Scottish duo The Proclaimers first sprang into our consciousness with I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – a paean to the power of pedestrians professing love.
Almost 30 years after that song’s release, brothers Craig and Charlie Reid have swapped the shoe leather for pedal power with their 11th album Angry Cyclist.
Speaking to Newcastle Live, Craig said that the album’s title track, while in the same lush folk pop territory the band are known for, deals with much more serious subject matter.
“It’s really about being in big cities and you see cyclists on the road mixed in with the cars and the trucks and the buses and the kind of mixture of anxiety, anger and fear that you can sometimes see on their faces,” Craig said.
“We’re using that as a metaphor for how politics in the West, in the last few years, has become very polarised and very bitter.”
More pointedly though, Craig said the track is a reflection of the societal fallout in the UK from the Brexit debate.
“The biggest thing, certainly in my lifetime has been Brexit – that’s becoming more and more intense and all-consuming by the day,” he said. “It’s sapping everybody’s energy in Britain – I’ve never seen anything like it and I think the bitterness from this will last decades.”
If there was to be the perfect panacea for a divisive climate, however, it would have to be a Proclaimers show.
Their music, especially tracks such as Im Gonna Be (500 Miles), I’m On My Way and the gorgeous Sunshine on Leith,are imbued with an optimism and exuberance that is impossible to ignore.
And Craig said that Newcastle fans can expect a healthy serving of the band’s 11-album career when they play the Civic Theatre next month.
“We do an hour and a half and obviously we’ll play all the hit’s that we’re known for and the albums we’ve had over the years and we’ll be playing some stuff from Angry Cyclist as well,” he said.
“We don’t really play the same set twice which keeps us on our toes and keeps the interest of people who come back for multiple shows.”
While the Proclaimers never matched the success of 500 Miles (Australian number one), Im On My Way (number 3) and the parent record Sunshine on Leith, they have continued to create brilliantly crafted folk pop that has seen them cultivate and nurture a loyal fanbase across the globe.
All the while choosing to forgo trends in favour of staying true to themselves as artists.
“You evolve as a songwriter simply because you get older and your perspective on life changes,” Craig said.
“But we’ve always looked to try to be original and to try and not to write the same song twice. If you keep doing it that way I think it just evolves naturally.”
Catch The Proclaimers at the Civic Theatre on Tuesday 21 May. Tickets are available through Ticketek