Royal Festival Hall 15th Dec 2014
Deacon Blue have maintained a loyal following over the years which is still growing, quite simply because they sing great songs that are timeless and universal. After a recording absence of 11 years their 2012 album The Hipsters proved that they were back in the game and Ricky Ross still is a songwriter par excellence. Their current album A New House has continued this trend and boasts some fine songs and great pop melodies just itching to be performed live.
Their set at the Royal Festival Hall is confident and filled with good time anthems like Real Gone Kid and Fergus Sings The Blues which guarantees the audience will get on their feet. It's clear early on in show that the audience want to have fun and dance, but the seated environment of the venue doesn’t really lend itself to a rousing rock show Deacon
Blue style. I've seen them perform in more rock appropriate venues like The Roundhouse where the audience can be more fluid and the band has more of a connection with the crowd. Seating arrangements aside, the
band sounded superb and the lighting was the best I've seen for a DB show; so hats off to the crew for that.
The set combined the best of the old crowd pleasers; Raintown, Queen Of The New Year, Fergus, When Will You (Make My Telephone Ring?). New tunes; I Wish I Was A Girl Like You, an exciting up-tempo song with a driving guitar riff from Gregor Philp and sure to be a classic Deacon Blue track. Bethlehem Begins, Wild, I Remember Every Single Kiss and the best of The Hipsters,Stars, That's What We Can Do - a track so infectious there should be a law against it! Sadly Turn was missing from the set this time, but the encore made up for its absence with an old favourite. After two years of waiting the terrifically underrated song Chocolate Girl finally appears in the set, (although the 2012 Roundhouse gig did feature a teaser version) and it's certainly worth the wait. Just like chocolate itself it's pure pleasure to hear this song performed in its entirety!
Ricky's lead vocals coupled with Lorraine McIntosh's harmonies make the Deacon Blue sound so unique and recognisable. Lorraine has a stunning voice and is a superb vocalist and deserves wider recognition for her work. Her note perfect ethereal, Kate Bushesque harmonies means she quite possibly has the toughest job in the band. Drummer, Dougie Vipond was also on fine form, punching out beats like Keith Moon, making sure that although he's hidden from the majority view on stage, his energy behind the kit could be heard along the South Bank. Watching a Deacon Blue concert is two hours of pure joy and escapism; Their music takes over the audience and provides a euphoric reaction you don't often see. Whatever their magical secret is, it's worked pretty well for the last 30 years and long may it continue to do so.