When The World Knows Your Name
Sounds 9th April 1989

If ‘Raintown’ proved anything, it was how one record could cover every possible base in the never ending ball-game that is Glasgow’s white soul fetish.

Ricky Ross laid his considerable heart over a well-detailed local canvas and gave Deacon Blue’s rabid followers something to sing about as ‘Dignity’ and ‘Loaded’ struck a chord in those homeboy n’ girl hearts.

Now comes the attempt to convince the world beyond Barrowlands, and Deacon Blue sound far less sussed. Indeed, as the ludicrous camp blustering of ‘Real Gone Kid’ suggested, Ricky’s ship is sinking with the weight of self-importance. The limp, pointless compromise of this music leaves only his ‘poetry to take the strain’. Ah.

So impaired is the Ross ear for metre that on occasions his doleful angst recalls seminally bad Grangemouth combo Dead Neighbours.

“Your distant gaze is missing me/And your jewellery that’s what blinded me/From the reality” (‘Circus lights’).Things get worse on ‘Your constant heart’ where Ricky falls for a snow –plough.Game to the end, Ricky ponders, “Can this white man sing the blues?” The answer has to be no.Keith Cameron