Posted: 18 Jun 2010
Gala Theatre, Durham
Just a few days after Pink took the Stadium of Light by storm with an all-American spectacular of light, sound and special effects, The Proclaimers slipped quietly into Durham and delivered a show entirely in their own low-key style.
No gimmicks, no props, no banter between numbers – with this act what you see is what you get: twin brothers, Charlie and Craig Reid, singing beautifully-crafted songs in their native Scottish accents backed by a solid and equally unassuming band.
They belted out, almost non-stop, 21 of their best-loved tracks from their enduring career, several from their 1988 album Sunshine on Leith including Cap in Hand, I’m On My Way, Sean and a rollicking I’m Gonna Be, their world-wide hit with which they finished the main set. Encores were Over And Done With and The Joyful Kilmarnock Blues from1987’s This is The Story album.
Letter From America – the song that propelled them to fame – came early on in the set. It might have been hard to follow this crowd-pleasing number, but the tempo never dipped during the 80 or so minutes they were on stage.
Many bands either change down the years or become a parody of their younger selves. Not The Proclaimers. They are everything they always were, they’re still churning out great songs (and some of the newer ones such as Born Innocent and You Meant It Then got an airing) and they handle different styles and subjects with equal aplomb, moving effortlessly from rock to folk and ballads, from political polemic to unabashed romanticism.
They look the same as they did 20-odd years ago, they sound just as good and, as ever, they did it their way.