The Proclaimers, John Bramwell – King George’s Hall, Blackburn – 15th October 2022
The evening began with a melancholic set from endearing singer-songwriter John Bramwell. His melancholic and mercurial style gained him many friends and some new fans too. His rapport is natural, sensitive and amusing and I hope encouraged many to explore his solo material and the I Am Kloot output too. With one leg supported on a blue plastic crate he sang his thoughtful and passionate songs which were the perfect warm-up to the increasingly appreciative audience. He may have been flummoxed why there was an ever-shifting audience arriving at intervals but never faltered in the quality of his performance. The audience warmed to him despite 100% of them being in eager anticipation for our headliners.
If Mrs Sturgeon is looking for renewable energy to support an economic boost to the inevitable SNP push for independence she need look no further than sending out The Proclaimers. The energy they created at a packed King George’s Hall was high octane and their electric performance stimulated an initially seated and subdued audience into a vibrantly ecstatic crowd.
Promoting their new album Dentures Out, they opened with the title track and soon added Draw Another Line. To the uninitiated, they may have been more raucous and rockier than expected and when Let’s Get Married was introduced the room started to liven up, seats were abandoned and the dancing began. To some, raising an arm in an evangelical worship manner, made the event suddenly to them become spiritual. When it erupted, the room bounced along for the rest of the night as even the glummest of spirits must have been raised.
It was clearly evident that despite the favourites, Letter From America, Misty Blue, Then I Met You, I’m On My Way and Sunshine On Leith adding power to the evening, we were not amidst the ‘we are only here for one song’ gang. The band not only played it like Scottish ale – ‘heavy’ with clever guitar solos and catchy licks – but were as tight as the Loch Ness Monster’s bum, and that’s watertight!! The pedal steel guitar on Sunshine On Leith in the absence of the fiddle solo was brilliant. Charlie’s rhythm guitar set a stunning pace and driven along by the pounding percussion drums and simple but effective bass.
There was some respite in the romantically tragic What’s Make You Cry which gave the twin’s powerful harmonic vocals a rest but the audience’s exuberance did not falter. The World That Was from Dentures Out was slotted in between better-known material like Streets Of Edinburgh, Sky Takes The Soul and announced by Craig as a real oldie, Cap In Hand, which with him playing a short tin whistle piece which was about as musically Celtic as it got.
By the time ‘the one song’ we all expected came at the end of the main set the audience was totally spellbound and they weren’t kept waiting long for the 2 song encore to end with a drum solo which stunned the enraptured audience into submission.
Whatever ‘rock’ label you want to label The Proclaimers with and they have been given many except prog rock, they are on this performance just unadulterated rockers who grab you and don’t let go. They are purely The Proclaimers. A wonderful night that made all forget about the stormy weather outside as the musical tornado twisted all around King George’s Hall for a tempestuous 90 minutes.
Categories: Live Reviews