More miles in The Proclaimers yet

Craig and Charlie Reid, The Proclaimers

Craig and Charlie Reid, The Proclaimers

Club Scene with Sam Cherry

1
Have your say

Mention The Proclaimers and people immediately think of Scotland, specs and sing-along songs.

The duo from Leith became unlikely superstars in the 1980s with their raw, stomping, harmony-laden folk tunes and overtly political lyrics.

Today, 26 years since their first hit, the identical twins are still going strong on both sides of the Atlantic and Down Under – something they put down to their work ethic.

‘There’s an audience for what we do because we keep coming back. You need to be persistent to build a following and we stay on the road a lot, returning to the same areas every few years,’ says Charlie Reid, who is 51 and 30 minutes older than his brother Craig.

They released their ninth album, Like Comedy, last year. But, how has their material moved on in the last quarter of a century?

Charlie says: ‘Your perspective changes as you get older. Life moves on and so does your song writing.

‘Our attitude and world view have developed. I would hate to think they hadn’t.

‘Of course musicians develop their skills too,’ he adds.

When The Proclaimers first emerged – the epitome of anticool in style and singing in regional accents about Scottish politics – they were a far cry from other ’80s playlist staples such as Rick Astley and Sinitta.

Having formed in 1983 with a fervent live following in Scotland, their first big break didn’t come until late 1986, when they were invited to tour with The Housemartins.

In January 1987 they made a seminal appearance on pop programme The Tube and became a overnight phenomenon.

The rest is cult pop music history, and includes a No 1 for Comic Relief (the 2007 Peter Kay version of their 1988 hit 500 Miles) and cameo appearances on Family Guy and The Simpsons (a real sign of international success).

However, Charlie is realistic about their appeal. ‘We’re distinctive. It might not sell huge numbers of records or tickets, but it keeps us in people’s minds,’ he says.

The twins are about to get another boost as Sunshine On Leith, the award-winning musical based on their second album, has now been made into film which hits cinemas on October 4.

But first, they come to the Kings Theatre in Southsea tonight from 7.30pm. Only Upper circle tickets remain and cost £24.50 from (023) 9282 8282 or kings-southsea.com.

Back to the top of the page