Gary Flockhart: Quality gigs keep on coming

Nina Nesbitt. Picture: Greg Macvean

Nina Nesbitt. Picture: Greg Macvean

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THINGS have stepped up a notch or three on the live music front recently, what with the Castle Concerts series kicking off last Saturday when teen sensations The Vamps made their Capital debut, Lionel Richie performing his impressive back catalogue of hits here for the first time in a decade at the Esplanade in midweek, and boy-band-turned-man-band Boyzone set to conclude this year’s series of concerts at the historic venue tomorrow night.

The good news, folks, is that there’s plenty more top-quality gigs just around the corner.

As well as a plethora of great concerts under the Edinburgh International Jazz & Blues Festival banner still to come – highlights of which include local jazz queen Niki King at the Spiegeltent tomorrow, Jools Holland & His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra at the Festival Theatre the same night and legendary jazz guitarist/vocal star George Benson at the Festival Theatre on Sunday evening – there’s Party In The Palace at Linlithgow (8-9 August), which features Travis, Chic featuring Nile Rodgers, The Feeling and our very own pop princess Nina Nesbitt among others.

Then, on Thursday, 20 August, indie darlings Kasabian come to the Corn Exchange for a gig they’re using as a warm-up for their appearance at V Festival.

The Leicester band famously went down a storm when they headlined Edinburgh’s Hogmanay in 2007, and fans can expect another hit-packed set from the boys.

As if all that excitement wasn’t enough for one month – and don’t forget there’s also the small matter of the Fringe, Book, Art, Mela and International festivals going on next month, too – the Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens hosts the Magners Summer Nights Festival from August 26 to 28, with James, The Flaming Lips and the Waterboys all on the line-up.

It’s going to be an expensive month for music lovers, that’s for sure – but for once we’re spoiled for choice