It was a glorious sunny day so Perth and the BBC couldn’t have had a better chance to showcase and host some of the biggest bands throughout the decades from the 70s up til now.
Mid-afternoon we had a treat in store as Amy McDonald transformed the venue into a massive celebration as hundreds of thousands of bright-coloured confetti shot up into the air and slowly floated down again.
As Bishopbriggs’ finest pulled the confetti out of her mouth – the sign of a ‘true professional’ Amy revealed to the merry crowd – she belted out hit after hit revealing why she is a live force to be reckoned with. (one might argue better live than recorded).
With her trademark black, red and white coloured clothes she sang Mr Rock & Roll, This is the Life and Dream On and had the crowd in the palm of her hands as we sang along to her chorus. Thankfully it wasn’t actual words so harder to detect if we all sounded awful.
We were a merry bunch of all different ages so something for everyone at this concert from Emeli Sande to Simple Minds, The Beat, Squeeze, the Shire, Julie Fowlis and some newer names on Stage 2 from Hannah Grace and ONR to Callum Beattie.
On a perfect Summer day some oldies reminisced Squeeze’s Cool For Cats and The Beat were a welcome warm reggae/ska breeze with Can’t Get Used to Losing you and Mirror in the Bathroom as Ranking Roger, lead singer of the band, managed to dance about like a teenager on stage (he’s 55 yrs old, shhh).
The Shires added a country injection early evening and then Emeli Sande added her usual uplifting gospel-style music telling the crowd we are all wonderfiul people as she sang Beneath Your Beautiful, Read All About It and Heaven. It was heavenly to listen to her and if she didn’t successfully make everyone in the audience feel good with her positive comments then there’s no hope. (just joking Emeli, there’s always hope:))
The two days of performances at Scone Palace climaxed with Simple Minds on stage (sorry Noel) as Jim Kerr belted out the Pitch Perfect hit Don’t You Forget About Me made famous when he sang it in 1984 and again when it became the hit soundtrack in cult American brat pack movie The Breakfast Club transforming it into a US hit. Though Simple Minds didn’t actually write that song they had numerous other hits in the 80s and 90s with Alive and Kicking, Belfast Child – actually, five UK chart number one albums!
For anyone who missed seeing them live in the eighties it must have felt like a time warp back to that decade as Jim Kerr’s voice is still as distinct and powerful and his energy on stage just as raw with his trademark swinging of the mic. Simple Minds were simply the highlight of the day.
And the one to watch? Well, ONR were impressive with their Killers-style sound on Stage 2 but Hannah Grace, also playing on the same stage, was breathtaking to listen to.
Hannah’s version of Fat Boy Slim’s Praise You felt like it lifted the talent to another level. Her soul, jazz and pop influences have helped Hannah create the most refreshing sound for a long time. Looking forward to listening to her debut album when it’s out!
Overall, it was a day of some really great bands and singers in a stunning setting. Please BBC, do another Biggest weekend or BBC Extra in Scotland cos we’ve proven our weather shone on the day!
review by Susie Daniels