The O's, though, succeed in sounding nothing like you expect - and not quite like anyone else either - but instead a kind of modern take on rootsy country, but then they aren't quite country. If that doesn't help much, just listen to them. Not quite as strange as The Ben Miller Band who supported ZZ Top last year, nonetheless they are a rootin' tootin', banjo playing, kick drum using duo, who have evidently been going down a storm on these dates. It's easy to see why, and by the time a suitably happy "Everything's Alright" has ended their short set, they have won another set of fans.
RTM concerns itself generally with rock, metal, prog, and blues gigs. We do chuck a bit of country in there now and again. Palpably obviously, Del Amitri fit very few of those categories. They do, however, fit just about the most important one there is. They are superb.
If the worlds greatest ever music critics, Beavis and Butthead, taught us anything, let it be that they taught us this. Music is either cool or it sucks, and a Del Amitri reunion is most definitely cool.
We've been fans of the band since 1989's "Waking Hours" record - from where a decent number of tracks in tonight's lengthy set come. Billed as "The A to Z of Us" the tour sees main Amitri men Justin Currie and Iain Harvey reunited with long serving members Andy Alston and Kris Dollimore (the band also includes drummer Ash Soan who was originally in the band in the mid 90s) for their first dates in more than a decade.
The result is a slick set, which spans their career - including a string of top 10 albums and high flying singles - and is a celebration of what a collection of songs they had. At their heart Del Amitri's songs have a much darker core than you realise, with opener "Always The Last To Know" typical. Ostensibly a chirpy little, rocking pop song, it is full of the type of bleakness that surely makes for great music.
All the ones you know follow, from "Kiss This Thing Goodbye" to "Roll To Me" and the huge chorus of "Just Like A Man" and of course, right in the middle, as part of a semi acoustic section, sits the song that made RTM - and you can bet a good many other people who form the crowd at a packed Civic Hall - into fans of the group, "Nothing Ever Happens", a stone cold classic, complete with lyrics that are as relevant today as ever, despite being a quarter of a century old.
It, like everything else here, is superbly played, and during the course of the evening both Harvey and Dollimore show their skills on guitar. Lead singer Currie is remarkable, given that he looks barely a day older than he did in the 80s, and his voice is the same, and after all three have sung a verse of set closer "Drunk In A Band" they are back for a lengthy encore which includes "Here and Now" and "Move Away Jimmy Blue."
Almost as big a pet hate to us as people that care whether something is "cool" or not is the idea that something could be good way back when, but sound dated now. This means it couldn't have been that good in the first place surely? Del Amitri tonight are proof positive that if something was really good in the 1980s and 1990s then it still is. They created timeless music then and tonight they were a joy to watch.