Glasgow, Queen Margaret Union
Cut November 1986

DESPITE the ‘most likely to’ hipness of Deacon Blue and The Big Dish, and the bedsit trendiness of Sandie Shaw, this was an unusual billing. Most of the student audience, a conservative culture by anyone’s standards, had only heard of one of the acts, and even then only as somebody their mothers had told them about. It was gratifying then, if a little unexpected, that Deacon Blue were well received by a crowd that by and large wouldn’t know them from The Big Dish. Deacon Blue have the right poses and the right haircuts and, in frontman Ricky Ross, the right stuff. Though the threat of 1986 pop sensibilities was present throughout Deacon Blue’s set - rock guitar, tinkling keyboards drifting in and out of the mix and a crashing drum sound - Ross’s vocals lend the music a rich dark quality eliminating any possibility of their sound being considered ‘manufactured’. Stuart Spence