|Liverpool Royal Court 26th October 2001|
This is the third time I've been able to catch DB here at my favourite
venue, the Royal Court, as far as theatres go, this one is pretty damn
ugly, but it does have the uncanny knack of bringing the best out of the
band. The crowd are always loud, there's very few reserved Scousers it
Ricky's set was great, it's probably unfair to pick fault with the performance as he did do so well, but I wasn't overjoyed at hearing 'The Germans Are Out Today'. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a great song, and I love to hear it, but by the time Ricky has coached the crowd to sing the chorus, when I'm, guessing 60% knew it already, a large portion of the fans had quite understandably began to talk amongst themselves. This was true also of 'Earth A Little Lighter' a great song, and perhaps my fave from New Recording, but it's low key nature failed to hold the attention of many of the less anorak inclined fans ;)
The new songs were great and Ricky's new album looks like it's going to live up to it's billing as 'his lifes work' I just can't believe I'm going to have to wait until March!!
Deacon Blue were as per usual, No Dougie, but Davey filled in well, though was it me or does he seem a little too keen to start the next song?....
Lorraine's solo spot was a rare unexpected treat, a nice twist to the set, that perhaps should have happened a long time ago?.... The set was varied, with less Raintown tracks than normal, and perhaps too many Hoodlums tracks for my liking, but despite this, I still enjoyed this show more than the May gigs.
Finally a criticism of the venue, despite being a great venue, it does have one major flaw, which they could and should easily rectify, during the performance they leave the bar door open, Personally I think the bar should be closed during a performance, the amount of noise coming from the bar area was dreadful, and I know it upset many during Ricky's set. In conclusion, after giving us 30 songs, you can't possibly disagree that they gave us value for money, and they were as Ricky proclaimed, 'Playing Great' . Neil
have to say, this gig was awesome!! For a guy travelling down from Glasgow
for his first English DB show, i don't know what i expected. Maybe an
English crowd wouldn't be as good as a Scottish one and so on.. But was I
pleasantly surprised!! Good to hear some old songs and Lorraine was superb
on lead vocals for a change. Rickys new solo stuff sounded superb and
can't wait for the new album. Pity about the noisy folk though. But all in
all a great gig and I hope to make it back to Liverpool again some day.
Well the wait
was finally over & the tour was under way. Sadly to a poor start
- A significant proportion of the audience decided that they would rather
talk over Ricky than listen to him. Bad form I feel.
|Oxford Apollo 27th October 2001|
Probably not the greatest venue for the fans who love to dance but dance
they did. What was so great about it? Without a doubt Lorraine's
Bethlehem's Gate - apologies to Ricky! Glad I've got big hair to hide the
tears! This Train is probably the best show opener I've heard from them.
No Dougie but Dave Stewart banged them drums! Deportees was sublime - nice
to hear the 'low voice' live! Didn't feel Circus Lights got the response
it deserved but I was jigging in my seat none-the-less!
Then, well I couldn't contain myself, an agreeing nod to Mel and hey
presto the place started dancing! Re: Ricky's set...this new material is
absolutely fantastic. This is the Life deserves to be huge....March seems
a very long time away! Lack of Raintown material which was a shame, but
with Circus Lights, Jackie and Bethlehem's Gate, I was a happy lassie.
Great to hear Walking Back Home too...hair came in handy again! Ali
|Wolverhampton Civic Hall 28th October 2001|
what a gig it was. Ricky came out to do his solo set and I am pleased to
report the audience listened intently to him at times you could have heard
a pin drop it was that quiet (unlike Liverpool):(
For someone who thus far has bought Ricky's solo albums out of sheer loyalty I think the penny finally dropped. I didn't really connect with his first two solo albums, but I really like this new stuff. It's my bag as it were!!! LOL. On the strength of this performance I will be making an effort to see RR on his solo tour next year.
The main set was far more relaxed than at Liverpool, they seemed to have settled into their stride. Tonight Lorraine did "Bethlehems Gate" & "Cover From The Sky" both performances were ace.
The crowd were into this gig an it showed. Time seemed to go so fast as the tracks just kept coming.
The highlight musically of the night was in the middle of "The Wildness" Ricky stepped away from the Mic to continue the vocals (Now for all you budding Rock stars and Techno gadget junkies read on for the rest skip to the rest of the review - Ricky uses a Shure Beta 58a mic it has a better freq responce than the industry standard Shure SM58 and costs about 90 quid more but it does come into it's own when applying it to this tecnique of standing approx 3 to six feet away from the mic whilst continuing to sing, it gives a more thinner distant sound, whilst ambient noise levels are more noticable. When done right as in with a Mr RR it creates a very intimate atmosphere. So thats the Shure Beta 58a the choice of Rock & pop stars and even dare I say it Pro DJ's the world over available at all good stores for around 210 quid)
The NEW Scottish national anthem was included in the set "Fergus Sings The Blues" as was my current fave "Homesick" also great to hear "I'll Never Fall In Love Again". Deacon Blue Don't just sing songs they entertain People, there are no tape players an backing tracks just good old fashioned Rock n Roll the way it should be. Talented people entertaining people who want to listen.
Personal highlight of the night was when Ricky said hello to me half way through the set, then proceeded to introduce me to the crowd an ask if I was enjoying myself. Was I ever!!!!!!
Whichever gig you are going to if it's half as good as Wolverhampton you will still have a top night. Cheers Rob.
Ok, so I
haven't done as many gigs as some of you guys out there but after seeing
db/ricky around a dozen times since 1990 my head was still buzzing this
morning after the fantastic gig at Wolves last night.
Having been at Oxford the previous night, I assumed tonight would be a bit more...well..raucous! It was! Big gang of people from round this way...nice to see new and old faces (you know who you are). Ricky's set was far more rocking than last night. Nothing Cures That is spinning around in my head still. I remembered not to clap in the pause!
The main set was superb, though I had rather a good spot, right in front of Ricky :)! Circus Lights was fantastic as usual. Bethlehem's Gate was just so wonderful, to hear Lorraine sing that again made my night! Was very happy to hear Raintown - I really missed it at Oxford. This kind of gig is the reason why I go...so atmospheric, everyone dancing and singing. This was what music is about. I hope everyone else gets the same kind of night.
The Wildness just built up into a great explosion that I found rather
overwhelming - pure emotion poured into that song. And Homesick...well you
know how we felt all those years Ricky et al...!
I have got
Ricky's first solo album and must admit didn't get into it much. Listening
to him live I think it might grow on me. Will try the Academy solo gig in
April me thinks.
|York Barbican Centre 2nd November 2001|
set was completely new to me - liked the one about the Germans & so
did the crowd which I guess was then at about 60% capacity. For the
main DB set the hall appeared full & the band were very well
received. Good mix of tracks old & new & great to hear
Lorraine on lead vocals for Bethlehem's Gate & Cover From The Sky.
Mass crowd participation on Dignity, Wages Day, Fergus Sings The Blues
& others. My only reservations were some of the audience who
insisted on going in & out of the hall with monotonous regularity -
even Ricky noticed & commented. Weak bladders, nicotine
addiction or just plain rudeness??! (Same thing happened @ Nottingham in
May) I also thought the vocals levels needed increasing against the band
or the band levels needed decreasing as I felt the words were being
drowned out at times.
Great Gig, a
marvellous set list included a complete mix: old favourites such as
Dignity, Real gone Kid Wages Day and Loaded got the crowd going and
equally new greats such as Homesick kept us involved. They also played my
personal favourite 'Circus Lights', thanks!! Loved the smaller venue after
being stuck at the back of the Royal Albert Hall the last two times. OK
the acoustics aren't as good but being so close to the stage more than
made up for this.
|Sunderland Empire Theatre 3rd November 2001|
from start to finish. Ricky`s stuff was outstanding Favorite was Rodeo
Boy! Deacons were on fire. Jim was as good as ever, maturity and age an
all that. Like a good wine just when you think its perfect it seems to
just get that bit better.
Sweat Jim very very Sweat. Lorraine was stunning even in see through
pink skirt nice one girl.
|Sheffield City Hall 4th November 2001|
|Croydon Fairfield Hall 9th November 2001|
This is going to be quick as I'm currently staying at a friends house in
Southampton...before going to the gig tonight. Croydon was great.. despite
the annoying bloke wanting to touch up Ricky's leg... The Skyliners were
dancing from the off...Mel was sitting 2 seats away from Me and we Guessed
that the space between us would be filled by Ali and Her Suitcase!!!
Highlights for me... 'Back here in Beanoland'(I guess the request
worked!!), The Wildness, Circus Lights and Loaded but also Lorraine's
version of Bethlehems Gate What a voice!!!.
The band are sounding fantastic! Ricky's set sounded great, I particularly liked Nothing Cures that...My best mate Sarah came with me her first DB concert...And she is now a Convert...I think we should all bring someone new to a gig!!! Looking forward to Southampton tonight (Thanks for the free tickets guys!) I'll be dancing from the off!!! Oh and if you fancy doing Like a rolling stone...Feel Free!!! Ads
|Folkstone Leas Cliff Hall 10th November 2001|
been a DB fan since they began, my husband bought tickets to see them at
Folkestone. Not in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that they
would come to little old Folkestone, so you can imagine how excited I was.
The only thing worrying me was that my husband did not really know any of
their stuff and I thought he might be bored..... how much further from the
truth could that have been!
He jumped about and cheered and clapped as much as me and now he is converted Deacon Blue fan. He is quickly learning the words to the songs and has bought Homesick, yet another fab album. I may have led a sheltered life, but I have to say that it was truly the best night of my life and Ricky is just such a brilliant performer. We love you Deacon Blue and pleeeease come back to Folkestone.xx. Tammy
|Southampton Guildhall 11th November 2001|
|Llandudno North Wales Theatre 16th November 2001|
Exhilarating, foot-stomping and bursting with energy.....and that was just
the crowd!!!.... I have to admit I was more than a little sceptical when I
heard about this gig. Was it the right venue?...was it the right
town?...well the answer to this was YES...OH YES!!!. Having endured
the awkwardness of the Palace Theatre Manchester, I was sure that the band
would get a fairly lukewarm reception at another pantomime theatre.
Ricky's set was very good, great to hear such variety in his choice of songs, Henry Thomas a good surprise as was Love Isn't Hard It's Strong, a song I've wanted to hear live for sooooooo long. Again the new songs sounded good, with Nothing Cures That sounding better on every listen.
Deacon Blue come on with the most energetic opening I've ever seen....how old are they again?.....young enough to rock it seems. With the exception of Your Swaying Arms the first 8 songs are rockin' and comin'-right-atcha' with almost no break to catch your breath.
Good variety throughout, I wasn't expecting Rae, or Raintown, but they were VERY welcome ;)
The venue had fantastic acoustics, and hats off to the crowd who got up for song 3 Circus Lights and stayed up for the whole gig.
Two complaints, one for the band, it took until Circus Lights for them to sort Ricky's sound levels out. And one for the fans, who let that Welsh sheep farmer in?.....the guy whistling for his border collie, coincidently in time with Lorraine's vocal parts? w****r!!!
Small gripes for such a great night,........and finally.....comment of the night.....the guy two rows back from me, commenting on Lorraine's attire............"Cor'....she's wearing a G String" Neil
I have never
been a big Deacon Blue fan but listened to them because my husband Tony
is. I agreed to the night out as long as I was treated to a meal at
our favourite Italian Restaurant in Llandudno 'Gigolo'.
|Peterborough The Broadway 17th November 2001|
my ears are shot to bits and I've just got home from the best
DB gig in 16 years. Just wanted to echo Neil's review at Llandudno and add
to that anyone going to see the remainder of the gigs on this tour, you're
in for a treat! Not much more can be said about a very polished
performance with the several new arrangements very welcome.... Even the
bald heads and grey hairs in the crowd got up and rocked.
One pathetic comment from some constantly chattering girlies in row K "who's this Ricky Ross bloke doing the warm up anyway? shall we go and have a drink while he's on?".......no respect or what?
Congratulations to the band on continuing to be the most original and accomplished musicians in the UK.
PS. Ricky why did you have to appear on that STV 'Comedy' quiz earlier this week? you were way above the other contestants intellect. Martin
This was my third of four Homesick 2 gigs...they are just getting better! An unusual looking venue...nice comfy seats for those who intended to sit down! Ricky's set was fantastic...first comment from all when we spotted the 2 mics..he's gonna do 'What You Are'! Shame no 'This is the Life'. I keep saying it but I cannot wait for the new album! I am listening at the moment to the song that kicks it all of...This Train! I will never tire of this being the opening song...the driving rhythm makes me want to dance everytime! Highlights: Bethlehem's Gate (as always!), Jackie, Jesus, Silverlake...but most of all Rae. I thought it was great the first time I heard it, then went off it a bit, but having heard it live...well I feel like I've developed a new set of ears! BLISS!
A rousing burst of Fergus...probably one of my least fave album tracks,
but one of my fave live ones!!! And what an ending...Loaded/How Can A Poor
Man..BRILLIANT! Lows...no Circus Lights or Swaying but at!
|London Shepherds Bush Empire 18th November 2001|
Wow what a night.....I got to Shepherds Bush around 4 O'clock after a nightmare 3 and a half hour Train Journey. (It would seem THIS train would take me anywhere I didn't want to go!) Met up with my mate Alex and settled in for a swift pint. I wondered outside at 5 to look for Rob and Mel and all...No sign of them but the sweet sound of the Blue wafting out the stage door was to much for this skyliner...Seizing my chance I dashed through the open stage door...and followed the sound of music...to come face to face with the band sound checking...(Memories are made of these things) Lorraine said a chirpy Hello and for a few minutes I was left to watch the band soundcheck Loaded...Fantastic stuff...Ten minutes later the meat wagon came to pick me up...(Or at least the bouncer...)
Anyway on to the gig... Ricky's set is Awesome... I Can't wait for the new album to come out...In fact since my return... It has been Ricky's solo stuff that I have been humming in my head not Deacon Blue...As Ricky said the front row is starting to look familiar...but we skyliners showed London how to dance!!! The band just seemed to be having such a good time...And the additional members just add SO much to the songs I can't imagine DB without them...Highlights for me??? This is the life and Nothing cures that from Ricky's set... As for The Blue...The Wildness...Circus Lights...Bethlehems Gate...and Homesick has been turned into a classic...
I think the best thing about this tour has been the variety of songs played...no night has been the same...it just shows what a wealth of good songs they have... Anyway Shepherds Bush was the last gig for me this year...Thanks to the band for the great nights...thanks to the Skyliners for the good times and See you next year at Ricky's Shows and hopefully a DB Tour in the autumn/winter! Cheers!!! Adam Rowse
Well, what can
I say? I was completely blown away - the band were absolutely fantastic.
|Bradford St George Hall 23rd November 2001|
I told my 16-year-old son I was going to Bradford to see Deacon Blue in
concert, his immediate response was "Who are they?" Being
born in the mid 80's, obviously he is a little too young to remember a
band whose hits were mainly at the end of the 1980's and early 1990's.
But once I played one of my CD's with tracks such as "Fergus sings
the blues", "Dignity" and "Real gone kid" on it,
he immediately knew who I was talking about.
Whilst not one of the 80's "supergroups" such as Queen, Genesis and Culture Club, Deacon Blue were, nevertheless, a very popular band and still have a large following 10 years after their main hits were in the charts. The band was founded by Ricky Ross back in 1985 and whilst their early single releases were unsuccessful, the release in 1988 of "Real gone kid" was a major turning point, receiving much airplay and entering the top ten. The following year it was voted the second best single in the Brit awards at the same time as the follow up single "Wages Day" was entering the charts. Their second album, "When the world knows your name" released in May 1989, entered the charts at Number 1, knocking Madonna's "Like a prayer" off the top spot.
The concert at St George's Hall, Bradford, was a sell out and the audience was not disappointed. The first part of the concert was a solo session by Ricky Ross, whose debut album "This is the life" is due out in March 2002 and who was using the tour to promote this to the Deacon Blue fans. Titles he performed were "Threatening Rain", "When you are young", The further north", Indigo Sky", "Nothing cures that", "What you are" and the title track of the album "This is the life".
After the break the band itself were on stage for nearly 1½ hours and during that time performed 21 songs, both old and new. "Your town" and "Chocolate Girl" softened up the audience for what was to come. Then, as soon as the first couple of bars of "Real Gone Kid" started, the audience were on their feet and bopping around like teenagers once again - which is of course what most of them were when the song was first released 13 years ago. Newer material during the concert included "Rae", "This Train" and "A is for Astronaut" from the "Homesick" album released earlier this year.
The band has lost none of its charisma over the last 10 years, which can clearly be seen from this performance. The release for Christmas of "The Very Best of Deacon Blue" is well timed to coincide with this current tour which concludes shortly in the band's home town of Glasgow. The album contains 36 tracks covering the period 1987 up to the present day including two of the songs from the "Homesick" album.
It was a great show and one that will be remembered for a long time by the Deacon Blue fans in West Yorkshire. John Burland
|Newport, Newport Centre 24th November 2001|
guys will have to forgive me on Ricky's setlist coz until this tour I new
hardy any of his material. Needless to say I am now hooked and will be
seeking out both albums in the next few days.
Tonight was fantastic. The crowd were good - not as good as some and there were a few too many empty seats. Those that did occupy seats - SHAME ON YOU. Was there glue on your backsides? Lorraine looked totally shocked when even throughout RGK and Wages Day you all remained seated!!! Needless to say the hardcore fans at the front were larging it!! Nice to meet Kym there and Ali again...Ali's night was made all the more special when Ricky was all over her during Raintown....that's the redist i've seen anyone ever go!!
Ok - setlist...
This Train Will Take You Anywhere
Only Tender Love (which gets a special thumbs up)
Twist And Shout
A Is For Astronaut
Real Gone Kid
Deportees - i'm getting to love this!!!
I Am Born
Love And Regret!!!!!!!!!!
Silverlake - my fave off Homesick!
Fergus Sings The Blues
I'll Never Fall In Love Again
Wild Horses - magical!
When Will You Make My Phone Ring
Queen Of The New Year
That's my 3 concerts over - role on Ricky's solo tour!!!
Thanks to Ricky and Deacon Blue for making this year memorable beyond belief! ) Simon R
This was my final of four gigs. Very disappointing to see a part-full venue, but I was determined to not let it spoil my last gig! Much of the setlist was made up of the well-known songs. Ragman was fantastic...I really wasn't expecting to hear it! The people around where I was stood (right in front of Ricky!) seemed to be having a good time, but the seated stayed seated, which made Ricky's RGK rant seem much more amusing and appropriate - I didn't look to see if anyone did actually leave the building! Great to hear Love and Regret and I Am Born. But of course my highlight was singing along with Ricky in Raintown - I had little choice being held round the neck by the man but hey, who'd refuse?!! Silverlake has become a real stomper - but to be honest any song after Raintown had an extra special glow to it! I hope the people that were having fun, singing and dancing made up for the lack of punters! Ali :)
|Blackburn King George's Hall 25th November 2001|
first time I have been privileged to see Ricky perform his solo stuff with
a full band. It is always good to see the band being given full freedom to
do their own thing. Mick Slaven must be one of the most underrated
guitarists in the business.
The venue has only just been reopened to bands but one has to wonder why. The view from every part of the theatre is amazing. One problem with a hall like that is sound-checking. The hall is essentially bare and unupholstered this means the sound changes during a performance with everyone in place. The sound from the balcony was loud and at times, unclear. I was able to get into the circle later though and everything sounded fine from there. Personally that was no problem because I knew all the songs but my companion for the night had a little difficulty.
The set was interesting with several "new" live songs for me. Lorraine's performance of "Bethlehem's Gate" was outstanding. "Love's Great Fears" gave me goose pimples and it is easy to see why it is one of Ricky's favourites. The band showed an amazing amount of energy considering it is the last official gig on the tour. Everyone looked happy to be there and that transmitted to the crowd. There were the usual hecklers, which Ricky dealt with quite well. I noticed that any that he answered soon shut up. The "yeah, get some!" in answer to the guy who kept yelling "Dignity" through the solo set was truly memorable but it worked. It will be a shame if the band really does call it a day this time as Ricky suggested might happen but what a way to go out as far as the English gigs were concerned. Ian
|Edinburgh Usher Hall 1st December 2001|
|Glasgow Royal Concert Hall 3rd December 2001|