Deacon Blue : The Hipsters
Q Magazine November 2012

Back together, Scotlands heartfelt hit-makers belie their cool first impression.

Wayne Rooney may count Deacon Blue's 1989 smash hit Real Gone Kid as his top tune, and a song titled Here I Am In London Town may kick off their first new album since 2001. But Deacon Blue typify their native Scotland's traditional inclination to search across the Atlantic, rather than south of the border, for bigger and better things. Named after a Steely Dan song, the band at first explored a beguiling tension between jazz-lite chordings and a Springsteen-style heart-on-sleeve emotionalism that foreshadowed Snow Patrol.

Today, taking a break from their other careers in TV, radio and lecturing, songwriter Ricky Ross and his co-vocalist wife Lorraine McIntosh, plus drummer Dougie Vipond and keyboardist James Prime, yearn more upliftingly than ever over 11 new pop-rockers, all bracingly redolent of rolling heather, Atlantic breakers and a manly hug.

The compassionate wife-beating drama She'll Understand is outstanding, but every song makes a powerful emotional point, even if over a stretch they're a wee bit samey. Mat Snow