Back in 1988, twins Craig and Charlie Reid proclaimed they would walk 500 miles in their hit single I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles).

Nearly 30 years later, The Proclaimers are travelling far more than 500 miles this year on a seven-month tour that has taken them from Hong Kong to Australia and New Zealand, from Dubai to Doha, and now right across the UK, including Worthing on July 2.

Charlie says, “We’re provincial and we’re proud of that. I love London, I love New York, but we’re not that kind of thing. We are small town. That’s what we are.

“There’s a whole audience out there. You forget how many big and medium-sized towns there are in the UK... there’s definitely something about playing these towns.”

During 2015 and this year, The Proclaimers will have played more than 100 UK shows. “We’ve never played more festivals,” says Charlie. “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!”

Why do you think your music speaks to people in all these places?

“We’ve been around for a long time now,” says Craig. “We’re persistent! And the main thing with us is not even the records. Yes, we’ve done 10 albums and they’re the things that last, and we’ve had a handful of hits that we’re well known for. But writing songs and playing live are the things for us – and we try and give our best every night and wherever we play. And I think that shows. Audiences respond to that.”

Charlie adds, “And we play out: we haven’t got our heads down, we don’t look at our shoes. We’re projecting, and engaging with the fans. And by doing so we draw people in. And on top of that there’s the singalong element…”

With the money from their hits including 1987’s Letter from America as well as a re-release of I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) in 2007 that reached No1, couldn’t The Proclaimers retire?

“Yes, we’re known for those records, and will be long after we’re gone,” says Craig. “But the live performance is the thing 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 adds, “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 anymore.”

The 54-year-olds, who were born in Leith, Edinburgh, began their musical journey in punk bands at school and formed The Proclaimers in 1983. They hit the big time when they sent a demo tape to the band The Housemartins, who invited them on their 1986 tour of the UK. It landed them a slot on Channel 4’s The Tube with Letter from America reaching No3 soon after.

The band’s popularity has rarely waned since – even winning them an appearance on ITV soap Emmerdale during its 40th anniversary week of shows in 2012

“We got asked to do it and we were, like, of course! You’ve got to do that!” says Charlie. “If you got asked to do Corrie, you’d have to do it…”

And the 2013 movie Sunshine on Leith, starring Peter Mullen and Jane Horrocks and featuring songs by The Proclaimers, generated fresh interest in the band.

As well as their biggest hits, The Proclaimers are showcasing songs from their 2015 album Let’s Hear It For The Dogs in their current shows.

Why do the twins think music resonates with so many people? As Charlie says, “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.”

• The Proclaimers + support appear at the Assembly Hall, Stoke Abbott Road, Worthing, at 7.30pm on Saturday July 2. For details, phone 01903 206206 or visit