Deacon Blue Graeme In Cancer Fight  
Sunday Mail (Scotland) 29th October 2000

Group rallies round guitarist

BRAVE Deacon Blue guitarist Graeme Kelling is fighting cancer. Other members of the Scots supergroup are rallying round the 43-year-old in his battle against the disease.

Despite his illness, Graeme has been helping record the band's new album as they attempt to relaunch a career which saw them top the charts all over the world.

Graeme, who lives with wife Julie and their two young children in Glasgow's West End, has taken part in recording sessions at the city's Park Lane studios.

A spokesman for the band's management company confirmed last night that Graeme has been fighting cancer. He said: "There are positive signs with regard to his recovery, but it's too early to say.

"He is part of the band's line-up and is doing as much as he can. "But he has been seriously ill and, with an illness like that, you can never tell from one day to the next.

"He has cancer, but it's a very personal thing for him and his wife. Everyone is dealing with it on a daily basis."

Deacon Blue, who shot to fame in the 1980s with classic songs such as Dignity and Real Gone Kid, shocked their legions of fans when they split up in 1994. But they began recording again after an impromptu, one-off reunion last year.

The band members - who had all kept in touch in the years after the break-up - were devastated when they learned of their friend and colleague's diagnosis.

The band's keyboard player, Jim Prime, said: "Graeme's got a young family but he's doing well and everybody's really relieved. "But I'd rather not talk about it. It's not fair to him or his family. It's no secret he's not been well but he's making a good recovery. He's keeping going. "He wasn't well and he's now getting better. I'm glad to say he was in the studio quite a lot and is getting back to his old self.

"I'm quite sure that Graeme will talk about this when he's ready, which will be quite interesting. Until he's ready to talk, I don't think anyone should say anything more."

Doting dad Graeme kept a low profile after the six-piece band went their separate ways. He worked in TV and helped research Peter Irvine's book, Scotland the Best. The band reunited last year after being asked to perform a one-off charity gig. A short tour and a collection of love songs, Walking Back Home, followed. The group's new album, which doesn't have a title yet, is set for release in February.

Jim added: "It's the best thing we've ever done. We'll be touring in May, in the UK to begin with. There will also be a single."