Thursday, 23 September 2010

Life of Live - Deacon Blue

My next concert was to see a band that split my friends down the middle The ones who liked their music of the C86 kind saw Deacon Blue as sad Bruce Spingsteen wannabees with a wailing banshee as a backing vocalist. The ones who liked their coffee smoother, embraced "Raintown" as one of the lps of the year. I still think Raintown is great with big themes of "home, work and faith" matched by big music and big tunes. It felt like a concept lp complete with its fantastic Oscar Marzaroli photo as a cover

I saw them tour "Raintown" at Leeds poly and they played an absolutely storming show. All the songs seemed to have their own"live" extended versions with changed lyrics, new verses and snippets of covers thrown in for good measure. The crowd sang along from start to finish and after various encores the noise wasn't abating. Ricky Ross apologised that they had run out of songs they knew how to play and the band redid part of the set not that anyone minded. You got a real sense that the band themselves were shocked by the fervour in the crowd and responded.

I've posted 3 "b" sides from the time, less bombastic but good enough to grace the main lp


  1. I saw them in London; one of Di and my first dates. They were supporting The Bible. Not a bad night out. 'Loaded' and 'Graceland' were everpresent on the cassette player in those days.
    The only double bill that came close was at the Mean Fiddler, then in Harlesden, where I saw Nils Lofgren (complete with trampete) supporting Tom Petty who had just released his first album 'American Girls' et al. I've played that gig a few times myself since but couldn't hope to compete. It was there that I first met Marcus when we shared the bill with Brendan Crocker....
    Thanks, by the way, for your lovely review of 'Keepers'.
    Much appreciated.

  2. cheers trev keepers is still hogging the car stereo - best double bill for me was edwyn collins and roddy frame. the lpayed together alternating each others songs. They seemed to really enjoy each others company and songs and sparked off each other

  3. Roddy's in Edwyn's current backing band.
    Have you heard his new album?

  4. With you on how good Raintown was when released. But it's been spoiled for me in years to come by how much of a prat Ricky Ross turned into - and also feel it has dated badly. Deacon Blue were really massive up here for a while....sold out the 11,000 capacity SECC three nights running at their peak.

    Best double bills? The Fall/Cocteau Twins; James/Radiohead; Rik Mayall/Ben Elton; Morrissey/Sons & Daughters; and Buzcocks/Joy Division are up there. And later this year, eagerly awaiting Belle & Sebastian/Butcher Boy.

  5. Hi JC

    do you know if the BB are supporting B and S natiowide - if so I'm off to get my ticket

    I agree it has dated a bit - it is one of those lps and i have a lot of them that I like for their memories and associations as much as i do for the music

  6. Re: Best double bills: I once saw Clover supporting Lynyrd Skynrd (sp?) at Blackburn Town Hall in the early eighties.
    What was I doing there?
    I'd heard that Clover were the backing band on Elvis Costello's debut.
    I didn't quite get what I was expecting...

  7. were you kidnapped?

  8. sorry to say, but its a one-off at Glasgow for Butcher Boy as the support......



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