Andrew Abbott's Blog

Monday, 27 July 2015

I’d like to Proclaim I’m a fan.

Off to the Drill Hall last Sunday night, an inconvenient night for those of us of the working classes I have to say, for the visit of stridently Scottish minstrels The Proclaimers. I say minstrels for the Caledonian duo seem to spend their lives on the road these days, which is a good thing for us lovers of live music as they provide a very acceptable level of entertainment and so it proved once again.

They’re political, vehement in their espousal of Scottish independence, the recent referendum doesn’t blunt their zeal and they’re socialists which is a concept that has largely died out south of the border although Mr Corbyn, cause celebre of the upcoming Labour leadership election might have something to say about that.

So, political, socialist and very Scottish but can they entertain or are they a version of Billy Bragg with an Edinburgh (I should say Leith to be completely accurate) accent?

A packed house at the Drill Hall gives the answer to that question. We last saw The Proclaimers at Leicester a couple of years ago in a totally different setting, a large seated hall. Here we were back to the old days, the seating stowed away at the back of the hall and the audience on their feet. It felt like we were in the halcyon days of Top of the Pops without the vacuous young ladies “dancing” and equally vacuous DJ. It was all the better for that.

Charlie and Craig rattled through their old staples and we, the audience duly warbled along with them but there were lots of new songs with their message of distain for the treatment of Scotland at the hands of the English (funny how we think it’s the other way round isn’t it?) the exodus of talent from north of the border and other touchy subjects the twins are unafraid to bring up but it’s all marvellous entertainment and we can’t mind that much or we wouldn’t turn up in such numbers. They are also quite touchingly endearing. In addition, how many top acts, and I think you have to put them in that bracket through sheer longevity and the sort of gigs they do, Glastonbury etc, would deign to appear in the foyer after the show to greet their fans and sign autographs?

That full house should guarantee they will be back in a couple of years, I do hope so.