Thursday, 14 June 2018

Deacon Blue - Fellow Hoodlums (1991)

The people were cheering all the way from Hampden....


Released February 1991

After two critically-acclaimed albums (the second containing three big hit singles) this, Deacon Blue's third album, was, in some respects, their best. It was their most mature in many aspects, and it was certainly their most blatantly Scottish. Glasgow and Edinburgh place-name checks abound and there is plenty of Caledonian imagery in the lyrics.


1. James Joyce Soles
2. Fellow Hoodlums
3. Your Swaying Arms
4. Cover From The Sky
5. The Day That Jackie Jumped The Jail
6. The Wildness
7. A Brighter Star Than You Will Shine
8. Twist And Shout
9. Closing Time
10. Goodnight Jamsie
11. I Will See You Tomorrow                              
12. One Day I'll Go Walking                                        

As on "Raintown", the album begins with a short-ish, sparse ballad in "James Joyce Soles" before the Scottish vibrancy of "Fellow Hoodlums" with its references to "breeches", "Tizer", "macaroons", "Hampden", "Partick", "Cowcaddens", "Buchanan Street" and "the Clyde". It has a good bluesy rock sound to it too. "Your Swaying Arms" is a lilting, slow and appealing number with dual vocalists Ricky Ross and Lorraine Macintosh (now husband and wife) on fine form and a melodic, shuffling backing. The mournful "Cover From The Sky" has Macintosh on lead, beautifully and convincingly. "The Day That Jackie Jumped The Jail" is a lively tale of a Glasgow hoodlum with a "Dignity"-style piano and guitar and some great Scottish/Glasgow lyrics.

The atmospheric "The Wildness", with its beautiful bass line, gives Macintosh another chance to shine, and the album's one "commercial" single was the jaunty, Celtic-influenced "Twist And Shout" (not The Isley Brothers' number). "Closing Time" is a lengthy, sombre but interesting song with bleak hints of parts of the debut "Raintown" album and a blatant steal from "Sly & The Family Stone's "Family Affair" at the beginning, (some excellent funky guitar in it though) while "One Day I'll Go Walking" is an upbeat closer that has, for me, vague hints of Van Morrison's "On The Bright Side Of The Road".

"Goodnight Jamsie" is one of the band's short piano and vocal interludes, while "A Brighter Star Than You Will Shine" is a laid-back, rhythmic, gently alluring number with a soulful vocal from Ross, lifted by a rousing chorus with some slide guitar, and "I Will See You Tomorrow" is another Ross/Macintosh vocal duet on a slow, soulful song.

Overall, a polished, evocative and attractive piece of work.


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