Ricky Ross’s regret over ditching Dignity from Deacon Blue’s live shows

Deacon Blue singer Ricky Ross has admitted he is embarrassed at the memory of dropping rousing anthem Dignity from the band’s shows at the height of their fame.

Ricky Ross formed Deacon Blue 35 years ago.

Speaking in a new book charting the 35-year-history of the band, Ross says he wishes he could go back in time to refund fans disappointed the band refused to play Dignity and Real Gone Kid, their first big hit, when they went on tour in 1991.

Ross admits he was a “pernickety asshole” and had an almost “bleak sense of Calvinism” about wanting to focus on new material.

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In the new book, To Be Here Someday, which is authored and edited by Paul English, Ross also admits the band blundered by ending the tour with a run of shows in the all-seater Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow two years after sold-out gigs in the SECC and Barrowland Ballroom.

Deacon Blue performing at the Party at The Palace festival in Linlithgow in 2019. Picture: Michael Gillen

Formed in Glasgow in 1986, within three years Deacon Blue had toppled Madonna from the top of the UK album charts with When The World Knows Your Name.

Follow-up Fellow Hoodlums had a more stripped-back sound and the band also scaled back their live shows.

Drummer Dougie Vipond recalls disagreeing with the dropping of songs fans were “going bananas for”.

He says: “We decided not to tour arenas off the back of that album. I don’t know what we were thinking. We decided to do smaller shows, make it more intimate, which on reflection maybe wasn’t the best idea.”

Ross recalls: “I dropped songs like ‘Real Gone Kid’ and ‘Dignity’ from the set on those tours, and I almost wish I could go back and give those people their money back.

“There’s a point you come to when you accept yourself, and you accept the popularity of these songs. A bit of me was a pernickety asshole, the way everybody can be.

"It was about manipulating the audience, telling them that these songs are just as good as the other ones. There’s almost a bleak sense of Calvinism to all that.

"But you learn the lesson that you can’t control these things, and people have every right to expect these songs, because they’re the reason they’ve come in the first place.”

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