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Deacon Blue to play Liverpool in 2023 – here are 5 reasons why we love them

2 years ago

Deacon Blue to play Liverpool in 2023 – here are 5 reasons why we love them

Deacon Blue have announced they are playing Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena next year as part of their All the Old 45s Greatest Hits tour.

It’s 35 years since the Glasgow band released their first single Dignity. A string of massive hits, sell out tours, a break-up and reunion followed.

Now they are digging out all their old 45s and playing a very special two-part tour with no support.

Each gig will feature the band performing a stripped back acoustic section of album tracks and favourites reinterpreted. Then, they will return for a second half packed with all the big singalongs like Loaded, Wages Day and Real Gone Kid, which gives the tour its name from the lyric “I’ll play you old 45s”.

Lead singer Ricky Ross said: “We’ve decided to play a Greatest Hits show with a difference. Yes, we intend to play all (or nearly all) the old 45s, but we also want the first half of the evening to be an intimate acoustic performance, the band gathered round the piano with acoustic guitars and whatever Dougie decides to hit.

“We’ll take a short break then come back and make a lot of noise. We hope you can be part of that noise.”

Deacon blue

Here are five reasons why we love Deacon Blue.

Deacon Blue love Liverpool

Like many Glaswegians, Ricky, his wife and co-singer Lorraine MacIntosh and the group see Liverpool as something of a second home for the band.

In fact, in the book To Be Here Someday by acclaimed journalist and Deacon Blue fan Paul English there is a whole chapter entitled Never Alone in Liverpool.

At the Royal Court in 1989, in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster, the band were handed letters by fans asking if they could somehow address how the audience were feeling in response to the loss of life, injuries and immense trauma of what had happened.

They performed the song Take Me to the Place, written in honour of their late friend the photographer Oscar Marzaroli. The crowd watched in silence before they broke into a moving rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone.

The night had a huge impact on the band and the already strong relationship with the city was cemented forever.

They sing a Beatles song (kind of)

Twist and Shout was the second single from the group’s third album Fellow Hoodlums. It marked a change in sound from the previous big pop tunes of previous long player When the World Knows Your Name, and this catchy singalong reached no.10 in the UK charts.

The story goes that Ricky wrote it while the band were on tour and Lorraine was in hospital – so that would make her the “pale girl in the blue room”.

The song is a regular on the band’s live setlists, so we should get to hear it in September, and wouldn’t it be great if they mixed in the Beatles’ version too? They have in the past and we know they are Beatles fans.

Watch this space.

Deacon Blue on stage Credit – Alan Wylie

They have some of the best live singalong songs

Dignity is arguably Deacon Blue’s best-known song and is always a pivotal moment in any of their gigs. The ode to the working man and the dignity of work has real resonance for a city like Liverpool and crowds always join in with feeling.

But the singalongs don’t stop there. Anthems like Loaded, Raintown and Fergus Sings the Blues are live favourites, while Wages Day is the perfect ode to workers everywhere and the fun we all have when we get paid.

Whether you’re a lifelong or a more casual fan, a Deacon Blue gig will leave you hoarse from all that singing.

The front man – and woman.

Ricky and Lorraine have one of the most enduring marriages and musical partnerships in showbiz. They are also a brilliant double act on stage.

Their voices perfectly blend to create the big sound they are famous for and Lorraine’s sweeping performances on songs like Cover from the Sky are a highlight of any gig.

Ricky has written some of the best songs released in the last 35 years and he and Lorraine, backed by their brilliant band, never disappoint at live performances.

They have an enduring and talented line-up

Along with Ricky and Lorraine, original band members James Prime on keyboards and drummer Dougie Vipond are still part of the line-up.

They were joined by Gregor Philp on guitar and bassist Lewis Gordon some years ago who slotted into the group easily.

The enduring friendship of the band and obvious chemistry on-stage is always a highlight of their live performances. Dougie is an accomplished drummer and also now a TV presenter. James’ keys on songs like When Will You Make My Telephone Ring are renowned.

Tragically original guitarist Graeme Kelling died of pancreatic cancer in 2004 aged 47. Original bass player Ewan Vernal played with the band on studio recordings after they reformed in 1999 but didn’t continue as a permanent member.

Deacon Blue play the M&S Bank Arena on 15 September 2023. See the website for how to book tickets.


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