Sound of the Esplanade as crowd are Aloud to go crazy

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Girls Aloud, Edinburgh Castle

HORDES of screaming fans lay siege to Edinburgh Castle last night as pop sensations Girls Aloud returned to the Capital in spectacular style.

A capacity 8500 crowd worked themselves into a frenzy, screaming and stamping their feet as they awaited the arrival of their favourite girl group.

Playing their first gig in the city since 2006, the glamorous quintet gave a dazzling performance to a predominantly female audience.

The warm summer evening had everyone in good spirits and the show got off to a fantastic start. Dressed in black coats and flanked by five male backing dancers, the girls strutted on stage singing their hit song, No, No, No. The coats were quickly stripped away by the dancers to reveal skimpy black and silver catsuits.

After the energetic first number, lead singer Nadine Coyle thanked everyone for such a warm welcome. "It's great to see so many Girls Aloud T-shirts," she cried.

The girls then took the crowd back a few years – six to be precise – with their first No.1 hit, Sound of the Underground.

While the band nipped off for a quick costume change, the shirtless male backing dancers had a chance to show off their impressive skills. Emerging again in gold sparkly mini dresses, the girls sang one of their most recent hits, Can't Speak French. The group may not have been able to speak French, but their stunning stage outfits would rival any Parisian mademoiselle.

Sarah Harding then asked the crowd: "Do we have any Love Machines in the house?" before breaking into the popular track which had almost everyone out of their seats and dancing. With the amount of noise being generated, the castle security staff may well have been wondering "What Will The Neighbours Say?"

While Biology had the Esplanade shaking, the gig slowed down with Whole Lotta History.

The group then performed a couple of covers. This turned out to be one of the highlights of the evening. Robyn's 2007 hit, With Every Heartbeat, was followed by a classic from the Eighties, Salt-n-Pepa's Push It. "All you sexy Scottish people get up and dance," cried the girls. They obliged.

The fast-paced Wake Me Up then saw fans revving up imaginary motorbikes, mimicking their idols' video.

Although they weren't joined on stage by The Sugababes to sing Aerosmith's Walk This Way, which they performed together for last year's Comic Relief single, Girls Aloud made do with a great sing-off against each other.

Call the Shots and Stand by You slowed down the pace once again until things roared back into life with Jump.

All too soon the gig was over. But as they brought down the curtain with the cheeky Something Kinda Ooh, it was obvious Girls Aloud had made many a fan's heart go boom boom.

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