Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
Deacon Blue have performed at the Echo Arena almost as many times as anyone else since the music venue was opened as part of the 2008 Capital of Culture celebrations, quite simply they deserve that honour. Just watching them thrill the many thousands of fans that continually make their way to area of ground in a city that the band patently adore is enough to offer respect to them, they certainly know how to please a set of fans that are as loyal as they come and as hungry to show off their own singing ability as any.
Ricky Ross and Lorraine McIntosh certainly have enjoyed coming to Merseyside many times over the years and it this musical faith in a city that perhaps Mr. Ross only half-jokingly refers to as the holy city, that makes the Scottish band always make sure that Liverpool’s audiences get a nod, a huge hearty and heart-felt Deacon Blue embrace during the year.
Another reason of course is their style of music which is as infectious as it is liberatingly good and with perhaps the crowd’s eyes on money concerns for the festive period, it is a testament that the crowd always hanker for more and more of the pop/blues tracks that reverberate through each and every member of the audience. When that feeling is felt all the way through the set list, which is a size last seen when a select band of people signed the Declaration of Independence, not only was that heartening feeling encouraged by all in the building but the look on Ricky Ross’ face, the joy felt at watching Ms. McIntosh dance and give the songs the sound of intimate to the vast swathes then tracks such as the opener Circus Lights, The Rest, the bouncy Queen of The New Year, the superb The Outsiders, the retrospective adoration of Real Gone Kid, Chocolate Girl and Raintown were a welcome sight for sore eyes and lonely souls.
This was not just a gig though for the power to reminisce and the aid to lose yourself in music times conquered. The band showcased a couple of new tracks that were on sale just a few hours later including a very fine rendition of You’ll Know It’s Christmas.
There is something about watching Deacon Blue inside the Echo Arena, perhaps it is the feeling of safe understanding, of watching a band who knows how to make the entire crowd fall desperately in love with music built on sacrifice and the sense of belonging. Whatever the reason, it is never a bad thing to find Deacon Blue ready to supply the city with a great couple of escapism and sincerely delivered music.
Ian D. Hall