The Hipsters is the long awaited new studio album by Deacon Blue, set for release in September and marks the band's 25th Anniversary since their debut album ‘Raintown’ was released.
Deacon Blue were never hipsters. With six million album sales, 12 UK Top 40 singles and two No.1 albums to their credit, they have been majorly successful and have always been adored by their fans. And their inspirational brand of soulful Scottish pop remains an enduring tonic for the troops. Indeed, when Wayne Rooney tweeted his Spotify playlist before England’s vital group match against Ukraine in Euro 2012, his No.1 song was Real Gone Kid, still one of the Glasgow group’s best-loved hits. But hip? Cool? One of the bands that you’d find hanging out with the fashionistas? That was never Deacon Blue.
“I remember saying when we first got back together that we must by the uncoolest band in the world,” says Deacon Blue’s singer, songwriter and mainstay Ricky Ross. “But I like that. And people still love us despite all that.”
So The Hipsters is a decidedly ironic title for a brilliant new Deacon Blue record, the group’s first studio album since Homesick in 2001. For beneath that faintly sardonic veneer, is a collection of finely-tuned songs which find Ross reflecting on the long-distance life and times of his group with a deep, thoughtful passion. The opening track, Here I am in London Town, sets the scene as if at the start of a stage musical, as Ross conjures up an impression of how his younger self felt as he sat in a studio “waiting for the world to begin”.
“I was remembering what it was like starting out, coming down to London for the first time,” Ross says. “You were hoping someone would open a door and your world would start.”
The band were united in their determination to record a new album. And not just any new album. “We’d done the greatest hits thing for a while,” Ross says, “And we needed to do some new material or not do it at all.” He began by writing the song The Hipsters and then another called The Outsiders which summed up the hectic rush of life in a band: “We took the road, any road, every road out of here/Forgot the past, cut the strands, made a path, took a stand/Chased the day, raced the night, grabbed our chance didn’t look/Back to where we’d come from.”
“It’s so different to come back to it when you’re not in the thick of things,” Ross says. "When you’re a young, aspiring musician, chasing success, nothing ever satisfies you. Now, after writing a couple of these new songs, I realized there was a different narrative developing. I felt I was in a new moment. Then I realized: It’s about us! It’s about being in this amazing band. It’s an open love letter to Deacon Blue.”
With the songs written and demoed, the band convened at Gorbals Sound, a new, state-of-the-art recording facility in the heart of Glasgow. Working with Paul Savage, a smart, young producer whose work Ross had discovered through presenting his show on BBC Radio Scotland, the band recorded the new album in the old-school way, with the whole band set up, and all playing and singing together in the studio – the first time they had worked like that since recording Fellow Hoodlums in Paris in 1991.
“I still get excited when the band is together,” says Prime. “We tell each other the old jokes just to remind each other how long we’ve been doing it. It’s lovely that Ricky has come up with an album of personal songs rather than stuff about towns and rivers and mythical characters. These are really heartfelt, one-to-one songs.”
The album is planned for release on September 24th on Edsel Records. The track listing is:
The album can be ordered from iTunes. The iTunes album will include one extra track: This Year's Drug Of Choice. This bonus track is available separately from the album. There is also another bonus track available on the official website.
|The Hipsters will be released as a single on September 23rd. Right now, it looks like it's a digital only release. You can get it on Amazon|