Nineteen years after it was originally a hit for the Scottish brothers, the Proclaimers return with a very special Comic Relief version of their catchy anthem 'I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)'...The song premiered on this year's Comic Relief and features the comedy talents of Peter Kay and Matt Lucas.
I can imagine this one might be somewhat difficult for non-British readers (if any) to appreciate. In essence this was an attempt to repeat the surprise success of 2005, when Tony Christie's 1970s hit '(Is This The Way To) Amarillo' was given a new video featuring comedian Peter Kay and many other guest stars. Released as a secondary single for the charity appeal, it went on to outsell that year's "official" single by miles and became one of the biggest hits of the decade.
Inevitably, Kay had to try the same thing two years on, but upped the ante by actually appearing on the record itself, in the guise of his character from the sitcom Phoenix Nights. Also featuring is fellow comic and well-known Proclaimers fan Lucas, here as one of the characters from Little Britain; the gag being that both these characters are in wheelchairs so they have to sing that they'd "roll 500 miles" instead of walk it. It's not the funniest joke ever, admittedly, but it worked well enough of the night as a vehicle for the video, where they perform in front of a cast of stars and ex-stars. Enough people downloaded the single on Saturday for it to enter the charts at 3 the next day and it was inevitably going to top the chart when available on CD and DVD formats with the video. It even pulled the original 1988 recording back into the Top 40, and led to something of a comeback from the Reid twins.
Five years down the line, it's not something you'd make a great effort to listen to but it's generally good humoured and certainly does what it sets out to do better than the Girls Aloud vs. Sugababes track that it deposed from the top of the chart. It's not a bad end to the album. It almost takes us back in a circle, with credits in the video like Justin Timberlake's track.
The Proclaimers also appear on: Now 13
Available on: The Best Of...