Gary Flockhart: Top gigs in Edinburgh this Spring

James Blunt. Picture: Getty
James Blunt. Picture: Getty
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A QUICK scan of the listings shows there’s lots of great gigs to look forward this April and May, with a host of big-name acts heading this way.

Dance music fans, in particular, have plenty to get excited about, with Phantasy label boss Erol Alkan at Sneaky Pete’s on April 16, then a fantasy double-header from Ben Sims and Derrick Carter at Liquid Room on April 19.

Superstar DJs are just like the proverbial buses – waiting for what seems like ages and then three come together – for the same night Messrs Sims and Carter are appearing in the Capital, house and trance legend Sasha is taking to the decks at The Caves to help Musika celebrate its seventh birthday.

James Blunt’s hilarious put-downs to his many haters on Twitter have made him an online sensation in recent months – and transformed pop’s Mr Boring into a cult hero.

The former army captain visits the Usher Hall on April 14, not to battle the trolls, but in support of his soon-to-be-released fourth album, Moon Landing.

Echo & The Bunnymen release their first album in five years this June, and the post-punk heroes will preview their newbie at the Queen’s Hall on May 16.

“At long last we’ve made the worthy successor to Crocodiles, Heaven Up Here, Porcupine and Ocean Rain,” teases the band’s inimitable frontman Ian McCulloch. “Meteorites is what Echo and the Bunnymen mean and are meant to be... up there in Heaven... untouchable, celestial, beautiful and real.”

No pressure then, Ian.

Last but by no means least, those perennial crowd favourites, Flaming Lips, visit the Usher Hall on May 26.

The psychedelic-rockers never fail to create an acid-tinged atmosphere during their live shows that is both surreal and engaging.

Which could mean: lots of crazed fans in furry animal costumes, video projections, puppets, lasers, confetti, more confetti, Wayne Coyne in a giant bubble, et cetera.