Gig review: Lionel Richie, Edinburgh Castle

Lionel Richie plays at Edinburgh Castle. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Lionel Richie plays at Edinburgh Castle. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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LIONEL Richie made an unexpected entrance to his sell-out show at Edinburgh Castle last night, his motorcade snaking past the audience on its way towards the back of the stage.

The 66-year-old brought the good weather with him, too – bright blue skies and a strong July sun beaming down overhead.

The fans were also in good spirits, orchestrating a Mexican Wave as they waited patiently for the star to appear.

Then, suddenly, a voice: “Hello, is it me you’re looking for?” Richie emerging, all dressed in black, ready to fire into opening song Running With The Night.

“We got a lot of songs to do,” he said, “and all I need you to do is be happy.”

And happy everyone was as a slightly shivering Richie took to the piano for a smoother-than-silk version of Commodores classic Easy.

“I was under the impression this was going to be a summer concert,” he joked, sipping from a glass of wine.

An audience chorus of Three Times A Lady proved the punters could sing, but “can you dance?” he quizzed.

Dance they did, and a short Stevie Wonder impression sent a chuckle rippling through the arena before Richie paraded through a slew of his greatest hits.

The few songs of Richie’s that landed out with the Top 10 gave many a chance to take a toilet break. However, cigarette lighters were substituted for mobile phone torches when Say You, Say Me came around.

Dancing On The Ceiling brought everyone quickly back to their feet, the song bizarrely transforming into Van Halen’s Jump halfway through.

Richie’s best known song, Hello, has endured no end of internet-inspired puns over the years, but when it eventually aired, it was largely left to the audience to carry the song.

All Night Long was arguably the best received tune of the evening, shifting into a mambo midway.

However, things were brought to a fitting close when Richie’s “classmates from school” – youngsters from the Edinburgh Stage Experience Choir – took to the stage alongside Richie to sing We Are The World. A song, Richie said, we need more than ever.

Quite.