Outdoor gigs galore in city next summer

Elton John at The Hydro. Picture: Robert Perry
Elton John at The Hydro. Picture: Robert Perry
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WITH a raft of stellar names having already announced gigs in these parts, 2016 is shaping up to be a cracking year for live music in the Capital.

Over the years, Edinburgh Castle’s famous Esplanade has played host to international touring acts such as Arcade Fire, Blondie, Tom Jones, Leonard Cohen and Pink – and next July looks like another hot month for outdoor gigs at the iconic venue.

Soul-pop veterans Simply Red will mark their 30th anniversary with a visit to the Castle on July 14, having last played there in 2010.

Mick Hucknall, the band’s flame-haired singer, has promised fans a hit-packed set – including Holding Back The Years, Money’s Too Tight To Mention, Fairground and Stars.

Another big-name act with something to celebrate in 2K16 is Welsh rockers Stereophonics, and they will celebrate their 20th year at the Castle on July 15.

Kelly Jones and boys went down a storm on their last visit to the Capital, which was just a fortnight back at the Usher Hall.

On July 27, legendary Celtic rockers Runrig play the same venue as part of a nationwide tour in support of their 14th studio album, The Story.

It’s likely more Castle Concerts will be announced in the coming weeks and months, so watch this space.

Superstar Sir Elton John is himself no stranger to the Capital, having played a sold-out gig at Hibernian’s Easter Road stadium in 2005 – and the Rocket Man is set to play at Meadowbank Stadium on June 25.

It’s been a while since the venue hosted gigs, but having seen the likes of Prince, Radiohead, Muse and Pixies there in years gone by, it’s exciting to think that more high-calibre acts could now follow suit.

The likes of the Usher Hall and the Queen’s Hall do a fine job in bringing stellar acts to the city – but let’s face it, nothing jumps out screaming EVENT quite like these big open-air affairs.