Deacon Blue, Caird Hall, Dundee 4th October 2012
The Herald 8th October 2012

YOU might argue that someone who recently declared their abiding love for Deacon Blue in this newspaper's pages would not be best placed to give an impartial critique of their live performance.

But you'd have to concede that if that same person had seen the group around 50 times since 1989, then they could at least offer a well-informed judgment, if not an entirely unbiased account, of the opening night of their 25th anniversary tour – which was, incidentally, brilliant.

The nigh-on two hour set traversed the well-loved Glasgow band's career, from the first Deacon Blue song (a swooning-Hammond version of When Will You Make My Telephone Ring) to highlights from new album The Hipsters (notably reflective hymn Here I Am In London Town and picturesque remembrance Laura, From Memory) via myriad classics from the Scottish pop canon – Wages Day, Dignity, Raintown, Your Swaying Arms, Fergus Sings The Blues and Chocolate Girl among them.

There were surprises, too, including Glasgow rap-escapade The Day That Jackie Jumped The Jail, and an unexpected sense of time-travel engendered by familiar gestures: Dundee-born frontman Ricky Ross'

social(ist) banter and hand-in-hair stance; Lorraine McIntosh's spiralling, tambourine-wielding silhouette; the songs that always gained new life onstage, like Loaded's long-standing "big, big world out there" live refrain, and the deferred gratification of Real Gone Kid's "1-2-3-4" stadium apogee.

And then there was This Changing Light, a shadowy-rock anthem that was fired-up with anti-Thatcherite wrath, and hope, in 1989. In 2012 it brought with it the realisation that no other band will ever make you feel the same. Nicola Meighan