The Proclaimers @ Edinburgh Playhouse, 9 Nov

The Reid brothers play the first of two sold out shows at the Edinburgh Playhouse and it's a night that no one will forget any time soon

Live Review by Paul Sinclair | 14 Nov 2018

Before the Reid brothers step foot on stage tonight for the first of two sold out gigs at the Edinburgh Playhouse, an excited roar emanates from the crowd as their massive "The Proclaimers" backdrop lowers, and within minutes the band appear, opening with the title track from their latest release, Angry Cyclist.

Although this is a seated show, it may as well be standing as the majority of people in attendance are up and dancing the night away. At times singing louder than the band, the audience this evening is a swirling, slightly tipsy sea of electricity as they sing every word.

Expectantly, some of the newer material isn't met with the same vigorous enthusiasm as the greatest hits (with a notable exception to new song Streets of Edinburgh, a love letter to the city the brothers grew up in), but songs like Letter from America and Let's Get Married are belted out by every person in attendance. 

The group don’t have all that much to say between songs, but do engage with the audience from time to time: "The first time we were here was 1980 seeing The Jam," muses Charlie Reid before the group break into Sunshine on Leith. This feels like a truly special moment as the crowd roar out the song, a stone's throw from Leith itself.

500 Miles (I’m Gonna Be) closes the show, and just like that, the brothers are gone. The audience does not waver, in fact growing louder as they impatiently wait for an encore. Soon enough the band returns, reopening with Cap in Hand. Although the song was first released in 1988, it became a prominent anthem during the 2014 Scottish independence campaign, and the chorus – 'But I can’t understand why we let someone else rule our land' – is sang with a fierce passion from both band and audience.

Closing with The Joyful Kilmarnock Blues, the Reid twins receive an extended standing ovation as the evening ends. Sure, there were a couple of golden oldies left from the set – it would have been nice to hear Oh Jean or Throw the R Away – but tonight feels like a party. Everyone in attendance came together to celebrate one of Scotland's legendary musical exports, to celebrate this great country and sing with thick Scottish accents. This evening The Proclaimers put on an act of remembrance that no one will forget any time soon.