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Proclaimers - Interview

  by Nick Dent-Robinson

published: 6 / 11 / 2019

Proclaimers - Interview


Craig Reid from bestselling acoustic duo the Proclaimers talks to Nick Dent-Robinson about their touring and the surprising influence of the Rolling Stones on their music.

They were a denim-wearing, bespectacled pair of twins from Auchtermuchty in the depths of Scotland armed with battered acoustic guitars and booming Scottish voices. So maybe not the most likely of British rock stars. But, almost four decades after their emergence on to the international music scene, audiences still can't get enough of The Proclaimers. Amongst all the glitter and gaudy neon of the early 1980’s pop scene, Craig and Charlie Reid couldn't have looked more out of place. But their simple honesty, harmonies and powerful song-writing quickly endeared them to the nation – and to many the way they belted out their debut ‘Letter from America’ on BBC TV's ‘Top of the Pops’ or Channel 4's ‘The Tube’ was a total revelation....a stark reminder of how raw talent can be so refreshing and exciting. People still love them to this day. Prior to a sell-out performance at Oxford's large New Theatre venue, Craig said, “We are both very proud we are still making music today and that so many people want to see us perform live. I am even prouder that we've always done things the way we wanted to and never compromised. After all these years it's just fantastic to still have big audiences. There were years when we opted out of recording new albums or touring but our audiences now are bigger than ever! And there is a real mix of ages following us too - which is so satisfying! It is important for us to keep out there, doing festivals, stage shows, everything. I quite enjoy playing theatres though – especially in the summer. It is a nice break from that wellies and sun-block routine at festivals! Though we've enjoyed playing Glastonbury as well as Oxfordshire's Cropredy and Cornbury festivals in the past.” The Proclaimers have been described as “idiosyncratically unique” - which Craig likes. But their early inspiration was from an unlikely source. “Yes, it was the Rolling Stones who inspired us,” Craig laughs. “We loved them from when we were eleven. Hearing them convinced us to be musicians. Not that either of us exactly saw ourselves as Mick Jagger! We played in different bands for years and, even when we started as the Proclaimers, recognition was slow coming. The break came after the Housemartins invited us to join them on tour. That did it. ‘Letter from America’ made Number 3 in the charts and then ‘This is the Story’ went gold. We couldn't believe our luck. Sometimes I still can't. In the early days we were dirt poor. But then with punk music we could get bookings without being great musicians and we could survive financially. We progressed from that. I was unemployed for six years. You never forget what that's like. We never compromised on what we did musically. And we never lost sight of our roots. A lot of good people we knew never made it in music - or in life. We are just so grateful for the luck we've had. To an extent you make your own luck, of course and you have to work hard and keep motivated. But I know we've been fortunate. I can't believe we inspired a musical and film - ‘Sunshine on Leith’ - and we've had success with eleven studio albums – though ‘Sunshine on Leith; remains my favourite song. It's the peak of our live shows for most of our audiences too.”

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Proclaimers - Interview

Proclaimers - Interview

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