20 November 2005

Proclaimers

Have you heard of them - The Proclaimers - the bespectacled twins Craig and Charlie Reid and their band? They have been around now for over twenty years. Their first hit throughout the English speaking world was "Letter From America" - about emigration from Scotland - sung not in a pretend American drawl but in the accent of eastern Scotland. Methil and Irvine - mentioned in the song - are grim coastal communities, grey Scottish places it would be hard to regret leaving.
About five years ago, the soundtrack of the first "Shrek" film included The Proclaimers' "I'm On My Way" which gave the band's fortunes a much needed lift. They're now on an extensive UK tour and tonight I caught them at The Winding Wheel concert hall in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. Great little venue and The Proclaimers were so tight, really giving each tune some welly, clearly enjoying themselves. By the time we got to an encore that included Roger Miller's "King of The Road" and the familiar "Five Hundred Miles", the place was rocking, everyone up out of their seats dancing along.
There's no frippery or pussy-footing about with Craig and Charlie - they're right there into the music - like Fife miners at the coalface doing their job - and the understanding they have on stage is perhaps the kind of harmony that only identical twins who have sung and written together for twenty years can convey. We went with Steve and Moira and Pete and Ann and there was unanimous agreement - The Proclaimers - a big thumb's up!

8 comments:

  1. I'd heard the name the Proclaimers before the movie came out. And that was one of my favorite songs on the sound track. My husband bought it and we listened almost constantly for about a year. I also loved Hallalujah. And You belong to Me.
    Do you remember a song by the Jefferson Airplane called Today?

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  2. I can't believe it, but I've actually heard of them. Which, truly is amazing, as I rarely listen to anything that doesn't make one's head hurt after turning the volume to *thomp* level. Well, usually. I'm versatile. It's just what's usually on the radio or the cd that's playing all around me. Anyway, The Proclaimers aren't bad. Not at all. I'm glad you had a good time tonight (I guess it's morning for you, now...what with that 5 hour time difference that so drives me batty when I talk to my European friends). Did you dance? And please tell me you don't wear a suit coat or button downs all the time. I may just have to post you a NASCAR t-shirt or one of my raunchier custom creations. (and thanks for being a pal. your words meant a lot)

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  3. "Sunshine on Leith" is an album played constantly in our household. Have you noticed that almost all of the songs are in 3/4 time? (I know that's a geeky thing to notice, but guess what, I am a geek.) My toddler daughter, Lucia, has loved songs in 3/4 time ever since she was a baby, and that Proclaimers' album is one of her favorites. Bede, my husband, says that "Sunshine on Leith" is a paen to geekiness, and how geeks make great lovers.

    By the by, "500 Miles" came to American consciousness before "I'm on My Way" with the film "Benny and Joon." The first song I ever heard by them , though was indeed "I'm on My Way," sung by two friends at various coffee houses in college. Their rendition was almost as good as the original. I don't know about other colleges and universities, but my friends' performance of the song probably had a lot to do with the band's popularity on campus.

    My favorite song is the last one: "Oh Jean, Oh Jean, you let me get lucky with you." It's not so much a sexy song as a joyful song about getting LUCKY, finally.

    I've not heard any of the Proclaimers' subsequent albums. Are they worth getting? I think of "Sunshine on Leith" as a perfect album in itself, a la Paul Simon's "Graceland," or the Beatles' "Revolver." Even when the Proclaimers sing of sorrow, they fill me with joy. Perhaps that is why I became so chipper when I saw your post.

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    Thank you for inadvertently reminding me of the game "Bradopoly" with your mention of Gorilla Charades. The board game is shaping up nicely. I'm keeping the names and currencies open so that people from different countries can fill in the currencies applicable to their economies. However, what would a Bradopoly game be without the dreaded Banana Tax? Ho ho.

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  7. Yeah, "500 miles" was huge in the U.S. at some point in the 90s. That's actually where I've heard of The Proclaimers. I didn't know they had a song in Shrek. I'm afraid of Shrek.

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.