DEL Amitri enjoyed considerable success in the late-1980s and 1990s. They sold a respectable six million albums worldwide and to their fans were lauded as brilliant songwriters and an exciting live act. As a fan of the Scottish band, I was delighted to meet their biographer, Charles Rawlings-Way, at a London gig this summer.

Rawlings-Way spent a couple of years on his account of their history, tracing the band from their beginnings in the early 1980s, right through to 2014. He is very good on the numerous line-up changes that dogged them, revolving around the creative nucleus of vocalist, lyricist and bass player Justin Currie and guitarist Iain Harvie.

The account of the Scots' first tour of the USA, an epic tale of exhausting mishaps, is very entertaining. And the book is very good on behind-the-scenes tales, particularly on the band’s relationship with their record label, A&M, and life on the road.

What the book lacks, however, is depth. Rawlings-Way is a former author of travel books and in some ways it shows. This is a tour around the world of Del Amitri. I would have liked a closer look at Justin Currie, the band’s brilliant but conflicted frontman. (Yes, it’s a biography of the band, but Currie provides the heart and soul to Del Amitri’s music.) One band member recalls that when Currie got stressed, he would clean the house, but Rawlings-Way doesn’t link this to the peculiar lyric in the song Empty about a break-up: "At least a house when it’s empty stays clean". Is Currie OCD? If he is, this book doesn’t tell us.

There’s precious little about Currie’s childhood. His parents' divorce must have had a significant impact; this is, after all, the man who wrote the acidic lyrics in The Ones That You Love Lead You Nowhere, and there's nothing on the singer's battles with alcohol. (There are a lot of references to drinking in Del Amitri songs.) We do, though, get other insights into Currie’s persona. He leaves a girlfriend, vanishing into thin air. He vandalises things while on tour. He doesn’t bother to tell drummer Mark Price that they won't be using him on a tour, electing instead for another musician. No wonder Currie recently told a journalist, after he read about himself in the book, "I don’t like this guy". Like a lot of artists, Currie is hugely talented, and, at the same time, profoundly human.

This summer, I also read Peter Ames Carlin’s biography of Paul Simon, and an excellent book on Phil Lynott by Graeme Thomson, both of which painted compelling pictures of their subjects. Rawlings-Way’s book doesn’t match either of these for insight. You get the feeling he will be an excellent biographer, nevertheless, if he can probe a little deeper into his subjects.

Review by Miles Salter, York musician, writer and storyteller

These Are Such Perfect Days: The Del Amitri Story, by Charles Rawlings-Way, is published by Urbane Publications, £12.99