Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Monday, December 07, 2009

The Proclaimers: Usher Hall, Edinburgh, 10 November

Time to start in on my recent backlog of gig reviews (I'm going to roll up the earlier part of the year into a couple of mega-posts).

Lisa saw the Proclaimers earlier on this tour, so I was interested to see whether they did indeed rouse the Usher Hall to greater heights than they managed in Nottingham. After all, Edinburgh was the only European venue on the tour to be awarded two nights of the boys (an accolade shared with Melbourne!) I saw them on the first of the two, and while the audience took a couple of numbers to get going, when they got fired up (initially for "Cap In Hand") they really let rip. Hilary went to the second night and reckoned that was even livelier. She commented that the audience in the balcony were all on their feet and jigging: something which had made her uneasy when it happened (with Runrig) in the Playhouse where the whole balcony flexed, but posed no problem in the more rigid Usher Hall. On my night only half a dozen or so were on their feet in the balcony, but most of the stalls seemed to be up. So sorry, Lisa, but it was the Nottingham audience that was stolid. When they did "500 Miles" in Edinburgh I think you could probably feel the ground shaking in Nottingham.

So yes, the boys done good. The set list (not in order):

Born Innocent
Let's Get Married
Letter From America
What Makes You Cry?
I Met You
Love Can Move Mountains
Sing All Our Cares Away
Notes and Rhymes
Cap In Hand
There's A Touch
Sunshine on Leith
Life With You
Three More Days
I'm On My Way
You Meant It Then
Three More Days
500 Miles

My Old Friend The Blues
Joyful Kilmarnock Blues
Wages Of Sin

I hadn't actually heard the new album (Notes and Rhymes) so was interested by the material from it, including a couple of songs contributed by musicians they'd worked with. For me, though, the stand-out song of the evening, even eclipsing "My Old Friend The Blues (which I'd never heard them do live before) was "On Causewayside", which seemed to me to sum up everything that made me fall in love with the Proclaimers' music when I first heard them.

Looking back at Lisa's review, they still had the decorative and very talented violin player, though in Edinburgh she was wearing a kilt and popsocks.

Incidentally, Hilary needed access to the Usher Hall the next day for work-related reasons and the place was humming with security, with access to the auditorium suspended. It turns out there had been some major security scare, though I'm not sure exactly what. Anyway, it fortunately didn't come to anything.


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