I’m almost definitely not too young to be a fan of The Proclaimers

Friday 6 November, 2015

Many moons ago, back when this blog was in it’s infancy, back when I really didn’t know what I was doing, back when I had a desk, I wrote a blog asking “Am I Too Young To Be A Fan Of The Proclaimers?”.

I wrote how, over the space of ten years, hearing one little song when I was younger turned into a “I Must Hear Every One Of Their Songs” things. I mentioned how, in the days of Yahoo Videos, they introduced, or re-introduced me, to more songs by The Proclaimers, other than 500 Miles and Letter From America that I already knew.

I said that I would love to see these guys live, that it would be a dream come true. And I thanked Charlie and Craig for existing. It was a blog that came from lamenting over the fact that, once again, I was late to the Good Music Ball and could hardly find Proclaimers fans, let alone ones under the age of 40. I’d had that with the Beatles, then it was New Order, and then it was The Proclaimers.

Since writing that blog, one small detail came about that I’m going to expand on: I said in that blog that I knew 500 Miles (I’m going to be) by the time I was 12. Here’s a fun little fact my Mum shared with me sometime after I wrote that blog: I was about six when I first became obsessed with that song. A film called Benny and Joon was released in 1993 and that song was in the soundtrack – Probably the biggest song in the soundtrack, and for a lot of Americans, the first time they’d heard of The Proclaimers. And because it became a hit, cable music channels started playing the “soundtrack” version of the music video. And I loved it! And later, after we lost cable and got it back again, it was on the Magic Music Video channel all the time as well. I could probably name all of the music videos they showed, actually, they seemed to have a small playlist, and an even smaller one at Christmas.

Anyway. What am I really getting at? I’ll tell you what I’m getting at.

A couple of weeks ago, The Proclaimers were in Liverpool. As soon as tickets were announced earlier this year, I got tickets. And I prayed to the gods of music* that I wouldn’t be struck down ill and prevented from seeing another band I’d die happy for seeing, yet again*. It must have worked, or the maybe it was the flu jab, because I actually got to see The Proclaimers.

And they were amazing! I mean, they were just so good! It was, in all senses of the phrase, a dream come true.

On the topic of the age thing, from my view from the wheelchair seats, all I could see were middle aged people, and some young children who’d come with their parents. Whenever they sung their songs from the 80s, the whole place went wild, so I got the impression these were people who were fans from when those songs were originally released. But you know what? Just because I was younger didn’t make me a lesser fan than anyone else. Not that anyone said anything, and not that I was really concerned about it, but my heart flew when they sung their original songs too.

And hey, talking economically, the wheelchair seats are, well, amongst what you might consider the more expensive seats and might possibly be out of the price range of people my age (I have no idea what the prices of non-wheelchair seats are!), so for all I know, people my age where a bit further up, further back… For all I know. (What do I know? I know nothing. Sorry)

Back to Charlie and Craig Reid and their band of merry men. I have four favourite songs, and they sung all four. Letter From America, Let’s Get Married, Then I Met You and The Joyful Kilmarnock Blues. I also consider two songs such classics that it doesn’t matter if they’re anyone’s favourites or not, they’re too good, too well written, too well composed to not like them on any level. They are of course Cap In Hand and Sunshine on Leith. I of course like I’m Gonna Be and I’m On My Way also, but they’re also so big and so well known, it goes without saying.

I thought the night was going to end without Joyful Kilmarnock Blues. I’ve found, from noseying around the internet, it’s not one of the big fan favourites. It’s one of the obscure ones. So it’s no exaggeration when I say I almost propelled out of my seat from excitement when the song started. Was it? Could it be…? Holy Moly, it was!

It’s my second favourite song, and it was amazing to see and hear it performed live.

They were on key the whole night. And I’m not just saying that. These are intelligent men, here. I’ve heard a few bands try and recreate their younger years and fail miserably, and I’ve been honest about it to the point of offending people. The Proclaimers, though, they lowered the notes they knew they couldn’t reach, and the ones they did aim for, they hit the mark beautifully. Maybe they paced themselves. Maybe they lowered some notes in a bid to not exhaust their vocal chords, for the times that going higher was very much needed. Maybe they just fancied singing it differently for a different effect – There’s a hell of a lot of difference between the sound a recording can give you, to the acoustics in a live venue being heard by thousands of people.

They changed the pace of Can in Hand, and that was the only thing that only unsettled me a bit. I’m not saying it was bad, it’s just… well, a thing with me. Unsettling. An effect I couldn’t quite get to grips with. It’s a thing. Never mind.

But everything else was just perfect. It was such a good night.

And do you know what? I finally know Who is who! HALLELUJAH! Charlie talked about Sean (The song) being written, and how he and Craig wrote it together. By process of elimination, if the one in front of the drums is Craig, then the one in front of the mic was Charlie. I’ve cracked and now I can die a happy woman (Though hopefully not for a long time).

As far as access is concerned, I went in a bigger lift this time (That will probably make sense after I post another review, which is coming soon), but the view remained perfect. I couldn’t ask for more. Well, I could, but I highly doubt the Philharmonic will ever sell twixes, and asking the band to stand right in front of the wheelchair seats and address a whole song to me would just be unreasonable…. right? I’d have more luck on the twixes!)

Next Proclaimers related post will be the review of Sunshine On Leith, which has been almost finished for over a year now. Did I mention the desk problem?