THERE can be few stages more awe-inspiring and iconic – or dangerous.
The Forth Bridge rises a dizzying 350 feet above sea level, often beset by fearsome winds, and has proven a deadly place to work throughout its history.
But for one group of Edinburgh musicians, a long-held ambition to play at its summit is about to be realised after permission was granted for a gig on Monday morning by operator Network Rail.
Rockers Bwani Junction will become the first band ever to play live from the bridge when they perform on the 122-year-old structure’s north cantilever – the highest point on the bridge.
After being raised to a specially decked scaffold platform by lift, the four-piece will perform a set against the backdrop of the Firth of Forth and the Fife coastline.
It is a goal which the band’s members, fresh from the release of acclaimed album Fully Cocked, have pursued for the last year-and-a-half.
An original application to hold the gig late last year was turned down over safety concerns, prompting the quartet to retaliate in novel fashion by building a replica section of the bridge.
The prop was then covered in blue paint and used in a music video – shot so cleverly that several YouTube commenters believed the band had performed on the bridge and that one of Scotland’s most iconic buildings had changed colour only weeks after Network Rail completed a ten-year, £130 million job to paint it red.
Bwani Junction guitarist Dan Muir, 20, said: “I think [Network Rail] even had a little investigation to see if we’d actually gone up there. Then they just changed their minds about letting us play. I think they realised it would be great for both parties.
“I’m afraid of heights but it’s a one-off opportunity.
“It’s been a year-and-a-half since we raised the idea so it feels good to be finally doing it. There’s the whole spectacle and no-one has ever played up there before. It’s an honour.”
Dad Gordon Muir, 52, also the group’s manager, said: “I think [Network Rail] realised it was an opportunity to celebrate the completion of the paint work on the bridge in a slightly different way.”
Craig Bowman, communications manager for Network Rail, said: “We’re pleased to be able to support a local band by allowing Bwani Junction to become the first band ever to play on the Forth Bridge.”
They’re rockin’ all over the world
BWANI Junction’s gig at the top of the Forth Bridge is not the first concert in an outlandish location.
In November 2010, Kanye West decided to turn an otherwise banal setting into something extraordinary when he took over the intercom on a Delta Airlines flight to New York and began rapping to passengers.
While on tour in Winnipeg, Canada, in 2007, Jack and Meg White – aka The White Stripes – stunned commuters on a city bus by playing an impromptu set.
This week the News reported how Edinburgh rockers Jamie and Shoony shot the music video for their track Anyway in aisle 23 of the Asda superstore at the Jewel.