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The Hipsters

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Karen Miller Karen Miller | 11:15 UK time, Thursday, 27 September 2012

Roddy Hart writes about this week's show:

Cool can be a slippery kind of character, and the most unquantifiable of concepts. These days measured mostly in skinny jeans, thick rimmed Costello-esque glasses (failing eyesight optional), a nice checked shirt and a penchant for a banjo-jam in the woods, us musicians would do well to remember that many have gone before and many will come after in search of its elusive glow. It is a cruel beast, one that pins the chosen few momentarily to the zeitgeist, whilst making fools of the rest of us. But while some are busy running after something that may serve them all too fleetingly, others are quietly going about their business making beautiful music year after year with no regard for what is going on outside their studio walls. Trends and fads come and go, but it's the ability to last that really counts.

And so this week sees the release of Deacon Blue's new record "The Hipsters" - my Record of Note on the show - 25 years after the Scottish (now) quartet made their bow with debut album "Raintown". They have long been a band for the big occasion, and have enjoyed massive success with songs like "Real Gone Kid", "Wages Day" "Dignity", "Twist and Shout" and "Your Swaying Arms". For me, their 1991 record "Fellow Hoodlums" is one of the great Scottish albums of all time, full of working class romanticism and sweeping bravado, and in many ways "The Hipsters" shares its swagger and confidence. Expertly produced by ex-Delgado Paul Savage, the sound is that of a band who still have much to say: reinvigorated and ready to rejoin the musical landscape with some zest. They are as vital as ever, and in songs such as "Here I Am In London Town", "Stars", "The Outsiders" and "There Is No Way Back To You", BBC Radio Scotland's very own Ricky Ross proves there is plenty of gas in the songwriting tank. This is certainly no hark back to former glories, but instead a band still hungry to engage and looking forward. And what could be cooler than that?

Elsewhere on the show we have Paul Weller as our Undercover Writer, so expect to hear some unusual interpretations of The Modfather's work. We'll also be Live On Arrival with Billy Bragg, and if you thought you had the measure of the Essex man's "one voice one guitar" schtick on record, then think again: there is much to enjoy from his live offerings. That and the usual mix of the great and the good. And it's all on Thursday night at 10.05pm on BBC Radio Scotland.


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