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Deacon Blue

Around this time 2 years ago we got The Singles Collection. 2 years on there's a recession on, so time to milk the back catalogue one more time? And to top up the bank balance Ricky Ross and Co are playing support on Simple Minds 30th anniversary tour. Strange gig mates perhaps given Simple Minds rock heritage and Deacon Blue's more pop tendencies. But then they are both from Glasgow.

Although essentially a vehicle for the song writing talents of front man Ricky Ross, Deacon Blue do at least retain a solid core of their original line up in the form of spouse Lorraine McIntosh on support vocals, James Prime on keyboards and Dougie Vipond on drums. And on this 15 track set (16 if you count the bonus dvd track Homesick) recorded in November 2007 you get 11 of their obligatory hits plus Your Constant Heart, Every Time You Sleep, Raintown, and When James Joyce Sings.

For the fan/collector this is an attractive package - reasonably priced and including the concert in both cd and dvd format. Plus, with the dvd, you get an ‘exclusive' interview, a photo gallery and bonus footage.

The DVD is nicely shot, well edited and the sound is spot on. But what comes as a bit of a shock is that while the Deacon Blue catalogue has retained an almost timeless appeal, the band, like the rest of us have aged a bit over the intervening decades.

The set has, of course, been edited down to CD length, a full 2007 tour gig having already been captured on the strictly limited 2 cd Live At The Corn Exchange 2007. So fans may feel a little short changed that the DVD, at least, doesn't capture the full enchilada.

But I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by the warmth and charm of the set. The package is a worthy addition to the band's catalogue that will be no doubt be treasured by fans. And those that may have thought it just a money-spinner - shame on you.


Review by Pete Whalley

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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