Link to home page

The Proclaimers

Angry Cyclist (Cooking Vinyl)

By • Jul 17th, 2018 • Category: Single review

Bigots Beware: The Proclaimers are back with more catchy hooks and wry observations

Confusing place, the modern world, isn’t it? If there’s one thing that I believe we can all agree on, no matter where you’re reading this, is that reality is changing at breakneck speed and there are very few things you can count on these days.

One of the things you can count on, however, is The Proclaimers. Their ability to deliver music that accurately reflects our times is more solid than ever, and their new single, ‘Angry Cyclist’, picks up on some of the most pressing subjects in society with refreshing wit and surgical precision. If the rest of the homonymous album, produced by David Eringa and due to be released on August 10, is in the same vein as this track, it will probably be one of the most significant records released in Britain in the last 10 years.

‘Watch bigotry advance, Give ignorance a chance, with fascists we will dance’

The ‘Angry Cyclist’ title is a not-so-subtle metaphor for the reactionary and bigoted times we live in and the track starts with some beautifully arranged strings that later give way to a punching rhythm, in a song full of Craig and Charlie’s unique and impassions vocals. The band is as tight as you would expect, considering that some of the musicians have been accompanying the Reid brothers for over 15 years now, all of them playing their hearts out.

The highlight is the lyrics, of course. ‘Angry Cyclist’ is the new addition to the band’s ever-growing list of social commentary songs. Their writing can’t be any more direct than it is – that’s always a plus – but if there were any doubts on what they are going on about, a Black Mirror-style video, directed by Rianne White, shows flashing images of David Cameron and his swine companion, some less-than-truthful promises on the side of the Brexit bus, Nigel Farage, Donald Trump and a child watching a screen with the words “You Stole Our Future”. All of that in less than three minutes.

But it’s not like The Proclaimers were ever shy about their political opinions and affiliations – so no surprise there – and they are not trying to proselytise their views either. What actually is a surprise is the fact that, if you look around, they seem to be the only act treating their audience as adults and not trying to deflect the debate on how to address the violent, bigoted and surreal times we live in. Scottish music, and especially the indie scene, is full of middle-aged men writing and acting as if they were in their twenties. In that sense, ‘Angry Cyclist’ makes The Proclaimers, now 56 years old and signed with Cooking Vinyl since 2012, the most relevant independent band in the country. A thought that is as refreshing as it is amusing.

So it’s good to see we can still count on Craig and Charlie Reid for a mature discussion on the current state of affairs. Because 2018 Britain is not a place for amateurs.

‘Angry Cyclist’ (the single) is now out and available on iTunes:

‘Angry Cyclist’ (the album) – pre-order available on

One Response »

  1. Wonderful review. I love these guys, they’re so passionate about what they do. and they do it brilliantly