Review: Deacon Blue at Edinburgh Castle

Deacon Blue performing at Edinburgh Castle. Picture: Calum Buchan Photography.
Deacon Blue performing at Edinburgh Castle. Picture: Calum Buchan Photography.
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Thinking about the weather was unavoidable for concert-goers at the Castle on Saturday night.

Edinburgh had seen a mini monsoon in the afternoon and by time the gates opened it was a mix of rain, mist and drizzle.

Deacon Blue performing at Edinburgh Castle.  Picture: Calum Buchan Photography

Deacon Blue performing at Edinburgh Castle. Picture: Calum Buchan Photography

And Deacon Blue were here to celebrate 30 years since the release of their debut album Raintown.

As frontman Ricky Ross told the sell-out audience: “Now you know what it feels like to live in Glasgow.”

The only way to mark this anniversary was to turn back the clock, so other plans were theatrically tossed aside and Raintown’s tracks performed in order.

A good number of the audience had obviously worn out their own vinyl back then and would have drowned out Ross and Lorraine McIntosh if the acoustics hadn’t been spot on.

Deacon Blue performing at Edinburgh Castle. Picture: Calum Buchan Photography

Deacon Blue performing at Edinburgh Castle. Picture: Calum Buchan Photography

The album’s rain-laden lyrics seemed to chase away the Edinburgh drizzle and by the end of Side One when support act Gary Clark was invited back to the stage for When Will You (Make My Telephone Ring), the rain had cleared.

The frontman of Danny Wilson had earlier delighted the crowd with his own 1980s hits including Second Summer of Love and Mary’s Prayer.

As we “flipped” the record for Chocolate Girl, the thoughts of rain had melted away. Dignity had everyone on their feet – word perfect. The soaring piano and vocals of Town to be Blamed engulfed the esplanade (and we forgave its refrain of “Rain, Rain, Rain”.)

With the darkness gathering, Real Gone Kid had us back on our feet, Ross had his tartan jacket off and the energy levels were ramping. As Ross said: “It’s going to get louder.”

I Will and I Won’t, a track from Believers, last year’s album, changed the pace and showcased the way the voices of Ross and McIntosh still work so well together.

More of those harmonies came with the Bacharach and David classic, I’ll Never Fall in Love Again.

As the end of two-hour set approached, it’s back to the hits. Fergus Sings the Blues is as powerful as ever and then torches twinkle as hands sway for Twist and Shout. How could they top that?

“We thought that being in Edinburgh we had to do an Edinburgh song, so we’ll leave you with this one,” said Ross, before Deacon Blue closed with the soulful Proclaimers’ hit Sunshine on Leith. How ironic.