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London. Birmingham, Newcastle, Bristol, Leeds and Glasgow all have one. Now Edinburgh has joined the club with the opening of the Capital's newest concert venue, the O2 Academy.
Formerly the Edinburgh Corn Exchange, a venue that has presented gigs since 1999, the take-over by the Academy Music Group has seen the 3,000 capacity space fitted with more than £500,000 worth of new PA and lighting systems..
As the O2 Academy Edinburgh, the New Market Road venue already has an impressive roster of gigs for the Capital's music lovers to look forward to, including, Fontaines DC, Frank Carter, Jake Bugg, Marina and War on Drugs. All will play what is the city's largest all-standing concerts venue.
They’re not the only ones, an impressive roster of some of the biggest names from across the generations of the music scene are also booking their tour buses and jgetting ready to make the journey north.
Looking for a night out that’s a bit special, here are my O2 Edinburgh ‘Hot Tickets’ over the next few months, starting with a gig you really shouldn’t miss, later this month.
'Le freak, c'est chic...' can mean but one thing, Nile Rodgers & Chic, who visit the O2 later this month. A truly exceptional Grammy-winning producer, arranger and guitarist, Rodgers constantly explores 'new musical terrain' while successfully expanding the boundaries of popular music.As the co-founder of CHIC, he pioneered the R&B/disco groove that defined the Seventies - Le Freak remains the biggest selling single in the history of Atlantic Records. Transcending all styles of music, don't miss the chance to see this Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee on Tuesday, September 21.
There are three acts not to be missed in October, starting with the DMA's who play two nights, October 19 and 20. Few bands can deliver a unifying, live-affirming live show in the way the DMA’S can and their long awaited UK headline tour is sure to be an electrifying experience. Expect tracks such as early favourites In The Air and Lay Down to new material such as Silver and Life Is A Game Of Changing from their hugely successful third studio album The Glow.
October, 26, meanwhile, sees Rag’n’Bone Man bring his Life By Misadventure Tour to the venue. The BRIT and Ivor Novello award-winner's second album which was written with some of music’s true greats.
Finally, October, 28, The Snuts return to town. Famous for their 'uninhibited, sweat-drenched live shows', songs from The Snuts 'raucous, hook laden' debut album, W.L. will provide the heart and soul of the gig, charting the band’s journey from four working class kids growing up with a dream in Whitburn, West Lothian, to becoming one of the UK’s most exciting bands of the new decade.
Celebrating their 30th anniversary, The Charlatans, one of the UK’s best-loved bands, head to the O2 on December 21. With 13 Top 40 studio albums, three of them number ones, alongside 22 hit singles, four of them Top 10, they certainly have an impressive back catalogue to chose from. Are you ready for that classic Charlatans sound - driving Hammond organ, Northern Soul, house-influenced rhythms, swaggering guitars and Tim Burgess’s sunny yet somehow yearning vocals.
Looking ahead to 2022 and chart-topping electro-indie trio CHVRCHES tour their fourth self-produced album, Screen Violence, to the Capital on March 14. Recorded almost entirely remotely between Los Angeles and Glasgow, the making of Screen Violence also marked a decade together for the band. Happy anniversary guys.
My own top ticket is electronic music legend Gary Numan who remains as vital and exciting today as he was back in 1979 with the release of Tubeway Army's Are Friends Electric? His impact on electronic music has been hailed by pioneers such as Prince, David Bowie and Nine Inch Nails and remains today with Kanye West and Lady Gaga both crediting him as an influence.
May 9, 2022, finds the pale-faced, dark-haired icon back in the Capital for the first time since his ‘The Savage’ tour played the Assembly Rooms in 2018. That was a brilliant night but I can't help feeling that the new O2 Academy will prove a more natural fit for Numan and his band when he plays tracks from his latest album, Intruder, as well as favourites from his incredible back catalogue. I expect Cars will be in the mix somewhere.
Onto June, and with a whopping seven Grammy awards to his credit, Beck makes his highly anticipated return to the UK, his first British tour since 2017. He arrives at the O2 on June 14, and as the title of his recent critically acclaimed fourteenth album Hyperspace implies, he has travelled light years from his emergence as a reluctant generational spokesperson.
So, just some of the exciting gigs to look forward to in the coming months. For more information, tickets and details of other concerts, visit, www.academymusicgroup.com/o2academyedinburgh/