Wednesday, 4 February 2009

The Odeon as Concert Venue

It was in the seventies that the Odeon started its run as a concert venue. A place for a very mixed line up of artists. One of the first being Deep Purple, one of rock's original heavy metal bands. The Corries Scotland's great folk band was one of the next. In fact The Corries came back three years running.

Other groups and artists who were making a name for themselves also played the Odeon, as well as very established artists. Paul McCartney and Wings, The Bay City Rollers.
Even names from across the water played the Odeon. Greats like Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Lou Reed on the bill.

Through the mid seventies concerts were a steady income for the Odeon. One feature was the fact that every show was sold out. Almost a record for a cinema as concert venue at the time. In 1978 its true potential was nearly recognised when twenty-nine artists took the chance to performing there. But it was 1979 that the peak was reached when forty six took to the stage in the Odeon. But it was around that time that plans were afoot to convert the cinema in to a triple screen complex. Ending its status as a concert venue. The Playhouse was Edinburgh 's largest cinema took over as the concert venue mantle from the Odeon. The Queens hall further down Clerk Street , also became a place where artists decided to play. The Usher Hall better know as a classical venue soon started to ring out with the sounds of rock and pop.

The Odeon had played its part; Edinburgh had become a recognised tour date on many artists calendar, before that Glasgow always seemed to be the preferred choice for most.

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