Proclaimers Gonna Be Grand

The Proclaimers

The Proclaimers

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It’s roughly 200 miles, and more years than either care to remember, from where it all started for The Proclaimers but many would walk 500 miles to see Craig and Charlie Reid in action at the Grand Theatre, Blackpool, on Sunday.

The twins themselves are looking forward to coming back to Blackpool.

“It’s in the DNA,” says Craig, for all his relatives tended to take off for Morecambe, and give the big Scottish fairs annual exodus to Blackpool a miss.

If anything their creative talent has grown rather than diminished since they started out playing in a punk band at school and then taking the world by storm.

The current tour represents no slowing down either – Craig, 54, is a runner rather than a walker. “You have to keep fit in this work.”

And what’s rather lovely about the tour is the fact it reconnects with the British bedrock market, including many seaside theatres and regional favourites.

They completed a two year world tour late in 2013, cracked on with an album immediately, appeared at most of the major festivals, took off overseas again. Last year they took on 66 shows. This year Craig reckons it’s more like 80. “You stop counting…” They have already clocked up Australia and New Zealand this year, USA and Canada.

The sheer buzz of their stage presence and performance is galvanising as much for them as the rest of us and Sunshine Over Leith, the film adaptation of the hit musical based on their songs, showcased the sheer fun, and also a lot of the pathos, in their music and lyrics. It racked up almost £5m at the British box office alone.

It would be easy for them to rest on their laurels – and lyrics – having already issued the Very Of .. but it doesn’t end there, Craig is still writing new material in a highly disciplined manner since hitting a dry spell in the 90s.

“It wasn’t writer’s block so much as nothing we were happy with,” he admits.

They’re more than happy with what’s followed – and what’s to come.

For the record, they were born in Leith in 1962, growing up in Edinburgh, Cornwall and Auchtermuchy in Fife. Super fans include David Tennant and Matt Lucas. Tennant calls them his favourite band of all time.

“They write the most spectacular songs, big hearted, uncynical passionate songs.” Lucas admits: “I find it hard to put into words quite how their music makes me feel. It makes me laugh. It makes me cry. It just makes me generally euphoric.”