Songs Sung
Evening Times 27th November 2014

DEACON Blue are set for a break - but not before they roll into the Clyde Auditorium for two nights next week.

The group has enjoyed a packed year, from releasing eighth album A New House to playing at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, and that means they'll be focusing on other things in 2015.

"We definitely won't be touring next year," explains singer Lorraine McIntosh, ahead of their Armadillo stint on Monday and Tuesday.  "I also can't keep taking on acting jobs and then saying 'Oh, but I'm not available these months of the year' and we can't sustain touring year after year."

The band has been prolific over the past few years. 2012 brought their first new album in over a decade, The Hipsters, marking a return to the classic Deacon Blue sound of catchy tunes and thoughtful lyrics that first shot the band to fame in the 1980s.

This year saw A New House released, another fine record that confirmed the band is back at its best. "I think it all comes down to Ricky (Ross), the creativity comes from him in the music that we make," says Lorraine, referring the group's singer (and also her husband). "From writing one song, The Hipsters, a whole album flowed and from there it was a like a channel opened.  "For a long time he'd found it difficult to write for Deacon Blue - he'd been writing for other acts for a while, and when he came down to write for us, he thought, "I can't do this any more, I can't think what we sound like."

"Then he lost that, and went back to the beginning, which was just writing a song, taking it to the band and seeing what they made of it." That's resulted in the band being back in the public eye, aided by appearances at events like the Commonwealth Games this summer.  "It didn't really feel like a gig because it was just one song, it was more like an event. I was really chuffed to be part of it," recalls Lorraine.  "I was doing a play at the Tron and was right in the heart of Glasgow every day during the Games, with all the good weather, and I felt so proud of Glasgow."

Both Lorraine and Ricky were also involved in Scotland's other massive event in 2014, as they campaigned for a Yes vote in the referendum.  Although disappointed with the outcome, it hasn't dampened Lorraine's passion for change.

"It was a very sad day for me on September 19, but with retrospect I think it's been brilliant for Scotland, and there's a legacy of a country waking up and realising the power that's in our hands.  "Scotland voted no, so people like me who voted yes can't be bitter about it. We have to accept that's what the majority of people wanted, but I live in the hope that it'll happen some day."

Back to musical matters, and Lorraine reckons one big change is that she has a better understanding of how to use her voice. "I've reached the conclusion that I've oversung on many Deacon Blue songs," she says.  "I love singing with someone else. I've never wanted to be a lead singer, but I now feel much more confident about how I sing and the type of backing vocals that I do. "When you get to this age you need to know who you are or you never will."