Historic Edinburgh theatre to take centre stage in new STV music show

One of Scotland's most historic concert venues has signed a broadcasting deal to showcase a host of the country's rising musical stars – despite being shut for most of the past 30 years.

Leith Theatre, which previously hosted gigs by AC/DC, Kraftwerk, Slade, John Martyn, Thin Lizzy and Dr Feelgood, will be joining forces with STV to broadcast a series of shows made in the venue. The Live in Leith programme, which will go out on the STV Player platform, will be hosted by broadcaster Vic Galloway.

Acts include former Scottish Album of the Year winner Nova Scotia, teenage sensation Conor Fyfe, the youngest performer due to appear at next month's TRNSMT festival in Glasgow, and Lizzie Reid, who supported Paolo Nutini last month when he made his long-awaited comeback.

The new partnership, described as “a dream come true” by the Leith Theatre Trust, which is leading efforts to secure the building's long-term future, has been revealed after the building was chosen as the new home of the BBC daytime series The Bidding Room.

Lucia & The Best Boys will be appearing in STV's new Live in Leith series.

The building opened in 1932, but was almost destroyed in a Second World War bomb blast before being revived for music, theatre and as a weightlifting venue for the Commonwealth Games, before falling into decline in the 1980s and threatened with a council sell-off.

Kae Tempest, Neneh Cherry, Gerry Cinnamon, Jarvis Cocker, Teenage Fanclub, The Fratellis, The Snuts and Young Fathers have all taken to its stage since it was brought back into use for Edinburgh's Hidden Door festival in 2017.

Audiences will be returning to gigs at Leith Theatre for the first time in three years this August when the venues plays host to the Edinburgh International Festival (EIF).

Arab Strap, The Cinematic Orchestra, Ezra Furman, Princess Nokia, Sons of Kemet, Squarepusher and Jeff Mills are among the acts due to appear during the festival.

Leith Theatre, which will be playing host to STV's new Live in Leith series, dates back to 1932.

The five-part STV series, which launches on July 2, will also feature Retro Video Club, Ransom FA, The Ninth Wave, Lucia & The Best Boys, and LOTOS.

Richard Williams, managing director of digital at STV, said: “STV is passionate about championing grassroots talent, so we’re delighted that these incredible homegrown performances at the iconic Leith Theatre will now be streaming on STV Player for a wider audience to enjoy.”

Leith Theatre Trust chief executive Lynn Morrison said: “It is a dream come true to be bringing our very first in-house production of Live in Leith to STV Player.

"These recordings from our grand auditorium and intimate backstage spaces have allowed us to shine a spotlight on this incredible venue.

The new Live in Leith series has been made in Leith Theatre. Picture: Ryan Buchanan

"One of our key goals is to deliver the refurbishment of this historic, 1930s art-deco building to serve as a premier music venue for local and international artists.

"Live in Leith is such a powerful way for us to tell this important story."

Callum Jones, programme curator and coordinator at Leith Theatre, said: “It’s a joy to share these fantastic performances with national audiences at home through our friends at STV Player.

"If Live in Leith is a pulse check on the health of breakthrough Scottish music, then we are in a really healthy place.

Rapper Nova Scotia will be showcased as part of STV's new Live in Leith series. Picture: Ryan Buchanan

"We look forward to exploring more opportunities to celebrate Scotland’s vibrant music sector in the wonderful setting of Leith Theatre.”

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