King Tut's Glasgow - Evening Times 19th April 2001

DEACON Blue turned the musical clock back at King Tutís in Glasgow last night in a bid to relive past glories. The Scots pop favourites, who had a sensational rise to the top following their hit single Dignity in 1988, launched their second comeback at the St Vincent Street venue at a concert staged by Virgin Radio.

More than 250 specially invited fans packed into the gig to hear Ricky Ross, Lorraine McIntosh & Co belt out old faithfuls and new hopefuls. The band split up in 1994 but reformed two years ago for a tour to promote a greatest hits compilation.

This time around  Deacon Blue have a new studio album to promote, but the omens from last night do not bode particularly well for their future. The concert did prove that the band retains a large loyal following, who will gladly play ball so long as the old hits are flowing. A smaller minority, judging by the somewhat muted reception which greeted tracks from the new album Homesick, will faithfully want to hear what Deacon Blue has to offer in 2001. Alas, thatís not going to be the size of fanbase required to catapult the band back into the charts.

This comeback is unique in some ways, but throws up more questions than it provides answers to. At face value, one is now looking at a band whose most anonymous member of old drummer Dougie Vipond is now the most famous face in the line-up, courtesy of a TV profile which makes Carol Vorderman appear a recluse.

But to weigh up Deacon Blue in a musical sense is to draw comparison with a motorway service station salad baguette. On the outside, it looked crisp and snappy Real Gone Kid. Dignity and Fergus Sings The Blues opened and closed the show but the unmemorable. modern day filling was the musical equivalent of limp lettuce and stale cheese.

At best, one can only but admire the glory days reprise that the original sextet. augmented to an octet for this show. provided. But the strength of the old classics only served to undermine the plodding artistic paucity of their new album. Back in 1994. Deacon Blue split following a run of Top 40 singles which were hits with a small 'hí. Seven years on. there is little evidence that the Scots favourites of old are set to recapture the chart glories that often eluded them in their supposed heyday. Fraser Middleton