Bay City Rollers set sights on Madison Square Garden concert

Bay City Rollers (left to right)  Stuart Wood, Les McKeown and Alan Longmuir. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Bay City Rollers (left to right) Stuart Wood, Les McKeown and Alan Longmuir. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
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THEY may have only just kicked off their comeback gigs but the Bay City Rollers are already lining up to take America by storm all over again.

Talks are under way for the band to play New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden in 2016, it has emerged.

While the trio played their first reunion gig last night at Glasgow’s Barrowland and head to Edinburgh’s Usher Hall on Sunday, next year’s festive period is already set to be even bigger for the Rollers.

Les McKeown, Alan Longmuir and Stuart Wood revealed in September that they were getting back together, and they hope to perform at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro next Christmas.

“I can’t believe the way things have gone,” said Les. “It will be brilliant to play such an amazing place as the Hydro. And our management have been in talks about dates in Japan and the States, including Los Angeles and Madison Square Garden, which I’d absolutely love.”

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Next Christmas’s Hydro gig will be part of an arena tour in recognition of the band’s pulling power. And it will just be part of an amazing 2016, with a host of TV shows planned and a new album due.

The concerts over the next ten days will also include Manchester and London.

Speaking before last night’s show, Les said it was sure to be an emotional affair almost four decades after they all last played together.

“I won’t be nervous as I’m so at home on stage,” said Les.

“I only ever got nervous on my driving test and first dates. It will hit me afterwards though, and I’ll probably come off and burst into tears in my wife’s arms.”

Meanwhile, the gigs could be a breakthrough for unknown 19-year-old Lucia Fontaine, from Glasgow, who will be the support act.

“When I first saw her I was blown away,” added Les.

“I tipped off Alan and Woody and they agreed this girl is something special. So we wanted to give her a chance to play to the bigger crowds she deserves.”

The Bay City Rollers – whose pop anthems Shang-a-lang, Bye Bye Baby and Saturday Night saw them become global superstars – were last month honoured at the Scottish Music Awards ceremony in Glasgow as “living legends”.

The reunion, which comes nearly 30 years after the band split when McKeown decided to go solo, will also see them release a new album.

Founding member Alan Longmuir told previously how he was overwhelmed at the thought of returning to the Usher Hall. “If it wasn’t for the Edinburgh fans supporting us in the early days and following us, Rollermania would never have happened,” he said.

newsen@edinburghnews.com