kid ourselves that we don‘t have American inﬂuences. They come out our way because we do it the way that suits us, in our own accents, ‘cause that’s how we feel comfortable.’
But what about Kane’s contention that all the great talents in Scotland should be press-ganged into a common interest and serve a Scottish Nationalist purpose?
‘I dunno. I think ifyou’re creative and you’re trying to be totally honest, which is what we do. then you’ve got to be wary of tying yourselves to something. We‘ve got political opinions that may be considered by some people nationalist, I don’t actually think they are. I think they’rejust . . . opinions of people who are socialists thinking in a logical way. simple as that. I wouldn‘t be against people campaigning for Scottish independence and Scottish socialism — I’ve done it myself. But I think if you’re an artist and you ally yourself too closely with something it can hold sway over you and can constrain you as an artist. I think that’s what happened to a lot of people with Red Wedge.’
Craig agrees: ‘I think on occasion you can offer your services when there’s a specific issue that arises — but I think ifyou’re just campaigning all the time, be it for the SNP or anyone else. people just get bored stiffand you don’t do yourself any favours. I don’t think you do the cause you purport to represent any favours either.‘
The Proclaimers are not happy with the idea ofbeing a ‘culty’ act. Not for them the ghetto ofgreat critical acclaim but dismal record sales. Their current tour co-incides with the release of ‘Letter From America‘ as a single. produced by Gerry (‘Baker Street‘) Rafferty and, for the first time. featuring musicians other than the twins themselves on guitar, bass, drums and keyboards. Whether or not this spoils the purity oftheir music remains to be seen, but accessibility and daytime radio play are their immediate concerns. Television appearances are being lined up,and the boys have made a video to promote the single. ‘It’s good, because it’s no like fuckin’ arty or anything like that. but there’s a theme running through it. We’re not embarassed about appearing on a kid’s show, like No. 73 and all that. Not at all. We’re there to promote a single and then bugger off. What the rest of the show’s like doesn’t interest us.’
Making it big has always been The Proclaimers’ plan, despite their clearly uncommercial image and music.
‘We knew we would eventually,’ Charlie afﬁrms. ‘Don’t think there was ever any doubt. I mean there has been doubt whether this was what we wanted to do, but there was never any doubt, in the 99.9% of the time that we did want to do it, there was
never any doubt that we’d have some success.’
So do they think ‘Letter From America’ will be the one to break the market open for them? Charlie is ambivalent.
‘I’m no sayin’ it’s goin’ to be Number One or anythin’ like that, but we’ll get a hit out ofit, I’m convinced we will. There’s a lot of people out there who’re into music the same way we’re into it, and understand what we’re doin’, who’ve not heard us yet. 80’s by gettin’ a hit you can build up your audience, not a fuckin’ pop audience, ’cause they’ll only stay wi’ you for five minutes. If you can build up a big audience of people who like us and understand what we’re about, I think the best way you can do that is with a hit single, which will increase the audience tenfold.’
In the same way that the ‘starving artist syndrome’ has never touched them, neither have they felt at all inﬂuenced by traditional folk music, despite what many immediately assume when hearing the acoustic guitar and strong accents.
‘My wife quite likes it,’ Charlie says. ‘I don’t dislike it. but I think a lot ofit is a bit like jazz, y’know, a lot of the people in it seem to be very exclusive about it. Anything that is not traditional is not tolerated. But some of the musicians are great, especially the Irish ones. I think there’s less bullshit wi’ them. I haven’t a clue what they think about us.’
Refreshingly, they are free ofthe Messianic urge to proclaim that their way is the right way, that Proclaimers music is the only music worth listening to. Their confidence in their music is tempered by modesty. When pushed, however, Craig will say this:
‘We do feel that the stuff we are doing is more powerful anyway. It’s not a case ofsaying, ‘You should listen to it because it’s so great’ and that. We honestly believe we put it over more powerfully than any group, and I include American groups as well. We put it over more powerfully than any act in the world at the moment. Musician-wise we’re one’a the worst, and songwriting-wise we’re nothing like as good as some people, but in putting across a song I think we do it more powerfully than any group I’ve seen.’
Craig and Charlie are currently writing songs for their second LP, as they have been doing for the last few months. They promise that the new songs will show a definite development. ‘I think we’re starting to mature, starting to learn a bit as writers, so things‘ll change naturally,’ believes Charlie. Perhaps the record will help overcome the reaction of the London media that The Proclaimers are just a novelty, a reputation that still precedes them. ‘That’s just a hurdle we’ll have to overcome. I’d rather get some recognition and have a few people treat us as a novelty than no get recognition, put it that way. It’s quite understandable. We are not like any other group in Scotland at the moment.’
The Proclaimers are at the Pavilion, Glasgow on Wed 1 1 Nov and at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh on Sat 14 Nov.
17-21 November 1987
“Rambert Dance Company (formerly Ballet Rambert)
is going up and up
and up - these dancers know what they are
about and want to give
100 per cent of themselves.”
. Box Office (041) 331 1234 Credit Cards (041) 332 9000
THEATRE ROYAL, GLASGOW
This Visit is also subsidised by 5-”"50'9‘19' the Scottish Arts Council,
This visit is sponsored by DEC Glasgow District Cauncil 8. (0'9"0' EQU'Pme'" CO- Ud-l Strot clyde Regional C0uncil
TH E Love Child’
SIARRINC Sheila Hancock PeterCapaldi Percy Herbert Lesley Sharp AND in: VOICE or Alexei Sayle
“Forsythian in the warmth of its observation.”
Derek Malcolm. Guardian
“Very enjoyable...lTJhnli:hpfachably charming.” e n open ent
“Peter Capaldi is a wide eyed gangling delight.”
wnirrm av CordOn Hann nooucr 0 av Angela Topping tomb av john Dawes omc H 0 av Robert Smith
GLASGOW FILM THEATRE lst — 7th NOVEMBER
The List 30 Oct - 12 Nov 5