Sharp as ever 

• Craig and Charlie Reid, AKA the Proclaimers.

THE Proclaimers’ Charlie Reid has labelled the British monarchy an “embarrassing hangover from feudal society” and backed calls for Australia to ditch it, ahead of their gig at Perth Concert Hall next week.

The famous Scottish duo, Charlie and twin brother Craig, have been playing together for more than 40 years and turn 61 in March, but age and time hasn’t diminished their forthright and passionate views on political matters.

Casual fans across the world will have no doubt jumped up and down at weddings to I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) and hummed along to the radio-friendly I’m on My Way, but The Proclaimers have always been politically active and are well-known for their high-profile support for Scottish independence and have also backed calls for Welsh independence.

Aftyer playing in punk bands in the 1970s, the brothers formed The Proclaimers in 1983, hammering away on acoustic guitars and singing with a raucous energy and passion normally reserved for socialist rallies.

They rose to fame against the backdrop of the UK miners’ strike and widespread hatred in Scotland of UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher, who introduced the controversial poll tax and withdrew financial support for a lot of traditional, working-class industries.

Four decades on, The Proclaimers have just completed a sold-out 35 date UK tour and still have the political bit between their teeth on the eve of their Australian shows.

“We’d both vote for abolition of monarchy and a republic wherever we lived,” Charlie told the Voice.

“It’s an embarrassing hangover from feudal society and I’d certainly vote to become a republic if I was Australian.

“We’ve both supported Scottish independence our entire adult lives.

“It seems natural to take decisions on your countries future among the people who live and work here.”

As well as all the old favourites, the pair will be playing songs from their latest 2022 album Dentures Out. Written during the height of covid lockdowns in the UK, the album’s title is a thinly veiled swipe at the “terminal decline” of Britain.

The biting, rocky songs show the pair aren’t sentimental and certainly not up for being a cosy, nostalgia act.

Reviews of the album noted the pair were targeting the press for “weaponising” nostalgia during the covid-19 pandemic.

“The new album has a theme of the past. It seems to deal with Britain’s obvious decline and sentimentality,” Charlie says.

“We have been playing a lot of the new album during the UK tour. Favourites include the title track, Feast Your Eyes and Things As They Are.”

Managing all the personalities in a band is tough, especially when there’s more than one songwriter, but being in a band with your twin brother for 40-plus years is bound to have its emotional ups and downs.

A quirky insight into their life was shared by my friend who once owned a cafe in the small seaside town of Wemyss Bay in Scotland. 

He said that while on tour a few years back, Charlie and Craig both came in for lunch and ordered the same thing – pie, beans and chips, then sat at opposite ends of the cafe with their own group of friends.

“When we started songwriting, we sat together and wrote together,” Charlie says.

“Over the years things changed and most has been done separately. We then take the basic idea of the song and play it ‘til it feels right.”

One constant throughout the brothers’ lives has been their shared love of Edinburgh soccer team Hibernian.

One of The Proclaimers’ most emotional and popular songs Sunshine on Leith was adopted as an anthem by the club and is belted out by fans on the terraces at big games.

The bitter-sweet ballad has never been more apt as Hibs supporters have endured a topsy-turvy 2022/23 league campaign.

“Hibs are having a deeply mediocre season but we live in hope!” Charlie says.

One things for sure, no tackles will be shirked and nothing will be referred to VAR when The Proclaimers take to the stage at The Perth Concert Hall on Friday (February 24). Tix at


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