Ricky Ross Deacon Blue Are A Band Of Brothers For Lone Female Lorraine McIntosh
Daily Record 3rd October 2016

THE singer reveals it was tough being the only woman in the band at first but admits she loves it now and can't wait to get back on the road.

FOR 30 years she has been the only woman in a male-dominated workplace, a lone female voice in the company of men. In the studio. On the tour bus. On stage.

In the beginning, Deacon Blue singer Lorraine McIntosh felt being the lone girl in the band was a tough gig. Three decades later, she’s singing a different tune.

She’s been married to the band’s lead singer Ricky Ross for 26 years but looking lack on the band’s early days, the 52-year-old said: “It would be hard work being away with just these guys. “When Ricky and I were first a couple, it could be a very lonely experience. At times I got very homesick. “Our tour manager was Gill Maxwell and that did help in the early days.

“Now it’s different. Now I look forward to being with the guys so much. “I think of the other four as brothers. We have a good laugh on the tour bus.”

Lorraine will be back on the road when Deacon Blue take their eighth album Believers on a UK tour next month. It is a different prospect for the mother of three now the couple’s children have all but grown up. One daughter lives in Australia, another is heading to study at Oxford with only their 15-year-old son still at home. By the time the band split in 1994 they had one baby with another on the way. They didn’t tour together again for the best part of a decade.

Lorraine said: “I remember us doing a tour for eight weeks but it was only weekends, because our girls were wee. “Economically, it might not have been a good idea, hiring road crews only for the weekend, but we did it because the girls came first. Now the only one at home is our son. We’re hoping to tour in Europe next year and he’ll almost be 18 by then.” Their family home in Glasgow is the seedbed for most of Deacon Blue’s output, which has been more prolific than at any point in their 30 year career with three albums since 2012’s well-received comeback The Hipsters.

Most of the songs take shape in Ricky’s home studio. Lorraine laughed: “Ricky calls me the editor. Sometimes during writing, he’ll ask me what I think before we take songs into the recording studio. “He’s disappointed unless I have a strong reaction to the songs and obviously I’m not going to lie about it. “There’s a song on the new album called Birds, which was originally Birds Over Barlinnie. I didn’t like that, I thought it was too much. He came back two days later and told me I was right.”

One of the album’s strongest songs, The Delivery Man, benefitted from her “editorial control”. The song about the life of a delivery driver was inspired by a encounter Ricky had while jogging during a trip to Nashville. Ricky said: “I was trying to get this sort of Dignity-ish story in my head but I wasn’t getting it. She told me to start it again.” Lorraine said: “I told him it was about more than that. The Delivery Man is also the person delivering the message, which in this case is the singer. “All the singer can do is sing about his point of view. You can’t make people change their mind, it’s just your job to deliver the message.”

That track is one of 12 new offerings on the band’s follow-up to 2014’s A New House. Current single This Is A Love Song is her favourite on the album, which was released on Friday. She said: “I kept listening to it on repeat in the car. “When the chorus kicks in it makes me feel happy. I might be in the band but I’m also a fan.” Ricky has spoken of the central message in Believers as being one of faith in humanity, triggered by the unfolding refugee crisis. A line in the album’s title track insists on the belief that things are going to get better.

Lorraine added: “I live in hope that they will I have to. We have to hope and act to make it better. “It’s a year since Aylan Kurdi was washed up on that beach in Turkey and what has changed? I saw his aunt in Canada on TV saying that nothing has changed. So it’s about speaking for people who don’t have a voice any more.”

Pictures surfaced last year of a relief ship called Dignity operating in the Mediterranean. Lorraine said: “I don’t know if there’s a connection there or not. I’d love it if there was.” Paul English