We gave stars bounce game

Canadian rockers Arcade Fire with university basketball players before their Edinburgh Castle gig
Canadian rockers Arcade Fire with university basketball players before their Edinburgh Castle gig
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AS one of the most successful rock bands in the world, they’re used to a bit of globetrotting.

And while perhaps not quite up to Harlem standards, it seems Arcade Fire are also pretty good on the basketball court.

An Edinburgh team got the game of their dreams when the band offered to shoot some hoops with them ahead of their concert at Edinburgh Castle earlier this month.

Unfortunately, due to the summer holidays and the short notice, only three club members were available to take part in the game at St Leonard’s Land gym in Edinburgh University’s Centre for Sport and Exercise in Holyrood Road, but numbers were swelled as other people heard about the game and turned up.

University club president Dougie Taylor said he had woken up to a text from the former club president who had been e-mailed out of the blue by the band.

He said: “I was just like, OK, what? I called the guy who texted me and said, ‘Are you joking me? I didn’t get the punchline’ and he said, ‘No, Arcade Fire are playing at the Castle and they want to play basketball’.

“A lot of people ended up showing up, I think a lot of people went who worked in the sports centre but there were three of us from the University Basketball Club.

“They were surprisingly good, it was a fun game. They stayed as a five and we played first to five and rotated round. They were really down to earth. When I first saw them they were like kind of rockers, pretty wild clothes and crazy hair styles, but they were really keen to chat and hear about us.”

The three club members were well rewarded for their efforts, not only with the chance to play such unusual opponents, but with VIP tickets for that night’s gig. Mr Taylor said: “They had a lot less tickets than the amount of people that showed up, so they said to me and the other two from the club to hang back and said, ‘We can’t give tickets to everyone, but there will be tickets waiting for you on the door’.

“They put on a great show, and all the lights were amazing, with the Castle in the background.”

Joining him on the court was recent criminology graduate Cathy Mitchell, who added: “I was really shocked when I found out they wanted to play us, especially as I only got the message half an hour before we were due to go on court.

“They were really nice though, and it was amazing to get the VIP tickets.”

“They were really funny, I was surprised by the fact that they were pretty good and they actually won a lot of the games that we played – they were of a pretty decent standard.”