Singing The Blues
Daily Record 7th December 1989

Deacon promise a special

SCOTS pop supergroup Deacon Blue were basking in the Australian sunshine when they heard the news that sent a shiver down their spines.

“We got a cable telling us all 17,000 tickets for this week- end’s concerts in Glasgow had sold out in just two days — and we couldn’t believe it,” said bass player Ewan Vernal.

“That’s why the build-up to these Glasgow gigs is so intense. “There isn’t any other show, anywhere in the world, we’re more wound up for ... playing London, Sydney or New York doesn’t even come close.”

On Saturday and Sunday, Deacon Blue will perform live at the SECC before their favourite audience. And earlier this week, the band invited their favourite paper, The Daily Record, to join them on-the-road in Belfast for an EXCLUSIVE sneak preview of their new stage show. They told me of plans to make a live concert video at the SECC. And how they've been writing new songs not with other musicians, but with best- selling Scots author William Mcllvanney.

 “We wanted to shoot a video that really captured Deacon Blue live,” said guitarist Graeme Kelling. “And there’s no better place to do that than Glasgow. “We want to involve the audience. They’ve been with us all along, so they’re very much a part of the Deacon Blue success story.”

The band have also been writing songs with author William Mcllvanney. They’re starring, alongside Billy Connolly, in a Mcllvanney TV drama called Dreaming - and the songs will appear in the soundtrack. “It’s all about a young guy who’s getting a bit of hassle from his parents,” said drummer Douglas Vipond.

“Deacon Blue are his favourite band and we appear in the play as ourselves. “William Mcllvanney wrote some lyrics, and we came up with music to accompany them. “We only changed the words very slightly to adapt them to our style. He’s a very sharp guy and a great writer.”

AWorld Class Show -  Belfast Kings Hall

WHAT a noise — it’s like being on the terracing at Tannadice. That’s how Deacon Blue’s Dundee-born Ricky Ross summed up the hysterical reaction from the 8000-strong audience in Belfast’s cavernous King’s Hall. From the moment they hit the stage with Your Constant Heart, until they brought the show to a close nearly three hours later with Christmas Baby Please Come Home, they could do no wrong.

As usual, their choice of covers was impeccable — performing stunning versions of The Beatles’ I’m Down, Buddy Holly’s Tine Love Ways and Dusty Spring- field’s The Look Of Love. But it was their own songs - classics like Wages Day and Circus Lights - which captured Deacon Blue at their brilliant best.

Their pumping, powerhouse version of Raintown was stunning... there’s no other word for it. And Ross’s charismatic personality bridges the gap between performer and audience perfectly. Since they last played in Scotland in April, they’ve improved in every department - musically conceptually and above all visually. Quite simply, on this form Deacon Blue are one of THE BEST live bands in the world.  Billy Sloan