With just 40 days to go until Summer Sessions in Princes Street Gardens,the countdown is officially on. After a hugely successful inaugural edition in 2018, Summer Sessions is back this year with another star-studded line-up of Scottish musical icons, trail-blazing female talent and exciting breakthrough artists who will all take to the stage under the iconic Edinburgh Castle backdrop.
Taking place across the 7th-18th August in the midst of the world-famous Edinburgh Festival and set to welcome thousands of music fans to the city, the run of concerts will feature headline performances from Florence & the Machine, Primal Scream, CHVRCHES, Lewis Capaldi, James, Madness and Courteeners plus a strong line-up of support artists including Johnny Marr, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Fatherson and more.
On the 40 days to go milestone, here’s a taster of what’s to come from the concert series and a rundown of everything you need to know about Summer Sessions in Princes Street Gardens.
THE ICONIC LOCATION
Returning to Princes Street Gardens for a second year, the Summer Sessions concert series will take place at the Ross Bandstand under the iconic Edinburgh Castle backdrop. One of the most scenic gig locations Scotland has to offer, the Bandstand has been the scene of numerous world-famous events such as Edinburgh Hogmanay, the Edinburgh International Festival’s closing fireworks and more.
The incredible run of shows will also take place right in the middle of the world-famous Edinburgh Festival which runs from the 2nd – 26th August and welcomes up to 2.5 million visitors every year. It’s fair to say that Edinburgh will be absolutely buzzing!
This year’s line-up will have a strong focus on homegrown talent with headline performances from Scottish rock & roll legends Primal Scream, electro-pop trio CHVRCHES and chart-topping superstar Lewis Capaldi.
Demonstrating that their inventive, high octane rock ’n’ roll is as essential as ever, Primal Scream’s release of ‘Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll – The Singles’ is a timely reminder that the Glasgow band are one of Britain’s most iconic bands. Their headline set in an equally iconic location is sure to be one for the band’s history books.
Synth-pop maestros CHVRCHES will make a welcomed return to Edinburgh almost five years after their last performance in the capital and following the release of their huge album ‘Love Is Dead’ in 2018 which featured hit singles ‘Get Out’ and ‘Miracle’.
Lewis Capaldi has had a stratospheric rise to the top, from playing pubs and clubs in and around the capital to headlining this year’s Summer Sessions in Princes Street Gardens in the space of a couple of years, his two sold out shows will mark another incredible milestone for the singer-songwriter who is now one of the biggest pop star in the UK.
There will also be a strong contingent of Scottish stars in the support line-up such as fast-rising indie-rock outfit Fatherson, goth-pop duo The Ninth Waveand We Were Promised Jetpacks. The latter are celebrating the tenth anniversary of their seminal debut album ‘These Four Walls’ this year with a series of celebratory shows. Now four albums into their career and having made their presence known across the Atlantic, their show with CHVRCHESwill be a very special homecoming for the Edinburgh natives.
TRAIL-BLAZING FEMALE TALENT
Summer Sessions will put the spotlight on a fine array of trail-blazing female talent in 2019. Brit Award-winning indie hero Florence & the Machine will return for her first Edinburgh shows in nine years following the release of her critically acclaimed fourth album ‘High as Hope’. The album saw Florence receive her third Mercury Prize nomination as well as being shortlisted for both ‘Album Of The Year’ and ‘British Female Solo Artist’ at the BRITs. Known for her incredible stage presence and stunning vocals, Florence is a force of nature and one of the most celebrated live performers on the planet. With two consecutive shows lined up on the 7th and 8th August, there’s no better artist to open the Summer Sessions series – with 8th August show already sold out, fans should snap up tickets quick for 7th August before they’re gone!
Scottish electro-pop heroes CHVRCHES will headline on 11th August as part of a strong line-up of homegrown artists including We Were Promised Jetpacksand The Ninth Wave. Since releasing their debut album in 2013, they have become one of Scotland’s biggest musical exports and have played to crowds all over the world from Asia to the USA and across Europe. The Glasgow trio, fronted by the inimitable Lauren Mayberry, have continued to strengthen their position as leaders of Scotland’s musical community and will put on a show to remember at Summer Sessions.
Summer Sessions at Princes Street Gardens will also be a chance to get acquainted with the brilliant Self Esteem and The Ninth Wave, both of whom released their debut albums this year. Self Esteem is the new critically acclaimed all-singing, all-dancing solo project from Rebecca Taylor while The Ninth Wave are driven by the incredible songwriting partnership and chemistry of Millie Kidd and Haydn Park Patterson who have seized the attention of music fans and tastemakers alike all over the world in recent months.
This year’s Summer Sessions will also feature some iconic greats who will all take to the stage against the stunning backdrop of the Edinburgh Castle. The constantly genre-defying Primal Scream are a band who have built a career on reinvention. Fronted by the inimitable Bobby Gillespie and with a number of legendary albums behind them such as ‘Screamadelica’, ‘Vanishing Point’ and ‘XTRMNTR’, it is only fitting that the iconic Scottish band play an equally iconic setting.
Primal Scream will be supported by the one and only Johnny Marr in a night that will go down a storm with lovers of rock & roll. The legendary Smiths guitarist has built a hugely successful solo career in recent years, playing huge shows all over the world. Having worked with the likes of Modest Mouse, The Cribs and more over the years and now making his name as a solo artist, he is still known to pull out some Smiths classics at his rapturous live shows.
Also on the line-up are one of the UK’s most enduring indie outfits, James.Having sold more than 25 million albums worldwide, the band continue to release new music and last year unveiled their 15th album ‘Living in Extraordinary Times’. With one of the most treasured back catalogues in UK music to pull from that spans three decades, they have a set full of festival anthems at the ready.
A band who continue to sell out shows all over the UK and beyond, theCourteeners play a sold out Summer Sessions on 16th August. Having formed a special relationship with the Scottish crowds over the years with unforgettable shows at TRNSMT, The SSE Hydro and more, it’s no surprise that the Manchester outfit often refer to Scotland as a “second home”. Fresh off the back of a mammoth hometown show at Heaton Park which saw them sell out 50,000 tickets in a matter of hours, there’s simply no stopping Courteenersand their bombastic, impossibly catchy brand of indie-rock. Dating back to their 2008 debut ‘St Jude’, they boast a set that is brimming with classic singalongs and festival anthems.
Closing the Summer Sessions series in Princes Street Gardens will be none other than British ska legends Madness. Celebrating their 40th anniversary this year, the band are known for their entertaining, fun-loving sets and well-known songs such as ‘Baggy Trousers’ and ‘House of Fun’. They will be supported by 90s pop icons The Lightning Seeds who come armed with their own catalogue of classic hits.