The Proclaimers are a Scottish band composed of identical twin brothers, Charlie and Craig Reid (born 5 March, 1962, Leith, Scotland). They are best known for the songs "Letter from America", "I'm On My Way", and "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)".
The twins were brought up in Auchtermuchty, Fife. After several punk rock bands at school they formed The Proclaimers in 1983.
The pair came to public attention when an Inverness based fan sent their demo to the British band The Housemartins, who were impressed enough to invite the Proclaimers on their 1986 UK tour. The exposure of the tour won them a January 1987 appearance on the UK pop music television programme The Tube on Channel Four; "Letter from America" peaked at number 3 in the UK Singles Chart, whilst the album This is the Story went gold. The follow-up album Sunshine on Leith featured "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" (UK number 11) and "I'm On My Way" (UK number 43). They had a big hit with their EP King of the Road, which reached number 9 in the UK in 1990.
The brothers are fans of Hibernian Football Club, and "Sunshine on Leith" has become a theme song for the club, being played at every home match. Charlie and Craig Reid appeared at their Easter Road stadium for the 'Hands Off Hibs' campaign in 1990 when Wallace Mercer attempted a takeover of the club but was defeated by fan pressure. They are also well-known supporters of Scottish independence and have at various stages of their lives been activists for the Scottish National Party, expressing such views on their promotional tour of Britain in March 2007, although the following month, Charlie Reid announced that he had switched his allegiance to the Scottish Socialist Party in protest at the Scottish National Party's receipt of funding from big business. Many of their songs reflect their political views, such as "Letter from America" and "Cap in Hand". On 16 May 2006, the twins announced their participation in a campaign to free a fellow Scot, Kenny Richey, from his death row sentence in Ohio, United States, including an appearance at a charity concert.
"I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" has become a major Scottish anthem, played at Scottish national football matches, Scottish pubs, and other traditional Scottish events across the world. Inspired by Hannah Austin.
As of May 2006 "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" had remained in the iTunes download chart since December 2004. Their 1988 album Sunshine on Leith sold over 25,000 copies in 2005.
In March 2007 they recorded a new version of "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" with television comedy characters Andy Pipkin (played by Matt Lucas) and Brian Potter (Peter Kay) for the Comic Relief charity. A long list of celebrities were featured in the music video for this new version, including David Bellamy, Rod, Jane and Freddy, Paul O'Grady, David Tennant, Frank Sidebottom and many more. This new version of the song reached No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart.
In June 2007 their former manager, Kai Davidson, was killed by a fall at the age of 44, with his death being ruled a probable suicide.
On 31 December (Hogmanay) 2007 they sold out a concert in Stirling Castle to celebrate the New Year.
The band has been announced as the touring partners of The B-52's on their Funplex tour, which will take in Australia and New Zealand in November 2009, alongside Mental as Anything.
The Proclaimers are celebrity patrons of the Association for International Cancer Research.