Deacon Blue, Gig Review. Echo Arena, Liverpool. (2016).

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10

Deacon Blue just keep coming back to the Echo Arena, it would be astonishing if they didn’t turn up at the venue, unlock the door and make themselves several discerning cups of tea, such is the passion for performing in Liverpool and their fondness for the city’s crowd.

On the back of the band’s latest album, Believers, it was easy to understand the almost fever like anticipation of the Echo Arena crowd, the buzz of the younger element in the audience who had come into the band’s fold since they had started performing at the Echo in 2008 and the near frenzied thrill of those who had been with Ricky Ross, Lorraine McIntosh and every other member of the band every step of the way, all of this was as exactly as could have been expected, pure soulful fireworks, a set of songs that bounced like a teenager in the heat of blossoming romance and gently swayed like a new born baby held by a determined mother.

The Echo Arena has had the pleasure of Deacon Blue many times since it was built and the novelty, the pure enjoyment has never worn off during those years, if anything the headiness has gained ground, the satisfaction of seeing a truly great act more palpable and soul enduring. As the band played their set, as each song, from old firm favourite to newly cherished tone played out, the audience became more involved and by the time they got to the smash Real Gone Kid, the throats were already raw with the surging power that had been instrumental in them all having a great time.

With tracks such as Rain Town, Chocolate Girl, This Is A Love Story, The Believers, Love and Regret, the fantastic Birds, which was dedicated to the M.P. Jo Cox, Delivery Man, The Hipsters and Wages Day all filling the auditorium with passion and beauty, with four decades of craft and guile and it was one that could not be missed, a genuine and lovely reflection of a tremendous group still more than able to send hearts racing and pulses smashing against the skin with adoration.

The Echo rocked out, eight years on from the band’s first appearance inside the Echo Arena, there is still so much dignity in their performance.

Ian D. Hall