Gig review: BBC Live At Edinburgh Castle

Boy George and reformed Culture Club pleased the 80s nostalgists. Picture: BBC

Boy George and reformed Culture Club pleased the 80s nostalgists. Picture: BBC

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THERE are countless exciting musical events taking place in the next two weeks which engage on some level with themes thrown up by the Commonwealth Games, but BBC Live at Edinburgh Castle was not one of them, being instead a pop variety show conceived to appeal to the casual armchair viewer but a little too slippery for the live audience to get a handle on.

BBC Live At Edinburgh Castle - Edinburgh Castle

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There was music for the kids – the ropey Rizzle Kicks, who were at least able to deliver Down With The Trumpets with some actual trumpets, courtesy of the BBC SSO – slick pop divas Paloma Faith and Jessie J for the teenagers, Kaiser Chiefs for the slightly hipper older brothers, a reformed Culture Club and Paul Heaton for the 80s nostalgists and way too much bland fodder with generation-spanning appeal – Teenage X Factor contestant Ella Henderson dressed up like a 40-year-old, the utterly banal OneRepublic phoning it in, and pop classical emoting from Il Divo, Katherine Jenkins and Alfie Boe, plus brief comic turns from Fred MacAulay and rambling Ronnie Corbett.

South African soprano Pumeza rose above the mediocrity, Bill Bailey raised a smile and Smokey Robinson raised the bar with his sweet soul vocals, before Gregor Tait and Lee McConnell jogged in with the baton to a burst of The Proclaimers’ 500 Miles from the pipes of the Royal Dragoon Guards. Rather than end on this obvious but appropriate note, one hit wonder John Miles was wheeled out for a rousing but anachronistic rendition of his pomp pop standard Music.

Seen on 19.07.14

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