Royal College Of Music & Drama,
Melody Maker 21st June 1986
WHAT’S stopping them? What’s preventing Ricky Ross and this, virtually the third manifestation of Deacon Blue in as many months, getting a record deal, making money. . . or more to the point, being the wonderful band they ought to be?
I mean, they’ve got the songs. “Raintown” is completely brilliant. “Chocolate Girl” is great too, but the seamless, one-dimensional nature of the set could be blamed on an incipient bent toward fashionability born of desperation and naked ambition. The myth that for a Glasgow band to succeed it has to sound like Hipsway, should be quashed, and fast. As ever, the lyrics were needle-sharp. the howling backing vocals from Carol Moore (ex-Talking Drums) excellent, and Ricky’s frontsmanship. occasionally almost Waitsian in its determined drunkenness, convincingly sardonic in an unprepossessing venue.
I’ll rest my case. Ricky Ross and Deacon Blue can and should be stars. But to achieve that, they’re going to have to stop wanting success so much it hurts the audience to watch them do one external showcase. With less force, the emotion at the root of the Ross muse will come out, but till then, relax, lads. Don’t do it. Tom Morton