The Proclaimers bring ‘Sunshine on Leith’ to TIFF

TORONTO — Mention The Proclaimers to anyone of a certain age and they are likely to start singing “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles).”

The song, released in 1988, was a smash hit for the identical twin brothers from Scotland.

Charlie Reid and Craig Reid said Monday they never get tired of performing the song.

“We accepted that the song is way bigger than the band has ever been,” Charlie said during an appearance on Global Toronto’s The Morning Show. “It gets us around the world. It keeps us in the public eye.”

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Craig said he’s not sure why the song has endured.

“There are some songs that just get into people’s consciousness and they just stay there and it gets passed on,” he explained. “I don’t know what it is. If I knew, I’d write another one.”

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Of course, The Proclaimers had other hits — “I’m On My Way” and “Sunshine on Leith” — and have released seven albums since “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” took off.

Now 51, the Reid brothers continue to tour.

“The recovery period between tours is harder,” Craig admitted, “but the shows are better.”

This time, The Proclaimers are in Canada to promote British director Dexter Fletcher’s adaptation of the stage musical based on their album Sunshine on Leith at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The movie, starring Peter Mullan and Jane Horrocks, has its world premiere Monday night at the Ryerson Theatre.

Next month, the Reids will take a break.

Charlie said the key to avoiding sibling stress is to spend time apart.

“We’ve both got families so we live in different places and we meet up for work,” he said. “We keep it fresh by doing it that way.”


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