Deacon Blue’s Ricky Ross hitting the high notes again

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Ricky Ross is a busy man these days. Not content with launching his first ever musical ‘The Choir’ at Glasgow Citizens Theatre, the Deacon Blue frontman is also in the middle of an intimate UK solo tour, which will visit Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee and Glasgow this week.

So to the tour first of all and what can audiences expect from the raspy voiced Dundonian and “The Lyric Book Live – 30 Years of Songs from Deacon Blue and Beyond”?

Ross says: “I just quite liked the idea of not having an album and being able to play lots of things from what amounts to 30 years’ worth of songs.

“There are certain songs you’d never do live, they just don’t work on piano and vocal, but a lot of them started life like that.

“What I don’t want to do is go out and play the same set as a Deacon Blue tour but on the piano. It’d be like the rubbish version!

“But I think the people who are coming know it’s a bit different.

“I want to be in a room of people and tell some stories and sing some songs. The stories won’t always be true ... but the songs will be.

“There will be a piano, perhaps a guitar now and again, a pile of songs written over four decades and myself. Come and join me if you can!”

The tour comes hot on the heels after Ross’s first foray into theatre. ‘The Choir’ is written by Wishaw’s Paul Higgins (51), the well-known actor who starred as the profanity-spewing spin doctor Jamie in Armando Iannucci’s The Thick Of It on TV, among others.

Songwriting duties fall to 57-year-old Ross, the all-round pop legend and social commentator with a knack for storytelling through music.

It’s a funny, gritty but ultimately heart-warming tale about a group of strangers who come together, not always willingly, to sing in a community choir.

Week by week, this disparate group – from a Tory councillor to an Iraqi immigrant – learn a little more about each other, and themselves, as each member shares a favourite song to be learnt by all.

But, as passions and prejudices are revealed, is singing enough to keep this diverse group from falling apart?

Ross explains: “It’s really about the phenomenon of people joining choirs and why they do it, what brings them together when the only thing they have in common is that they love singing”.

Ricky, who has also penned songs for Ronan Keating, James Blunt, KT Tunstall and Jamie Cullum, added: “I would never naturally gravitate towards singing in a choir – it’s my idea of a nightmare.

“And I wouldn’t sing at a party. It’s partly because I have a very, very reverential view of song.

“I get offended by songs being over-sung. I could weep sometimes in the supermarket.

“I was in Morrisons and ‘God Only Knows’ by The Beach Boys came on and it made me think there should be a law to stop that happening.”

For full details of Ricky’s UK tour and tickets go to www.gigsinscotland.com.

‘The Choir’ runs at Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, until November 14. Box office: 0141-429 0022.