‘I’M really excited to be coming back to Scotland. Edinburgh Castle is a beautiful location and I can’t wait to see it filled with this amazing audience so we can have a wonderful night together,” says Lionel Richie.
It’s hard to believe anyone is looking forward to tonight’s Castle Concert more than the man himself, after all, he sold out there in 2001.
The five-time Grammy winner brings his All The Hits All Night Long tour to The Castle following performances across Europe and the UK as well as storming Glastonbury, when he made his debut there in the prestigious Sunday afternoon slot.
“Returning to Edinburgh Castle is going to be amazing,” he says.
“I can’t wait to perform in such a breathtaking location which is steeped in history.
“There’s always a special atmosphere there and I’m excited to be part of this musical tradition.”
Richie’s concert will feature songs from what has become one of the most loved repertoires in music.
Spanning his entire career, from The Commodores through to the present day, the tour has already received remarkable reactions from fans around the world.
The showman’s performances have become renowned for being much more than just a concert.
With hits such as Dancing On The Ceiling, Say You, Say Me, Hello, Three Times A Lady, Easy and All Night Long, they are more one big party.
Regular Music’s Mark Mackie, the director of Castle Concerts, says, “Anyone who attended his legendary, sold-out concert at The Castle in July 2001 will be, like me, be desperate to see him up there again. We can’t wait.”
The tour is a celebration of Richie’s remarkably successful career in which he has sold more than 100 million albums and Nick Finnigan, of Edinburgh Castle adds, “We are delighted to welcome Lionel Richie back to The Castle.
“It’s a great opportunity for people to see such a music icon play at one of Scotland’s most iconic sites.”
Richie isn’t the only big name heading to the Esplanade this week. Saturday sees another return, this time Irish boyband turned manband, Boyzone.
“Over the years Edinburgh Castle has played host to many international stars such as Rod Stewart, Blondie, Elton John, The Proclaimers, Leonard Cohen and Pink,” says Mackie, “and it’s great to bring Boyzone back.”
The band last played The Castle in 2008, wowing an 8000-strong capacity crowd.
This time, hot on the heels of the success of their BZ20 album and BZ20: The Anniversary Tour, the band (now a four-piece after the demise of Stephen Gately the year after their last Edinburgh gig) continued with the release of Dublin To Detroit last November.
It is the first themed album of their 20-year career and on Saturday, expect Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy, Shane Lynch and Mikey Graham to treat their audience to tracks from that as well as many of the boyz’ biggest hits.”
In a 22-year career Boyzone have released eight albums and sold more than 13 million records, chances are they will once again turn The Castle green for one night only on Saturday with hits like Love Me For a Reason, A Different Beat, Baby Can I Hold You and the smash No Matter What.
“We have had a wonderful love affair with our Scottish fans over the past 20 years,” says Keating.
“So we all can’t wait to see them all again in the magnificent surroundings of Edinburgh Castle.”
Castle Concerts: Lionel Richie, tonight, 7pm, £50-£65, 0844-844 0444
Castle Concerts: Boyzone, Saturday, 7pm, £40-£45, 0844-844 0444