Growing Old With Dignity  Greenock Telegraph, 21st October, 1999.

Deacon Blue 18/10/99, Royal Albert Hall, London.

HAVING decided to extend their brief three-gig Glasgow re-union into a UK tour on the back of a new album, Decaon Blue played the first of two nights at London's Royal Albert Hall on Monday, writes Paul English.

Cockney wide boys mingled with southern-based Scots as Ricky Ross and his band treated a capacity crowd to a charged revision of the band's heyeday in the late 80's and early 90's.

In grand eloquent surrounds, Ross and his band of seven - including former Del Amitri guitarist Mick Slaven and TV presenter Dougie Vipond - showed their one-time reputation as a barnstorming live act was still firmly intact, prising even the most conservative of followers out of their seats as they ran through old favourites such as When Will You Make My Telephone Ring and Your Town.

Ross's gravelly growl was as evident as it ever was as the band broke on stage to the opening strains of Born In A Storm, while Lorraine McIntosh's frenzied on-stage antics have been anything but dulled by their five year absence.

Wages Day, Twist and Shout and Fergus Sings The Blues satisfied those tickled by the band's big hits, while a haunting Orphans gave McIntosh ample chance to flex her larynx.

But it was a goosebump inducing version of The Wildness which stole the show, seeing Ross hush the crowd to complete silence before coming off-mic and singing a cappella to a stunned audience.

They in turn showed they hadn't forgotten how to perform either, as Ross offered up the introduction to working class anthem Dignity before leading them to a suitably rousing climax and off into a night of sentimental satisfaction. Paul English