The Proclaimers rock Edinburgh's Leith Links with triumphant greatest hits set
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Although the sun didn’t quite shine on Leith on Saturday night, The Proclaimers certainly did, with a 24-song greatest hits set delighting an Edinburgh crowd already pumped up by the Scotland victory against Norway earlier that evening.
Twins Craig and Charlie Reid delivered one of their greatest ever performances, at this unique, sold out and highly-anticipated homecoming gig in a big top tent in front of 6,000 fans, with a second sold out show to come tonight, Sunday, at the Links.
And just to make sure the crowd were in the mood ahead of the Proclaimers performance, the PA system blared out ‘Freed From Desire’ with Hibs fans in the audience changing the words slightly for a sing-a-long and bounce to ‘Stokesey’s on Fire’, followed by Tartan Army anthem ‘Yes Sir I can Boogie, ensuring fans were in good voice before their heroes had even made it on stage.
Although famously brought up in Auchtermuchty in Fife, the Reid twins were born in Edinburgh and have lived in the city for many years. Add to that the fact they are die hard Hibs supporters, then these Leith Links shows were always going to be emotional homecoming nights, and the opening night did not disappoint, with a pumped up crowd dancing and singing along for the entire hour and a half set.
Kicking off with ‘Dentures Out’ the band quickly got into their stride as they blitzed through their back catalogue spanning their 40 years as a band with ease, with hits including ‘Over and Done With’, ‘There's a Touch’, ‘Let's Get Married’ creating a proper dancefloor early in the set at Leith Links. The band let the music do the talking for most of the set, with an early mention by the twins about the football – “did you watch the Scotland game?” – obviously drawing a huge cheer from the audience.
The audience itself was already in a party mood for this big gig, with a wide range of ages in attendance, from groups of teenagers, young and old couples, groups of women, groups of men, right through to pensioners, all loving the 61-year-old twins’ performance. With many in attendance decked out in strips old and new of the twins beloved football team Hibs.
More sombre, emotional tracks like ‘Sunshine on Leith’ and ‘Streets of Edinburgh’ changed the tone at times, with the Hibs anthem creating the loudest sing-a-long of the evening. And, Scottish independence song ‘Cap In Hand’ received the biggest cheer of the evening of the night so far, but that was immediately topped by the noise created for the next song, 1987 track ‘Letter From America’.
With the hits continuing to flow, the twins joked about their set list being as long as Boris Johnson’s resignation honours’ list. The best was still to come though with ‘Spend My Life with You’, ‘I'm on My Way’ and ‘I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles’) leaving the crowd in the palms of The Proclaimers’ hands.
A short break was followed by the closing tracks ‘Make My Heart Fly and ‘Not going to talk about it’ in the encore, rounding off arguably the greatest ever Proclaimers show, and what better place to do that than their beloved Leith?
Set list: Dentures Out, Over and Done With, There's a Touch, Draw Another Night, Let's Get Married, What Makes You Cry?, Streets of Edinburgh, Should Have Been Loved, Rainbows and Regrets, We Make it So, Cap in Hand, Letter From America, I Met You, Sky Takes the Soul, Angry Cyclist, Spinning Around in the Air, Scotland’s Story, Misty Blue, Sunshine on Leith, Spend My Life with You, I'm on My Way, I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles). Encore: Make My Heart Fly, The Joyful Kilmarnock Blues.