The Proclaimers

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The Proclaimers
Origin Auchtermuchty, Scotland
Genre(s) Folk rock, pop
Years active 1983present
Label(s) Chrysalis Records
Charlie Reid
Craig Reid

The Proclaimers are a Scottish band composed of identical twin brothers, Charlie and Craig Reid (born 5 March, 1962, Leith, Scotland). They are best known for the songs "Letter from America", "I'm On My Way", and "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)".


The twins were brought up in Auchtermuchty, Fife. After several punk rock bands at school they formed The Proclaimers in 1983.

The pair came to public attention when an Inverness based fan sent their demo to the British band The Housemartins, who were impressed enough to invite the Proclaimers on their 1986 UK tour. The exposure of the tour won them a January 1987 appearance on the UK pop music television programme The Tube on Channel Four;[1] "Letter from America" peaked at number 3 in the UK Singles Chart,[2] whilst the album This is the Story went gold. The follow-up album Sunshine on Leith featured "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" (UK number 11) and "I'm On My Way" (UK number 43).[2] They had a big hit with their EP King of the Road, which reached number 9 in the UK in 1990.[2]

The brothers are fans of Hibernian Football Club, and "Sunshine on Leith" has become a theme song for the club, being played at every home match. Charlie and Craig Reid appeared at their Easter Road stadium for the 'Hands Off Hibs' campaign in 1990 when Wallace Mercer attempted a takeover of the club but was defeated by fan pressure. They are also well-known supporters of Scottish independence and have at various stages of their lives been activists for the Scottish National Party, expressing such views on their promotional tour of Britain in March 2007,[3] although the following month, Charlie Reid announced that he had switched his allegiance to the Scottish Socialist Party in protest at the Scottish National Party's receipt of funding from big business.[4] Many of their songs reflect their political views, such as "Letter from America" and "Cap in Hand". On 16 May 2006, the twins announced their participation in a campaign to free a fellow Scot, Kenny Richey, from his death row sentence in Ohio, United States, including an appearance at a charity concert.[5]

"I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" has become a major Scottish anthem, played at Scottish national football matches, Scottish pubs, and other traditional Scottish events across the world.

As of May 2006 "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" had remained in the iTunes download chart since December 2004. Their 1988 album Sunshine on Leith sold over 25,000 copies in 2005.

In March 2007 they recorded a new version of "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" with television comedy characters Andy Pipkin (played by Matt Lucas) and Brian Potter (Peter Kay) for the Comic Relief charity. A long list of celebrities were featured in the music video for this new version, including David Bellamy, Rod, Jane and Freddy, Paul O'Grady, David Tennant, Frank Sidebottom and many more. This new version of the song reached No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart.

In June 2007 their former manager, Kai Davidson, was killed in a fall at the age of 44, with his death being ruled a probable suicide.[6]

On 31 December (Hogmanay) 2007 they sold out a concert in Stirling Castle to celebrate the New Year.

The band has been announced as the touring partners of The B-52's on their Funplex tour, which will take in Australia and New Zealand in November 2009, alongside Mental as Anything.

The Proclaimers are celebrity patrons of the Association for International Cancer Research.

The touring- and recording-band is currently Steve Christie (Keybords), Clive Jenner (drums), Gary John Kane (bass), and Zac Ware (guitar).



  1. King of the Road (1990)
  2. 17 (Acoustic EP) (2009)

Studio albums

  1. This Is the Story (1987)
  2. Sunshine on Leith (1988) (re-released in 2001 with "King of the Road" appendage)
  3. Hit the Highway (1994)
  4. Persevere (2001)
  5. Born Innocent (2003)
  6. Restless Soul (2005)
  7. Life With You (2007)
  8. Notes & Rhymes (2009)

Compilation albums

  1. The Best of The Proclaimers (2002)
  2. Finest (2003, UK only)


  1. Benny and Joon' (1993) (song, "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)")
  2. Bye Bye Love (1995) (song, "Bye Bye Love")
  3. Bottle Rocket (1996) (song, "Over And Done With")
  4. Dumb and Dumber (1994) (song, "Get Ready")
  5. The Crossing (1990) (song, "King of the Road")
  6. Shrek (2001) (song, "I'm on My Way")
  7. HIMYM (2007, 2009 - episodes Arrivederci, Fiero; Duel Citizenship) (song, "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)")
  8. Mama's Boy (2008) (song, "Then I Met You")


  1. The Best of the Proclaimers 1987-2002


Year Title Chart positions Album
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 U.S. Modern Rock UK Singles Chart[2]
1987 "Throw the 'R' Away" - - - This is the Story
1987 "Letter from America" (band version) - - 3 This is the Story
1988 "Make My Heart Fly" (band version) - - 63 This is the Story[7]
1988 "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" 3 21 11 Sunshine on Leith
1988 "Sunshine on Leith" - - 41 Sunshine on Leith
1989 "I'm on My Way" - - 43 Sunshine on Leith
1990 "King of the Road" - - 9 King of the Road (EP)
1994 "Let's Get Married" - - 21 Hit the Highway
1994 "What Makes You Cry" - - 38 Hit the Highway
1994 "These Arms of Mine" - - 51 Hit the Highway
2001 "There's a Touch" - - - Persevere
2007 "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" feat. Brian Potter and Andy Pipkin - - 1 Best of (2007 reissue)
2007 "Life with You" - - 58 Life with You
2007 "Whole Wide World" - - - Life with You
2008 "New Religion" (promo only) - - - Life with You
2009 "Love Can Move Mountains" - - - Notes & Rhymes


  1. Brian Logan, Pop idols, The Guardian, 2007-02-08. URL accessed on 2007-02-08.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums, 19th, London: Guinness World Records Limited.
  3. The Simon Mayo Programme, BBC Radio Five Live, 28 March 2007.
  4. SNP No More - The Sunday Mail
  5. Letter to America: Proclaimers join campaign to free death-row Scot, The Scotsman, 16 May 2006.
  6. The Edinburgh Evening News.
  7. The band version does not actually appear on any Proclaimers album.

External links

  • Official UK website
  • Official North American website
  • Comprehensive Discography
  • The Proclaimers Exclusive Interview
  • talk to The Proclaimers - Interview
This page was last modified 15.11.2009 18:17:29

This article uses material from the article The Proclaimers from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.