A-Z of Dead Man Singing: P

A-Z of Dead Man Singing: P

54 days ago

P is for Pet Shop Boys. One of the running jokes in Dead Man Singing is Dave and Cindy’s shared dislike of the synth duo. I hated their music back in the 80s, although I have warmed to them (a bit) since (maybe I’m mellowing). They still feel like a band who would have been a long way out of Dave’s musical preferences, and they were a good high-profile example of the kind of act that in his eyes were responsible for pushing him and his guitar-wielding peers to one side.  

P is also for the Proclaimers, another band who were rising in prominence at the time the book is set, but who only feature as a passing reference. ‘Then I Met You’, from their second album Sunshine on Leith, features on the Dead Man Singing Spotify playlist  and I think Dave would have identified with it as having something to say about his relationship with Cindy, certainly at the point in the book where he first hears the album. It also features Jerry Donahue playing the most Richard Thompson-like guitar solo I’ve ever heard from anyone who isn’t Richard Thompson, a fact I omitted from the book as I thought it would unnecessarily muddy the waters. I can well imagine Dave choosing to cover the song on a future album.

Most people think of the Proclaimers chiefly for 'I’m Gonna Be', with it’s irrepressible ‘I would walk 500 miles’ and ‘na na na’ chorus. It’s a great song, but not as great as 'Then I Met You' (or, for that matter, the majestic title track from Sunshine on Leith).

What overlooked song would you take ahead of the best-known favourite by an act?

Steve Couch

Nick Mcloughlan: just watched it - fantastic. I knew that Craig and Charlie were Hibs fans, and that the fans associated that song with the club, but I don't think I'd ever seen that clip before. Thanks for pointing me towards it. Really looking forward to reading Slings and Arrows, by the way.

Nick Mcloughlin

Hi Steve, have you watched the YouTube of Hibs fans singing Sunshine on Leith after the 2016 Scottish Cup Final? Spine tingling.

Steve Couch

Completely agree about the early Proclaimers albums, Gore. I missed the chance to see them at Stirling University around the time Letter From America was out. I was visiting a friend - it was before I went to Stirling myself - and they didn't fancy the gig, so we did something else that evening. I'm even more jealous that you saw the Housemartins; another band who don't get the credit they deserve, in my opinion.


First two proclaimers albums are brilliant. Saw them supporting housemartins.

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