Del Amitri singer Justin Currie: I know Parkinson’s will stop me

Justin says he knows the point is coming that he will have to stop performing

Del Amitri singer Justin Currie, who has revealed he has Parkinson’s disease, has spoken about the “grim” prospect of having to stop performing.

The 59-year-old Scot said he had always imagined he would still be playing “in a pub at the age of 80”.

But he said the disease had shown him that “you think you’re invulnerable until something proves you’re not”.

Speaking on the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme, Currie said: “I can’t play the way I would expect to.”

He added: “I know it will get worse. At what rate, nobody knows.

“So I know I’m going to have to stop. The idea is quite grim.”

Currie revealed his diagnosis in an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Tremolo programme, which is being broadcast on Sunday.

Ahead of the broadcast, the Glasgow-born singer said Parkinson’s had already changed his personality “in not necessarily negative ways”.

He said: “With any form of disability, you become aware of disability in general, and you become acutely aware of that line that disabled people have been saying for years – that there aren’t able-bodied people, there are just a lot of people who are not yet disabled.

“So I quite like that. I quite like the idea that we’re all going to go through some of these difficulties at some point in life.”

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Justin Currie and Del Amtri are about to embark on a major tour supporting Simple Minds

Del Amitri had hits in the 1980s and 90s with songs including Kiss This Thing Goodbye, Nothing Ever Happens and Always The Last to Know.

After a 12-year hiatus, the band reformed in 2014 and played the OVO Hydro in Glasgow as part of the Celtic Connections festival.

Later this month they will embark on a tour supporting Simple Minds, on the European leg of their global tour before headlining the HebCelt festival on the Isle of Lewis in July.

Currie said the illness had affected both his ability to play the guitar and his voice and he has had to “relearn” how to sing some parts of the band’s hits.

He said: “That ridiculous cliche, ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’, that’s not true.

“If you lose a leg you are not strong. And I am not stronger for having Parkinson’s, believe you me.”

The full interview on BBC Radio 4’s Tremelo will be broadcast at 16:30 on 10 March.

Details of organisations offering information and support with Parkinson’s disease.

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