SCOTS rocker Justin Currie has joined a new Scottish supergroup after being forced to disband Del Amitri.

The former chart star is fronting Button Up and will be performing soul jazz cover songs as part of the band’s Scottish tour this weekend.

The all-star group features Proclaimers guitarist Stuart Nisbet and drummer Ross McFarlane – who also played with chart-toppers Stiltskin – bassist Gary John Kane and keyboard player Andy May.

Among the set list will be the Gladys Knight & The Pips song Just Walk In My Shoes, Don Cavay’s It’s Better To Have And Don’t Need, Nina Simone’s I’m Gonna Leave You and Birdie Green’s gospel song The Return Of The Prodigal Son.

Justin said: “It’s all covers. We’re not writing anything or doing any Scottish music and it’s for the fun of it. We’re not taking it seriously and we love this kind of music. We’re playing to a couple of hundred people in small venues.

“We’re not doing it for money or exposure, just because we really love playing.

“It’s songs I’ve always wanted to sing but couldn’t do with Del Amitri because I’m not a good enough bass player.”

He added: “Button Up had been playing nightclubs doing fabulous soul jazz instrumentals and one night I bumped into Ross in the pub and complained I needed something to do.

“He wanted me to do a couple of songs and now I am doing four gigs at which I’ll be singing a 40-minute set.”

Meanwhile, Justin insists it isn’t the end of the road for Del Amitri, despite his extended hiatus after being dropped by their label.

Founder member and lead guitarist Iain Harvie has turned his hand to producing other bands, keyboard player Andy Alston is working as a teacher, rhythm guitarist Kris Dollimore has joined a band called The Germans and drummer Mark Price is a London bus driver.

Justin said: “We’re not really doing very much, though technically we still exist. Everyone is busy doing other things. We were offered shows not so long ago, but couldn’t do them because the guys in the band all have jobs.”

Button Up are at Forres East Grange Loft on August 21, Aberdeen Lemon Tree (22), Glasgow’s G2 (23) and Edinburgh Speigeltent (25).

Scottish Daily Record: August 19, 2003