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Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > Sep-18 > GEARS FOR FEARS

GEARS FOR FEARS

FRESH FROM CELEBRATING THEIR 30TH ANNIVERSARY, THE PROCLAIMERS ARE BACK WITH ENERGETIC, POLITICISED NEW ALBUM ANGRY CYCLIST. CLASSIC POP MEETS THE REID TWINS IN EDINBURGH TO HEAR WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO STAY FRESH – AND HOW THE SPECTRE OF UNEMPLOYMENT STILL HAUNTS THEM, DECADES ON…

THE PROCLAIMERS

Face to face, it’s actually very easy to tell The Proclaimers twins Craig and Charlie Reid apart. For over a decade, guitarist Charlie has only worn glasses on stage, preferring contact lenses when he’s not on full Proclaimers duty. Chief songwriter Craig is also wirier and more intense than his laid-back brother.

Both are good hosts. Aware that Classic Pop is only in Edinburgh for the afternoon before going back to London, they meet us at The Balmoral Hotel, right next to Edinburgh Waverley station, in order to maximise interview time. Also with us is their 6’ 6” manager Kenny MacDonald, an amiable presence who has represented the Reids since before they were signed. “We’ve had the same tour manager, Tom Oliver, since the start, too,” notes Craig. “If you’ve got folk you can rely on who do their job properly, keep with them.” In the next 90 minutes over tea (Craig) and Diet Coke (Charlie), it’s clear The Proclaimers are closer to their blue-collar roots than pretty much any successful musicians this side of Bruce Springsteen. It’s not an affectation; more that the Reid brothers know how very different their lives could have been.

Although it’s been 31 years since Letter From America and debut album This Is The Story made the twins stars, Craig and Charlie had each endured six years of unemployment before finding success in their mid-20s. They’d begun The Proclaimers after a succession of teenage punk bands eventually slimmed down to what now seems the most obvious idea: just the twins and Charlie’s guitar, going full-tilt at the world. “You always feel slightly insecure if you’ve been unemployed as long as we were,” explains Charlie. Craig nods his agreement. “It marks you. It’s not just having no money, it’s having no control of your destiny. That’s frightening. And it doesn’t leave you, ever.”

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About Classic Pop

Issue 44 of Classic Pop magazine is on sale now! In the latest issue we speak to Soft Cell's Marc Almond and Dave Ball as they prepare for their farewell gig at the O2 in London and release a career-spanning boxset, Keychains & Snowstorms. We also take a look at their Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret LP in our Classic Album feature. Elsewhere, we have an exclusive interview with the world's biggest record producer, Mark Ronson, catch up with The Proclaimers who return with their politicised new album Angry Cyclist and talk to Level 42's Mark King about his life in pop's funkiest band. This month, we look back on the glory days of house music and Toyah tells us how she brought the punk aesthetic to the pop world. For boombox fans, we take an in-depth look at why cassettes are making a return and we also serve up a buyer's guide to the wonderful Luther Vandross. Our packed reviews section features new albums from Prince, Paul Weller, Lenny Kravitz, Paul Simon and many more while the reissues section includes Pet Shop Boys, the latest David Bowie boxset and Curiosity Killed The Cat. On the gig front, we head to Hyde Park for The Cure's only European show of the year, delve into the latest Let's Rock festival in Shrewsbury and check out gigs by Nick Heyward, Del Amitri and others. Enjoy the issue!