Rick Keene Music Scene – The Proclaimers Stun Montreal

In an odd way, it’s a shame The Proclaimers had a huge hit with I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles).

The 1988 tune from the album Sunshine on Leith distracts audiences from the truth. Veritably – the Scotland raised duo / band are far better than the song which put them on the global map.

Much like Britain’s The Zombies, The Proclaimers are full tilt musicians with harmonized masterpieces around every amplifier. This group is all about the song – not the instruments. Solos are embedded poignantly and rightfully. No-one in the group steals the moment and the lights remain large and broad.

Twins Charlie and Craig Reid are the guys who wrote The Proclaimers songbook. Vocally – their fifty six year old vocal chords do not sound a day over twenty. Last evening at The Corona Theater, not a pause could be heard as the tunes came fast and furious.

Angry Cyclist, the namesake of the band’s newest disc, started the night with a proclamation. Any thoughts of an ‘oldies’ show with a one hit wonder encore were quickly dismissed. Clive Jenner (drums) set the tone with his metronome beastly rhythms. Punctuating the audience’s upcoming evening sentence with force and finesse.

Forever Young, Over and Done With and Letter From America flowed next. The latter reminding everyone why that tune peaked at #3 on the UK charts in 1986. The latter also witnessing the six piece group hitting their groove. Part Folk, part Country, part Punk , part Pop and part Rock. The sum of which makes for an interesting musical experience.

The pub in the lads shines through as the punctuated drum beat raises the vocals for drinking. Within the fine craftsmanship of the majority of The Proclaimers’ songs lay the ‘I Don’t care What He’s Saying’ chanting moments as the atmospheric tones of ‘ Spinning Around in the Air’, ‘Hate My Love’ and ‘A Way With Words’ displaces tranquility and reason. Fleeting minutes filling the minute voids left by haunting Country tunes.

Yes – whether the boys in the band (Steven Christie – Keyboards, John Kane – Bass, Zac Ware – Lead Guitar) admit it or not; The Proclaimers are very much a Country and Western Band circa the 1970s.

Misty Blue, Sunshine on Leith and Rainbows & Happy Regrets unite the good ol’ boys ghosts on stage for both wonderfully charged harmony sessions as well as complete craftsmanship. Profound songs which make the most cynical fan sit up in their chairs. Zac’s guitar work and Steven’s keys whirl off one another while not getting in the way of the rest of the band. The Reids identically hitting the ‘twang’ of classic Country while the battery of Kane and Jenner keep it crisp.

The Proclaimers turned a lot of heads before I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) turned toes upward. Not a bad tune – maybe it will be a hit one day?

Visit The Proclaimers Here

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