The twentieth anniversary of this site came and went, and nobody noticed - not least me. But twenty one, seems like 'coming of age.
Now the first challenge is dating the site. When did I first start it? The official dating suggests September 4th 1998 - but I know that the domain was registered in July 1998 - and some content was on the web for a week or two before that, and I think I got my first email from someone who'd discovered the site in late August.
I started thinking of starting the site back in 1997. At the time I was living and working in the US, and I was a daily visitor on a a very comprehensive website for another artist I liked. That got me thinking - maybe something similar could be built for Deacon Blue. And then 'Glasgow Skyline' started, and I shelved the idea (and then provided various press clippings that I had to that site's owner. But in Summer 1998, I was getting frustrated at how the 'web gurus' at my employer said fixing a spelling mistake on a web page could take 3 weeks, so I decided I needed a web project of my own, basically to prove them wrong!
Deacon Blue for me had always been a great live band so I decided that would be the premise of the website. So I then went on a hunt for somewhere to host it. At the time, most of the 'affordable' hosting providers had a blanket ban on MP3s - but eventually I found somewhere. So, the domain and web space got bought, and I started assembling the site - and discovering that a lot of detective work was going to be needed!
Now, had I known back in 1998 that Deacon Blue were on the verge of getting back together, I'd have probably thought twice about starting the site. Back in 1998, Deacon Blue had an 8 year history - and although Ricky had a solo career, it seemed pretty manageable. But of course, things changed!
The site went live early in September 1998 - the 'most of Deacon Blue' played in Ayr later that month (I was there - only because I needed to be in the area for work on the Monday and Tuesday.) Around that time I decided that I'd need to source a lot of my own content for the site, so by the time of the two Celtic Connection Gigs in January, I'd obtained a minidisc recorder, and a set of 'stealth recording' microphones. And those microphones have had a LOT of use in the intervening years.
And then shortly after that gig, the 'one off' reunion gig was announced, which was quickly followed by the Walking Back Home tour, and then the Homesick album and tours....
There have been times where the site has been updated weekly (or even daily) - and other times where it's been a year between updates. There's been times where I've thought about shutting down the site, but I keep coming back.
So what will the future bring? Probably the biggest development came in 2016, when I got access to three big boxes of archive material. (The eagle eyed might have noticed I had a credit in the boxed set for Believers.) Most of the highlights from the live recordings went up on the site in 2017 - I still need to work through the Ricky solo gigs - but there was a large part of the archive that was 'off limits' - so maybe I'll do something with that shortly. The next few months are going to be exciting - with the Glad Cafe gig coming up very soon (I will be there) and then the Australian tour.