Auchtermuchty’s favourite sons The Proclaimers have just completed a tour of Canada and will be returning to North America in September with a full band. No news yet on whether they will be driving around the States on the back of a red convertible again (see video), but ticket details and tour dates are below.

The Reid brothers recently spoke to the Vancouver Sun about Scottishness, Andy Murray and their new album Notes & Rhymes.

Brothers Craig and Charlie Reid, known as songwriting duo The Proclaimers, have become a symbol of Scottish pride.

Their biggest hit, the rambunctious singalong I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles), has basically become Scotland’s alternate national anthem, and their signature harmonies have come to represent their home country all over the globe.

Lately, however, the honour of being Scotland’s ambassadors has shifted from these two songsmiths to a tennis racket-wielding youngster, Andy Murray, who was but one-year-old when The Proclaimers’ landmark album, Sunshine on Leith, made them famous.

Murray’s well-publicized attempt at winning this year’s Wimbledon championship — in hopes of becoming the first “British” player to win Wimbledon in over 70 years — has led to strange feelings between Scots and Brits, who are both claiming Murray as their own.

“He’s so obviously Scottish,” Craig Reid chuckles over the phone from across the pond. “He’s aggressive and he swears and he’s not happy and smiley and (the British) don’t like him. I think a lot of people in England are rooting for him with gritted teeth.

“It’s funny,” he adds. “When a Scottish athlete is competing on the world stage, if they win, they’re British, but if they lose, they’re Scottish. That’s the way the English media always play it and that really gets people annoyed in Scotland.”

Ironically, Reid says The Proclaimers’ rise to fame was never the subject of a similar British appropriation, which suits him just fine since The Proclaimers have always been very vocal about their political affiliation and their support of Scottish nationalism and independence.

Though their songs have always been fairly popular across Great Britain, Reid doubts the band ever had a fighting chance to become a household name with the royalist middle class in south of England.

“With us, it was more obviously Scottish,” he says. “It was a Scottish accent and it was singing about Scottish things.”

The Proclaimers’ latest opus, Notes & Rhymes, continues the band’s prolific output of late and is the Reid brothers’ fifth album to be released in the past eight years.

Notes & Rhymes features classic Proclaimers songwriting “moved by love, anger and despair,” showcasing a strong balance between signature balladry (Love Can Move Mountains), political affirmation and anti-militarism (Free Market, I Know) and reflections on touring and feeling far away from family life (Three More Days) in a vast array of styles — from rock to soul to folk.

“I always swore I would never write an ‘on-the-road’ song,” Reid says. “Three More Days was written towards the end of last year in Edinburgh, but it’s about being somewhere like California — where you feel physically and culturally far away from home —and having to wait two or three days before you come back; that kind of anticipation.”

The Vancouver Sun

The Proclaimers have also announced dates in Australia and New Zealand towards the end of the year. Check the Scotland on Tour page for dates.