Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2021: Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde to stage shows performing new Bob Dylan covers
The Pretenders singer will be appearing before a few hundred socially-distanced fans during four shows at the Queen's Hall at the end of August.
The stripped-down shows will be staged a few months after Hynde released a Dylan covers album she recorded with Pretenders bandmate James Walbourne in lockdown.
Hynde will also be drawing on her band’s own back catalogue when she takes to the stage of the venue, which has been closed since last March.
Her latest album – Standing In The Doorway: Chrissie Hynde Sings Bob Dylan – includes covers of You're a Big Girl Now, Love Minus Zero/No Limit, Don't Fall Apart on Me Tonight and Every Grain of Sand.
Speaking about how the album came about, Hynde said: “A few weeks into lockdown last year, James sent me the new Dylan track ‘Murder Most Foul’. Listening to that song completely changed everything for me. I was lifted out of this morose mood that I’d been in.
"Whatever Bob does, he still manages somewhere in there to make you laugh because as much as anything, he’s a comedian. He’s always funny and always has something to say.
"That’s when I called James and said, ‘Let’s do some Dylan covers’ and that’s what started this whole thing.”
Hynde is the first major music act to confirm a show at this year’s Fringe since organisers of the event confirmed that live shows would be returning in the city.
Registration for Fringe shows opened in May, with the first tickets due to go on sale via the official box office on 1 July.
However promoters Regular Music will be putting tickets for Hynde’s Queen’s Hall appearances – from 22-25 August – on sale on Friday morning.
John Stout, promoter at Regular, said: “We’re pretty sure this is the first thing Chrissie has ever done at the Fringe, so we’re very excited that she is bringing these shows to Edinburgh.
"It’s really important that we get back to doing live shows again as soon as it is safe to do so. Audiences will be socially-distanced at these shows, but hopefully later in the year we will be able to have shows without any distancing.”
Queen’s Hall chief executive Evan Henderson said: “We are honoured to have a star of Chrissie Hynde’s stature as one of the first artists on our stage since March 2020.
“We will of course adhere to all guidelines to ensure that the venue remains safe for our audiences, performers and staff.
"We can’t wait to welcome everyone back, The Queen’s Hall has stood quiet for far too long.”
The Queen’s Hall is the second major indoor venue to confirm a return this August.
The Corn Exchange has joined forces with Live Nation and The Stand to promote a series of shows at the venue. Acts playing the venue, previously used for the T on the Fringe festival, including Daniel Sloss, Mark Nelson, Andrew Maxwell, Kiri-Pritchard McLean, Craig Hill, All Killa No Filla and Henning Wehn.
Edwyn Collins, Damon Albarn, Nicola Benedetti, The Snuts, Alan Cumming, Karine Polwart and Kathryn Joseph will all be appearing at the Edinburgh International Festival's reboot in August.