“This one is for Kate Allman [Ormond? Sadly, he didn’t spell it out], who has a question for Craig,” he says, before launching into Let’s Get Married.
One assumes it’s not Mr Craig Reid being propositioned here.
The surprise proposal has the crowd looking in all directions for the duration of the song, trying to spot the (hopefully) happy couple.
(It’s all left frustratingly unresolved, so please drop me a line if you know how this one turned out.)
For most Australians, the Proclaimers are summed up by two songs – I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) and I’m On My Way.
Of course, both songs get an airing tonight and both songs are greeted with the enthusiasm you would expect.
But the Proclaimers are so much more than that.
They are true to their roots. There’s no adopted mid-Atlantic accent, as many of their Scottish contemporaries took up in the quest for international success (I’m looking at you, Simple Minds).
No. These boys are Edinburgh-bred and their politically fused folk-rock reflects that, from rolling Rs to the Edinburgh slang.
The Reid brothers are Scotland’s answer to Bob Dylan or Paul Kelly and, tonight, Brisbane’s Scottish diaspora is lapping them up.
The activist bent gets an early outing with Letter from America, a devastating portrait of Thatcherist austerity and the collapse of industry across the country.
The beautiful misery of Sunshine on Leith, which has become a Hibernian Football Club anthem in the stands at Easter Road, has more than a few eyes watering.
Rainbows & Happy Regrets is positively Beatle-esque, with the “Scotland forever” lyric getting one of the biggest cheers of the night.
And of course, there are the big two. I’m On My Way has the crowd on its feet, which lasts through Then I Met You before they end the pre-encore set with, you guessed it, 500 Miles.
There’s a reason you hear this one at the pub every second weekend. It’s a stayer. And it’s simply bloody joyous.
The audience doesn’t have to wait long for the encore, led by Scottish independence anthem Cap In Hand.
For a country being dragged out of Europe against its will (Scotland overwhelmingly voted to remain), the song has taken on a whole new post-Brexit urgency.
Make My Heart Fly and the energetic The Joyful Kilmarnock Blues round off the night.
All that’s missing now is that wee dram of whisky. And to find out whether Kate and Craig are getting hitched.
Remaining Proclaimers tour dates
- Events Centre, Sunshine Coast — Sunday, May 19.
- Civic Theatre, Newcastle — Tuesday, May 21.
- Sydney Opera House — Wednesday, May 22.
- Canberra Theatre Centre — Thursday, May 23.
- Hamer Hall Arts Centre, Melbourne — Saturday, May 25.
- The Barton Theatre, Adelaide — Tuesday, May 28.
- His Majesty’s Theatre, Perth — Thursday, May 30.
Cameron Atfield is PM editor at the Brisbane Times