Gig review: The Proclaimers

By Daniel Speirs


Rod Stewart may have officially opened the SSE Hydro on 30th September, but Craig and Charlie really got the party started in Glasgow’s stunning new entertainment venue.

The already impressive Clydeside has been further blessed, with the colourful dome all set to become another architectural icon of the city, in the company of classics such as the Armadillo and George Square.

Along with its sleek modern interior, the Hydro resembles a crash landed spaceship- the site of many great memories to come without a doubt.Proclaimers

There was barely time to truly take in the majesty of the arena before Roddy Hart and the Lonesome Fire emerged, set to take on the unenviable task of opening for the boys from Leith. They rocked through an energetic set with their unique brand of indie rock, with fan’s favourite ‘Queenstown’ attracting a big reaction from the audience, even this early in proceedings.

Glasvegas were next to grace the stage, opening with the title track of their third studio album, ‘Euphoric Heartbreak’, to a raucous reception from their hardcore fans in the arena. The hugely successful Glasgow band proceeded to showcase their greatest hits; ‘Geraldine’, ‘Go Square Go’ and ‘Lost Sometimes’, raising the arena to boiling point. The capacity crowd could barely contain their excitement in the tense moments after Glasvegas departed the stage to a hearty ovation.

But there was yet another suspense-building surprise in store as comedian Matt Lucas took to the stage for a few brief introductory remarks, keeping the crowd hanging on for ‘the best band in the world’ as Lucas described them.

And then they emerged. Their ability to maintain the appearance of two shy working class guys thrust into such hysteria is simply part of the charm of The Proclaimers, especially after so many years of international success.

The boys got the ball rolling with the exceedingly catchy ‘Whatever you’ve got’, a song from their 2012 album ‘Like Comedy’. The upbeat, cheery lyrics and bouncy keyboard engaged the audience immediately, but the party really started with the instantly recognisable ‘Letter from America’, one of their all-time classics.

From here on in came hit after glorious hit, the crowd lapping up favourites such as ‘Cap in Hand’, ‘I’m on My Way’ and ‘Sunshine on Leith’, the title of the brand new hit musical turned film sensation based on the unique music of The Proclaimers.

There was an undercurrent of anticipation throughout the crowd, however, and the crowd exploded when the first few chords of ‘500 Miles’ slipped out. The whole stadium was on their feet now, ‘da da da da!’ reverberating throughout the futuristic venue as it had in a million halls, pubs and stadiums before.

The boys left the stage to a standing ovation, before their inevitable return to kick off the encore with the anthem ‘Life with You’. They then slid into the smooth jazz of ‘King of the Road’ before finishing up on the triumphant ‘Joyful Kilmarnock Blues’.

A brand new venue, but The Proclaimers were as prolific and electrifying as ever, a truly legendary live act whose recent rejuvenation is as welcome as it is deserved.} else {