6th November 2001
The Rothes Halls - Glenrothes
I am quite sure that at some point during the lengthy hiatus following their 1994 Hit The Highway album, more than a few of those southern Clever Mouths would have assumed those slightly eccentric Proclaimers twins had enjoyed their fifteen minutes of fame, and would be heard of no more
Of course, had they but known it the Lads were just enjoying some Paternity Leave, and were spending their “idle” time creating more Reids.
The turn of the century, however, saw the Craig and Charlie back in the studio, the fruits of which were the 2001 release: the perhaps aptly titled, Persevere. And clearly parenthood had agreed with the Boys, for this one was a fine return to form – not quite perhaps up to the standard of Sunshine on Leith, but an impressive return nevertheless.
The twins’s trademark wit was a sharp as ever, as evidenced by A Land Fit for Zeros and Everybody’s a Victim, with the standout cut in my opinion Scotland’s Story. This one dealt with immigration rather than movement in the opposite direction and complemented Letter From America perfectly.
When You’re In Love opened the set, with Let’s Get Married performed immediately after. All the usual suspects from the first two albums were played, but I cannot recall many more from the Hit The Highway set, although What Makes You Cry may have pitched up. There was as may be expected a fair selection from the new ‘un, including There's a Touch, Sweet Little Girls and Slowburner.
This was the first all-standing gig I had been to in some time, but I soon discovered the the way of things had not changed. Generally the more adventurous (i.e. younger) folks made their way to the front, with the concentration of bodies reducing (and age increasing) the further back one moved from the stage.
However, I noted here there was a third stratum of folks; ones who appeared to have come along almost as casual observers. They lined the walls of the hall, rather in the manner of wallflowers at a dance, apparently regarding the whole evening as some sort of cocktail party. For they kept up an irritating murmur of conversation throughout the whole gig. They appeared to shut up during some of the more raucous pieces, but during any quieter, or unfamiliar songs again they set up their gabble.
This rudeness reached a peak with Act of Remembrance, which the wall-huggers clearly felt was both too new and too quiet to warrant any attention, so redoubled their chat-chat-chattering. I could see Charlie getting a touch annoyed as he attempted to perform his tribute to his recently departed Father over the din.
For all that, this had been a triumphant return, and clearly the Proclaimers were back.
This time to stay.