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All the Info

Identical twins Charlie and Craig Reid were born in 1962 in Leith, Scotland.  They grew up in Edinburgh, Cornwall and Auchtermuchty, the working-class port district just north of Edinburgh. While growing up, they listened to early rock & roll and country, gravitating toward artists like Jerry Lee Lewis and Hank Williams. After playing in various punk bands during their school years, they formed the Proclaimers in 1983 with their thick Scottish accents backed with acoustic guitars, they soon garnered a loyal and faithful following.


Chrysalis Records signed The Proclaimers in early 1987 and they released their debut, 'This Is The Story', that same year. The album eventually went gold thanks in part to the single 'Letter From America' which topped out at #3 on the U.K. Pop chart.


Scotland’s finest Celtic soul brothers Craig and Charlie Reid have reached a rarefied status: after three decades they are as innovative as ever and with every album and show played, The Proclaimers continue to garner new fans.

A highly-individual blend of punk, folk, poetry, country, soul, socialism and new wave, The Proclaimers walk precisely the right line between romance and bitter reality.  Their songs are timeless; with their catchy tunes and stirring harmonies they capture the full scope of human emotions. 


Pre-Proclaimers (1970s–1982)

In the early careers of Craig and Charles Reid, Craig received a beaten-up drum kit and Charlie a guitar, and the pair played in punk rock bands named Black Flag, Hippy Hasslers and Reasons for Emotion. Craig Reid, in a 2016 interview with 'Esquire Middle East', said that he loved punk acts such as The Clash, The Jam, the Sex Pistols, as well as "all the mid-60s stuff… The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Kinks".


Formation and This Is the Story (1983–1987)

Becoming aware of the potential of playing as a duo, the Craig and Charlie established the Proclaimers as an acoustic duo in 1983. During this time, the duo attracted a regional fan-base, with Inverness, in Scotland, having an especially dedicated community of supporters. Many of the duo's songs, such as "Letter from America" which was written in 1984 and reflected unemployment rates of the day, were conceived in this period.


The Proclaimers recorded a demo album with the assistance of Kevin Rowland of Dexys Midnight Runners. The demo fell into the hands of English indie pop band the Housemartins, who invited the Proclaimers to support them on their 1986 tour. First opening at the Hummingbird in Birmingham, the tour afforded the duo the opportunity to perform on Channel 4 pop programme The Tube and Chrysalis Records quickly signed the pair.

In 1987, 'This Is the Story' was released through Chrysalis. For release as a single, the album-track "Letter from America" was remixed by Gerry Rafferty, embellishing the song with a full-band sound. The single peaked at No. 3 in the UK Singles Chart, as the duo appeared on Top of the Pops for the first time on 12 December 1987, while the album This Is the Story went gold.


Sunshine on Leith (1988–1993)

Their follow-up album, Sunshine on Leith, was released in 1988 and featured a rock-driven sound as the Proclaimers worked with a band for the first time. Ranging in lyrical-themes from familial joy to Scottish nationalism, the record featured the singles "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)", which went to number one in Australia and New Zealand, and "I'm On My Way". The album was a particularly big hit in Australia in 1989, being that year's 12th biggest-seller, reaching No. 2, and attaining a 2× multi-platinum certification by the ARIA. Craig Reid described this success as their "biggest ever". Attaining certifications of 2× multi-platinum in Canada, at the time of June 2009 Sunshine on Leith had sold a worldwide total of 2 million copies. The album was a critical success, with Rolling Stone in May 1989 lauding it "a wonderfully guileless treasure of an album".

Sunshine on Leith's following concert tour included a performance at the 1989 Glastonbury Festival, playing to an audience of over 65,000.

"I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" lately peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in August 1993, after appearing in the movie Benny & Joon, becoming their only chart single in the United States. This popularity saw the Proclaimers supporting American glam metal band Bon Jovi, alongside 10,000 Maniacs, at the Madison Square Garden concert on their 'I'll Sleep When I'm Dead Tour'.


Hit the Highway (1994–2001)

The Proclaimers' third studio album, Hit the Highway, was released in 1994. Continuing in the band-oriented rock direction of Sunshine on Leith, Hit the Highway fell short of previous successes. The record spawned the hit "Let's Get Married", charting in the United Kingdom, Canada and Austria.

The Proclaimers recorded a cover of "Get Ready" by the Temptations for the 1994 screwball comedy film Dumb and Dumber. Cameron Matthews of Vice praised the song "a rocking cover" which gave "a Scottish twist to the ... original". The Proclaimers kept out of the public eye for much of the late 1990s, mainly due to family commitments.


Return and Persevere (2001–2002)

After 7 years under low-profile, they released their comeback album 'Persevere' in 2001. Persevere was to-date the only album of theirs to be recorded in the United States, and saw the duo tour North America in support of Canadian alternative rock band Barenaked Ladies.

'The Best of The Proclaimers' the duo's first greatest hits album, was released on 15 April 2002. The album was hailed by Hal Horowitz as "a near-perfect summary" of their material. Reaching No. 5 and being certified platinum in the UK, the compilation also charted in New Zealand.


Born Innocent (2003–2004)

The Proclaimers' fifth studio album, Born Innocent, was released in 2003. Their first release on their own label, Persevere Records, the record was hailed as "a return to form".Born Innocent was ranked at No. 26 for Mojo Magazine's "Albums of the Year". Finest, the duo's second greatest hits album, was also released in 2003.


Restless Soul, Life With You (2005–2008)

The sixth studio album, Restless Soul, was released in 2005. In March 2007, a new version of "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)", reached No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart. The revival of the hit featured guest vocals from sitcom characters Andy Pipkin and Brian Potter, of Little Britain and Phoenix Nights.

A seventh studio album, Life with You, was released on 3 September 2007 in the UK, and April 2008 in the US. The lead single, "Life with You", reached #58 in the UK, having been the only new Proclaimers single to chart since 1994, while the record itself was their highest-charting in 13 years, peaking at #13. 'Life with You''s US release was promoted by an American tour in April and May 2008.


Notes & Rhymes (2009–2011)

Notes & Rhymes, the eighth Proclaimers studio album, was released in June 2009. They signed to Cooking Vinyl. The European release was on 15 June 2009, with the US release on 11 August 2009. The duo were one of the B-52s' touring partners on their Funplex tour in Australia and New Zealand in November 2009, alongside Mental as Anything.

They featured in VH1's 100 greatest one hit wonders, "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" having been their only US hit single.


Like Comedy (2012–2014)

Like Comedy, in 2012, was the Proclaimers' ninth studio effort and their first to be released on Cooking Vinyl records. The Proclaimers toured the United States in April 2013, performing as an acoustic duo once again. That summer, the duo toured Music Festivals in the UK and Canada.

A third compilation, The Very Best Of: 25 Years 1987-2012, was released on 9 July 2013. Peaking at No. 80 on the UK Albums Chart, the compilation was certified gold in the UK.

In 2014, the Sunshine on Leith track "Cap in Hand", noted for its nationalist stance, came to prominence in the wake of the Scottish Independence Referendum that September. The song reached No. 6 in Scotland and No. 62 on the UK Singles Chart.


Let's Hear It for the Dogs (2015–2017)

A tenth studio album, Let's Hear It for the Dogs, was released in April 2015. The album was recorded at Rockfield Studios in Wales and produced by Dave Eringa. As stated by member Charlie Reid, the decision to have Eringa produce Let's Hear It for the Dogs was brought about by an admiration for his work with Manic Street Preachers, and on the Johnson and Daltrey album Going Back Home.


Angry Cyclist (2018–2021)

Their eleventh studio album, Angry Cyclist, was released in August 2018. Noted for its political lyrics attacking Brexit and the Trump Administration , Angry Cyclist attracted a favourable reception. During Angry Cyclist's accompanying promotional tour, they performed in the United Kingdom, Asia, Canada and Australia, to over 400,000 people. The Proclaimers also opened at the 2019 Glastonbury Festival.


Dentures Out (2022–present)

In late May 2022, it was revealed on The Proclaimers' official website that the duo would announce a new studio album on 16 June that year, a date that was later put forward until the 30th of that month. On that date, the duo's twelfth album Dentures Out was announced for release on 16 September 2022. The news came alongside the release of the album's lead single "The World that Was" and the announcement of Manic Street Preachers front man James Dean Bradfield's collaboration on the record.



The Reids are passionate fans of Hibernian Football Club, and the song "Sunshine on Leith" has been adopted as an anthem by the club which plays in that part of Edinburgh. In October 2022 The Proclaimers sponsored the Hibernian Girls Academy Under 12s football team.

The brothers are also well-known supporters of Scottish independence and have been activists for the Scottish National Party, expressing such views during their promotional tour of Britain in 2007.

In 2006, the twins participated in a campaign to free a fellow Scot, Kenny Richey, from his death row sentence in Ohio, United States, including an appearance at a charity concert. In December 2007, Richey accepted a plea bargain, which led to his release from death row and return to Scotland on 9 January 2008. Also, in March 2010 they participated with Billy Bragg in a show at the Electric Palace, Bridport, supporting Reprieve, a charity that seeks to end the use of the death penalty.

In April 2021, the twins endorsed the Alba Party.

The group has also voiced support for Welsh independence.

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