Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Proclaimers are still walking those 500 miles

And walking them hard. They still rock out the foot-stomping crowd-pleasing chants, and there's a lot more to them than "I'm Gonna Be," the real title of the 500 miles song. Saw them at B.B. King's in NYC the other night, probably the most expensive venue drink-wise, $21 for a beer and a vodka cocktail. No wonder the tickets are generally inexpensive there. It's not my favorite venue but you take what you can get. Definitely get some pre-game on when you see a band there.
Jeremy Fisher singing Solsbury Hill.

Jeremy Fisher opened for them- a solid folky alt rock singer. He sang "The Scar That Never Heals," "Lay Down" and a good cover of "Solsbury Hill" by Peter Gabriel. That's my favorite song of Gabriel's, so it was amusing when he messed up the verse When illusion spin her net/ I'm never where I wanna be/ and liberty she piroutte/ when I think that I am free. He played through it well, recovering with a self-effacing laugh. His single "Cigarette" is probably his most famous song, and it's pretty damn good. He definitely has a Dylan feel without being obnoxious, and Firecracker thought he sounded like Paul Simon on a few tracks. He has his own sound but I'm sure you can count them as influences. His new album Goodbye Blue Monday has most of the songs mentioned here, and I'll be picking it up.
One half of the trademark glasses

The Proclaimers played a great set to an older and definitively Scottish crowd. It sounded like Billy Connolly and Craig Ferguson were in the audience shouting requests. And one was taller than the other, making it difficult for short little Italian guys to see the show. I felt like a midget extra in Highlander. But the music was great. They played songs new and old, with standards like "On my Way" and "Sunshine on Leith" giving a good balance between their familiar chanting crowd-pleasers and their sadder ballads, such as "I Hate My Love."
and the other half

I didn't know they sang "The Whole Wide World," which was featured in Stranger Than Fiction, but sung by Wreckless Eric. They also played "Sean," dedicated to one of their sons, and some songs off their new album Life With You, like the great title track. Overall they put on a fine show and a good 1+ hour set of crowd-pleasing music. Their most famous stuff is easy to sing along to, and their lesser-known ballads are bittersweet and enjoyable even if you don't know the tune. They saved their best known song for last but didn't make us endure an encore to hear it. That's good manners. Too bad B.B. Kings doesn't have any good scotch ales on tap, and I sure wasn't going to get a single malt there, I'd probably need a cosigner to get it at their prices.

A clip of the finale, "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)"

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