I feel it my duty to bring you this week’s report from the front line. On Saturday past, along with my musical brothers and sister, I played my first notes of music in front of an audience for nineteen months. The last time Deacon Blue had played a chord in anger was on the 1st of December 2019 in a continent far away. For purists, yes we did play some songs on the telly at New Year, but an audience of be-masked runners, camera crew and assorted TV people does not an audience make. So at 9:30 on a beautiful Somerset Saturday evening in front of quite a few thousand people we gathered on a stage, plugged in some instruments to their respective amps and, with the help of some creative lighting engaged in a concert. It’s not for me to tell you how good we were, but whatever good we gave out, we received back ten fold from a great audience who even managed not to let a five minute rain shower dampen their enthusiasm. To say we were grateful is a vast understatement. Folks, we were ecstatic. Even as we walked from the tented dressing room across to the backstage area there was part of me fully expecting a ‘ping’ or a tap on the shoulder to say we should proceed no further, that it never came was such a great relief. I don’t know if we’ll get another show under our belt next Saturday, but I’ll keep you posted.
Before I left on my wild southwestern adventure I managed to record a conversation with one of my all time favourite singer-song writers. Jackson Browne was in his studio and I was in mine when we hooked up for one of these Facetime chats I’ve become quite used to in the last eighteen months or so. On the day his new album, Downhill From Everywhere arrived in the shops it was great to see how happy Jackson still gets about seeing the birth of a new body of work, even after fifty years doing just that. His is an amazing career but, although the new album sounds agreeably like it could fit right into being the next record after Late For The Sky, thematically, however, Jackson is very much thinking about now and the future. We talked about the business of writing, some of the collaborations he’s been making, about why he keeps returning to Haiti and his own experience of true faith as witnessed by a priest on a motorbike. It was a fascinating chat which we will be playing out for the second half of this week’s AC.
Elsewhere we have more from Joy Oladokun, The Wallflowers and Son Volt as well as some new gems from Lily Rose and a return from Cale Tyson. As ever, we’re live on BBC Radio Scotland from five past eight and BBC Sounds whenever and wherever. Join me if you can.