Thursday, 21 July 2011

Life of Live - Deacon Blue

I'd seen Deacon Blue before just after they had released Raintown and it was one of the best gigs I'd been to. Three more lps had been released with the last 2 starting to show diminishing returns. I had high hopes for Whatever You Say Say Nothing. it had been produced by man of the moment Steve Osborne and lead of single Your Town sounded decidedly fresh and different. Not quite at the level of The Fly with Eno but enough to say yes when a friend suggested we went to see them live.

In the time since I'd seen them last the venues had got bigger and the show slicker, but some of the enthusiasm from the band seemed to be missing. They still put on a hell of a show  but some of the great extended versions and songs within songs seemed less impromptu and more rehearsed. I guess the measure is that whereas  both the first time I saw them and again more recently are burned on my memory, I can't really recall any specifics about this time

The lp when I bought it was a bit of a disappointment mainly I guess because it wasn't the experimental departure that I was hoping. The problem wasn't with the songs but the production ( I wander how much record company pressure there was to go with Osborne)

A few years later when the greatest hits was released one of the songs from the lp turned up on the b side of a re released Dignity and reminded me both of what I loved about Deacon Blue and maybe what Whatever You Say could have been like

Bethlehem's Gate (piano and vocal version) - Deacon Blue

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