Night's First Night
The Scotsman 27th March 2003
Deacon Blue Carling Academy, Glasgow
AS MUST-SEE rock concerts go, Deacon Blue playing their best-known album, 1987’s Raintown end-to-end is not quite up there with Brian Wilson revisiting Pet Sounds or Arthur Lee rendering Love’s For Ever Changes with orchestra (we have to wait until next week for that event).
But there was another aspect to this gig guaranteed to arouse widespread curiosity - it was the inaugural show at Glasgow’s newest music venue, the Carling Academy.
The support act, the reliably melodic Pearlfishers, had the job of christening the massive stage, and from the jovial expression on singer Davie Scott’s face, it looked like a brief he was delighted to fulfil. Unless, like his band’s music, he is perpetually sunny.
Deacon Blue’s arrival was like an instant time tunnel back to the late Eighties - which obviously won’t be everyone’s idea of a fun trip, but indisputably worked for the nostalgic capacity crowd.
Having gone to great lengths to avoid Deacon Blue in their heyday, it was a surprise to discover that so many fans still cared so passionately, and also that Ricky Ross appeared to have mutated into a gruff old socialist war horse, eulogising Tommy Sheridan and preaching to the converted about the war in Iraq. What was far less surprising was the worthy world-weariness of the music.
At least the band were commendably comfortable with their past, showing contemporary footage of them larking about like stage school rejects on a screen .
In many ways, inviting yesterday’s local heroes to open the academy was the ideal test drive.