Friday, 23 March 2012

Live of Live - Deacon Blue

Deacon Blue had seen themselves move from being hyped as the great white hope,  to stadium tours and big hit singles , through to becoming a marmite band and experience diminishing returns on their last 2 lps.

It wasnt much of a surpirse that when the roll of the dice of getting Steve Osborne in to produce the awfully titled Whatever you Say Say Nothing didnt halt the decline that the band called it a day.

Seemingly out of the blue there suddenly came an announcement of a new tour and lp. My hopes weren't that high as Ricky Ross's solo stuff up to that point had been a bit patchy. I bought a ticket though because I guessed it would in essence be a bit of greatest hits bash.

 I definitley got more hopeful when the lp came out. I guess written and released with different expectations, Homesick is a great set of songs. Gone was , and as much as I love these lps, the trickery of Whatever You Say , the preachiness of Fellow Hoodlums and the bombast of When the World.

If anything the lp was a soulmate to Raintown.

I've posted the lead off track Rae which is the kind of mid paced song with a great hooky chorus that they do so well.

The concert was a reminder of how good they are live with the new songs merging seemlessly into the set with older favourites and the odd unusual cover. The last time I'd seen them it had all felt a tad staged whereas this time there was a real sense of enjoyment and spontineity in what the band played and Ricky Ross's between song banter

Rae - Deacon Blue

You can buy Homesick here and if you like Raintown but not heard this one then I'd recommend you give it a go it would have made a great follow up


  1. "Raintown"... one of the best debut albums ever. "Hoodlums" was a nice return to organic form after misguided stadium rock attempt. Then another odd attempt at "Whatever." Actually there's a naked piano/vocal version of Bethlehem's Gate" on the Dignity EP which is breath-taking. I'm gonna have to borrow back my copy of Homesick from Eric. Maybe I missed something...
    Pale Rider was a nice little spin too.
    DB just always seemed to be under-achievers after burning so brightly at the start.

  2. Deacon Blue is one of those bands that I stuck by though their uneven, basically rocky, road. Ross is a singer and writer of admirable conviction. Sure, Whatever... seemed to be reaching for something that wasn't really what Deacon Blue had been about, but there are some excellent moments on the album.
    Homesick is like a bookend companion to Raintown. The spirit is the same, the players are older and the messages are more world-weary. It's a fantastic statement of live and love.

  3. Another trip to the attic.
    My dust allergy gets worse...
    I loved 'Raintown' but it seems that I didn't give 'Homesick' my best attention.
    I first came to the band after seeing them supporting The Bible at a lively London college gig.
    I've got the original demo of 'Dignity' on a cassette somewhere up in that (pigging) attic...

  4. I am a huge Deacon Blue / Rick Ross fan. Only last week on their Facebook page Ricky was posting stuff about recording a new album. Good news. I am with all of the above comments Homesick could be DB's second best album after their debut.

  5. Hi Tim - I've got that version of Beth's Gate (I may even have posted it) I agree it is a stunning version (I think there was one of Raintown on the same cd)

    Hi Echo I agree on Whatever (still a crap title though) if anythign after Your Town (which Is fantastic) I was a tad disappointed that they didnt push things furher

    Trev - start calling your attic a loft and it will do wonders for your dust allergy!!

    Thanks for leaving a comment David - great news about the new lp

  6. Blimey, next you'll be telling me that my pantry's a 'fridge' and the dungeon's a basement or, God forbid, a cellar...

  7. I just looked in the archives, and yes you did post the sweet bare-ass version of 'Bethlehem's Gate'. Your comments in the entry were very accurate I think... the Oakenfold/Osbourne production may have been the culprit; similar to Livesey's work on the sophomore album, although apparently that one sold well in the UK?
    I know they probably wanted to progress from Jon Kelly's pristine touch, and get grittier and noisier...
    But when I think about the colors Kelly added to "Raintown"... BJ Cole's pedal steel on 'Chocolate Girl', Chris Rea's scorching slide on 'Great Fears', the congas on 'Spencer Tracy' etc., there was a special chemistry there...
    As Echo said there have been gems scattered on all the albums, and I'm always gonna be a fan. I think Ricky is a real talent and a gentleman too. He may still have some goodies left!
    PS: The other piano/vocal tune on the "Dignity(remix)"EP was another beauty: 'Waves of Sorrow'. The acoustic version of 'Raintown' was on the "I Was Right/Riches" EP.
    I'll shut up now.

  8. Hi Tim

    I wonder about how much record company pressure there was after the relatively disappoiting showing of fellow hoodlums. They were the "go to" producers at the time for a remix and teh recordcompany must have been desperate to get back to When the world knows your name type sales
    On a sep theory the quality of deacon blues lps is in direct proportion to the quality of their titles Raintown and Homesick being head and shoulders above the others!


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