Glasgow Carling Academy
The Scotsman 1st January 2005

SCOTTISH guitar music is considered to be pretty cool nowadays. Yet back in the late 1980s, certain bands were doing their best to bring down this country’s credibility in the pop world, and right up there with Wet Wet Wet and The Proclaimers were Deacon Blue; six badly dressed kids with a penchant for anthemic choruses.

They parted company in the early 1990s, but at the Carling Academy they seemed glad to be playing together again in front of a seething mass of friends, family and hysterical fans.

The band appeared on a smoke-filled stage to a heroes’ welcome, but a rather half-hearted delivery of the first three tracks, with singer Ricky Ross standing subdued in front of his microphone, eyes shut, meant the atmosphere remained flat until Your Town united people in rowdy song. From then on, everyone seemed to loosen up, the singer flinging off his jacket, belting out his trademark lispy vocal and lolloping around his bandmates while wife Lorraine McIntosh bounced back and forth, tossing her curls, the chemistry between the pair still palpable as they snuggled up to each other during harmonies.

This special show promised all the singles, and Deacon Blue delivered with Chocolate Girl, Dignity, I’ll Never Fall In Love and Real Gone Kid all making triumphant appearances, but these catchy hits were then marred by a hideously saccharine cover of Stand By Me and a smattering of plodding new efforts, the worst easily being Every Time You Sleep from the 2001 LP Homesick.

Embarrassingly unfunny jokes from Ross didn’t help matters either, the singer at one point waving a limp white towel tied to a mic stand shouting: "I surrender to rock ’n’ roll" and making cheesy references to snow resulting in heaps of the artificial stuff being blasted out at crowd and band alike after an encore of Fergus Sings The Blues.

Still painfully un-hip, Deacon Blue’s performance ultimately dipped more than it soared, tedious soft-rock tunes with forgettable melodies outnumbering the more upbeat efforts.

Camilla Mia