented by: MOKB Presents
Thursday August 1
The Clyde Theatre
Fort Wayne, IN

In This Moment

Sunday August 11
HI-FI
Indianapolis, IN

Wheatus (Acoustic)

Presented by: MOKB Presents
Friday August 16
HI-FI
Indianapolis, IN

Princess Goes

Presented by: MOKB Presents

About HI-FI Annex | Indianapolis, IN

HI-FI Annex is an open-air ALL AGES venue located in the back parking lot of The Murphy Arts Center. The main entrance to the venue is located on St. Patrick Street across from the church. All shows end by 10 pm.

Box Office: 317-986-7101
Main: 317-986-7101

Getting Around the Venue

1065 St. Patrick St,
Indianapolis, IN 46203
Hours: Mon. thru Fri. 10 am to 6 pm
Doors: 1 hour before doors

Frequently Asked Questions About HI-FI Annex | Indianapolis, IN

What are the age restrictions at this venue?

HI-FI Annex shows are always all ages, with a handful of exceptions when a 21+ restriction is in place. Bring the whole family!

Check the individual show listings at hifiindy.com to view if there are age restrictions for your show.

HI-FI Annex requires a valid ID for admission. For guests who will be consuming alcoholic beverages, a valid state or government issues ID is required. Everyone will be carded during check-in. Expired and temporary ID’s are not accepted.

Can I upgrade my to VIP seating?

The Sidestage Lounge VIP access offers a premium exclusive viewing location with an up-close and personal view of the stage. It features a private bar with a full selection of cocktails, beer, and wine. While the Sidestage Lounge is an all-ages area, you must be 21+ with a valid ID to visit the bar. Additionally, it provides a comfortable seating area with tables and couches, as well as dedicated outdoor restrooms for your convenience. Click here to reserve your spot in the Sidestage Lounge.

What items are permitted or prohibited at this venue?

Our security staff performs a thorough screening of all bodies, purses and bags entering the venue. All guests will go through security screening to ensure no weapons or non-permitted items enter the venue. Screening may include metal detection and/or wanding.

Permitted and restricted items may vary by show. Below is a general list of permitted and non-permitted items and activities. Ticket buyers will receive information prior to the show with any updates.

Permitted Items

  • Small purse/fanny pack/diaper bag – subject to security inspection
  • Umbrellas – small, handheld only
  • Strollers
  • To-go food from local restaurants
  • (1) factory sealed bottle of water or (1) empty, refillable water bottle
  • A warm heart & smiles
  • Lawn chairs & blankets are only permitted for a select few shows and in designated areas

Non-Permitted Items

For safety reasons, guests are refused entry if they are in possession of prohibited items. Illegal items will be confiscated. If a guest is found inside the venue with a prohibited item, the item will be confiscated and the guest may be ejected from the facility. HI-FI reserves the right to prohibit any item, including items not listed here, from entering the premises if deemed hazardous or disruptive to the event.

  • No weapons of any kind: including firearms (with or without permit), knives, multi-tools
  • Pepper spray/mace
  • Fireworks or flares
  • No outside beverages or coolers
  • No oversized bags (larger than 12″ x 12″) including backpacks, duffle bags, camelbacks, briefcases luggage etc.
  • No drugs or illegal substances
  • No laser pointers
  • No glass
  • No smoking or vaping in venue, designated smoking area outside venue
  • No pets or animals – with the exception of documented service animals
  • No removable lens cameras or flash photography, tripods, monopods, selfie sticks – unless pre-approved by Event Manager
  • No audio or video recording devices – unless pre-approved by Event Manager
  • Skateboards, hoverboards, rollerblades, bicycles, scooters – bike parking available outside the venue
  • Signs large than 11″ x 17″ or any sign attached to a stick
  • Hula hoops, spray paint, silly string

Can I bring a bag into the show?

Yes! You are allowed to bring a small purse or fanny pack, but it may be subject to security inspection.

What’s the parking situation like?

Depending on the day and time, finding a spot can be tricky. On busy show days we advise arriving early to ensure you get a good spot.

Parking is free on all of the surrounding streets in Fountain Square and most parking lots.

The LAZ pay lot directly across from HI-FI Annex (on Prospect St) offers paid parking by the hour and is the closest public parking to the venue.

Rideshare and guest drop-off should take place on the corner of Prospect St and St. Patrick St.

We advise against traveling down St. Patrick St on show days, as it can become congested one-way with traffic coming from both directions.

Bike parking is available outside the HI-FI Annex box office as well as at any of the bike racks on Virginia Ave in front of HI-FI.

What is the camera/photo policy for this venue?

The photo policy for each night is posted at the band’s discretion. This policy can change on a nightly basis. As a general rule HI-FI Annex does not allow any professional photography unless pre-approved by the band. For approved photographers, Photos permitted for the first three songs only. No flash. Media and professional photographers can contact marketing@hifiindy.com to submit a request for photo credentials.

Is there food and drink at this venue?

HI-FI Annex offers a variety of food, snacks and drinks for guests of all ages. Any guest consuming alcoholic beverages must provide a government issued ID and be 21 years of age or older.

Easy Rider Diner accepts pre-show reservations if you are looking for a sit-down meal before the show. Easy Rider Diner is our restaurant connected to HI-FI. Guests who make advance reservations will be treated to a free show poster from that nights show. Posters can be picked up in the diner by asking your server.

Snack Shack
Snack Shack is a concession stand for guests of all ages. Choose from several hot and ready food times from Easy Rider Diner including hamburgers, chicken nuggets, vegan burritos and much more. In addition, Snack Shack offers popcorn, slushies, candy, sodas and water. Snack Shack also doubles as a HI-FI merchandise store where you can pickup t-shirts, hats, hoodies, stickers and more from our venues.

Main Bar
Main Bar is located to your right when you enter the venue. It’s the largest container in the venue and serves up the largest selection of beer, wine, spirits, specialty cocktails and boozie slushies. Guests must be 21+ to enter this area.

Stage Bar
Stage Bar is located on the left when you enter the venue, and is the bar closest to the stage. This location serves a selection of beer, wine and cocktails and is the only bar in the venue that serves draft beer.

Sidestage Lounge Bar
This bar is tucked away on the end of Stage Bar, inside of our VIP area known as Sidestage Lounge. This location serves the same options you will find at Stage Bar, but in a private intimate setting.

View seating maps for this venue

The majority of HI-FI Annex shows are general admission, standing-room-only. There is a limited amount of seating upgrades available in Sidestage Lounge. Contact the box office to secure a seating upgrade for your show at boxoffice@hifiindy.com. Shows that are reserved or partially reserved seating configurations will have information or purchase options directly on the event listing.

Can I leave and re-enter the venue?

No. Re-entry is not permitted at this venue with the exception of the external smoking area.

Do you offer ADA, handicap or special needs options?

There are 2 handicapped parking spots in the lot located across Prospect St. closest to El Arado Mexican Grill. The box office handles any special needs or ADA seating requests at boxoffice@hifiindy.com.

Where is the box office located?

Getting tickets to our shows is super easy! You have a few options, depending on how you like to roll:

Online: Grab your tickets in advance from our official websites, hifiindy.com and mokbpresents.com, or through our trusted ticketing partners tixr.com and seetickets.us.

In Person: Swing by one of our three convenient box office locations around the Murphy Arts Center building and grab tickets with no service fees:

HI-FI Annex Box Office: The box office is located at the front entrance off of St. Patrick St.

Main Box Office at Virginia Ave Mercantile: Located at 1043 Virginia Ave Suite 2 (between Easy Rider and La Margarita). Open Monday through Friday from 10 am to 6 pm and Saturdays from 9 am to 5 pm.

HI-FI Box Office: Found at 1043 Virginia Ave Suite 4 (at the main entrance to HI-FI). Open only on show nights, starting 1 hour before published show times until 10 pm.

I lost something at the show. Who do I contact?

Have you misplaced something during one of our events? Don’t worry, we’re here to help reunite you with your belongings! While we can’t take responsibility for lost or stolen items, we’re committed to assisting you in any way we can.

Found items are securely stored at our Virginia Ave Mercantile & Box Office until they’re claimed. Please note that items lost during late-night events might take until the next morning to reach our lost and found. We know you might be eager to retrieve your belongings (like that phone you’re pinging outside our door at 6 am), but our team typically wraps up late-night events and may not be available until later in the morning.

For lost items, please follow the outlined process rather than popping into Easy Rider in the early hours. They’re open early, but our restaurant team is busy during weekends and can’t assist with lost items during busy service hours.

To inquire about lost items, shoot us an email at boxoffice@hifiindy.com. Mercantile hours are Monday through Friday, 10 am to 6 pm, and Saturdays from 9 am to 5 pm.

Let’s work together to get your goods back to you as quickly as possible!

What is your refund policy?

What’s Your Refund Policy for Postponed Shows?

If a show gets postponed, don’t sweat it! We’ll shoot you an email to let you know about the change, and if you’re cool with the new date, no further action is needed on your part.We’ll be working diligently to find a new date for the show, and we’ll keep you updated every step of the way. But if you can’t make it to the rescheduled gig, we’ve got your back. You’ll have a generous 30-day window following the announcement of the new date to request a refund.

For those who paid with cash at our box office, just drop us a line at boxoffice@hifiindy.com for further instructions on processing your refund.

Please bear with us as we explore rescheduling options with the tour. Your patience is much appreciated as we work to present the best possible show experience for you.

What’s the Refund Policy for Canceled Shows?

In the unfortunate event of a canceled show, don’t fret! If you purchased your tickets online, your refund will be processed automatically. Just sit tight and allow 3-5 business days for the refund to appear in your bank account.
No need to lift a finger! However, there are a few scenarios where you might need to reach out to our box office:

  • If you paid cash at our box office.
  • If you’ve received a new or different card since your original purchase.
  • If you haven’t seen the refund in your account after 5 business days.

What Happens if a Show Gets Rescheduled?

No worries! If a show you’ve already grabbed tickets for gets rescheduled, your tickets will still be valid for the new date. We’ll shoot you an email to let you know about the change, and if you’re good to go for the new date, no further action is needed on your part.

However, if you can’t make it to the rescheduled gig, we’ve got you covered. You’ll have a generous 30 days from the announcement of the new date to request a refund. Just reach out directly to our box office to kickstart the process.

Beware of counterfeit tickets. How do I tell if my ticket is valid?

It’s crucial for all buyers to exercise caution when purchasing tickets from unauthorized sites and ticket resellers. Tixr and SeeTickets are the only two ticket vendors supported at our venues. Unfortunately, this is a widespread issue affecting venues nationwide, and true fans often find themselves at a loss. Regrettably, there’s little we can do in such situations. Since the original transaction didn’t occur through our authorized ticketing partners, we lack the necessary information to assist. It’s disheartening to witness fans being taken advantage of, especially on platforms like Craigslist, Facebook, StubHub, VividSeats, SeatGeek, and others. We are only obligated to honor valid tickets purchased through our approved channels.

Can I purchase tickets in person without fees?

Yes. HI-FI Annex box office is located at the main entrance off of St. Patrick St. The box office is open 1 hour prior to the published door time. Additionally, the new and primary box office is located two doors down from HI-FI Annex in Suite 2. This box office is open Monday through Friday 10am – 6pm for fee-free ticket purchases. HI-FI Annex accepts cash as well as all major credit cards for ticket purchases.

Do you have free WI-FI?

Yes. HI-FI Annex offers free WI-FI during all shows. Simply select the HI-FI Free WI-FI network and you are all set.

All Ages
Jun 5

Del Amitri

HI-FI Annex
$35 - $40
Presented By: Upland Brewing Co., MOKB Presents
Doors: 6:00 PM
Start Time: 7:00 pm

Learn More About This Show
Add to Calendar 06/05/2023 07:00 PM06/05/2023 10:00 PMDel AmitriMore Information: https://mokbpresents.com/event/del-amitri/HI-FI Annex

Buy Tickets

ARTIST PROFILE | Del Amitri

AlternativeRock

Almost two decades on from their last album, Del Amitri easily remember the good old days, when a Glasgow indie band "who never really cut it as Orange Juice and Josef K copyists, which is kinda what we were" became, in effect, overnight successes.

Suddenly, after a still-born first album (1985's Del Amitri), with 1989's Waking Hours, hit single 'Nothing Ever Happens' propelled them to sharing a Top of the Pops stage with Phil Collins, then in the imperial phase of his solo career, newcomer Sinead O'Connor singing 'Nothing Compares 2 U,' and the premier of Public Enemy's 'Welcome to the Terrordome' video.

Two years later, Del Amitri were still regulars on the nation's favourite chart show. Promoting 1992 hit 'Always The Last to Know,' the band appeared on an episode alongside an En Vogue video ('My Lovin'), Shakespears Sister ('I Don't Care') and, performing smash US hit 'Jump,' adolescent rap duo Kriss Kross, they of the backwards-jeans.

"I remember hearing their manager shouting at someone from the BBC," says guitarist Iain Harvie, "complaining about the sound: 'Even that fucking Scottish rock band sound better than my guys!'"

Del Amitri also remember the other side of the good old days. That happens when being successful enough to bag a stadium support with one of the biggest bands in the world isn't quite enough success to insulate you from the indignity of a breakfast TV outside-broadcast from Blackpool and being upstaged by a dancing omelette.

"We did a gig with REM in Cardiff Arms Park, third on the bill with Belly and The Cranberries," begins singer/guitarist Justin Currie. "And REM were mingling round the catering area after and invited us to their aftershow. We're like: 'Oh yes! We're going to get to party with REM!'"

Alas...

"Oh no -- we had to get on the bus at midnight, drive through the night to Blackpool, sit outside the beach on the tour bus, waiting on the 5.30am call-time, then got put in a Portakabin, ignored for three hours. What the fuck are we doing here? We could still be partying with REM!

"Then at three minutes to nine, Danni Minogue comes in and yells at us to get onstage! So we get up there -- as the credits are rolling -- and it's chaos. There's a Nolan Sister, all these kids waving inflatable toys, us miming, in front of a dancing chicken and egg -- I still don't know who came on first -- waving kitchen utensils. Then Frank Carson comes on just as we're about to down tools. He spots how pissed off I was, so starts dancing behind me, occasionally leaning into my ear going: 'You're a wanker! You're a wanker!'"

"It was a travesty," Harvie laughs ruefully. "But at least our tour manager enjoyed it -- he was at the side of the stage, pissing himself laughing."

Still, "the Dels" had the last laugh. In America the song they were promoting on TVam, 1995's 'Roll To Me,' hit Number 10 on the Billboard Hot 10. It became a soundtrack favourite (everything from Family Guy to one-boy-and-his-dolphin "abomination" Flipper) and US jukebox staple that resonates (and generates royalties) to this day.

Equally, selling six million copies of half-a-dozen studio albums between that mid-Eighties debut and 2002's Can You Do Me Good? does a great job of enabling you to, firstly, laugh about the cheap digs of Northern Irish comedians and, secondly, quit while you're ahead.

Which is exactly what Currie and Harvie, the consistent core of the band since 1982, did after that sixth album.

"Iain and I took a hiatus after 2002 because we'd been dropped by Mercury and we thought: 'Well, that's a bit of a milestone -- we've had major deals since our late teens,'" relates Currie. "So it felt like a good moment to take a bit of time off. And I just did anything that was offered -- a bit of jazz singing with a big band, a bit with a folk-orchestra..."

"Ha, I missed that one!" chips in Harvie. "I spent a time as a record producer. I did three or four albums with Rough Trade, then worked with a young band from Berwick-upon-Tweed, then tour-managed them a bit, then worked in studios. So I'd drifted off the other way, which I quite enjoyed. But then the bottom started falling out of the studio industry as well, as bands started recording themselves. Which just started to make me miss our band."

Currie similarly oscillated between feeling disgruntled and... gruntled?

"I did four solo albums," the frontman says, "and some touring, including one on my own which I absolutely hated. You can't look round at anyone and go: 'Well, this is weird.' And you're meant to be a raconteur when you do solo shows, and I can't do any of that. Then, after, you're standing in the dressing room on your own. There's no one to talk to! It's horrible. So, aye, I really missed the band, too."

In 2014 and again in 2018, Currie, Harvie and their band embarked on sell-out UK reunion tours. But by the time of the second run, the appeal of playing solely songs from the past began to pall slightly.

"It's great fun doing those gigs," says Currie, "but if there's not something current you're really happy with, you start to feel like a human jukebox. Which is great but you wouldn't want to do that too many times. You start to feel dead inside."

Heading into the 2018 tour, Harvie suggested they try their hand at some new songs. Currie had been writing solo songs, "but they're all dirges, which you can get away with solo," the singer admits cheerfully. But as it has been a long time since he'd written songs with the band in mind, he took himself off to a borrowed cottage on the Isle of Lewis and started writing songs that would suit a two-guitar set-up.

Down south, Harvie was writing, too. The pair realised that, without forcing it, they had created a bunch of songs that sounded "very Del Amitri."

By the time 2019 came around, those songs had turned into the core of a very Del Amitri album and a new deal with Cooking Vinyl. Then, the night before lockdown in March this year, recording of that album was completed.

Fatal Mistakes is their first collection of new songs in 18 years, it was recorded "pretty much live" in three quicksmart weeks with producer Dan Austin (Biffy Clyro, You Me At Seven), and it's the brilliant sound of a 35-years-young recording band settling into what they do best: melodic rock songs with lyrical bite, soulful comfort, heart-swelling uplift and the occasional just-the-right-side-of-gnarly guitar solo.

First out of the traps was the instantly hooky You Can't Go Back, performed on that 2018 tour, the opening track on the album and pegged as one of the lead singles for the album. It's a song about embracing reality -- ever pithily self-aware, Del Amitri are always the first to know if something sounds or feels wrong or crass.

"It's very open about the fact that we've moved on and it's not the same thing," observes Harvie, even as he's somehow managing to still rock the same luxurious locks as he did on the sleeve of Waking Hours, "and how the audience have moved along with us."

"And it works as a love song, too," adds Currie, equally still no slouch in the hair department. "I like lyrics that double-up like that."

The band's intent to record like a "proper five-piece rock band" -- by plugging in amps rather than booting up laptops -- is there to hear in the excellently and pithily titled Musicians and Beer. It's a proper driving rock tune, with crunchy riffs courtesy of Kris Dollimore and the jolting line: "At least Muddy Waters can't fuck with your kids."

"That was written on the piano, funnily enough," explains Currie. "But I had the title for a while, and I thought it would amuse all the musicians we know. And I like the idea that we have some purpose in the world: actually, you do need musicians and beer in your life -- especially this year!

"And those are both things that fundamentalist religious people hate. I come from a family, on my dad's side, of fundamentalist Christians who don't allow organs in church, or harmony, because that's decadent. And there are obviously still strains of that in the world."

"It's our anti-Caliphate song," adds Harvie, "although we don't want an ISIS fatwa... It could help the publicity, mind."

In counterpoint is the skeletal, aching Lonely, a song that echoes with emptiness and is flecked with CSNY-style harmonies.

"Not the kind of thing we've done before," says Harvie. "I wrote that not thinking it would work -- it's the most fragile way you could write a song, just playing chords on the acoustic guitar as quietly as possible. And that created space for the lyrics."

Then there's It's Feelings, another big tune that's classic Del Amitri, with Currie's soulful tap-room rasp reverberating down the years.

"Iain wrote that music," says the singer, "it was the last thing we did, and I just thought it felt very sunny, so I just wrote some really sweet lyrics. It has a wee bit of that Cure, New Order-y vibe -- it drives along in a Nineties alternative radio lane. And that lightness really balanced out the darkness elsewhere in the album."

Cue the mordant, Neil Young-ish I'm So Scared of Dying. "For the mix we gave Dan references like Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere," says Currie, "which are quite brittle, quite toppy records. You don't hear that so often anymore because in a digital world it's easy to make things sound warm and comfortable. We wanted this to be spiky."

And cue, too, the what-a-state-of-the-nation lament Close Your Eyes and Think of England. A classic Dels ballad, the creative spark was lit for Currie during a solo tour of Brexit Britain as he pondered the state of English nationalism ("and also, 'Scotland' didn't scan"). There's similar lyrical ambition in the near-eight-minute, two-chord wonder that is album closer Nation of Caners. Harvie remembers with a chuckle Currie coming into the studio in Warwickshire with "five pages of closely-written lyrics."

"I just fancied having a long, quite political song," shrugs the lyricist, "and I just wanted to write about the madness we're living in right now."

"And once we learnt to play it, we just did it as a groove -- and, again, we don't really do groove-based things," observes Harvie. "It was heading towards The Fall or Can. And we played it completely live, all eight minutes of it. I think that's about take five."

Now that they're back, Del Amitri aren't rushing -- they've waited 18 years, after all. Songs from Fatal Mistakes will be rolled out over the coming months and into 2021, ahead of (they hope) a full UK tour.

What does it mean for a band to come back after so long away? It means embracing your past to create a new sound for a fresh tomorrow.

"Once I'd got my head round the idea of not sounding like the band we were then, I was much less paranoid!" admits Currie with a laugh. "You're never gonna recreate that energy of when you're 20. So you have to do what we're doing now."

That, Iain Harvie elaborates, means "shorter songs, with no big rambling guitar solos. We don't need that big bollocks swagger that you felt you had to pull out when you were on the Rolling Stones' stage at Wembley, or whatever other stupid things you ended up doing. It's just us, and the songs, all of it played by all five of us -- no guest players or session guys. We've never done that before!" he marvels. "So it's a clean sheet, a new album, from a new band. It felt really free to make it."

"You know, when we made Waking Hours," reflects Justin Currie by way of conclusion, "we knew there was no one else at the time who was doing that: a classic rock-pop record, very song-based, but with guitar solos and proper melodic performances. And it occurred to us a couple of years ago that, again, in Britain there's a space for this. No band of any generation are doing this. So this feels like the right time."

Right time, right place, right band: Del Amitri are back and ready to rock with Fatal Mistakes. Although if you want to book them for a breakfast TV slot, they may have some questions.

READ MORE >>READ LESS >>
CONNECT:

Supporting Acts

About the Venue

HI-FI Annex is an open-air ALL AGES venue located in the back parking lot of The Murphy Arts Center. The main entrance to the venue is located on St. Patrick Street across from the church. All shows end by 10 pm.
Amenities: Live Music, Outdoors, All Ages (Children 5 & under free w/ adult), Premium Sound, Sidestage Lounge, Full Bar, Snack Bar, Street-Level Box Office

Upgrades: The Sidestage Lounge VIP access offers a premium exclusive viewing location with an up-close and personal view of the stage. It features a private bar, a comfortable seating area, as well as dedicated outdoor restrooms. Click here to reserve your spot in Sidestage Lounge.

Ticket Support: Box Office opens 1 hour before published door time. For ticket related questions please email boxoffice@hifiindy.com.

Parking: Street Parking, Bike Parking
Refund Policy: All tickets are non-transferable and non-refundable unless the show is canceled. Contact the box office with any questions: boxoffice@hifiindy.com.
1065 St. Patrick St Indianapolis, IN 46203

Be the first to know

Subscribe for show updates, ticket alerts, merch deals and exclusive subscriber perks.