Something Old And New From True Blue
Daily Post 27th March 2002

LIKE many members of rock groups, Ricky Ross always fancied going solo. 

He was the Dundee-born singer - and former teacher - who in 1982 helped form the highly successful band Deacon Blue. 

Ross always fancied himself as a songwriter and even in the preDeacon Blue days sent a solo tape to several music publishers in London. 

They suggested he create a group. 

Deacon Blue was the result, named after a Steely Dan song, and with Ross's writing and singing abilities, the band made it big, largely as an album band. 

In 1987, the first album Raintown was released to much acclaim and there were more to follow. 

By the following year the band was headlining its own tours and the next year making a name in the USA. 

For a while the band disappeared from the scene but last year they were back with two albums and a sold-out national tour. 

Ross might have been happy to sit back and enjoy the cash and success. 

Instead, he's been making a solo album and prepared to tour on his own, a tour which includes Liverpool's Neptune Theatre on May 1. 

The new album This Is The Life has made Ross very happy. 

"I'm extremely pleased with it, " he says. "It was actually recorded almost two years ago but part of the arrangement for the new record deal was that we put the Deacon Blue CD Homesick out first. So it's taken a while." 

He didn't find it too frustrating "I'm writing all the time and the shows we did live last year with Deacon Blue were fantastic, " he says. 

"It makes it all the sweeter for the wait now that the album is finally here and ready to go." 

He will also be including Deacon Blue material at his Liverpool date, however. "I realise the vast majority of fans coming to the show will be Deacon Blue fans, " he says. 

"The idea is to play everything, revisiting some of the less obvious older numbers too, drawn from all the Deacon Blue and solo albums back catalogue. Old songs, new versions." 

He admits he prefers playing solo than with the band. 

"Scarier, but more enjoyable as a result. I have to give more of myself. 

You create your own intimacy with the crowd when you're in smaller venues. And the acoustic format immediately brings you in so much closer to the people." Philip Key