Gig review: Deacon Blue, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Deacon Blue
Deacon Blue
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Deacon Blue’s music means so much to so many.

* * *

They were never the coolest, it’s fair to say. Yet they did, however, sell out the Usher Hall last night as part of their 25th anniversary tour.

“Some people’s marriages don’t last that long,” said one female fan outside, prior to the show. “What’s your favourite song?” demanded another. “I saw them in 1987, back in the day,” someone shouted.

Clearly, many grew up listening to the group on dodgy Ford Fiesta cassette players, and continue to do so via the iPod in their People Carriers. Unsurprisingly, then, the air was thick with nostalgia. Even tunes from DB’s latest album – the ironically-titled The Hipsters – had its eyes looking very much back the way.

Opening the set with Here I Am In London Town – a mellow reflection about life in the band – Ricky Ross exemplified why he is the finest man to fashion the jeans and suit-jacket look.

The others members soon followed, and we were off; old faves Chocolate Girl and Real Gone Kid asserting Ross’s intention that tonight’s tunes would make you sing, break your heart, and put your daily worries behind you for a couple of hours.

Ross loves a blether, though, so when he wasn’t waffling about the poll tax days, he was cracking the audience up with a tale about the Commonwealth Games chiefs and how they quickly took to Glasgow when they realised everyone in the east end wore tracksuits.

The odd heckler, meanwhile, was quickly reminded that Ross was once a teacher, many women shouted for drummer Dougie Vipond throughout, and vocalist Lorraine McIntosh is still an expert in swaying her arms a lot.

But let’s be honest. People come to watch Deacon Blue because they want to hear the hits and remind themselves of when they were younger. And that’s precisely what they received. Newer parent-pop material was politely tolerated, but hearing the likes of Raintown, Dignity, etc. proves why fans still come out to see them perform 25 years on. It lasts.