Fans Left Blue By Deaconís New Song
Edinburgh Evening Times 28th May 2001

But first we were treated to Welsh support band Murry The Hump. Frontman Matthew Evans put everything into his delivery, rattling out a set list of punchy tunes that sounded like a collision between Blur and Pulp. It was fast and furious stuff.

So that made it all the more surprising when Deacon Blue launched straight into their set with This Train, a pleasing enough track but not a patch on the old rocking anthems.

Another new and equally insipid track followed. The usual Deacon Blue hi-energy and big sound didnít stop it from being a frail start, but when the band launched into Raintown it was back to the full-blown melodic singalongs. The audience reacted as one, with everybody on their feet, singing every word. This was more like it.

However, it didnít last long, and the band gave us a couple of lacklustre tracks from Homesick which saw everybody back in their seats.

It was a bizarre situation. With tracks like A is for Astronaut - B is for boring it was clear that what was letting them down was neither the level of musicianship nor entertainment value, but the material which is weak to the point of being bland. Duff songwriting sat cheek by jowl with the classics.

While the old material has stood the test of time, with haunting melodies and lyrics dredged from the soul, the new songs have neither the energy nor the drive of what has gone before. It is, just run-of-the-mill commercial pap music

Superb

Still, there was enough good quality material in there to keep the audience happy. Real Gone Kid is a winner at parties and even better when delivered live. Itís also a spectacle to watch being performed.

Lorraine McIntosh bounced around banging her tambourine with gusto, while Ross perched on the edge of the stage, casting his hawk-like gaze over the audience and belting out the lyrics at full volume. There was some superb guitar work in there, while Dougie Vipond bashed the skins, grinning the whole time, obviously a man thoroughly enjoying himself.

When Will You (Make my Telephone Ring) had everybody swaying along, hands held aloft. And when the house lights were brought up during Dignity the audience managed to drown out the band with their singing. It was as though the Deacon Blue fun carnival had never been away.

Then, just when you thought you were off and running, the whole thing spluttered to a stop with another of the latest songs, the remarkably wishy-washy Every Time I Sleep.

The torpid melody was not helped by the choice of acoustic guitar and accordion as main instruments, though it shows Rossí voice off to the best. Another slow-burning number Love Hurts, dedicated to Rossí sister who was in the audience, saved the day.

Unfortunately, the gig was brought to a close with a downbeat number from the new album, the title track, Homesick. But what was needed was something that would have brought a more impassioned plea for an encore. Drew McAdam