Proclaimers light it up at KCT

Scottish band crams 22 songs into hard driving evening of rock and roll.

The Proclaimers in concert at the Key City Theatre in Cranbrook

The Proclaimers in concert at the Key City Theatre in Cranbrook

For musical performances, it was as far away from Miley Cyrus and the recent VMAs as one could get.

The Proclaimers hit the stage at the Key City Theatre Tuesday night, August 27, and presented a straight ahead set of rock and roll, featuring high intensity two-part harmony, top flight musicianship, and a repertoire of songs dealing with issues of substance — politics, love, commitment, nationalism, the power of the spoken word and the power of rock and roll.

The Proclaimers — featuring twin brothers Craig and Charlie Reid and their tight backing band — were playing the next to last show of a Canadian tour. If they were feeling fatigued from travelling down from the previous night’s show in Kamloops, they didn’t let the energy falter for a second.

The Proclaimers ran through a synopsis of their 25-year body of work,  from their earliest hit “Letter From America” (circa 1987), through selections from arguably their most famous album “Sunshine on Leith” (including the title track, Sean, “Cap in Hand” and “I’m On My Way”), to a large sampling off their latest album, “Like Comedy” (songs like “Spinning Around in the Air” and “Let’s Get Married”).

There was no Much Music glitz, and little stage patter — upon conclusion of one number they launched straight into the next. The hour and a half plus they played shot by at high volume — centred by the Reid’s famous voices. The final song of the set, probably their biggest hit “500 Miles,” prompted dancers down to the front of the stage, where they remained for the three-song encore, which included their cover of Steve Earle’s “My Old Friend The Blues.”

And though scheduled to hit the road immediately for Vancouver, to finish off their Canadian tour, the Proclaimers gathered in the lobby to hobnob with the audience, signing autographs, having their pictures taken, and graciously spending time with the fans after such a rousing concert.

Opening the show was Whitney Rose — from Prince Edward Island by way of Toronto — and her band of bass, guitar and drums, who played their final show after supporting the Proclaimers from Ontario and points west. Rose, with a voice not unlike a hard-rocking Tammy Wynette, brought an alt-country sensibility to warm up the audience. She took the time to thank the Proclaimers for their help and kindness on the tour, adding that it was her wish that if she were to achieve a similar level of success then she could be in a position to help emerging artists as she herself had been helped.

Setlist

1. Whatever You’ve Got

2. Notes and Rhymes

3. Not Cynical

4. Shout Shout

5. Letter From America

6. Spinning Around in the Air

7. Wherever You Roam

8. Let’s Get Married

9. In Recognition

10. Cap in Hand

11. Sean

12. I’m On My Way

13. Dance With Me

14. Sunshine on Leith

15. Sky Takes The Soul

16. You Meant it Then

17. I Met You

18. There’s a Touch

19. 500 Miles

20. Life With You

21. My Old Friend the Blues

22. Joyful Kilmarnock Blues