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; Remember THE PROCLAIMERS‘.’ j Out of Auchtermuchty they came

. with peerless pop anthems for a new Scotland. Then they

disappeared for live years. Tom

i Lappin welcomes back Craig and

5 Charlie Reid.

t's like a throwback to a more innocent time. Squinting into the cheap lighting rig ol a Scottish TV crew (‘raig and (‘ltarlie Reid still manage to look like an Ivy League doowop duo lrom around l‘)(»l.

(‘rooning a tight vocal arrangement. tapping a tambourine and strumming an

acoustic. the twins. cruelly described by the Mill-Ts Steven \‘v'ells as ‘bog-eyed. milk bottle

goggled. spotty .lock geeks‘. in tact have a stripped-down. clean—cut earnestness about

them. In a pop world awash with l‘ey 7()s Bowie- clones. lurex-clad divas and bol‘lins in bicycle shorts. The Proclaimers remain the amiable. il‘ unsexy. boys next door.

It‘s been seven years since the same winning combination ol~ ginger hair. \l l8 specs and raw. rousing tales ol' love. loss and (‘alvinism put The Proclaimers on the pop map. The albums This Is‘ The Story and Sunshine ()/1 It’ll/I swiltly established the twins as adroit and passionate exponents ol' direct and emotional POP music. rooted in a love ol~ The Beatles and American country. The future was so bright it was in danger ol burning liil'e con‘tplexions.

And then nothing. l5rom lilb‘) to the present The l’roclaimers w ere rarely included in a sentence without company l‘rom the words ‘low‘ and ‘prol‘ile‘. l’orced to make do with the l‘rankly unsatislactory substitutes ot' Deacon Blue or Texas. a l‘aithl‘ul Scottish l‘ollowing languished in the beliel~ that the nation‘s linest purveyors ol raw-edged. gospel-tinged (‘aledonian country had been sucked into some vortex of obscurity reserved l‘or tour-eyed liil'et‘s. linquiries about their whereabouts elicited the regular response that they were ‘getting on with their lives and writing new material‘.

Autumn 1993 The l’roclaimers Wilderness Years with the lilourish ol a top ten hit in the l'SA. The live year-old ‘l'm (ionna Be (500 Milcsi' stomped proudly otit ol‘ the lie/my And ./()()It soundtrack. reacttyated the Sluts/tine ()n It'll/i album and sent our Auchtermuchty heroes on a marathon llesh- pressing the l'SA.

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sc‘llmoo/c across In

8 The List 25 February All) Match I994

‘I like simplicity, I don’t like heavy meanings in what we do. This album is very direct and that’s what we’te aiming

for.’ - Craig. _

Reservoir Dogs parlance. it was time to go to work.

Hall. a decade alter Suns/zine ()n It'll/t we finally have a new LP. HIT T/lt’ Highway. a Top 20 single. ‘Let‘s (let .‘ylarried'. and a collection ol‘ songs markedly more mature and direct than the previous records. The return ol~ Scotland's prodigal twins is welcome it long overdue. and is being greeted with the recording (ii a lull— length N]; special Tor the telly. In between takes in lidinburgh‘s suitably spiritual. il‘ l'ree/ing. Bellevue church (rang and (‘harlie grab a pew to try and explain where they‘ve been all your lil‘e.

‘Wli .ll7ST \\'IiRli.\'"l‘ WRl'l‘lNG the songs.’ says ('raig. ‘When we tinished the Sunshine ()2: [.t't'I/r album we thought it would take six months to a year to write the songs {or the third LP. but (‘harlie wasn‘t writing anything and most of the stul‘l‘ l was writing wasn‘t good enough. I was determined that it was going to be as good or better than the last album. We set ourselves high standards and we failed to reach them tor the lirst two or three years anyway.‘

In previous incarnations. (‘raig was cast as the serious-minded Proclaimer. with (Tharlie as the ebullient wise-cracker. That‘s changed of late

with (‘harlie‘s struggle with writer's block atth