DCSIMG

A roaring success to remember

A COLOSSAL crowd at Murrayfield Stadium roared their approval as Scottish band The Proclaimers launched into a storming rendition of their anthemic I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles), opening the most historic concert the city has even seen.

Edinburgh 50,000 - The Final Push was underway, much to the delight of an ecstatic crowd, many of whom had queued for more than five hours in the drizzle, determined nothing was going to spoil their enjoyment of this once-in-a-lifetime spectacular.

After The Proclaimers it was Jamie Cullum - the biggest-selling British jazz artist of all time.

With a St Andrews flag draped around his piano, the man dubbed the "Jazz Beckham" was joined by Natasha Bedingfield in a rendition of The Beatles' All You Need Is Love, before the pair dueted on the pop babe's first single, These Words.

Scotland's Wet Wet Wet then took to the stage. Marti Pellow and the boys rolled back the years with renditions of their UK number one singles A Little Help From My Friends and Love Is All Around.

After the Wets had got the crowd going, things took a comic turn with funnyman Peter Kay giving The Carpenters' Top of the Worlds a unique twist, performing the song on Pan Pipes.

The younger members of the audience went wild as boy band McFly gave a surprisingly good account of themselves with their hit single It's All About You.

One of the hosts for the evening, Eddie Izzard, then reminded the revellers why they had descended upon the home of Scottish rugby in their thousands.

"Scotland, you are now the centre of the world," he cried. "The G8 leader have come to town and the world is watching. We made slavery history, now we must make poverty history."

Accompanied by 20 children, Big Brother's Davina McCall was next up. "Wow, it's so utterly amazing to be here tonight," she declared, before urging the crowd to "make some noise and let the guys at the G8 summit know that we're here."

She then introduced a young girl from Sierra Leone - the world's poorest country - who passed on a white Make Poverty History band to the TV presenter.

The band was given to the girl by Nelson Mandela and she hoped McCall would make sure it completed its journey to Gleneagles.

McCall then urged the crowd to get out their mobile phones and add their names by text to the Make Poverty History petition.

A shaven-headed Will Young and urban artist Neneh Cherry then joined One Giant Leap for a performance of one of the African band's numbers, before UK girl group Sugababes played a weak rendition of their hit, Stronger.

In trademark shades, Irish legend Bono gave a rousing speech before introducing a filmed address from Nelson Mandela. The former South African president hushed the crowd of almost 60,000 at Murrayfield with a poignant plea to G8 leaders to eradicate world poverty.

With peroxide hair and a tartan scarf, former Eurythmics frontwoman Annie Lennox had the crowd clapping along to Sisters Are Doing it For Themselves, before launching into an impassioned call to the G8 leaders. "To the politicians at Gleneagles we say do nothing at your peril," she roared.

Bob Geldof, in a saintly white suit, arrived to a rapturous reception. After a short address, the man of the moment gave a stunning performance of the Boomtown Rats' first number one, Rat Trap.

Sir Bob then introduced countrymen The Thrills, who had no trouble getting the crowd to jump along to their song Santa Cruz (You're Not That Far).

Torrential rain began almost as soon as the Irish band took to the stage, but even a heavy downpour couldn't dampen the spirits of the Edinburgh crowd.

Umbrellas went up and the party went on as Midge Ure revisited Ultravox's classic 80s hit Vienna, joined on piano by Eddie Izzard.

Introduced by Chris Evans, rockers Feeder and Embrace then had the crowd bouncing along to their singalong hit singles Buck Rogers and Ashes respectively.

Following her stint earlier in the evening, Neneh Cherry was back to duet with the legendary Youssou N'Dour on their 1994 global smash Seven Seconds.

The Senegalese songsmith then had the audience raising its fists in solidarity during a poignant number called New Africa.

Former Boyzone frontman Ronan Keating had the crowd in a spin with an upbeat rendition of his solo hit Rollercoaster, before Beverley Knight sang Angels while Guy Chambers - who co-wrote the song with Robbie Williams - played piano for her.

After a typically rousing performance from Glasgow band Texas, things slowed down with the introduction of Welsh mezzo-soprano singer Katherine Jenkins, joined by a full choir for an uplifting version of Nessun Dorma.

Indie rock quartet Snow Patrol then delivered one of the best performances of the evening, and the enduringly popular Travis did likewise, performing old favourites Driftwood and Why Does it Always Rain on Me.

U2's Bono then reappeared to join the Corrs on stage for a performance of Stars Go Blue.

After one more stirring plea from the three men who made it all possible - Sir Bob Geldof, Midge Ure and Bono - there was an impromptu singalong of Flower Of Scotland.

Wrapping it all up was the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, defying his years with staggering renditions of I Feel Good and Sex Machine either side of dueting with Pop Idol Will Young on Papa's Got A Brand New Bag.

Despite heavy rain, technical glitches and a long over-run, the crowd refused to be downbeat at this historic night for Scotland.

Brilliant atmosphere, shame about weather

Margaret Doig, 41, housewife, Sighthill: "I thought it was a really good night. I really liked the atmosphere, it was brilliant. All the acts were really entertaining, I just wish the weather had been better."

Paul Jones, 37, builder, Lorne Street, Leith: "Everything was really brilliant, especially the Corrs. I had really been looking forward to seeing them all. There were no bad acts at all and Snow Patrol in particular were really good."

Lisa Oyama, 19, student, Gardiner Road: "It was really good. I really liked Snow Patrol and seeing George Clooney. I really liked the African band, who played with Will Young and Neneh Cherry."

Caroline Fraser, 39, travel agent, Musselburgh: "It was the most touching concert I've ever been to in my life. Anne Lennox really stood out, she's an excellent entertainer.

"The whole night really got across the message about Africa."

Shona Martin, 28, admin manager, city centre: "Bob Geldof got the crowd going well. I also liked Feeder and Embrace.

"I thought that they were good. It was a pity they only got to do one track."

Ross McLean, 24, facilities assistant, Corstorphine: "It was a great atmosphere. The mix of different acts, comedians and singers was excellent. It was very well organised."

Colm McNicholl, 23, whisky taster, West End: "The speeches were better than in London.

"I thought that Bob was feeding his ego more in London rather than feeding Africa. Here it was much better. Charity is what it is all about."

Lindsay Watson, 29, nurse, Silverknowes: "The actual concert was good. There was more political talk than at Hyde Park.

"It's a pity more people couldn't get down to the pitch."

 
 
 

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