Events in 1985 include, Live Aid, British Telecom phasing out their red telephone boxes and the launch of Comic Relief. Back then if you required reference to history your source of information was found down the local library, there was none of this Internet malarkey and looking up dates on Wikipedia hoping the information was reliable.
Another event in 1985 was the birth of Glasgow rock band Deacon Blue who, twenty five years, four months and fourteen days later are still touring the UK to their loyal fan base.
Tonight their silver anniversary tour warps up at the Camden Roundhouse and appropriately, bearing in mind the location, tonight’s 23 strong set starts with ‘Here I Am London Town’ taken off their current album, The Hipsters. The title track will follow another newie (That’s What We Can Do) after. So it’s not until the forth track in when the fans receive their first beloved number which comes in the form of ‘Your Swaying Arms’.
The rest of the evening setlist will sail a dignity wave which will ride the splashing classics (Cover From The Sky, Your Town...) with unfamiliar paddling tracks (Ragman, The Outsiders...) yet thanks to Lorraine and Ricky’s distinctive vocals even the alien songs sound like they have been on our planet for the past two decades.
‘Chocolate Girl’ reaches a sweet end where Ricky Ross introduces the rest of the band...James, Dougie and the aforementioned Lorraine all of which have maintained their stage presence since playing Saturday morning television shows and performances on Top of the Pops.
Another sure-fire crowd pleaser ‘Real Gone Kid’ requires a clap-a-long and the ambiguous attempts to drown out Lorraine’s echoing lines and of course those infamous ‘Woos’.
Ricky manages to show his Scottish charm throughout the two-hour set by antidotes, some of which lead into unforgiving links to their hits. For example...We hear how in 1996 the band decamped to a recording studio near Oxford Circus where they were ‘waiting for the phone to ring.’ Another comes from the day organisers of the Commonwealth Games came to Glasgow ahead of next year’s games; they ‘only took five minutes to decide on the venue as everybody was wearing tracksuits’ The organisers then apparently went to a lounge bar where they heard somebody belting out a song from the next room, upon asking the barman who it was, they were told it was ‘Fergus singing the blues’.
Escaping a comedy crook around his throat to be dragged off stage for his appalling jokes Ross balances up by leading his group through to a memorable encore. Once famed for their numerous re-appearances after their initial set Deacon Blue settle on just the one return tonight, yet in true Blue fashion just when one presumes the night is over Ross tells us that he’s ‘Not finished Yet’ and leads us through five more tracks including a cover of Twist & Shout by The Beatles (as well as their own number bearing the same title), Forever Young by Bob Dylan and three of their own favourites.. Dignity (*31) and Wages Day (*14).
*Highest chart position...according to Wikipedia as we didn’t have time to nip down to the library this morning to do our research.
Read our interview with Ricky Ross.
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