'It's been a very long gap': Deacon Blue release their first studio album in 11 years but have still captured their unique sound
The Daily Mail 13th September 2012
It’s been 11 years since Deacon Blue released their last album, but the Scottish band are back.
Ricky Ross, James Prime, Lorraine McIntosh and Dougie Vipond release their latest record, The Hipsters this month, and will set off on a tour of the UK in October but this hasn’t been a plan that has been years in the making,
‘It has been a very long gap,’ said front man Ricky Ross. ‘We haven’t sat down and had a burning desire to do a new record for a while and then eventually it became obvious with the last compilation album and a couple of years after that, that you can do it.’
They're back! Deacon Blue will release their first album in 11 years this month entitled The Hipsters
However, the Dundee-born singer admitted that the songs on the new album aren’t tracks that he has been developing over the last decade.
'It wasn’t something that I was sitting there and thinking about,’ he explained.
‘I’ve been writing for other people, and doing other work, so once I got the idea that a new Deacon Blue record was what everyone wanted to do, once that came together, I started to really get into a groove of writing songs.
‘It started with The Hipsters - the song that got me quite excited because I thought: “that’s good, I can make this sound like Deacon Blue.”
‘That really got things moving and there was a lot of thinking about the past and the things we’ve done together, but that doesn’t seep into every song but there’s a lot of it running through the album, definitely.’
In some ways, Ricky says it feels that the band never stepped away from making music together, saying: ‘I think the nice thing about now is, we all do enough different things to make us feel that we really enjoy making music together and that we’ve come back just to do that.’
However, he does admit that The Hipsters does differ from the music they have made in the past but that the feedback they’ve been getting is that they’ve still managed to capture their unique sound.
‘People have been saying it sounds like the band, which is great because I want it to sound like Deacon Blue, but there becomes a point where you just have to hand it over and hope that people like it.’
On the road again: The Scottish band will embark on a UK tour following the release of their new record
Ricky recognises that the music industry and the way in which bands can promote their music has changed a lot since they burst onto the scene in the Eighties, but the band are more than happy to go along with it.
‘We use social media,’ he explained. ‘I embraced that early on and I always felt a bit annoyed that the music business didn’t embrace it as much.
‘The whole ownership of records has just changed beyond all recognition, you’re talking about change that has happened since we’ve started and it’s all happened very quickly. It changes what you do, it changes what we do.’
The band are regularly updating their Facebook page and tweeting in order to keep their fans up-to-date because they like the ‘instant chance to communicate.’
Ricky went on to say that there’s all different levels of demands from their fans, and this is something that he likes to keep in mind when preparing the set list for show.
The Hipsters will be released on September 24
‘You’ll get a whole lot of people who will be very happy for you to come and play their favourite songs, as long as you do that, they’re quite happy,’ he explained.
‘And there’s another set of fans, a smaller number, who love to have something new, and then there’s another group who are also desperate to hear every single song that’s unreleased. The thing is you’ve got to keep all of them happy.’
Deacon Blue are beginning rehearsals for their 15 date tour, but other than that, Ricky admitted that the band don’t ‘tend to make big plans.’
‘We’ve not really thought beyond the end of the tour, simply because people want to get back to doing other things as well,’ he said.
‘Immediately people will probably return to the other things they were doing and as time moves on we’ll probably release another single and maybe do some other shows. I think this record will mean we’ll be back on the road next year.’ Kirsty McCormack