Deacon Blue to headline HebCelt festival during 30th birthday tour

Scottish pop and rock legends Deacon Blue are to stage a headline show in the Outer Hebrides to help celebrate a career spanning four decades in the music business.

Deacon Blue's hit debut album Raintown was released 30 years ago.

Organisers of the Hebridean Celtic Festival have hailed a "massive coup" in securing the iconic Glasgow band for the event's Saturday night finale.

The group, who shot to fame with the release of debut album "Raintown" 30 years ago, will be performing at the long-running festival in Stornoway months before an extensive tour ending with a home town gig at the Hydro arena in Glasgow.

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Deacon Blue will be following in the footsteps of previous "HebCelt" headliners Van Morrison, Runrig, KT Tunstall, The Waterboys, The Saw Doctors and Dougie MacLean.

Festival director Caroline Maclennan said: "Deacon Blue are a huge, iconic band whose music transcends age barriers and I can’t wait to see them on the festival stage.

"Next year’s tour will see them play some of their biggest ever shows and we are absolutely over the moon that they have chosen HebCelt to be part of this milestone in their career."

The 30th anniversary tour is expected to see Deacon Blue draw from a back catalogue of nine studio albums.

The band said: “We’re really looking forward to getting Deacon Blue to the Outer Hebrides. People have been asking us for a long time and it’s great we can finally make it happen in 2018.

"We’ve heard great things about HebCelt and we look forward to joining you all there."

Deacon Blue, whose 30th anniversary was marked with a major BBC Scotland documentary earlier this year, announced in September that they would playing some of their biggest ever shows as part of their tour of the UK and Ireland next November and December.

Singer Ricky Ross said: "This will be the first we have toured without a new album in over five years and the announcement happens to coincide with 30 years of Deacon Blue so we’re going to make the tour a celebration of 30 years of the band.

"It’s an opportunity for us to plays songs from Raintown all the way through to Believers”.

More than 40 acts performed at this year's HebCelt, with nearly 16,000 tickets sold and the four-day event worth around £2.2 million for the island's economy.

HebCelt, which will be staged for the 23rd time next July, was honoured twice at the recent Scottish Event Awards, including the best festival honour.