The Mean Fiddler, London
Melody Maker 6th June 1987

BLUESY but not blue Deacon Blue. The singer bounces on stage with a grin stretching from ear to ear, hat worn impishly on the back of his head. The long arms are set in motion and waved around as if trying to keep his balance, like a Pinocchio with cheekbones. He’s got no strings to hold him down, this cheerful popster, to make him fret, to make him frown. Heigh-ho, the merry-oh, he’s as happy as can be, he wants the world to know, “I have found an answer”, a joyous statement, and positively evangelical, considering the effect it had on the audience who so identified with the light he was shining, they almost started speaking in tongues. “Ain’t it just like boys,” they sang, but the jolly woman (who must have been The Most Popular Girl At School) not to be outdone, made her vocal mark.

Vivacious, it would have said on her form teacher’s report. Reflecting on The New Man, anti-Thatcher and pro-Trade Union statements could have sounded worthy, were it not for the self- mocking humour. They’ve listened to a lot of Van Morisson, my Plus One had said knowingly, and a few minutes later, “This is a Van Morisson song that we wrote,” was announced. The heartfelt cry of “When will you make my phone ring,” the soulful emotion on “Get Over You”, the romantic bordering on the sentimental on ‘Angelou” with its talk of Paris in May is twee but sweet anyway. The sort of band who are nice to be with. Angie Daniel