Deacon Blue have date in the forest
DEACON Blue have announced they will take to the stage in Dalby Forest this summer.
Since releasing their debut album in 1987, the Scottish band went onto have a string of hits, including Chocolate Girl and Fergus Sings the Blues. Three years ago they released their first album in over a decade, The Hipsters, and fans will be able to see them perform live at Dalby Forest, near Pickering on June 28.
Deacon Blue follow in the footsteps of Paul Weller and Travis by performing at Dalby and to book tickets 03000 680400. ‘HE’S an incredibly enthusiastic, wide-eyed person about music. He loves to absorb all music and all culture. He’s very knowledge about it. You can discuss things with him. If I said, ‘Let’s make a synthesiser opera tomorrow he’d probably give it a go.”
Bernard Butler, the former Suede guitarist turned Brit Award-winning record producer, seems to have met his musical match in Jackie McKeown . The pair first met when Butler was producing McKeown’s band The 1990s in the mid-part of the last decade and kept in touch. “We used to text each other and I’d say, ‘If you are coming next Tuesday let’s make a record in a day’,” says Butler.
Last year that time finally arrived. McKeown, who was also once in the indie band The Yummy Fur with Alex Kapranos, now of Franz Ferdinand, was at a loose end after the break-up of The 1990s while Butler had become “itchy” after five years of “doing lots of song-writing with pop hopefuls, producing records and happily being used as a musical conduit for lots of people” and yearned to do something for himself.
The catalyst came when Butler broke his leg playing football. Forced to cancel lots of projects while he recuperated, he found solace by buying a second-hand Fender Stratocaster – the type of guitar favoured by the likes of Eric Clapton, Ronnie Wood and Bob Dylan.
“I’d never played a Stratocaster before but I fell in love with it,” he says. “I lay on the sofa with my leg up for six weeks playing guitar on my own.”
The Stratocaster presented not only a change from his trademark Gibson ES-355 semi-acoustic which he’d played on for much of his 20-year career – in Suede, with singer David McAlmont and as a solo artist – but also a challenge.
“It’s like buying a new pair of shoes,” he explains. “You find you can’t wear shoes like that with a dodgy pair of trousers. Before you know it you’re getting your hair cut. One thing leads to another when you’re playing guitar. You’re adjusting the way you play; it leads down different roads.”
Out of all this came the band Trans, with Jackie McKeown, and an entirely new approach to songwriting.
“Basically we get together and we play,” says 43-yearold Butler. “We don’t go into a room with any songs or say ‘which Velvet Underground song are we going to rip off today?’ We go into my studio and the first note we do first time is recorded. There’s no pressure to jump into an incredible riff. We can play for as long as we want and see what happens.” Their only edict is that 43-yearold McKeown’s guitar can be heard through the left channel of the speakers while Butler plays through the right because “that’s where we were standing in the room when we recorded it”. Paul Borchers and Igor Volk make up the rhythm section. They jam for long stretches then review the results. The best bits Butler edits together to form songs.