That’s entertainment: Castle Esplanade concerts

The Proclaimers at Edinburgh Castle. Picture: Rob McDougall
The Proclaimers at Edinburgh Castle. Picture: Rob McDougall
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BLONDIE, Pink, Paul Simon, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Tom Jones, Cliff Richard, James Taylor, Lionel Richie, Westlife, Boyzone, Bryan Ferry, Donny Osmond and Noel Gallegher’s High Flying Birds.

The list of bands that have played the Castle Esplanade over the years reads like the Capital’s very own Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

Two new names are added to that list this week as 8500 fans a night are expected to turn out for the 2013 season of Castle Concerts, which kick off in style tonight with Jessie J and continue over the weekend with Runrig and Paul Weller. Here’s what you can look forward to...

TONIGHT: JESSIE J

TODAY she is best known to telly viewers as the no nonsense, straight-talking judge on the BBC’s primetime talent search The Voice, but Jessica Ellen Cornish, known to all as Jessie J, first came to prominence following the release of her debut single, Do it Like a Dude, which peaked at No 2.

Her second single, Price Tag, went one better, topping the charts in 19 countries including the UK, France, Ireland, and New Zealand.

Her debut album, Who Are You, followed in 2011, along with the singles Nobody’s Perfect, Who’s Laughing Now and Who You Are.

Domino, her fifth single took Jessie J back to the top of the UK charts and spawned more international chart success, peaking at No 6 in the USA.

Earlier this month the singer confirmed that she would not be returning for the third series of The Voice UK, deciding that her “music has to take priority”. Expect a second studio album later this year.

Barry Wright, director of Castle Concerts says, “We are delighted that one of the most exciting acts of her generation will play her only Scottish show this summer at the Castle.

“Jessie will join a list of legendary female artists who have taken to the stage at this iconic venue and is a concert not to miss”.

SUNDAY: PAUL WELLER

THE Modfather himself, Paul Weller will take centre stage at the Castle on Sunday. The 55-year-old singer/songwriter will play a one-off concert in which he will revisit his musical past.

“I’m looking forward to playing a gig at Edinburgh Castle,” he says, promising, “It will be a top show.”

Wright adds, “Paul’s musical career has made him an inspiration to today’s artists and an icon for all generations.”

While not being billed as a ‘greatest hits concert’, music insiders say Weller is expected to perform songs from his back catalogue of hits, including Going Underground and Beat Surrender with The Jam, and Speak Like A Child and Long Hot Summer with The Style Council.

No stranger to the Capital, Weller played here with The Jam on no fewer than five occasions but has never yet played the Castle.

Jessie J, Castle Esplanade, tonight, gates 7pm, £35-£37.50, 08444-999 990

Paul Weller, Castle Esplanade, Sunday, gates 7pm, £40-£45, 08444-999 990