Bwani Junction gig is a bridge too far for rival bands to follow

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THEY were the first – and could well be the last.

After waiting a year and a half to achieve the feat, Edinburgh band Bwani Junction were hoisted hundreds of feet into the air yesterday to rock the Forth Bridge on a drizzly summer’s day.

Bwani Junction playing on the Forth Rail Bridge. Picture: Don Scott

Bwani Junction playing on the Forth Rail Bridge. Picture: Don Scott

The group ascended 350 feet to a scaffold platform at the summit of the structure’s north cantilever, where they treated a select audience to a performance of their appropriately-named single, Two Bridges, as well as rain-soaked acoustic renditions of Civil War and Roots Too Deep.

The quartet even managed to squeeze in a quick Happy Birthday for their manager, Gordon Muir – guitarist Dan Muir’s dad – who turned 53 yesterday.

But the hopes of other musicians wanting to follow in the band’s footsteps were dashed as bosses at bridge operator Network Rail called the performance a “one-off”.

That didn’t dampen Bwani Junction’s post-gig euphoria after band members completed their descent at 12.15pm.

Bwani Junction head to the top of the Forth Rail Bridge. Picture: Don Scott

Bwani Junction head to the top of the Forth Rail Bridge. Picture: Don Scott

Dan, 20, said: “It was Scottish weather on a Scottish landmark – we couldn’t have asked for anything more.

“We are soaked through but it was absolutely great. We were all so excited beforehand, which helped with the nerves – especially mine as I’m not that good with heights. The top was a bit scary – you can look right through the panels to the bottom.”

“It couldn’t have gone better,” said singer and guitarist Rory Fairweather, 19. “The only thing was the lift on the way down, which jerked a little bit before dropping a couple of feet. Everyone screamed but then it just clicked into gear.

“It was absolutely spectacular up there. We only performed for about 15 minutes – most of the time was spent taking the gear up and setting everything up.”

Bwani Junction’s set was originally pitched to Network Rail last year but was turned down over safety fears. The band then retaliated by building a replica section of the bridge as a prop – painted blue – to use in a video.

Network Rail then had a change of heart but said it was unlikely anyone else would be given the chance to repeat the feat any time soon.

Communications manager Craig Bowman said: “From our point of view, this was a one-off and it’s certainly not something we would expect to see on a regular basis. But it was nice to be able to support a local band.”

Gordon Muir said: “The pyramids, the Empire State building, the lower Himalayan peaks – if we can do it there, we can do it anywhere.”