The Proclaimers will be bringing their latest tour to the Engine Shed on June 17th, before they take a break after July to start writing their next album.
They have had recent success with the charity version of “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” and one of their most popular songs, “I’m on My Way”, was used in the first Shrek film.
However, it doesn’t bother Charlie Reid, one half of the band, that they are mostly known for a few songs: “You are known for one or two or three songs, that’s the way it is… we’ll play those songs in the set and a lot more as well. Some bands don’t take much notice of the audience and just play. We project out and play to an audience and I think it’s what made us a very good live band.
“People who only know one or two tunes and then come along to a gig are pleasantly surprised by the depth of the material we’ve got.”
Identical twins Charlie and Craig Reid started their musical careers in punk bands while at school, and became The Proclaimers in 1983. Their first big break came in 1986 when they were invited to tour with the Housemartins.
They say they are proud to be Scottish, growing up in Edinburgh and Auchtermuchty in Fife, as well as in Cornwall. This also influences their politics and song writing, Charlie says: “I believe in Scottish independence, I wouldn’t back a party that didn’t believe in it. I have always been a person on the left.
“I would like to see a shift for the left in politics generally in this country. I suspect that won’t happen over the next few years given the type of coalition that has come in to Westminster, but there has got to be an opposition to that.”
Charlie says their success has been helped by them being twins: “It has certainly given us a strength and a solidity as a band that you probably wouldn’t get with people who you just met at high school [and aren’t] related to. There’s a lot of people who simply could never work with their brother or sister, and [there are] some bands where it works creatively for a while and then the whole thing fractures.
“With us I think it has been overwhelmingly a good thing, and it certainly gave us a strength in the early days when we could get a recording contract and you were trying to get people to book you into gigs, and trying to be successful.”
The band are still down-to-earth, and Charlie says his highlight is going on tour: “Having success in America was good, having success in Britain — chart success — that’s nice, but I think generally the last ten years being on the road every year I feel like we have built some consistency to what we were doing. It’s a privilege to people to be able to do this for a living.”
You can listen to the interview in full here:Tweet