As a long-time spectacle wearer myself, I spent much of my youth hoping upon hope that some cool, bespectacled, musical heroes would turn up, rendering yours truly just a little bit hipper in their wake.
Then, lo and behold, after years of waiting two turn up, just like buses.
Hardly the coolest guys on the planet (I’m sure they’d admit that themselves), Charlie and Craig, collectively The Proclaimers, burst forth from Auchtermuchty onto the music scene in1987, with ‘This is the story’
The album includes some great tracks that leave an Englishman in no doubt that the Scots are the finest and proudest nation on the planet – the opening track ‘Throw the ‘R’ away’ explains the boys’ unwillingness to moderate their local accents, and their biggest hit from this album, ‘Letter from America’ tells of the lack of opportunities for the Scottish people, and the subsequent pressure to move abroad. Included in two versions here, the ‘Band’ version is produced by another legendary spectacle-sporter, Gerry Rafferty.
Side 2 is not quite up to side 1’s high standard (with a number of the songs apparently consisting of the boys strumming guitars while shouiting ‘hup, hup, hup’ a lot), but ‘Beautiful truth’ lives up to its title and the second side does feature the alternative version of ‘Letter from America’.
Incidentally I saw The Proclaimers in concert at the Newcastle Mayfair (sadly now demolished) and they appeared to be the grumpiest individuals I’ve ever seen live (and I’ve seen Van Morrison). Their demeanour may have been linked to the fact that they were blown off the stage by their support act, the never heard before or since (unless you bought their tape at the gig, which I did) ‘Critterhill Varmints’. Glorying in the title of ‘Pump up the turkey’, this may feature in future, but only if you’re very good.
Label – Chrysalis.
Year - 1987