Proclaimers twins are still Hearts, Hibs and soul of Edinburgh music scene

Craig and Charlie Reid. Picture: Greg Macvean
Craig and Charlie Reid. Picture: Greg Macvean
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THE last time the Reid twins appeared on these pages, their beloved Hibs were about to contest the Scottish Cup final with city rivals Hearts.

We all know how that one turned out. And yes, it’s safe to say that a horrible day was had by brothers Craig and Charlie.

But plenty has changed since the men in green and white were mauled at Hampden by the men in the maroon. Indeed, at this point in time, the Hibees are high-flying while their cup-winning neighbours are on the brink of extinction.

You might think this pair of diehard Hibbies would take smug satisfaction from their rivals’ plight - but in fact the opposite is true. The Reids reckon the Capital would be a much duller place without the Jambos.

“It would be a bad thing if Hearts went – a disaster for all concerned,” says Craig. “Hearts are part of the fabric of Edinburgh and I hope they can get through it. I wish them well.”

That’s enough of the fitba talk. The Proclaimers are back on the road with a full UK tour that sees them return to their home town for back-to-back gigs at the Playhouse, tonight and tomorrow.

You might think that after a quarter of a century of touring, the boys would be sick of it all. Not so. They say they are as enthusiastic about playing live as they’ve always been.

“Touring is the lifeblood of what we do,” says Charlie, the elder twin by half an hour; the one who has abandoned the trademark heavy-framed specs.

After so many years of constant touring, the twins decided to take a bit of a break in 2010 to recharge the batteries.

“Since 2001, we’d spent every year doing gigs somewhere, but we stopped in 2010,” says Charlie. “We figured it would be better just to spend the time making the record, making sure we had it the way we wanted it.”

Released in May, latest album Like Comedy is the Proclaimers doing what they do best.

There’s no drastic change of direction, just another collection of uplifting, heartfelt tunes delivered in their own inimitable style.

We’re very happy with it,” says Charlie. “It’s the most creative time I’ve ever had in the last decade.

“I think there’s a good mixture of songs. I think there are some recurrent themes that come in Proclaimers records - a sense of identity, religious or spiritual feelings or lack of them... family, relationships.”

During the Playhouse double-header, all the classic Proclaimers songs will get an airing - including Sunshine on Leith, (I’m Gonna Be) 500 Miles, Letter From America, I’m on My Way, Life With You, Let’s Get Married.

“We perform 23 or 24 songs in a gig,” says Charlie. “We’ll probably play half a dozen off the new record and then a mixture of other songs off all the others.” Of all the dates on the tour, the Edinburgh gigs are the ones the twins have been looking forward to most.

“The two Playhouse shows are a very special way to end a 28-date tour that has seen us play to 50,000 people over the last few weeks,” says Craig. “We are looking forward to the shows immensely.”

• The Proclaimers, Playhouse, Greenside Place, tonight and tomorrow, 7.30pm, £24.50–£27.50, 0844-871 3014