Family First For New Deacon Blue
The Daily Post (Liverpool) 2nd November 2001

Seven years after Lorraine McIntosh gave up performing for motherhood, she is back on the road as Deacon Blue with her husband Ricky Ross, she tells Laura Davis. 

THERE was once a time when Lorraine McIntosh couldn't step outside her home in Glasgow without being stopped in the street by adoring fans. 

But seven years since Scottish rock band Deacon Blue announced they were splitting up, they now restrict themselves to a faint smile of recognition. 

Fame has changed for the softly spoken backing singer but so has her ambition. She now balances life as a mother of three with a career as an actress and is looking forward to getting back on the road with the reformed band. 

As she talks of Deacon Blue's split it becomes increasingly obvious that McIntosh has a love hate relationship with her music. While she missed singing with husband Ricky Ross, she admits to tiring of the intensity of constant touring. 

"I felt a sense of relief that we were going to be stopping that kind of lifestyle which was getting difficult because I was expecting another baby. I felt sad - that was the most overwhelming thing - because I knew I was going to miss it, " she says. 

Transformed from a singer in a successful rock group, with a string of hit singles and six Top 10 albums, into a housewife almost overnight, McIntosh found it difficult to adjust to her new life. 

"We stopped travelling the world - stopped being treated in a privileged way. You were left to be a normal person, " she explains. 

"A few months later I had a baby and it went from life being very exciting and variable to - for a few months anyway - life being predictable and hard work." 

These feelings became more intense as Ross began to concentrate on a solo career, releasing albums in 1996 and 1997 and touring with other musicians. 

"In some ways it was nice because I wanted to be at home with the children. But it was difficult to get phone calls from places where he had just had a great night and I wasn't part of it any more. It was something that we had done together so often that to have to stand back . . . It was quite hard to let go of that but I came to terms with it quite a while ago, " explains the 36-year-old singer. 

"I think it was probably harder just after Deacon Blue split up when we went to Los Angeles for the summer and Ricky recorded his first solo album there. That was quite difficult because I was at home and wanted to go down to the studio and Ricky was using other backing singers. I thought: 'Can I not just come down and do it?'" But she was to discover other talents, appearing as a receptionist in Ken Loach's drama My Name is Joe . 

Other acting jobs followed, with McIntosh taking roles in television programmes Taggart and Life Support . She is hoping to begin filming a new part for BBC Scotland next month. 

"Acting was initially something that I wanted to do but I thought as I got into music that it was something that I probably wouldn't have a chance to do. By the time the band split up I thought I'd left it too late. 

"My Name is Joe was wonderful and Ken is very used to working with people who haven't acted before. I had faith I could do it because he thought I could and he's so experienced." 

Deacon Blue's reforming came as a surprise to the members of the band who were all busy following other career paths. Approached to organise a fund-raising concert two years ago by a Glasgow charity which helps families in extreme poverty, Ross suggested they get together for a one-off performance. 

They enjoyed it so much that they decided not to stop, releasing a new album, Homesick , last April. 

'I T WASN'T something any of us envisaged happening and we didn't realise that we would be starting off again but we were all secretly dying to do a gig, " reveals McIntosh. 

"It was fantastic after five years to be playing your home town. We'd really missed it and we were thinking: 'Why are we not going to do this again?'" This time round McIntosh insists that she won't let the band take over her life but it is hard to stop it. She has already had to turn down two acting roles which clashed with recording and touring commitments. She also wants to ensure her children are given plenty of attention. Daughters Emer and Georgia, aged eight and six, and 10-month-old baby Seamus have already been on tour with them, though not during school time. 

"It's different to how it used to be. We certainly appreciate it a lot more now. We realise that we're doing this because it's something we want to do. Whereas before, when you're plugging albums and trying to make a career and if you're signed to a major record company touring is just part of the deal. 

"I think we will probably tour again after this but I've no idea when that will be. It'll be when it suits the people in the band, when we have time to go and do it. It's not like Deacon Blue is all we'll be doing for the next while because we all do lots of things now. It's just part of the whole picture."  Laura Davis