Gig review: Deacon Blue, Glasgow

Better known these days for acting and TV/radio presenting, it’s easy to forget sometimes that the members of Deacon Blue were proper pop stars, although their 25th anniversary tour last year and new album seems to have revitalised the band’s interest in their original career.

Warming to the Hydro, Deacon Blue return with Dignity for their 25th anniversary. Picture: Donald MacLeod

Deacon Blue

Glasgow Hydro
Star rating: * * *

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Returning to their hometown, Ricky Ross even recklessly pledges that tonight they intend to turn the Hydro into “a temple of rock‘n’roll” which doesn’t incite the sniggers it surely should.

It takes a while to warm up the crowd, who are finally roused by a hoedown-style Queen Of The New Year.

A tender version of 
Christmas And Glasgow is dedicated to those affected by the Clutha Bar disaster, while a bass-heavy Raintown seems especially appropriate on a drookit night.

The band have said that they don’t want to just play their greatest hits but the energy level is noticeably higher on old favourites like Real Gone Kid - which has the crowd jumping - and Fergus Sings The Blues, which culminates in Dougie Vipond hammering out a drum solo.

The band have always had a slightly earnest, journeyman quality, but it sits better with them now than in their younger days. Some of the more reflective moments seem a bit lost in a venue of the Hydro’s size, however.

An encore sees them joined by the Soul Nation choir for their single, You’ll Know It’s Christmas and a cover of Christmas Baby Please Come Home, before a sing-along Dignity rounds things off.

Andrea Mullaney