Album Adds Substance To Bands Well Known
Evening News 27th April 1994
Compilation takes Doug by Surprise.
IF Deacon Blue were a football team they would be Aston Villa — consistent, stylish, picking up the occasional award but normally kept off the top by someone sexier. Even drummer Dougie Vipond (27) admits that, when the group’s just-released album of Greatest Hits, was being compiled, he was surprised at just how many hits they had had. “Putting it together was amazing. When someone suggested doing it, I thought it wasn’t a good idea. Then I realised how many hits we’d had and I thought bloody hell, I should be getting more money!” laughs Dougie. The group are about to embark on a month-long UK tour, when Dougie will get a rare chance to air his tonsils. “I’ve done a bit of singing on stage before, but I’ve always had to share a mike with Ewan, our base player before,” he grumbles. “He’s got a voice like a fog-horn and always drowns me out. So I’ll make sure I get a mike to myself! “My own favourite track is Chocolate Girl — I’ve always had a wee space in my heart for that. On set it’s always a nice wee song. The audience love it too."
But Dougie says that he doesn't get homesick for Glasgow when he’s away. “We’ve been touring for so long now we almost become blase about it. In the early days it was hard. “When we formed as a band, we didn’t know each other. We weren’t really friends. But we’ve been through a tremendous amount together. We wouldn’t still be together a band if we didn’t get on. ‘The whole group gets on very well. And touring is fun with the inclusion of the baby.” (Lead singer Ricky Ross and his wife, the band’s vocalist Lorraine McIntosh, have a toddler daughter, Emer). “The last time we toured she was very much a baby, but now she’s up and running and she talks. She’s great. We’ll all be Postman Pat daft by the end of the tour. “I’m not sure what we’ll do when the tour is finished — the focus at the moment is on the tour. We've always done one thing at a time. There could be more dates in Europe.”
Dougie joined the band in 1985 when he heard through a mutual friend that Ricky Ross was looking for a drummer. At the time, he was studying music at the Royal Scottish Academy, with no plans at all to spend his life as a pop star. “I wanted to be an orchestral percussionist, but I’m glad I’m not. Although people in my college who do that are doing really well, there’s not really enough work to go round.” Deacon Blue follow a distinguished long line of leading bands from Glasgow, with the likes of Simple Minds and Big Country hailing from the city. Is it something they put in the water? “Bands have also traditionally come from Manchester, Liverpool and even Birmingham,” points out Dougie. “It depends on the feeling of the London based record companies about where they are going to look for new talent. And perhaps because there is high unemployment up here, people see a band as a way out. You either get a job or join a band.” In his spare time Dougie is a big movie buff. “I like anything that’s not got Arnold Schwarzenegger or Jean Claude van Damme in it. The last film I saw was Shadowlands. It’s a beautiful movie,” adds Dougie, denying that he blubbed during the film. Judy Yorke