Lock Inn Sessions

Now here is a treat. The Lock Inn Session -EP. Four Deacon Blue songs all stripped back.

I have been fascinated by Deacon Blue songs, naked of band arrangements, since I saw a TV interview back in 1988. It was the first TV interview I ever remember seeing with Ricky Ross and Lorraine McIntosh and sitting at a piano Ricky showed the interviewer how Ragman sounded before the band added their contributions. I had just heard the piano version of Raintown as a b-side on the re-released Dignity.


Of course since then we had such versions of Circus Lights, Wages Day, Bethlehem’s Gate and Ricky’s recent Short Stories Vol 1.  


The Lock Inn Session bring us four more such incarnations and should not be taken for granted. Both Ricky Ross and Lorraine McIntosh have been through Covid 19, Ricky first then Lorraine. They were isolated from each other for weeks.


In the time since they have more than made up for it. This is a couple whose thirty years of marriage befits us all. Lorraine McIntosh has never been a backing vocalist in Deacon Blue. She’ is an extra instrument and when it comes to her soul mate Ross, she knows the exact amount of harmony needed. There’s never too much. Always just enough. 


This is a beautiful and unique project. One of those Coronavirus blessings against the run of play. They do four songs. All of which make their Lock Inn points. Dignity, one of my very favourite songs of all time, has a whole new take on “a place in the winter for dignity.” The refuge we need within our enforced refuge. Indeed.


Weight of The World off the recent City of Love albumbecomes even more cathartic in its stripped back strength to deal with the weight of these days. 


The sweetest surprise for me is (What’s So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding. I’ve loved this Nick Lowe chorus as a mantra for thirty five years and more. However, this version brings it back to the bone, the words took on fresh poignancy. 


What's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding?

What's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding?

And as I walk on through troubled times

My spirit gets so downhearted sometimes

So where are the strong and who are the trusted?

And where is the harmony, sweet harmony?


What's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding?

What's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding


I am hearing it, clearer than I ever had.

City Of Love?! Well, this is a Gospel song. About Glasgow and the love within its streets that can translate to Belfast or any other city. Yet, there is something lingering longer in this city of love. This is about a gloriously filled future hope. It is an eternal love. In Biblical terms one thing remains - love. 

Again here it post March 2020…


Lost the will for keeping on

Just as the winter is dragging

What can I do with all of this?

Where can I put what I'm carrying?


Goodness, that is close to all our experiences. 


If you've got the will you've got to keep on going

No matter what the world is saying

No one can stop you, not until

You reach the end and lay down your burden


Oh my but those are words for this marathon of resilience. If we take time to reflect on these Coronavirus Days we will find city upon city filled with love. Either it is the NHS front line, the hospital cleaners, the Foodbanks, the imaginative volunteers bringing food to the isolated and vulnerable. Or even the spouse looking after spouse in isolation…


All that remains is the city of love

All that remains is the city of love


The city of love

All that remains is the city of love


The Lock Inn Session -EP is a sonic treat for these times BUT never think that Deacon Blue just recorded 4 songs as some ear candy treat. They are too reflective for that. They have more intentionality with their art. These are four songs for the times. Coronavirus Times and Ricky Ross and Lorraine McIntosh know all about that.


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