The Proclaimers at the El Rey Theater, May 16, 2008
In the film Million Dollar Baby, Morgan Freeman narrates that there seem to be Irish people everywhere or, at least, people who want to be Irish. Well, this observation seemed to hold true for the Scots as well at last friday’s show at the El Rey. In the crowd I saw the requisite Scottish soccer jerseys (the tight Diadora national team kind, BTW) and a few dedicated fans, including probably the most dedicated Proclaimers fan this side of the Atlantic. She stuck out in a tartan plaid dress and was attending the 14th show on this tour. She planned on seeing all 17 of the US tour dates by the end of next week. I asked if she had any Scottish ancestry and she replied, “No, I’m from Kansas.” Okay, so LA, in all fairness, has very little in common with Scotland as well. Most of us don’t know the difference between Leith and Leif, and we probably walk less than 500 miles a year collectively (even if gas prices were to hit $20 a gallon tomorrow). But The Proclaimers’ charm has always been the engaging harmonies of twin bespectacled brothers Charlie and Craig Reid. Listening to their songs it’s easy to imagine that the two had shared the same pain and joys growing up. Live, their voices were on par with the albums. Besides their classics, one of the biggest crowd pleasers of the night was a cover of “Whole Wide World,” which is a track on The Proclaimer’s latest album Life With You, and–if I can cite another superfluous movie reference–was bought back into some popularity by Will Ferrell in Stranger Than Fiction.