Blues Still Have Their Dignity At End Of Gig
Edinburgh Evening News
3rd December 2001

Deacon Blue The Usher Hall****

Prior to their break-up in 1994, though, they had fallen out of fashion with the public to such an extent that even drummer Dougie Vipond would rather build a career discussing St Johnstone’s last-minute penalty award of a Saturday night. And this - seven years later - is the next leg of their comeback tour, an event largely unheralded and playing off the back of no recent hits of note. Surely they couldn’t be easier to shoot down if they wore targets.

Well, to find out, we had to wait for the support act to finish. And the support act was Ricky Ross on the piano. In light of the good-natured east/west banter he entered into with the kind people of Edinburgh all night - it may be a bit cheeky to accuse a Dundonian of frugality when supporting his own band, but really it was a pretty clever move.

After all, it got all the slowest numbers and solo stuff out of the way before the hits and while the majority of the punters were still making use of the local public houses.

The hall was almost full when Ross returned to the stage with the full band (including his wife and singing partner Lorraine McIntosh), and by the second song - a battering Your Town - anyone who hadn’t had the scepticism knocked out of them by waves of nostalgia just shouldn’t have been there.

Sure, all the songs that got people dancing out of their seats and moving down the front are around ten years old.

But it would take a hard heart not to be won over by the endearingly committed performances of Ross and McIntosh, or the Caledonian soul-pop classicism of songs like When Will You Make My Telephone Ring, Real Gone Kid or Fergus Sings The Blues, which Ross seemed to be trying to install as our new national anthem.

And judging by the reaction of the audience, he may just be on to a winner. David Pollock