Published on theMusic.com.au, Apr 2016
Perth Concert Hall
A wave of Scottish accents swept across the room as the seats filled with a mixture of pride and anticipation for legendary Celtic hitmaker twins The Proclaimers.
Although it has only been three years since their last visit, they raided the stage in a manner that indicated they had a lot to declare, bursting into opener Sky Takes The Soul with no hesitation to an echo of enthusiastic and rhythmic clapping.
Getting their start in punk bands, an upbeat folk edge appeared for with Over & Done With, which really showcased the differences in the brothers’ vocal styles. Guitarist Charlie filling out the lower tones with warmth as well as dishing out aggressive, punk-esque background chants from time to time, with a casual tee to fit the part; an interesting comparison to percussionist Craig, holding more constant notes and dressed to impress in a button up shirt.
Review accuracy becomes all the more imperative when dealing with two identical looking frontmen, but although they’re similar in many ways, it’s their differences that makes their chemistry work so well — particularly those in their vocals —giving the music a climax that few others are able to match in a live format.
New songs Tuesday Afternoon and In My Home showed maturity and focussed on delicate harmonies to get the point across, idling at a slow pace. But it was classics off the groundbreaking 1988 record Sunshine On Leith that fans really went crazy for. The record’s title track was introduced by a handful of crowd-requested shootouts and saw a sea of phones fly up and numerous Hibernian Football Club flags make an appearance.
Hometown pride was in full-force for Scottish shanty Spinning Around In The Air with a steady beat and uplifting, easy-to-grasp melodies, so much so even the uninitiated would have been able to sing along to the second chorus.
Sean carried the traditional sound into a pop arena with a punk-edge and truly showcased the diverse nature of their back catalogue, and by set’s end their performance had been so satisfying that not only was it easy to forget they hadn’t played their two biggest hits yet, but even if they didn’t play them it would have been a great night.
The addition of I’m On My Way and I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) to round out the evening was simply an added bonus.