Known as the Granite City, Aberdeen is the third most populated city in Scotland and home to a variety of music venues, pulling in some of the best-loved acts from the UK and further afield.
The last few years have seen some huge names visit the city, including Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, who played at the Aberdeen Exhibition Conference Centre (AECC) in April 2016, combining some old favourites from Oasis with the band’s new material. Scottish folk rock band Runrig played at the Music Hall in February 2016, an emotional night after the announcement that the group was about to call it quits after 43 years. And who could forget Emeli Sandé’s homecoming gig in October 2016? She kept it low key at the intimate Tunnels venue, a special occasion in the run up to launching her album Long Live The Angels.
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Recording artist and songwriter Emeli is one of Aberdeen’s most famous exports. Born in Sunderland, she moved to Aberdeen when she was four and the city is proud to claim her as one of its own. Other famous Aberdonians include Seb Roachford, drummer and front man of Mercury Music Prize-nominated Polar Bear and of course Scotland’s first lady of music, Annie Lennox, famous for the music of the Eurythmics and her solo career.
Aberdeen has a great variety of concert venues from a huge arena to smaller, informal venues. The AECC has a capacity of 8,500 and has hosted everyone from Tom Jones to Iron Maiden. The Music Hall is one of Aberdeen’s iconic buildings and when it reopens from its current multi-million pound transformation, it’ll be a jewel in the crown of the Aberdeen music scene. If you’re looking for a smaller venue, the Lemon Tree offers music lovers the chance to see their favourite bands and comedians in a smaller crowd of 550 guests.
There are some exciting prospects on the bill for 2017, from pop powerhouse Busted, at the AECC on 24 February, to Craig David on the comeback trail, also at the AECC on 4 April. Mike + The Mechanics play His Majesty’s Theatre on 18 March, a great chance to see Mike Rutherford and his group which reformed in 2010.