Gary Flockhart: Remember when Edinburgh had music?

Nicki Minaj - Pic Greg Macvean
Nicki Minaj - Pic Greg Macvean
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IT’S hard not to be jealous of the live music scene in Glasgow at times like these.

Yes, as if it wasn’t bad enough that our neighbours attract stellar names week in, week out while the Capital survives on scraps, there will be a whole host of them (stellar names that is, not scraps) under the one roof when Glasgow hosts the MTV Europe Music Awards at the SSE Hydro this Sunday.

The show, which is expected to generate around £10 million for Glasgow’s economy, will be hosted by rapper Nicki Minaj, and MTV have confirmed Calvin Harris, Royal Blood, Ed Sheeran and Ariana Grande to perform at the event, with plenty more acts to be announced.

It doesn’t seem that long since Edinburgh hosted the event, but it was in fact 11 years ago.

Like many music fans in the city, I’ve fond memories of 2003 when the event came to Leith’s Ocean Terminal.

Justin Timberlake was the night’s big winner, scooping three awards but what I’ll remember most is that – for one night only – Edinburgh was the centre of the music universe, with a galaxy of stars gathered in the city.

An estimated one billion people in 28 countries tuned in to see killer performances by Beyonce, Pink and Black-Eyed Peas to name a few.

I seem to remember Christina Aguilera, who hosted the event along with kilted co-host Vin Diesel, telling the crowd that someone in the audience had just called her “a radge wee midden”, which is about right, and the show was great fun from start to finish.

Afterwards, there was an exclusive VIP afterparty at Opal Lounge, which attracted Timberlake, Aguilera, Pink, Dido, Shirley Manson and Mark Owen, among others.

Granted, admission was limited to A-listers, but fans still got the chance to get autographs outside the venue.

Halcyon days, indeed.

Here’s hoping Edinburgh hosts the MTV Europe Music Award again in the not-too-distant future.