Homesick Tour 2001

   April 18 - Glasgow King Tut's 
    May 10 - Liverpool Royal Court
    May 12 - Nottingham Royal Concert Hall
    May 13 - Norwich  UEA  
    May 14 - Cambridge Corn Exchange
    May 16 - Portsmouth Guildhall
    May 17 - London Royal Albert Hall
    May 18 - Bristol  Colston Hall
    May 20 - Manchester Apollo
    May 21 - Birmingham Symphony Hall
    May 22 - Newcastle City Hall
    May 24 - Dundee  Caird Hall
    May 25 - Edinburgh Playhouse
    May 26 - Glasgow Clyde Auditorium

       

 

Glasgow King Tut's Wah Wah Hut 18th April 2001  
Deacon blue at King Tuts is probably the closest I’ll get this century to experiencing going through a time warp, as back in the mid-eighties clubs like this were the type of venue they performed in and the seventeen songs sang on the night a typical length for their shows back in 1987.

Tuts itself was very reminiscent of the student bars and clubs I used to frequent back in the late (very late) 80,s…people packed like sardines in a hot sweaty room with undulating floorboards creaking on every whoooo as Real Gone Kid thumped along as the opening song.

Others there had a sneak preview of the night’s set list and I was made aware that a few surprises lay ahead. I preferred not to know anymore but I didn’t have to wait long as ‘Bound to love’ kicked in.

WOW!!! I had on occasion by-passed it on the ‘Greatest Hits’ album but thought it was fantastic on the night and can see now why it was nearly chosen to be a single.

Ricky was as usual in very good form but was relieved it was the girl next to me he kissed I did consider asking when Lorraine was going to join in with the frivolities but she seemed a little too busy!! I didn’t miss the water spray, however, he gave the crowd from his bottle half way thru’.

It was great to standing at the gig and be able to have a pint or two whilst enjoying the entertainment .I think I had 6 by the end of the evening and ended up having a few drunken conversations with half of the band (hic!)

The new songs didn’t seem at all out of place which is good news and the live version of ‘Homesick’ was the best I’d heard til’ the STV show on the Friday which I thought was even better…The band sounded great, very full probably because they had four guitarists playing with them on the night and the intimacy of the club.

The cover of ‘The first time I saw your face’ went down really well and you could hear a pin drop as Ricky took the lyrics down to a whisper in typical fashion that we all know and love.

Ricky chose to sing the beginning of ‘Dignity’, which actually made a refreshing change (just this once) and it was funny when he changed the ‘e is for everything’ to ‘e is for ecstasy’ and the end of that song.

Walking around Glasgow helped provide a picture of all the street names mentioned in “Jackie’ didn’t smell any cabbages tho’ first thing in the morning.

The encore came Oh! too soon and know matter how loud we asked for more it was over…

I did manage to get a copy of the setlist, however, which interestingly had a different running order and two different songs ‘Out there’, and ‘walking back home’ so listen out for those on the tour over the next few weeks!! I’ll have to make sure I’m wearing my ‘where’s Jim T-shirt like the one Ricky was sporting in the latter part of the show…   Richard Waldron

 
Liverpool Royal Court 10th May 2001  
Back on the road, this time it was never likely to be a 'greatest hits' show, and that it wasn't,  having read that the opener was 'frankly brilliant' according to Ricky I waited patiently to be be amazed. And that I was , with the stage set and the aptly chosen Beatles track fading out, the a ccapella strains of 'Even Higher Ground' began to emanate from  somewhere offstage. Before you could cry 'Where's Jim?' he was there, with the band scurrying across stage to huddle around the centre mic still repeating that single phrase, before mighty Mick Slaven  roars into 'This Train Will Take You Anywhere' with that soaring riff.

The rockin' continues as they burn straight into 'Your Town' and the largely underrated 'Bound To Love'. Of course this time the band weren't here for fun, they were here to promote, so plenty of new songs were aired to a crowd who did seem to know them, with someone even shouting for a new song, a rarity indeed.

This time around they have decided to pick up from where they left of in 1989 with a short acoustic set, with the absence of Ewen, a new arrangement of 'Orphans' was played bringing back memories of Ricky's solo gigs. This acoustic segment also saw the return of some forgotten  b-sides, with 'My America' getting a well received airing as did 'Long Window To Love' later, even if Ricky did struggle with the lyrics somewhat.

The end is near and, as promised a 'Steely Dan' cover is played, though at this stage of the gig I think most fans were wishing for one of the remaining 'big guns' that didn't get played 'Queen Of The New Year, Circus Lights, Love And Regret, When Will You....' but they clapped and bounced as Liverpool crowds generally do.

Finishing again with 'Chocolate Girl' which once again was augmented by a soulful cover, this time the 'Delphonics' ' Didn't I Blow Your Mind This Time' which was very well received, if not executed quite as gracefully as we've come to expect, before again, rather abruptly  returning to 'Choccy'.

In reflection, this set was not the most foot stomping, crowd pleasing set they've ever done, with more new songs than we had anticipated and something of a stop start middle, the fans whom in 99 barely knew they had a seat, sat for large parts of the show. Only standing for the few big hits. The set could be improved with a little juggling, the late cover would be better received mid set I feel, and perhaps 1 or 2 less new songs. On the up side the intro was brilliant, and the band now augmented to 8 sounded as great as ever.

It wasn't a stomper....but then nobody said it had to be!! Neil Parry
Nottingham Royal Concert Hall 12th May 2001  
On the whole the gig was great. The support act were disappointing and didn't have one outstanding song in their whole set. It was nice to hear stuff off the OOH LAS VEGAS album like long window to love and the short acoustic set in the middle of the gig was great. I honestly think that every time they play live it gets better.

P.S. If anyone out there is still not sure about the quality of HOMESICK compared to older stuff then they are in for a great surprise at the live show..  Jason

Excellent! The band were just buzzing! This is only the 3rd time I have seen them (previously in 1994 and 1999), but they just seem to get better. The new material, especially "This Train..." and "Homesick" is as good if not better than earlier material, it's a shame that most of the audience did not appear to have heard the new album, let's hope they rectify this soon! Dougie's singing on "Didn't I Blow Your Mind" was a revelation! By the way, Murry the Hump were not that bad!!! Steve Clough

Personally I felt that Nottingham was slightly better than Liverpool, the crowd seemed to be keen; or was that I just got a lovely message from Lorraine and another kiss from Ricky.

The crowd seemed to enjoy the new material, just hope that they go and buy the new album , and put it where it belongs at the top.

Their entrance on stage is excellent and opening with 2 new numbers is a brave move, and works very well. Great to hear some older songs, like My America and Long window to love.

My voice is really horse after 2 gigs in 3 days, never mind I've got a week to recover for Birmingham and Glasgow. Deacon Blue live are just the best and few can match them Tonya

Hi, just got back from Nottingham. What a fantastic performance from db, didn't expect anything less. I thought it took the audience quite a while to warm up considering they played Your Town and Raintown early. Having said that I was on tier 1.I have found that unless you are near the front it does take a while for fans upstairs to get going. That all changed as soon as Real Gone Kid started the whole of the tier I was on stood up and danced and clapped. Even my wife lol. Then followed 4 slow songs, When Will You..., for me sounded the best I've heard with fantastic guitar work from Mick Slaven, I Am Born (not one of my faves), then an acoustic version of Every Time You Sleep again one of the best songs of the night followed by My America. I was pleased to hear my fave db song (especially as I requested it) Bethlehem's Gate, again guitar thrashing quality from Mick Slaven. For me the best surprise song of the night was Now That Your Here which I thought was the best live new song of the night. DB played !

This after coming back on for there encore. by now the atmosphere in the arena was amazing. this song has gone from one of my least faves on the album to my favorite.
I think the only song they didn't play off the new album was Rae, which I must admit was disappointing for myself (my fave album song) I was looking forward to hearing it live. oh well maybe next time.

All in all a brill night out deacon blue excelling themselves yet again.Cant wait until Birmingham. Thank you deacon blue. Bill Singleton

Well before I even review Nottingham I should state that it was seen an heard through the eyes and ears of the person if you look close enough (in the tour program page two) Holding Ricky's hand. Now good enough to even get to Tutts at all, but it was 'died an gone to heaven material' to be within hands grasp of Ricky for the whole gig. First of all you must give the warm up band "Murray The Hump" the chance they deserve as I did, You will then probably reach the same conclusion as I did "they are crap" so off to the bar for one more jar me thought!!

As in Liverpool the band came out onto the stage to the Beatles classic "All You Need Is Love" so if ya still in the bar an hear that music start you know its time to sup up & sit down. The set was surprisingly mixed with a lot of the new stuff off the Album being done, much to my pleasure I may add as I am in the "I love the new album camp". So for me that was good for others an I would say the majority not so the case The reaction to the new stuff aside from the likes of Tonya an Myself an a few others was sedate really.

The band rattled out the old classics which got a much better reaction from the crowd. Chocolate girl not one of my faves was very good I thought. I am Born was truly beautiful as was Homesick. Ricky was having a hard time with his voice he had obviously been struggling right from the start. Lorraine's voice however was superb easy the best I have heard ever. 

On the whole a great gig for the crowd, but as I only managed to get second tier seats so was well back an sat beside some quite boring people King Tutts it was not which brings me to the end as I started having been at Tutts in such a position short of havin' the band in my living room nothing will ever surpass that. so see my review with the tainted vision that it undoubtedly is.  Still Am in the front row at Portsmouth an still have Manchester an Birmingham after that so who knows, enjoy the tour friends. Rob

Deacon Blue shine again and again.....

I was amazed and thrilled by the reaction to the band when they came on, everyone was on their feet and stayed on their feet for 90% of the concert (downstairs anyway) this did not happen in 99 at RAH). A great start to the gig "Even Higher Ground" straight into "This Train...." (which is fantastic live, the band let you hear all 8 of them blast out their contributions) A brave and well taken decision, keep this up.

Silverlake was definitely a big big highlight, they projected 3 free falling spacemen on a screen behind the band, this was one song where having 8 of them made a huge difference the quality was out of this world.

I am so glad Jim brought his accordion, I did ask him to bring it when he did the Radio 2 interview not so long ago! They did ETYS acoustic, five of them sitting (Ricky, Lorraine, Jim. Mick, Taj) it was so perfect, a must for every concert, I cannot believe they did not do this in Liverpool. Ricky did say that the story was about "a torrid love affair in Nottingham" (at
least I think it was this song, someone correct me if I am wrong!). Do trains from Nottingham go to Waterloo?

Most of the old favourites were there, but missed an essential few like Town To Be Blamed, Love & Regret, Circus Lights, always loved by any crowd. Love Window to Love was not so well received as hardly anyone knew it, I think it was this song they projected what looked like savoy cabbage on the screen behind them! 

The set list seemed to lack continuity, every single song they played was excellent don't get me wrong, but the set list did not seem to gel. "I am Born" should have been replaced by Rae. It would of been nice to hear Born in a Storm before Raintown / Sad Loved Girl before Fergus Sings the Blues. I understand this is "old stuff" and they want to evolve but still......

The band themselves looked in great form, drinking more water than beer I noticed this time, Lorraine looked great, I loved Dougie's yellow tartan trousers (he made a great job of singing Didn't I blow your mind this time, a hidden singing talent in there) I wondered about Ricky's denim shirt, I am so used to seeing him these days in tighter T Shirts, he looked a bit older
in denim, also the logo "Carrier" on his shirt is a French Air Conditioning company! Where did that come from? Is there something I am missing?

Ricky was really quite funny during the encore when people were shouting out requests for Chocolate Girl, he went over to Graeme and asked "the big man" as he called him what he thought as it was up to him and then took him to the side of the stage put his arm around him and asked him what he thought should be played next and then Graeme launched into Chocolate Girl. The switch into the cover "Didn't I blow your mind" was rather abrupt and did not really flow naturally, in fact I was rather surprised when the band returned to Chocolate Girl as the switch over to the cover was so cut and dried.

I don't know if anyone remembers Loaded from 1.6.99 in Glasgow, that version sticks in my mind as it was so good the vocals in the verse when Lorraine and Ewan sung was just great with Ricky singing above. This time around they had Lorraine, Dougie, Jim and Taj singing and it sound too choir like.

The effort put in was just as we have learned to expect, they sound much more together, I left the concert hall wanting more as it was so good, I am learning to not like Dignity as I know the concert it drawing to a close..... I just hope the album takes off as the tour progresses. Well done guys. Alison Lafferty

Norwich UEA 13th May 2001  
No Review
Cambridge Corn Exchange 14th May 2001  
First tour that I haven't been able to make it to the Liverpool gig, but relieved to find the Corn Exchange packed.

It did seem that a lot of the crowd were unfamiliar with the new material, but the band held everyone's attention and proved what a great musical unit they are, particularly with the addition of Mick and Taj.

Highlights: At the risk of admitting to being a Deacon Blue "anorak" (as suggested by Ricky!) it was fantastic to hear "Waves of Sorrow" for the first time at a gig. Such a beautifully simple song - amazing live, and I didn't notice many people being tempted to dash to the bar! Hope the audiences at future dates are fortunate enough to hear it.

Great arrangement of "Every Time You Sleep" - should be as popular as "When Will You..." in years to come (see you all at the 2010 gigs!). As ever, "Real Gone Kid", "The Day that Jackie..." and "Fergus" got everyone jumping.

With the memories of last night, the new album sounds better than ever. I'll follow Ricky's recommendations and make sure it is on the Ipswich Hospital Radio playlist!

Thanks to all the band for a great night. Stuart Hartshorn
Portsmouth Guild Hall 16th May 2001  
Well what can I say - just superb!!!  My only complaint was that the show just wasn't long enough.

The crowd were a little sedate to start with but Ricky had us all up and dancing by the time Raintown came along (oh, by the way, thanks for the soaking with your water Mr Ross!!!).

Favourite for me, as always, was Real Gone Kid and I thought Long Window to Love was great.  Excellent mix of the old and the new and I can't wait for the next tour.

I was pleased to see Graeme looking so well - as did everyone else of course - but a little bit disturbed to note that Dougie was a dead ringer for Dale Winton!!!  (Sorry Dougie!)

Thanks for a great night out.  Sharon

It's Official They're back!!!!! I have to say I thought the band sounded fantastic yesterday...Quite possibly the best I've seen them, And they all seemed in such good moods...Ricky & Lorraine bounding around the stage in the way we all know and love!!!
I had great seats...Front Row centre, right in front of Ricky..

The Portsmouth crowd were a little reserved at the start....but by the end of Your Town, Ricky had got them on their feet and most of them stayed that way until the end of the gig!!!
I have to admit to a mistake...Remember me saying that originally I didn't really like A is for Astronaut??? I lied... I think it all came together Live...seeing Ricky and Lorraine doing there funky thing!!! Other highlights for me...The acoustic bit, I thought was inspired, even when Ricky forgot that he was supposed to sit at the Piano, to sing Circus Lights. Now he said he was playing this for a fan that requested it!!! So I'm going to claim that one if anyone doesn't mind!!! Or at least I'll share the spoils with Kenny!!

Also I was standing next to a gorgeous girl who during Your Swaying Arms just closed her eyes and was taken away with the music, to who knows where, but by the smile on her face...it was a good place...It personally took me back to my youth...before I got weighed down with work....listening to Loaded on the Chart show...Sitting in the back of a car with my mates singing along to Dignity...Doing the Dignity dance at Southampton...(Yes it was me...Remember. make a mime of Digging for Dig...Put your hands to your knees and then make a T with them... DIG KNEE T!!!! Go and show them how its done Ricky!!!)

I also loved the whole Introduction to the band at the start of Now that you're here...very funky... A suggestion though...at times it sounded like they might start playing, Satisfaction by the Stones during this start....maybe a possibility???
All in all a good day. Liverpool won the cup and Deacon Blue are back...as someone once said.... 'Everything's got easier since you've been around', Just please don't leave it 8 years next time...

PS I'm doing my bit for promoting the band...I found a copy of 'What you are' for sale for a stupid amount of money.....and then promptly left it on the train...So no doubt someone is sitting at home thinking 'Ricky Ross...Wasn't he in that band 'Deacon Blue'??? I wonder what happened to them????' If you're reading this enjoy the CD with my compliments...Oh Yeah...They've got a new album which isn't bad either!!! Ads

"PORTSMOUTH ROCKED"!!!

Having been on a downer about the gig at Nottingham a few days previous (crowds reaction to the new stuff, lack of joining in, Ricky losing his voice ect) I set out on the 183 mile drive to the gig with some trepidation as to what was to come. NO NEED!!! first up the warm up Band the Hump boys seem to have lost there initial nerves an were quite good, so give em another chance.

From the moment the band came on this was altogether a better gig. The Ross boy wonder had regained his voice an they proceeded to belt out top tune after tune. Watch out for Mick Slaven, he is a revelation, watch observe & admire his god given talent!! Highlights for me were the new stuff Homesick was a blinder, dare I say it even better than at Tutts, the crowd joined in it was top. Everything's got easier now that Deacon Blue are on tour LOL. Older tracks Circus lights slowed right down and done acousticly was a gem, Loaded as always, when will you make my (brain believe there is a better band anywhere in the world than Deacon Blue - I don't think so) Love & regret - Long window to love ALL WERE AMAZING!! 

The band were on form an I was loving it. Managed to make the Vipond laugh as Ricky was thanking the band. Still got Manchester to go and on the strength of last night I am now gonna attemt to get tickets for Newcastle on Tuesday!!  Rob

London Royal Albert Hall 17th May 2001  
You know when you look forward to something so much that when it comes its a little disappointing as you have expected too much - WELL FORGET THAT the Gig was every bit as good as I'd hoped if not better.

I thought the support were perfectly acceptable but we were all there to see the main event & the boys (and of course Lorraine) did not let us down. From the moment they started with This Train the crowd were with them. Your Town got the crowd on their feet followed by Bound To Love but an early highlight was Raintown which left me hoarse for the rest of the concert.

One thing which came across on the evening was how much the Band seemed to be enjoying themselves. They were all relaxed and clearly delighted to be playing live again. Tonight the chemistry between Ricky & Lorraine seemed particularly potent.

Personal favourites on the night were Real Gone Kid, Loaded (my favourite DB track) and of course Dignity.

The new stuff played really well live with Homesick coming across better than on the album & Silverlake already becoming established as a live classic. I hope Ricky & the band felt the feedback was positive to the new songs despite it being obvious that for many present it was the first time they had heard the songs.
Two observations on the night.

At one point Ricky commented "No mobile phones, No cameras & No Bootlegs - Bullshit". Well Ricky if you have the evening on tape I for one would love the opportunity to hear it again & again (my email is attached).

Secondly a few months ago many fans of DB must have felt there was little chance of seeing the Band live again but for Graeme Kelling the prospects were much bleaker. It was brilliant to see him clearly enjoying the evening & playing live again. Graeme you are an inspiration to us all and I thank you and the rest of the Band for a memorable evening. Ian

Deacon Blue at their brilliant best.  A great mixture of old and new stuff - the new stuff sounded so much better live - especially Homesick.  Here are my opinions on the set:

This Train Will Take You Anywhere (good song sounds even better live)
Your Town (an old favourite of mine)
Bound To Love (not one of my favourites)
Raintown (why wasn't this ever released over here?)
Out There
Twist and Shout
A Is For Astronaut (still can't stand this - worst song of the night for me)
Loaded/You Can't Always Get What You Want (highlight of the night for me - Mick was superb on the guitar)
Real Gone Kid (crowd loved this as usual!)
Rae (One of my favourites on the album but didn't sound as good live)
My America (Good acoustic version)
Every Time You Sleep (OK acoustic version)
When Will You...
Bethlehem's Gate (Great song)
Silverlake
Wages Day
Long Window To Love (One of my favourite B-sides)
Dignity
Homesick (Please release this as a single!)
Now That You're Here
Fergus Sings The Blues
Queen Of The New Year    Mike Ray

Bristol Colston Hall 18th May 2001  
In 1999 my 13 year old son volunteered to keep me company at the Bristol gig, but this time he was 15 and just as keen as i was to see Deacon Blue again. From the first strains of 'this train' we had the band at  their best, with the new songs mixing well with the favourites.

Ricky did all those Richard III poses at the mic and Lorraine had all the moves, dancing effortlessly across the stage in her olive oil skirt- and boots of course. For the fashion conscious Ricky was sporting a retro-lumberjack look.

The new band members helped to create a powerful sound and blended in well. There were a few nice surprises like 'I'll never fall in love' and 'long window to love'. Great to hear Rae too... one of the new classics. Best new band for 2001? John

Tonight saw Deacon Blue back to their inevitable best. The drive and enthusiasm that they showed tonight prove that they are not subject to the constraints imposed by the music industry and that they really believe in doing what they do.

The audience were fantastic and warmed to every song. The cheering and interaction were unsurpassable and I think that Ricky actually felt humbled by it.
Every song was played to it's very best. Two superb acoustic versions of Rae and Your Swaying Arms stood out but there was not a weak song in there. 

The anthems like Raintown, Real Gone Kid and Wages Day sent the audience into a frenzy whilst Dignity had a sell out crowd singing till their vocal chords ripped!
All in all this was the night dreams were made of... Simon R

My god, what a night. How do this lot keep getting better and better? From the opening strains of 'This Train...' we never looked back. Ricky Ross is an amazing frontman. He has all the rock-god poses and attitude that blend so well with his soulful tones and overwhelming enthusiasm. The band were as tight as I'd ever heard them, and the new members are more than a welcome addition with the inclusion of Taj on guitar alongside Mick and the wonderfully inspiring Graeme gave a fuller sound.            

Highlights for me were a gorgeous new arrangement for Everytime You Sleep, a nostalgia inspired Love's Great Fears and an emotional Homesick (which is destined to become one of the greats, I'm sure).

Overall a fautless gig. Well, almost. Next time Ricky does the band introductions someone remind him that he's got his wife with him too! See you all soon.
Many, many thanks.x  Craig Annetts

Fantastic!

Oh, you want something a little more constructive? Here goes..

I enjoyed the gig enormously. I had a front row seat which no doubt enhanced my experience dramatically. Last time Deacon Blue played at the Colston Hall I had a seat high up at the back of the hall, and while I enjoyed the gig I wanted to be much closer. This time being 6 feet away from Lorraine was wonderful. I may have come out with ringing ears but it was well worth it.

I thought the band were on fine form. My two favourite tracks got played, Bound to Love Again and Bethlehems Gate, Bound 2 particularly struck a chord as am currently going through relationship break up, and I've often found that particular song helps in such circumstances.

I was a little ashamed of the crowd for being slow to get to their feet, kinda understandable in light of the first track being a new one, but when Your Town kicked in I expected everyone to get to their feet but it took Ricky quite some cajoling to get the crowd up and on their feet. I must confess that, while I was not the first in the hall, I was the first of those near me. Once we were on our feet despite a few sit downs for the acoustic or newer songs I stayed that way.

It was great to hear some acoustic versions, sometimes I think there aren't enough of these and one reason for my devotion to the band is that they are not afraid to play different versions of their songs live. In fact I hardly listen to the albums but always to the live bootleg stuff I possess. This also contrasted nicely with Mick Slaven's classic rock guitar solo near the end of he show.

The newer songs went down well, I thought, since the album has only been out a little while and it certainly helped me to get to grips with the newer material, I had been slow to see the beauty in Rae and Silverlake but am now a convert to the new songs.

A real treat was definitely Long Window to Love with just Ricky picked out in a single white spotlight, don't think I've heard the song live (in person) before and this was a wonderful version of it.

Any songs missing? Well lots, but of those I really would have liked to heard The Wildness, because I like it and Queen of the New Year, just because it is the song which got me hooked on Deacon Blue in the first place.

So that's about it for the music, the banter between the band, with Ricky commenting that the band had lost their way recently with some people even stooping to appear on early evening TV went down well, as did the usual comments about football and politics. And the little audience heckling got a marvelous response but Jim did give in for Never Fall in Love Again as the final track.

I always enjoy hearing song stories, this time for Long Window to Love, and the inserts, Chocolate girl had a wonderful insert, shame I don't know what it was, does anyone else?

And Ricky, YES we do still love Dignity, I'll admit it's not my favorite song, but it is beautifully written and hits a deep resonance within all of us, so while I'm sure you do get tired of playing it, please don't stop, besides we all like a sing along.

Believe me now?  Chris Jupp

Manchester Apollo 20th May 2001  
What a fantastic gig. The band were on absolutely top form: their new stuff sounded amazing live - the old stuff sent the crowd wild. Amazing. Ricky was his comedic self, and seeing them back together again - especially Lorraine giving it as much energy as ever and making everything OK for us - was just a deeply moving experience.

Although I had the albums, I suppose I arrived late to the Deacon Blue touring thing, seeing them first on the Whatever You Say tour. Shame I missed them earlier! I've caught them on every tour since, and I'm never disappointed. I urge any hesitant fans to buy the new album though! Every bit as good as their previous stuff.

Highlights: the amazing things they do vocally with 'Rae' towards the end, playing 'Your Town', 'Now That You're Here' and the big crowd-pleasers. In fact, it was all brilliant. So brilliant, I just hope they're able to do it again in a year or two...

Thanks Ricky! Smiggins

I truly cannot put into words how fantastic this was.  I got the tickets for me and my fella for his birthday, but it felt like mine!!  I've seen DB live 5 times now and this has to be the best gig I've ever been to.  The new stuff sounds great, especially Homesick (come on Ricky sing it louder, you know you can get there!!) which will be a big hit if they release it.

Lorraine's voice was absolutely spot on the whole way through and is haunting. A bit disappointed they didn't do Everytime you Sleep though.  Of the old (but still brilliantly new) stuff the highlights were Loaded, Dignity, Real Gone Kid, Love And Regret and Fergus Sings the Blues (the new scottish national anthem according to Ricky!!).  We were right at the front leaning against the stage, but Ricky seemed to stay away.  Probably had something to do with the nutter stood next to us!!!  Would have loved to have shaken your hand Ricky - the MAN!!!  Michelle

Well worth the wait.  DB have not lost any of the old magic.

A good selection of song from the new album, mixed with the old classic's got the crowd out of their seats at the Apollo, a good old fashioned rock venue (not a pantomime venue, as ricky put it).

I just hope they don't leave it as long till next time. Mandi

Birmingham Symphony Hall 21st May 2001  
Well this was just pure class wasn't it. I think we've got the basic script now - This train steams us ahead, Your town and Raintown get the crowd up (earlier than last time here), a nice EYTS acoustic and a peppering of the usual crowd pleasers. Not a long show and the normal stretched numbers of loaded, Real Gone Kid and When Will You were somewhat shorter than we're used too.

I'm sure Homesick will be a crowd pleaser for the future but I am left with one fantastic memory. I'm in the middle of the front row singing my heart out of my tour shirt to dignity and Ricky decides to shake my hand. So surprised I nearly missed out. I really felt the emotion and passion these guys have for their music being down there amongst them. Yes it was pure class. Not quite the fantastic Ooh Las Vegas tour at the NEC, but its certainly up there.
Rick (NTMH)

Ah, heaven. Wonderful show, so much better than last time I saw them (at Villa Leisure Centre); glory days indeed.

Some details; The Symphony hall is an awful venue for a rock show (unless you're on the ground at the front) although the acoustics are tremendous. The support were okay; I think they need to decide what type of songs they're writing and concentrate a bit. Without their superb drummer to drive them along I think they'd fall apart (loved the Beach Boys cover though).

Deacon Blue; what can I say? Loved every minute of it. Good spread of material, the new stuff sounds much better live, and all of the the now eight piece band seem involved. Wonderful to see Lorraine whirling round the stage with her crazy almost staggering dance style, and she's in great voice too.

Ricky seems relaxed, and chatty. Good intros, fine singing and a splendid performance. he doesn't move about the stage as much as he used to but then we all get older i guess.
One last thing; if you've still got the pleasure of seeing the tour to come, well, i envy you heartily.

Best wishes all

Tim Dickens

SO...... Describe YOUR concert - As if to strangers? Perhaps I should just advise YOU to refer to the Thesaurus - Any listings under SUPERB should cover it. ( & yes, I have checked )

Need more details? Read on......

Three girlies travelled excitedly to the majestic venue. One having been dragged to anything relating to RR within a fifty mile radius for the past couple of years & now Mick Slavens' biggest fan! Another, strictly OLD SCHOOL, now resorting to using her faded OLV T for household chores? Myself - Embarrassingly humbled by the measure of talent from one man ( bit of a fan then? ) We expected to ENJOY, ( even though our seats were closer to the lighting rig than the stage ) BUT were not prepared for THIS performance - None of us left disappointed.

I really have tried to be objective here, although having only just descended into reality again, I fear a lack of criticism...... If pushed, perhaps Ricky's croaky voice / Loss of memory during 'A is for....' ( think ya got away with it ;) ) / & (really girlie comment ) Lack of seeing those forearms?

It KICKED OFF almost immediately, during the introductory 'This Train....' toes we tapping, & without any prompting, before the close of 'Your Town' the front two rows we up! This continued ALL night.... EVERYONE was UP FOR IT ! - Although the lack of mouthing the words, an indication of the poor record sales?

PERSONAL HIGHS;- Nina - Surely the HUGE cuddle from her ( ever approachable ) idol? And the transfixed glaze during 'Long Window To Love' Kerry - The ( campsite! ) acoustic section, To the rest she strutted her funky stuff with only SLIGHTLY less vigour to the tried & tested toons? Myself - The absence of 'Rae' was more than compensated for by hearing the thunderous ( yet always strangely tender ) 'When Will You........' So good to hear this classic with a FULL PACK? ( Ewan - You don't know what ya missing )

Also Ricky, in his endearing Jackanory mode? Confirming my analysis of 'A is For....'

We gave synchronized GASPS as two over enthusiastic youths stormed, & eventually made a pitch invasion? Lorraine dutifully handing them her tambourine - What a STAR! At one point I surveyed the band / crowd & witnessed what can only be described as the 'culmination of the masses!' Writhing & swaying in a euphoric frenzy ( honest! ) Leaving the suspicion that this COULD not last - To our delight the stamina of both prevailed. Hitting a crescendo during 'Chocolate Girls' effortless slide into 'Didn't I Blow Your Mind This Time?' In answer...... " OH YES !! " THANK YOU Lorraine, Graham, Dougie, Mick, Ricky Etc etc... For doing it so UNFORGETTABLY :)   Clare

So, you've probably heard it all before but here goes. I remember the first time I saw them it was the most amazing thing ever - but somehow the energy in this show was different. Yes we all go on about the old days when they played this place and that place but I can't help feeling something special about finally getting them back. Even in 99 I never thought I'd go to another DB gig with new stuff, and here we are. 'This Train' was an amazing opening. Pleasantly surprised to find I knew most of the words to the new stuff!!! I know 'A is For' is a 50/50 song with the fans, but I adore it - it just makes me happy. 'Long Window to Love' was just gorgeous. Lorraine's energy is still astounding! I hope they enjoyed it as much as the Brum crowd seemed to. Fab to see Graeme on stage doing his stuff! And yes, Symph Hall may not be the best venue for a 'rock' group, and it is a bit worrying on the front row of even the lower circle, but a pretty good atmosphere was flying. I!
n the words of Fagin, FARE YE WELL, BUT BE BACK SOON DEACON BLUE (though he never mentioned Deacon Blue in the film version). Ali

Newcastle City Hall 22nd May 2001
"This Train..." kicked off a cracking gig which lasted two hours and included several treats for a lively crowd.

All of the tracks from Homesick sounded great at King Tuts, but in the larger venue they sounded superb. I have to admit being firmly in the "don't know" camp as far as "A is for Astronaut" is concerned, but live it sounded great. All of the new tracks went down well with the crowd, hopefully they will all now dash out and buy it! Some people with me have not bought Homesick, but the gig has generated at least two more sales. I thought it was brave to open with "This Train...", but it worked. It's my favourite track on the album, and like all of the other new songs, sounded stronger and better live. The blend of old and new worked a treat.

The older songs predictably went down the best, with Dignity, Fergus Sings The Blues and Real Gone Kind generating the best audience reaction.

A real treat was the Ricky/Jim piano version of "Jesus Do Your Hands Still Fell The Rain", as was "Long Window to Love"...always good to hear tracks that don't get played at gigs too often. The encore included a great version of "Like a Rolling Stone".

All in all this was a great show, new and old fitted together perfectly and the band sounded as good as ever. I know Ricky likes to see negative as well as positive views, but I cannot think of anything negative to say about yet another wonderful performance. Having grown up listening to Deacon Blue, in good times and bad, the band's return has meant an awful lot to me. Long may it continue. Graham Fitzgerald

Hi all before I start ... I would like to thank the people who was talking though your town , and a thank you to the good looking girl who's mobile went off during Jesus Do you hands etc, And A hi to the other couple who got Rickys set list.....

Great opening to the show ... with this train Which Is really great , And got most people interested in what was to come.

In to your town .... The crowd where up and enjoying the show ...into Raintown and Ricky and the group are playing there hearts out .... into out there which was really good... AND THEN

Ricky noticed a few people still sitting , And had a word with them ... Twist and shout was next.... Every one in the city halls was up on there feet..
Then A low point of the night... A for astronaut.... I was feeling sorry for Jim ... He felt out of place singing it... And wishing He wasn't there...but Ricky was really pushing the song to the crowd

Then on to loaded , real gone kid , and I liked the way wages day blended in to the set list ...
Into every time ,,,,, And then A great Jesus do your hands etc  with Jim and Ricky
then It was I am born and love and regret followed by your swaying arms...
Silver lake was  good with the crowd and then It was all standing for Fergus .
Then it was a high moment for me... long window to love ... And on to dignity and homesick...

Two things about home sick .... The was a girl pointing to the astronauts ..and Lorraine noticed and laughed at her.... and the other thing I noticed was Ricky getting every one to sing homesick , So It would stick in there heads and buy it ... Well even I hope that the Newcastle folk will buy it ..

On to the encore..... Now that your here was very good on the night and then given a treat with Like a rolling stone.... Wow    And to finish the show with queen of the new year... Not one of my faves.

To be honest ...I though W B H tour was better , But that's because a lot of my favorite songs where missing , But after saying that ... The two hours only seemed like 30 minutes ... the night just flew in .. Malc

CLASS! from the moment the stomping 'This Train will
Take You Anywhere' kicked off, to the rocking 'Queen Of The New Year' this was Deacon Blue at their best. With a good mixture of old and new, the new coming across even better live! they performed a quality gig and the crowd seemed up for it, took a while to get everyone on their feet, but with a little help from Ricky (great crack) the whole City Hall was on their feet. 

All the songs were performed with the quality which we now all expect, but there were still one or two surprises, indeed looking at the previous setlists it varied quite a bit which is always good to see. 'Long Window To Love' is a song I have wanted to hear live for years, and it was worth the wait and proved an excellent song to lead into the legendry 'Dignity' followed by an awesome crowd involving 'Homesick'. All the guys seemed happy and relaxed, with Lorraine looking very fit and Ricky with his new sharp haircut! Its hard to believe these guy's ages! not that it matters! 

There was some wonderful moments, '! Everytime You Sleep' put a lump in my throat, as did the excellent 'Homesick' and oldies like 'Loaded' and 'Love And Regret' brought memories flooding back and its good to hear the song, where for me it all started... 'Real Gone Kid' just for old times sake, for we all love it! All in all last night was even, dare I say it, better than last year, with all the great new songs. I hope this is a new dawn for
Deacon Blue, and I hope another tour, and hopefully even more new material will spawn, for at this rate, with a sell out tour, and blinding fresh new songs, anything is possible! Andrew Hall

Dundee Caird Hall 24th May 2001
First off must say sorry to the support band - I don't even know if you played - I was in the bar!! Took our seats around 8.40pm and thinking the gig would kick off at 9pm was a bit surprised when 5 minutes later the lights went down and the sound of the train started playing. DB started full on with a brilliant This Train..., superb live!! bouncing into Your Town and then came Raintown, a blistering start that had the hard core bouncing. 

Out There came next followed by Twist & Shout which predictably got the hit seekers on their feet. A is for Astronaut followed. I must admit to having a dislike for this song, but it sounded great tonight!! Into Loaded, superb as usual, then the party started for real, RGK followed by Wages Day, slightly lower tempo for I am Born, Everytime You Sleep, then The Further North You Go, with superb vocals from Lorraine. 

Loves Great Fears was next followed by an excellent Circus Lights, then a truly wonderful performance of Silverlake, the!
n Fergus, Long Window To Love was amazing, looked forward to hearing this since I seen they were playing it on the tour. This ran well into Dignity and the place was rocking!! Homesick went down well, then Now That Your Here. Chocolate Girl was next but last and QOTNY finished off a great night.

The band sounded terrific and seemed to be really enjoying themselves. Looking forward to Glasgow on Saturday now!! Lucian
Edinburgh Playhouse 25th May 2001
I was put off from going to Edinburgh to see deacon blue because what people say about Edinburgh folk not enjoying themselves.... Well I needn't have worried .
It was one of the best gigs that I have been to and a great set list to go with it., which included chocolate girl , love hurts and bethlehams gate which was different from Newcastle .
the Band seemed to be into it more than Newcastle , Maybe because Its near to the end of the tour .

I am off to Glasgow tonight and if the show is any better than last night then we are in for a good night.

I do think that there will be gigs at the end off the year , but I am getting older and maybe I should should put my slippers on and retire from the late nights and long journeys .... BUT WHAT THE HELL YOUR ONLY HERE ONCE ......LOL      Malc
Glasgow Clyde Auditorium 26th May 2001  
Deacon Blue came onstage and started of with a rocking performance of This Train...., then straight into Your Town, which got Tonya and Mel on their feet and rushing the stage!! The skinhead steward was trying to hold them back but they were having none of it!! Eventually Ricky came over, tapped the guy on the shoulder and asked him to stop bothering the nice girls!! This was my cue to join them up front closely followed by hundreds more, including Malc, Linda and of course Mr Edwards. Raintown followed and I know I have heard the opening before but its still awesome.

Out There was next followed by a terrific performance of Twist And Shout which got the people upstairs on their feet. Next Ricky gave us some insight into what A is for Astronaut is all about, still not sure though!! The ever excellent Loaded was next and then the pace picked up even more as Real Gone Kid came next then Wages Day and the place was jumping!! Slowing down next with a magical airing of Rae!, followed by Everytime You Sleep.

Next was the big surprise of the night, a wonderful performance of Riches which Ricky dedicated to some friends who were going away for a year. Loves Great Fears was next, followed by the excellent Your Swaying Arms. Next up was a song that gets better every time i hear it, Silverlake. Then came the Scottish National Anthem, Fergus Sings The Blues!! Next was one of my all-time faves Long Window To Love, followed by everyones fave Dignity which got the customary reception!!

Homesick was next and this ended with the crowd singing it back - awesome!! The band went off for a few minutes before coming back for the encore. Ricky had a bit of banter with Jim and Dougie for their other "hobbies" since the split. A great impromptu playing of the theme tune to Sportscene by Jim while it was Dougies turn for some stick!! Then into Now That Your Here, followed by When Will You..., then QOTNY and the band were off again. After a few minutes they were back!  asking "Is there anything you want to hear" which inevitably launched us into Chocolate Girl followed by an awesome playing of I'll Never Fall in Love Again. This brought a great night to an end. How come DB gigs always seem so short...? Lets hope its not too long till the next tour, to be back amongst friends again!! I'm gonna cry!!! Lucian 

Just like to say That the Gig was mind blowing and The group at their very best ,miles better than Newcastle.

Well If  don't see the group again ,I know that I will have had one of the best years of Deacon Blue, even If we are a lot older now.

Thanks to all

Malc

Ps I know its a short review , But Lucian seems to have it covered , Apart from riches Which Was great to hear......... Thanks all and well Done , Its just a pity I only met a few of you :-(