With Lincoln's 1500 capacity Engine Shed truncated midway by a black curtain it seems presales for tonight's show had been lower than expected. Surprising with perennial Scottish favourites The Proclaimers on the bill, although those in attendance, a crowd around 700 strong, would be in for a more intimate experience. Opening proceedings are The Misers from Herefordshire. Comprised of core songwriting duo Neil Ivison on vocals/guitar and keyboardist/vocalist Adam Barry, their live incarnation is fleshed out with bass, lead guitar and drums. Describing their style as "influenced by the rawness of early Creedence Clearwater Revival and the intimate storytelling of Ian Hunter", add to that description a country twang à la Johnny Cash and that will give you some idea towards how The Misers sound. With talk of such retro points of reference, they do actually convey a more contemporary feeling in their music on the live stage. The Ian Hunter influence is evident both lyrically and through Ivison's voice, albeit with smoother tones than the ex-Mott The Hoople frontman. Looking ever so slightly nervy during the first couple of songs, they settle down fairly quickly into a more comfortable poise and, although not the most visually lively of bands in their performance, it is the music and skilled songwriting which carries their short set.
Thursday 17th June 2010
The Engine Shed in Lincoln, UK
Reviews & Photography by Mark Holmes
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After a half hour change-over time, a roadie appears to introduce the world's most famous Scottish musical twins, Charlie and Craig Reid, as they take to the stage with their ensemble of skilled musicians. Well, I guess Ben and James Johnston from alt-rockers Biffy Clyro spring to mind as successful Scottish twin brothers within the scene although it is The Proclaimers who have infiltrated the music fan's consciousness more than any other sibling-centric act in recent years. Obviously this has been aided by the ubiquitous and sustained popularity of certain big hits but their unique blend of folk, punk, pop, and new wave over the course of eight studio albums has proven their worth as masterful songwriters with each and every tune they have crafted. With the brothers positioned at either end of the stage, their set commences with the title track from last year's album, their latest to date, 'Notes & Rhymes'. This is followed by 'Born Innocent' from 2003's album with the same name, before going back in time for 1994's 'What Makes You Cry' and a rendition of 'Letter From America' from their 1987 debut release, 'This Is The Story'. It's a great start to what transpires to be a varied set and, this evening, they entertain those present in the Engine Shed by drawing from their extensive back catalogue to delight audience members with the likes of 'I'm On My Way', 'Shadows Fall', 'The Light', 'What Makes You Cry?', 'Cap In Hand', 'Sean', 'Sunshine On Leith' and 'Life With You'. With both Charlie and Craig in fine voice, they have by far the best sound I've heard through the PA from the handful of occasions I've witnessed bands in this particular venue with vocals and each instrument given clarity in the mix. And we're talking pure entertainment in the Engine Shed tonight with The Proclaimers' melodically infused songwriting and euphonic vocal harmonies lapped up by an enthusiastic crowd who clap along at every opportunity, greeting each song played with cheers of adoration and respect. A pre-encore airing of 'I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)' is followed by the formality of exiting the stage, loud chants for "more" and foot stamping from the audience, only for them to return for one final retro burst with debut album numbers 'Over and Done With' and 'The Joyful Kilmarnock Blues'. As they enter another decade in existence, The Proclaimers show no signs of waning in terms of their popularity and songwriting abilities, and after tonight's flawless display of sonic entertainment, they also remain at the top of their game on the live stage. Fantastic.
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