THIS was quite the weekend for bespectacled Scotsman selling out York Barbican.

On Saturday, it was Glaswegian comic Frankie Boyle, ranting about Operation Yewtree child abuse; on Sunday, Leith twins The Proclaimers were singing 'I'm sleeping soundly in my bed cos Jimmy Savile's still dead" in Then Again, the headline-catching song from this spring's album, Let's Hear It For The Dogs.

Where Boyle is divisive, reliant on shock'n'roll comedy as an offensive weapon, The Proclaimers may equally address social and political issues, such as religious bigotry in What School? and Scottish independence in Cap In Hand, yet all but Hearts fans will find these Hibernian supporters a unifying force.

First dismissed as a novelty act with their heavily-accented Letter From America in 1987, Craig and Charlie Reid then acquired terrace-anthem status with I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) before the stage musical and 2013 film version of Sunshine On Leith gave The Proclaimers new impetus.

Hence Sunday's full house and the exuberant atmosphere that greeted their arrival. Like the Hull band The Beautiful South, as if by stealth, they have piled up a mountain of clever, witty songs of love and politics, rooted in folk but with spiky pop hooks, but where Paul Heaton and co could be arch, The Proclaimers are fuelled by emotional honesty.

Craig and Charlie may be accompanied by percussion, guitar/mandolin, bass and keyboards, but the meat here is the Reids' instinctive two-part harmonies, one brother keeping time with his right foot, the other with his left, as if to complete the sibling bond. They don't look at each other as they sing, but this is not some cap-throwing Rosberg-Hamilton rivalry, so much as the unspoken link of twins, and at 53 their voices are as powerful, thrilling and moving as they have ever been.

Melodies are glorious and tunes rousing, whether romantic, raucous or rebellious; words are never wasted, and songs seldom stretch beyond three minutes as The Proclaimers perform 24 in 90 minutes briskly but never brusquely. They give plenty of exposure to tenth album Let's Hear It For The Dogs, yet find room for all the familiar favourites bar Oh Jean.

York Press:

Songhoy Blues. Picture: Andy Morgan

Here was testament to why live music is one of life's greatest joys, a joint celebration, a common cause, oxygen in its purest form. The same thrill could be experienced in the steam of Leeds Brudenell Social Club on Friday, where students, Headingley hipsters and older 6 Music devotees alike gathered to revel in the dancing guitars of desert blues punk band Songhoy Blues.

Only three years ago they had to take flight from their northern Mali homes when Islamic fundamentalists took over with their intolerance of music making. The defiant Songhoy mission is to spread that music unimpeded, beyond boundaries, and beyond the tag of "world music" too, with their fusion of African rhythms, Hendrix, old-school R&B and the James Brown moves of lead vocalist Aliou Touré. Restless, breathless, uplifting; what a night.