Walk 500 miles? It’s more like 200, lads

The Proclaimers

The Proclaimers

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Sunshine over Leith? Leave it well alone, lads. Head for Blackpool instead. That’s just what the Proclaimers are doing - as countless Scots have done before.

Craig and Charlie Reid are back in Blackpool as the only singing twins you’ll ever need - sorry Jedward - if you want to leave a theatre with a grin to span the Firth of Forth and 500 smiles worth of memories as they belt out those hits that make them so strikingly individual.

We get on well together, we don’t meet up and do much when we’re not working, but we are working, or rehearsing, or writing most of the time

They may be masters of songs that mark out many a maudlin evening for the rest of us - but as super fan David Tennant once said on Desert Island Discs: “They write the most spectacular songs, big hearted, uncynical passionate songs.”

They play the Grand Theatre on May 15, a welcome return to the resort. “Blackpool’s in the DNA,” says Craig - even though his family tended to go to Morecambe.

The pair were born in Leith and grew up in Edinburgh, Cornwall and Auchtermuchty in Fife. “The first record I ever bought was a compilation album in Woolworths, we didn’t have a lot of money, didn’t get to discos. But we wanted to play music.”

At school they played in punk bands and formed The Proclaimers in 1983, later touring with The Housemartins.

Craig adds: “We get on well together, we don’t meet up and do much when we’re not working, but we are working, or rehearsing, or writing most of the time. We had three or four weeks off just before Christmas and then it all started again. Charlie and I just get together, I have a flat where I write stuff and sing with acoustic guitar - you need to exercise your voice more as you get older, and you can’t take long breaks as a singer as your vocals suffer.

“The last album came out last year. We had a couple of long periods when we didn’t put any material out, not so much writer’s block, we just didn’t come up enough stuff that we were happy with. I now try to write something every day.

“We’ve never gone on a tour ever where we’ve had no new material. I’d rather take a break and start writing again and then tour. You have to keep fresh because we had about 67 shows last year and there are about 80 this year.”

Walk 500 miles? “I’m more of a runner,” Craig admits.