Deacon Blue Edinburgh Usher Hall 8th October 2012
The Scotsman 9th October 2012

“I’m TOO old,” hollered Ricky Ross, dropping to his knees at the end of an inevitably lively Fergus Sings the Blues, “get a younger model!”

At 54 he may be closer to that period in a pop artist’s life when their key works are referred to as classic, but the recent UK Top 20 showing of The Hipsters – Deacon Blue’s first new studio album in 11 years – has revealed the Glasgow-based band’s near ageless vitality to be not just a result of the eager nostalgia of Scots crowds.

Once more comprising original members Dougie Vipond and James Prime, this latest iteration of Deacon Blue as ever base much of their success on the infectious vocal interplay between Ross and his wife and co-singer Lorraine McIntosh, he singing rock ‘n’ roll and she singing soul, and both voices infused with just a hint of a country twang. Early-career tracks like Real Gone Kid, When Will You (Make My Telephone Ring) and Raintown are soulful, intelligent and distinctive songs, but it’s the voices which infuse them with the certain blend of romance and yearning which cause them to still endure.

That the new songs didn’t sound out of place in such company – Stars was a particularly strident highlight – was a pleasant surprise, while the inclusion of Woody Guthrie’s I Aint Got No Home In This World Anymore at the end of Loaded, the Beatles’ Twist and Shout within their own song of the same name and a semi-acoustic finale of Bob Dylan’s Forever Young testified to the richness of their own influences. It’s company they belong in.