- 24 Jul 17
Shortly to hit the Punchestown Music Festival, Ricky Ross of Scottish pop heroes Deacon Blue on massive chart success, their celebratory live shows, and encountering legendary Beatles producer George Martin.
Of the sizeable crop of Scottish pop-rock bands that emerged in the mid-1980s – including Wet Wet Wet, Danny Wilson and Hue & Cry – Deacon Blue have remained among the most enduring. Their appeal and longevity isn’t all that difficult to work out. Fronted by the easy-on-the-eye husband and wife team of Ricky Ross and Lorraine McIntosh, the Glasgow outfit perfected a brand of intelligent, melodic pop, combined with a formidable live prowess that has stood to them through the years.
Taking their name from a Steely Dan song, their million-selling debut album, 1987’s Raintown, included hits like ‘Dignity’, ‘Chocolate Girl’ and the gloriously melodramatic ‘When Will You Make My Telephone Ring’. But it was the follow-up album, When The World Knows Your Name, that launched them into the big time. Featuring radio and dancefloor staples such as “Real Gone Kid’ and ‘Fergus Sings the Blues’, it remains their most successful LP.
“It’s true that we became very successful very quickly,” reflects Ricky Ross. “We played sell-out shows in places like Wembley Arena and the Point in Dublin. We didn’t really expect that to happen and I don’t think we took it for granted. In fact, to this day I still have the mentality when playing live, that you have to keep the audience with you at all times. I keep thinking that they might disappear and never come back.” Soon after that first flush of major success, Ross says he began having doubts about playing huge venues.