I would drive 19 miles to see them, so should you

The Proclaimers - Preston gig
The Proclaimers - Preston gig

From Shrewsbury to Preston then on to Liverpool might not be the 500 miles of their smash hit but Craig Reid – one half of identical twin duo The Proclaimers – says he and brother Charlie feel nothing but pride about their song’s anthemic history.

There’s barely a stag or hen group, an office party, a wedding reception or a Christmas binge which doesn’t end with I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – especially since Peter Kay memorably revived it.

“It’s quite an honour people have really locked into the song – and some others that we do – though I have been known to hide in doorways when I hear people singing it as they come down the street,” Craig admits.

Having spent over a year recording their ninth studio album, Like Comedy, for the acclaimed independent label Cooking Vinyl, the brothers are glad to be back on the road for another lengthy tour to promote it.

They will be at Preston’s Charter Theatre on Saturday (after Shrewsbury, before Liverpool) continuing a year which has seen them reach the age of 50 (“We had a couple of drinks then just got on with things”) and celebrate 25 years since they first hit the charts (“We’re very happy to still be here”).

Choosing the record label was easy, says Craig.

“We got a good offer,” he adds. “We have done major labels and we’ve done our own. Cooking Vinyl were very enthusiastic. They were listening to us and saying what we wanted to hear.”

Not that the twins ever thought they’d be around this long.

“We started out thinking it would get us off the dole and maybe we could eke out some sort of living,” he says. “We didn’t even think we’d ever have a hit – we thought we were bit too left field to attract much of an audience so we were surprised by the success. And we haven’t been back on the dole for 25 years.”

After the initial whirlwind he said the pair eventually settled into a pattern of touring then writing rather than combining both.

“We tend to sit down and write these days, then promote what we’ve done then write another and start all over,” he says. “Touring is tiring but we’re not tired of touring if you see what I mean. We just can’t write on the road these days.”

As for hobbies he watches tv, goes for runs and reads - “though music is my real hobby as well as my job.”

These days their audience spans from the age of six to 60.

“We try to feature something from every album though there about eight songs we can never leave out,” he says. “Some people come to several shows on a tour so we change things as we go along as well.”

Their album Sunshine Over Leith became an award-winning musical and is about to be made into a film – but ironically the brothers are too busy to be in it.

“We’d hoped for a wee cameo but it’s being filmed while we’re still on tour so our contribution will be limited to the soundtrack.”

As for ambitions they’ve achieved most of them – including another American and Canadian tour next year.

“Just to get better and write better songs – that would be good,” says Craig.