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The Proclaimers review: the soundtrack to my life on stage

PUBLISHED: 13:47 12 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:02 12 October 2018

Craig and Charlie Reid, The Proclaimers Picture: Murdo MacLeod.

Craig and Charlie Reid, The Proclaimers Picture: Murdo MacLeod.

Copyright © Murdo MacLeod, A22G5C 0131 669 9659 or 07831 504531 m@murdophoto.com

There was Caledonian heart and soul in Norwich this week as The Proclaimers brought a tight, harmony-filled set to a sold-out audience at Norwich Theatre Royal and brought tears to the eyes of this cynical old hack.

It was 273 and not 500 miles that The Proclaimers faced when they drove from their last gig at Cardiff to Norwich, but I don’t recall their biggest hit referencing traffic hold-ups on the M4: perhaps that’s on the B side.

The group were late on to the stage in Norwich but it was so worth the wait – live, The Proclaimers are an absolute treat.

I love The Proclaimers and, like the majority of the Norwich Theatre Royal audience last night, the twins have provided part of the soundtrack to my life – my husband played ‘Let’s Get Married’ on his car stereo four times on our drive to Brighton where he proposed to me: I missed every single reference that day, but we played it on our wedding day and every time I hear it I feel unfathomably happy.

Scottish duo Craig and Charlie Reid definitely aren’t summed up by their biggest hits (500 Miles, Letter From America, I’m On My Way) although all three songs are fabulous: like Billy Bragg and Elvis Costello, their love songs are hugely underrated as people concentrate on their better-known singalongs.

I defy anyone with a soul to remain unmoved by the twins’ Sunshine on Leith: “My heart was broken, my heart was broken – you saw it, you claimed it, you touched it, you saved it…while I’m worth, my room on this earth, I will be with you…”

And how about Should Have Been Loved, an anthem for anyone who need to hope they’ll find love again: “you’ve been let down, messed around, told to get your feet back on the ground when you should have been loved, loved, loved.”

A highly-individual blend of punk, folk, pop, poetry, country, soul, socialism and new wave (it’s all in there), The Proclaimers are currently on a sold-out tour of the UK and rightly so: they walk precisely the right line between romance and bitter reality and live, they knock it out of the park.

Highlights from Thursday night included a breathtaking version of Sunshine on Leith, Cap in Hand, Sean, Over and Done, Make My Heart Fly, although frankly every song was a joy, and when the opening chords of 500 Miles began, the theatre erupted.

The world is a better place for bands that wear their heart on their sleeve: these are universal sentiments presented in perfect harmony by two unique voices and it’s just fabulous. When they come back to Norfolk, join us in the audience. I’ll be the one in tears when Sunshine starts.

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