Blue Fans Have An Albert Ball 18th May 2001

Deacon Blue - Royal Albert Hall

Edinburgh pop band, Deacon Blue shocked the music world when they announced they were splitting-up following the release of their Greatest Hits in 1994.

Five years later, songwriter Ricky Ross and his band are back together and in 1999, Deacon Blue performed to two sell-out crowds at the Royal Albert Hall.

This year they were back. icSouthLondon reporter, Lindsay McCombie went along in her spray-on jeans and shoulder pads (well, sort of!)

The Blues casually strolled on stage at 8.30pm to a rapturous applause. The seven-piece launched into their set with a new song, which nobody appeared to know - not a very dynamic start.

The band looked the same as they did back in the late 80s/early 90s. Ricky Ross' voice sounded the same - deep, rough and hoarse, it's a voice that must take a lot of looking after - at least 40 fags a day. At times, when Ricky was giving his all, he struggled to make a sound because of the obvious strain on his vocal chords.

When they started to play some of their old classics, 'Your Town', 'Dignity', 'Raintown', 'Chocolate Girl', the crowd leapt to their feet and performed some dance routines that should have been left in the 80's (step-together-step-together, you know the kind). But the highlight by far was 'Real Gone Kid' - I think it's Deacon Blue's best song to date and the crowd seemed to agree.

I began to feel that the audience (all of which seemed to be older than me) where there for nostalgia, a trip back to their more youthful days. The band's new material received a lukewarm reception. Frontman, Ricky Ross even joked about how lucky their were that the album had reached hospital radio playlists!

They performed a track called 'A is for Astronaunt' which will be their new single - it's catchy and by the second chorus I found myself singing along. But how well it'll fair in the current pop climate I'm unsure.

Deacon Blue maybe a product of a pop era now past, but for one night only at least the memories came flooding back!

Deacon Blue are touring the UK throughout May, promoting their current album 'Homesick'. Lindsay McCombie