ICONIC Scottish twins The Proclaimers are on their way to next week’s Purbeck Valley Folk Festival 2016.

Hugely popular throughout the world, Craig and Charlie Reid will be headlining the Saturday night of the family friendly festival.

With a loyal fan base, The Proclaimers have carved themselves a niche where pop, folk, new wave and punk collide and their songs, delivered with passionate honesty, political fire and wit, incite euphoric sing-a-longs at their sensational live shows.

They’re probably best known for the anthemic songs that include Letter From America, Let’s Get Married, I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) and I’m On My Way.

Festival organiser Catherine Burke says: “We are absolutely delighted that The Proclaimers have agreed to come and play at our little festival. And it turns out that if they decide to walk, they’ll only have to walk 481 miles, not the full 500 (according to Google Maps).”

Catherine added: “I saw them play a couple of years ago and with lots of bands with a few big hits, I thought they’d be the only songs that I wanted to hear, but they were absolutely brilliant from start to finish. Their new songs are just as good and catchy.”

The Proclaimers have enjoyed gold and platinum singles and albums in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

During 2015 and 2016, the brothers will have played over 100 UK shows and festivals.

Charlie Reid says: “We’ve never played more festivals. When we started there were about four or five major festivals, if that. There are still those huge ones, but there’s a massive number of middle-sized and boutique festivals. It’s certainly very busy!”

Craig Reid added: “But either way, I don’t think we’ve ever played more in Britain and Ireland. And certainly in terms of the number of people we’re playing to, it’s never been higher.”

With such popularity, The Proclaimers could presumably retire. The money from the hits I’m Gonna Be and I’m On My Way (500 Miles), which are radio and jukebox staples around the world – must roll in every month.

Craig: “Because we still make music for the same reason we always did: it’s so we can get up and play it to people. Yes, we’re known for those records, and will be long after we’re gone. But the live performance is the thing that we enjoy. If you’re a performer you need that constant buzz and thrill night after night. And we want to be able to deliver that to every audience that comes out to see us.”

Charlie: “That’s a huge part of who we are as people. I actually have fears for what I would do if for some reason we couldn’t do this any more.”

Strikingly individual, twin brothers Craig and Charlie Reid have over the years enjoyed huge success and last year they released their 10th album Let’s Hear It For The Dogs, produced by Dave Eringa on the Cooking Vinyl label.

The album was recorded at Rockfield Studios in Wales and produced by Dave Eringa (The Who, Wilko Johnson & Roger Daltrey, The Manic Street Preachers, Idlewild).

Producer Dave Eringa said of working with the Scottish duo: “I knew when I produced The Proclaimers that the songs would be great but even then I was shocked by the sheer quality both lyrically and musically of the material and the breadth of styles they covered. “The band were amazing from beginning to end and I can honestly say it was the easiest path to an astounding result I’ve ever been lucky enough to tread!”

Following on from the theatre success of the musical drama featuring songs by The Proclaimers, Sunshine On Leith, the movie version was a hugely popular release in 2013, spending a month in the top 10 and generating over £4.8 million at the UK box office, the fifth highest grossing independent release of the year.

Festival-goers at this year’s Purbeck Valley Folk Festival can expect to hear the classics Sunshine on Leith, I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles), Letter From America, I’m on My Way, Life With You, Let’s Get Married.

Charlie: “In the end, all we’ll ever be is two guys who stand up, with a guitar on, and sing a couple of songs, and go home. That’s what we do. And if people join in, like they do at football or a sporting event, then we’re bringing people together. That’s all we ever wanted.”

After several punk rock bands at school the pair formed The Proclaimers in 1983.

They came to public attention when a fan sent their demo to the English band The Housemartins, who were impressed enough to invite The Proclaimers on tour.

The exposure of the tour won them a January 1987 appearance on the British pop music television programme The Tube on Channel Four.

Letter from America peaked at number three in the UK Singles Chart, while the album This Is the Story went gold.

The follow-up album Sunshine on Leith featured I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) and I’m On My Way. The Comic Relief charity single version of I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) from 2007 featured television comedians Matt Lucas, Peter Kay and a long list of celebrities.

This new version of the song reached number one in the UK Singles Chart. After completing a two-year world tour late in 2013, Craig and Charlie took 2014 off to focus on writing the new album – Let’s Hear It For The Dogs – released last year.

Other major headliners appearing at the Purbeck valley Folk Festival include folk supergroup Eliza Carthy & the Wayward Band and the brilliant Ivor-Novello award-winning Villagers at the August Bank Holiday event, which is fast becoming one of the UK’s top family-friendly music festivals.

Weekend tickets (Fri-Sun) include free camping and are on sale now at £120 (youth £60, child £30). Day tickets from £50.

n For more, visit purbeckvalleyfolkfestival.co.uk