The Proclaimers – Live @ The Aotea Centre, Auckland 2019

The Proclaimers – Live @ The Aotea Centre, Auckland 2019

With show 7 out of 8 for the New Zealand Tour, twins Craig and Charlie Reid, commonly know as The Proclaimers, walked on stage with their band to kick the night off with Angry Cyclist. Lead vocalist, Craig, could be seen to be clicking his fingers and a slight foot tap but that was all, as he poured out songs of old and new effortlessly. 

WORDS BY KIMBERLEY JONES PHOTOS BY BRAD HOLLAND

The night started like no other, I walked into the Aotea Centre only to hear alarms going off but everyone was standing around looking bewildered. I’m shocked to have heard so many people say “wow, is that what that noise was!” while we all huddled outside.

Thank goodness we were all back inside in no time as it was a false alarm and getting seated in time to see Mel Parsons open the evening.

Forever Young had one lady in the front row on her feet where she stayed through the first few songs. With a short thank you to Auckland, Craig introduced Letter From America which in turn had the floor shaking with all the feet that started to tap. 

The Scottish duo,  out last night to celebrate their new album Angry Cyclist, played a couple of tracks including Streets of Edinburgh that slowed the tempo and gave some well deserved time in the spotlight to the phenomenal vocal harmonies. Well known for singing with prominent Scottish accents it was a sight to behold as anthem after rock anthem filled the Aotea Centre with a folk song thrown in to mix it up a bit.

A career spanning decades, it was no wonder the performance was well polished. Not a bum note to be heard and quite frankly I’m surprised the drummer didn’t bounce his way through the floor. He looked to be on a small trampoline as he bobbed to the beat the whole time they were on stage.   

Charlie’s vocal range was still impeccable as well as his playing the acoustic guitar all evening. 

“First time we came to Auckland was 89 and this is one of the songs we played, Sean. “

Sunshine on Leith had the audience bathed in lights, people on their feet and the Scots on the crowd standing proud in kilts, holding flags and scarves. Quite a moving experience to be a part of, if I’m honest. Just WOW!

People flooded the aisles for Life With You after we were introduced to the band. An amazing tune that was a personal favourite of the evening both for the meaning of the song as well as the atmosphere it induced. Leading straight into Rainbows and Happy Regrets both the bass guitar and electric guitar players deserve more than a mention but I didn’t catch their names.

It was clear everyone on that stage was integral to the group and all lapped up the enthusiasm thrown at them with humble nods and uttered thank you’s.

I’m On My Way had everyone on their feet and hands in the air. There was one lucky lady that had this song dedicated to her through some message passed to the band. Then I Met You had most stay standing which was a bonus as my all time Fav was up next, Im Gonna Be (500 miles).

Totally took me back to going out with my bestie Karen and singing ourselves silly and trying not to look too daft dancing, well me at least. 

The encore started with Cap In Hand and as Charlie introduced the song, he gave a shout out to all the Scots in the audience. Of course, this was met with deafening applause and screams. 

Finishing the set with Make My Heart Fly and The Joyful Kilmarnock Blues brought to its climax with the band jamming with each other with the tempo and volume slowly increasing.

There was nothing fancy about any of the delivery, no loop pedal, no backing tracks, what was heard was years of practised harmony and no doubt some trial and error.

With a unique sound, it would have been quite obvious if any mistakes were made.  The utmost respect to the 6 gentlemen I saw last night, for not only an upstanding performance but for not forgetting our regions and taking their show to all the corners of our fair country and not for the first time. 

And now for my shout out, to all the mothers out there, a very Happy Mother’s Day to you. Especially to my Mum, without whom last night like many others wouldn’t be possible with her. 

Raise a glass to all Mum’s, Aunties and Maternal role models. 

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