Concert in the Gardens **** Princes Street Gardens
LEICESTER party monsters Kasabian had been mouthing off for weeks prior to their Hogmanay headlining stint – lead singer Tom Meighan boasting that his band had "a huge surprise planned", which would "result in the greatest New Year throughout the world".
In Friday's issue of The Guide, we second-guessed Meighan, exclusively predicting that a cameo from Noel Gallagher was on the cards. And so it proved, as the Oasis man joined his pals for the last three songs, performing on Club Foot, Stuntman and LSF.
As party pieces go, it worked a treat, sending the crowd into a frenzy. Not that Kasabian weren't already providing their own fireworks on stage.
As the Gardens began to fill up with cold but very merry revellers from all four corners of the globe, Edinburgh's own Idlewild got the evening under way against the backdrop of the Castle at 10pm.
To be fair, they had the hardest task of the night in warming up the crowd but, true pros that they are, did the trick with a greatest hits set which included the likes of Love Steals Us From Loneliness and You Held The World In Your Arms.
A short break ensued before headliners Kasabian took to the stage to a rapturous reception from a crowd which appeared to be made up exclusively of their own fans.
Kicking off with Shoot The Runner, the band ran through tracks from their two previous albums for the final time before heading back into the studio to put the finishing touches on their forthcoming third album.
Highlights of their 60-minute set included Processed Beats, Reason is Treason and Empire.
Meighan dedicated closing number LSF to late Motherwell player Phil O'Donnell, who died tragically following his side's SPL match at the weekend.
"Edinburgh, you've been f****** empire," screamed the singer before leaving the stage. "I love you. I didn't want to be anywhere else tonight."
In the run-up, many had questioned whether Kasabian were up for headlining a gig of this size. But in the end they proved the consummate party band, providing enthusiastic singalongs, and the euphoric feel-good factor they conjured was just what the forecast ordered.
Following a spectacular fireworks display, Calvin Harris continued the celebrations into the wee small hours with a frenetic set which had the crowd dancing to recent hits including The Girls and Acceptable in the 80s.