Deacon Blue King Tutís Glasgow
The Scotsman 23rd April 2001

EIGHT years after their Whatever You Say, Say Nothing album failed to set the charts alight, Deacon Blue hit the comeback trail - to a rapturous reception.

However, this isnít your typical gig. King Tutís plays host to a 300-strong audience comprised of Virgin Radio competition winners and Deacon Blue fan club members. Cults have enjoyed a less enthusiastic membership.

Hence every inter-song bon mot uttered by front man Ricky Ross is greeted with abject hilarity. He banters about Friday nights in Glasgow! He kisses people in the front row! But then again, there are few people here who wouldnít want to be snogged by Ricky Ross - heís hung on to his cheekbones and bounces off the monitors like a man half his age. To be fair, none of the band looks haggards and even bass player Graeme Kelling looks fit after his encounter last year with pancreatic cancer.

So far, so healthy. But what of the songs? New material from their forthcoming album, Homesick, stands up well against their older material. Silver Lake comes on all dancey before giving this bunch of ageing musos the chance to prove theyíve still got the funk.

Recent single Every Time You Sleep is typically pleasantly melodically sentimental, while A Is For Astronaut is a fine example of inoffensive blue-eyed soul, girl-boy pop.

Of course, itís the hits this partisan crowd go mildly mental for - Wages Day, Real Gone Kid, Twist and Shout, and the cringe-inducing Dignity.

This is supposed to be their relaunch into the land of pop success. For Peteís sake! Even drummer Dougie Vipond has turned his back on football commentary for this gig. Will it work? Maybe, maybe not.

Deacon Blue write pleasant, melodic, really quite nice songs and perform them with professionalism and a dash of charisma. But there still seems something ephemeral about their music. Itís all very nice - but you wouldnít really miss it if it wasnít there, would you?

As such theyíre perfectly acceptable. In the same way Then Jericho still eke in some cash on the revival/curiosity circuit. A pleasant evening of pleasant tunes the faithful can redecorate their living rooms to while Ricky íní Lorraine pay for that new conservatory. Andrew Williams