Music review: The Proclaimers live at The Playhouse

The Proclaimers played a blinder last night at The Playhouse. Picture: Michael Gillen
The Proclaimers played a blinder last night at The Playhouse. Picture: Michael Gillen
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With singalong anthems, heartfelt love songs and caustic political pop, The Proclaimers made a triumphant return to Edinburgh Playhouse for the first of two nights in their home city.

The Proclaimers

Edinburgh Playhouse

5 out of 7 stars

It was a slick 90 minute set which has been honed on the road during their extensive Angry Cyclist tour as the band rattled through the first few numbers, including the title track of the tour (and new album) and Forever Young from 2015’s Let’s Hear It For The Dogs before Letter From America brought the audience in on the act.

With Charlie Reid on one side of the stage on acoustic guitar and brother Craig - with tambourine or maracas as required - on the other, flat cap wearing bassist Garry John Kane was centre stage in front of drummer Clive Jenner, who set a furious pace on faster numbers. Guitarist Zac Ware and keyboardist Steven Christie completed the band.

They are a low key self-effacing bunch who look like mates on their way to the pub, but the sound was tight and the harmonies spot on.

Streets of Edinburgh from Angry Cyclist obviously went down well and other tracks from the album included The Battle of the Booze, a bittersweet celebration of vodka and You Make Me Happy. There were also plenty of classics for fans hoping to hear their favourites, including Let’s Get Married, I’m On My Way, Over and Done With, Should Have Been Loved, a storming, evocative Sky Takes The Soul and, of course Sunshine on Leith. The band scarcely had to sing as the audience took it on, swaying and singing at the top of their voices in a beautiful, spine-tingling moment.

There was a story shared about coming to the Playhouse to see The Jam before playing A Long, Long, Time Ago, but in general the Reid brothers preferred to stick to the music. By the time we got to 500 Miles, the place was jumping. The encore saw the band playing Cap In Hand and Make My Heart Fly before rounding off a joyful night with The Joyful Kilmarnock Blues.

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