Review: Wet Wet Wet take Edinburgh Castle by storm

There was barely a bottom on a seat when frontman Marti Pellow bounded on to the stage in characteristic showman style at Edinburgh Castle.

Clad in a black sequin jacket, shirt and trousers, his trademark Cheshire cat smile beamed out from below a pair of reflective sunglasses, telling the crowd everything they needed to know – he was loving it.

And so were they. As the familiar intro to Wishing I Was Lucky sounded out, the thousands of people who had come out to celebrate 30 years of Wet Wet Wet’s number one Popped in Souled Out album needed no warming up. Straight to their feet, the party began, Pellow and his band giving them exactly what they wanted – and them in return.

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“I can hear you!” Pellow called out, the smile on his face barely disappearing all night. “You must be Edinburgh! You’re great, the view looks great, it’s packed. I love it!”

A sold-out show, the event marked the start of the venue’s Castle Concerts series, with Olly Murs and Deacon Blue next on the line up.

“Were the vast majority of you here last time we played Edinburgh?” Pellow called out to his adoring fans. “Many years ago when you were all wee? I knew it – and you are even better.”

In the beginning when the Clydebank band formed in 1982, Pellow explained they were just “happy to be making records”, hoping that maybe one day they would perhaps be on Top of the Pops or have some hits.

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And that they did, from the chart hits such as Sweet Little Mystery, Goodnight Girl and Julia Says, to the quieter This Time – taken from the 1988 album The Memphis Sessions, a favourite of the band’s Pellow explained – and new tracks, including Love Wars.

For many, the night was a trip down memory lane, transporting them back their ’80s youth when Wet Wet Wet did indeed realise their dreams by not only appearing on Top of The Pops countless times, securing prime chart positions but also being voted best British newcomer at the Brit Awards in 1988.

Yet with no wet look gel or double denim in sight, the band felt entirely relevant to 2017, much of this due to Pellow’s voice; still as strong and seemingly effortless as it was back in their heyday.

The show closed with the 1994 Four Weddings and a Funeral number one, Love is All Around, complete with bagpipers for a show stopping finale.

“Edinburgh you have been fantastic,” Pellow said. “Who knows, we might come back again?”