Review: The Proclaimers at Kings Theatre, Southsea

The Proclaimers
The Proclaimers
Portsmouth Philharmonia players following their concert to raise funds for Hayling Island Community Centre

STUART REED: Players pull out all the stops at charity concert

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Loud, fast, and full-on: There’s nothing half-hearted about a Proclaimers gig.

Hardly pausing for breath, Craig and Charlie Reid belted out song after song for 90 minutes, to fans who would clearly walk 500 miles (and 500 more) to hear their unique brand of uncompromisingly uplifting pop.

The twins have a fine ear for melody and a catchy chorus, usually set to a driving, rolling rhythm that sweeps you along in a euphoric whirl.

Yet whether they are singing about romance, the railtrack from Miami to Canada, or rock and roll, that Scottish burr is unmistakeable and endearing.

And they sing with such gusto it quickens the pulse, making hands clap and feet stomp by the thousand.

One hit was preceded by an announcement that someone in the crowd had something special to say to his girlfriend, and the audience cheered as it seemed a proposal was made as the lads sang a joyous Let’s Get Married. If that didn’t persuade her to say yes, nothing would.

Of course, the hits were a delight - Sunshine on Leith, with its heart-rending steel guitar interlude, was blissful.

Letter From America is a towering classic and I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) one of the best call-and-response crowd-pleasers ever written. Never mind how far you have to walk, see the Proclaimers if you can.

ALAN COOPER