Glasgow Barrowlands NME 23rd April 1988
Playing this venue was the fulfilment of an ambition according ' to Blue mainman Ricky Ross, though his lowest common denominator poeticism would be equally at home in an American baseball stadium. 'Dignity' is the fans'favourite, with the crowd taking over vocal chores on the song's rising chorus.
The image of 'a ship called Dignity' is almost so bad it's good, though such a distinction is meaningless in the young adult arena inhabited by Deacon Blue and their ilk. In olden times they would have been proud to be called an albums band, but now they're just a Class Act, a Higher Grade Wet Wet Wet, whose main live , achievement is to exactly reproduce their recorded sound.
Ah yes, the sound. The cerebral backing vocals lend a Prefab Sprout-ish air to what is an'80s approximation of 10CC. The workmanship isn't in question, Deacon Blue clearly have loadsatalent, but their music - unwittingly shaped by technology - is as timeless as early stereo experiments.
Ross, sporting an admirable haircut and provoking not a few screams, clearly hails from the same American state as Mark Knofler, though on 'Loaded' he displays more vocal empathy with Bruce Springsteen. "How can a poor man stand such times?" he asks, pausing to pay deserved tribute to nationalist MP Alex Salmond. As protest it's almost apologetic, and Ross admits as much, saying that Nigel Lawson is unlikely to be in attendance. Yet, so conservative is the music that Government ministers would be unable to find anything objectionable. Blue after all, is the colour. Alastalr McKay