May 17, 2010 8.55 am This story is over 161 months old

Proclaimers prepare for first Lincoln visit

Interview: We talk to Craig Reid, one half of The Proclaimers, about political stances and what to expect from Lincoln’s audience.

Folk band The Proclaimers will be performing on June 17th at Lincoln’s Engine Shed, visiting the city for the very first time in the band’s 27 years of existence.

The Scottish band came to be in 1983, after Craig Reid and his identical twin brother Charlie wanted “to create something better” than the various punk bands they had joined at school.

The Proclaimers got their first big gig when band The Housemartins heard them play, and asked them to join them on their 1986 tour in Ireland. From there, they were invited onto UK music programme The Tube, then signed with record company Chrysalis Records.

The band are quite transparent with their political views, and were known for their participation in the campaign to free Kenny Richey, a Scot on Death Row.

They also made their party allegiances known, with Craig being a supporter of the Scottish National Party. A couple of their songs, like Letter from America and Cap in Hand, have a political context.

“It’s only in a minority of songs,” said Craig. “If you are interested in politics, it’s gonna come through. If you have an interest in politics, do it.”

Craig is unsure what to expect from the Lincoln crowd, in a city he had never been to before: “I don’t know. You have expectations, but you shouldn’t really. The show is on a Thursday – lively audiences on a Thursday. Different days of the week bring in a different crowd. Though I am looking forward to it.

“The tour is going well so far. It’s been the busiest year ever,” Craig added, which says a lot, considering the band have been touring for so long.

Looking back over the band’s successes, Craig finds it hard to pick just one. After all, The Proclaimers have had a few big moments through their career.

“There’s a lot of them. First song on the radio, first hit in America, and our tour in 2001 – after so many years out there, there was still an audience left – that was the best tour ever.”

Of course there is one hit The Proclaimers are known best for, and that’s the song I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles). The track was covered for charity in 2007 by various television comedians, pushing the song straight to number one.

So, have The Proclaimers actually ever walked 500 miles? “No,” says Craig, “And I never really intend to.”

The Proclaimers are playing at the Engine Shed on June 17th, and tickets cost £22.50.

Photo: Chrysalis Records