Realgone Gig
The Daily Record 2nd January 2004

DEACON BLUE Carling Academy, Glasgow, Tuesday, December 30

HE'S sharing his song writing skills with Ronan Keating these days, but Deacon Blue's Ricky Ross has presumably kept secret his uncanny ability to work a crowd.

On their second Carling Academy outing, Deacon Blue again showed the kind of on-stage passion which Mr Keating will only ever encounter when he's dreaming.

It's incredible that nearly 20 years on from their debut, and with no hit singles for 10 years, Deacon Blue can still sell out a venue of this size.

Opening with possibly their best song never to become a single Bethlehem's Gate and following up with the growling Your Town, the crowd were initially reserved.

Album tracks such as Closing Time, The World Is Lit By Lightening, Now That You're Here and the charming Christmas and Glasgow appealed to the more devoted DB fan, while the majority of the 3000 sell-out saved their singalongs and mobile phone recordings for the trademark Greatest Hits anthems. And they got them.

Fergus Sings The Blues, Loaded, Queen of The New Year, Real Gone Kid, Twist and Shout, a spine-tingling When Will You (Make My Telephone Ring) and a frantic Wages Day during which Lorraine McIntosh almost shook herself and her tambourine to bits worked the Academy into a bounce along frenzy. As for Dignity, these days the crowd do the singing for them.

Ross always was one for political statements, and his dedication of the winsome Homesick to the people of Iran and Glasgow's asylum seekers, was warmly received.

But not as warmly received as their surprise version of The Darkness hit Don't Let The Bells End, spliced into the middle of Chocolate Girl.

Almost as good as the original. Next time we see Ricky and Lorraine, maybe they'll be wearing all-in-one lycra.

After this reception, Glasgow would still welcome their most enduring rockers back, catsuits and all. John Kelly