Gary Flockhart: Simply the best music choice for Hogmanay

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Simple Minds are the right choice to headline this year’s Concert In The Gardens, and I’m not just saying that because I hinted that they might be playing in this column a couple of weeks back.

I’m saying it because they are, without a shadow of doubt, one of Scotland’s greatest ever bands - as 35 million record sales and five No.1 albums attest.

Simple Minds, of course, have previous form when it comes to putting on a great show in the Capital. In 2009, they went down a storm at Edinburgh Castle’s Esplanade, just as they had a couple of years prior when playing Princes Street Gardens.

Frontman Jim Kerr is as full of energy and passion as he was when Simple Minds formed in 1977, telling me, not so long ago, that he still gets the same buzz he always did.

“Every single night, every single gig, you want to give it your best - play like it’s your only night on Earth,” he said.

Simple Minds may be considered to be a Glasgow band, but it was here in the Capital where things really started to happen for them.

Indeed, I remember Bruce Findlay, the man who steered the band to world domination in the 80s, telling me this a few years back.

“When I first started out, it was Glasgow that didn’t have the venues, which is why Simple Minds had to come through here to get noticed,” he said. “They were managed by an Edinburgh boy, me, their accountants were in Edinburgh, and it was Edinburgh’s Regular Music who gave them their first gigs at my own record shop in Rose Street.”

As you’d expect, Bruce is delighted about Simple Minds playing their first Hogmanay bash. And he’s not the only one.

I also feel this year will be the best Hogmanay concert the city has ever seen.