The Proclaimers Encourage Scottishness

The Proclaimers are, undoubtedly, the most awesome Scottish one-hit wonders ever. It’s not just because of their famous (or infamous) hit, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles),” or because they both look like infant turtles. It’s because their music is among the most beautiful and heartfelt modern folk music. Experience them in person at City Winery on May 16, and if you’re not careful, you might be speaking in a Scots brogue by the time you leave.

The Proclaimers may be a Scottish group, but they faithfully follow in the tradition of American folk musicians with their politically charged lyrics and acoustic melodies. Their most famous album, Sunshine In Leith, makes reference to their hometown in Scotland, and on their various tours, they’ve been outspoken in their support of Scottish nationalism and Scottish independence. Their music is more than just politics, however; in their two and a half decades of existence, the band has shifted from a basic folk-rock duo to a sophisticated, modern sound, with sweeping arrangements and full bands, creating a thicker, more full-bodied sound.

In the U.S., they’ll always be known for “I’m Gonna Be,” which remains on the iTunes Top Downloads list years after its release. However, the twins have enjoyed a long and complex career, with seven albums and many successful singles abroad. Their most recent album, Life With You, was released in 2006.

City Winery is located at 155 Varick St. in downtown Manhattan. Seating for the show begins at 8 p.m., and admission is for all ages. Reservations are between $25 and $45. Visit or for more information