Nothing against them personally, you understand. I’m sure they are perfectly nice gentlemen. But their music… oh my goodness.
Despite being ostensibly a pretty average folk-pop band, The Proclaimers are, for some reason, held up as some kind of pseudo-Gods in Scotland. Living legends, if you will. I mean, if you were to do a straw poll of Scots and asked them if they liked The Proclaimers, probably around two thirds would say ‘yes’.
Even those people who weren’t even born the last time The Proclaimers wrote a good song would say that they like them. It is a fact that, despite the fact that they are still making music today, they have had no notable new hit songs in well over a decade and a half.
But they are number 1 today due to the neverending popularity of ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’, now with some additional help from Peter Kay and Matt Lucas, a couple of once-funnymen who lamentably have both been unable to come up with a new joke for about three years.
I don’t even particularly have anything against the music of The Proclaimers. They have some quite good songs. ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’ is among them. Whenever the song is played in a public place it is greeted with mass euphoria. And, yeah, I think it’s all right as well.
But there is one niggling thing that really, really annoys me about The Proclaimers. That thing is also one of the aspects of the duo that makes them so phenomenally popular in Scotland. But it really, really gets up my rear pipe.
The singing. Why?
They sing with one of the most contrived accents you will ever hear, twisting every vowel out of shape to an extent that you would never hear in a normal conversation or even in any other song, even a song sung by a Scot. It’s meant to be really patriotic because they are supposedly singing with their real accents, unlike all of those other bands that sing with fakey American accents.
But The Proclaimers do not sing with their real accents. Their hometown is only around thirty minutes from where I live, but I have never in my life heard anybody talk the way The Proclaimers sing — not even The Proclaimers. I have heard The Proclaimers speaking and they actually speak with a normal accent.
If somebody came up to you and spoke with the accent that The Proclaimers use when they are singing, you would think he had special needs or something. That is why you never hear anybody talking like that. Quite why this word warping is celebrated when somebody starts singing is beyond me.
I am afraid that The Proclaimers are right at the arse end of Scottish culture. In a fair world they would be rivals with that silver guy doing the robot. They belong more in some tatty souvenir shop in some piss-stained alleyway off Princes Street than at the top of the charts.