Tuesday, 16 July 2013

THE PROCLAIMERS


CD Review

The Very Best of The Proclaimers
25 years, 1987-2012

Back in the late 1980s two “geeky” looking twin boys broke the mould of the pop charts. They weren’t in any way shape or form glam, they had made that often unwelcome transition from the folk circuit to the pop market while incorporating a sort of punk element and by doing everything pop stars shouldn’t do.

The new compilation album
They had  no gimmicks, their singing was unadorned and had the strongest Scottish accent this side of a bad Billy Connolly impersonation and they sang about places most people had no idea existed.
Although not massively productive, they have made nine albums in 26 years - you do the maths, Craig and Charlie Reid are still going strong and are still in great demand from many sectors of the media.
Whether it’s from radio, TV ads or film scores it's pretty much a given that everyone at some time has not only heard The Proclaimers from Leith in Scotland but it’s almost certain they have sung and, know all the lyrics to their massive hits, Letter From America and I’m Gonna To Be (500 Miles).
While these may be the best introduction to this double album compilation there is so much more from this duo which shows the depth of talent and versatility from their back catalogue of albums many of which have been remastered.
From songs which have the feel of the 1950s such as What Makes You Cry? and the Buddy Holly-like Throw the “R” Away to really emotive ballads such as Shadows Fall and Love Can Move Mountains which show the subtle side of the twins' singing, moving away from the raucous chart songs with which they are generally associated.
Included on this double CD are playfully jaunty songs which have acerbic and witty lyrics such as “she snorts a line of coke before an audience with the Pope” from Role Model a track which has a wonderful skiffle feel about it.
The strange thing about The Proclaimers is that you may not have ever listened to their albums but you will know many of their songs from some of the most popular films in recent years and the list is both impressive and surprising.

Craig and Charlie Reid aka The Proclaimers.
Picture Murdo McLeod
There is their version of King of the Road from The Crossing, 500 miles from Benny & Joon, Burke & Hare, episodes of How I Met Your Mother and most recently in Angels Share from Ken Loach.
Then there is Dumb and Dumber and Shrek along with a variety of adverts which means that many of their offerings are already in your psyche.
Whether you are a fan or not you have to take your hat off to the twins who have made a place in pop history by doing all the things you shouldn’t really do, and what’s more they are still in big demand, not bad for a couple of geeky looking twins from an area of Scotland most people couldn’t even find on a map.
Over the past quarter of a century The Proclaimers have managed to straddle the worlds of folk and pop and done it successfully which is something any band would be proud of.

The Very Best of The Proclaimers is out now through the Persevere Records.