DEACON BLUE ***
CARLING ACADEMY, GLASGOW
IN MARCH 2003, Deacon Blue were deemed the ideal act to play the first gig in the Academy. The choice had nothing to do with reflecting the contemporary gig scene and everything to do with raising the rafters on the newest venue in a city they like to call Raintown.
More than four and a half years later, it's the same story. Deacon Blue are prized by their fans for the purposes of nostalgic celebration, for the pleasure of singing along to your favourite songs from those Jockrock days of yore at the top of your lungs in the company of 2,500 other like-minded souls.
But a condition of their continuing popularity is that development is not really an option. Performances such as this one are about delivering the hits.
The band kept themselves amused in benign ways such as inserting snippets of other people's songs into theirs, or Ricky Ross adopting the persona of a testifying preacher. As for stimulation, they only had to drink in the jubilant response from the crowd.
Ironically, the most popular singalong of the night was not for a song of their own, but for their version of Bacharach & David's I'll Never Fall In Love Again. Or it was, until the intro to Dignity was identified and the crowd took over lead vocals, leaving Ross to play catch-up. Finally, the band indulged themselves a little with an encore stuffed full of covers.
If Deacon Blue are happy with the nostalgia ticket, then they could play this home game for decades to come.