Rock legends the Rolling Stones heading north of border for first Scottish show for 12 years

From left, Ronnie Wood, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones.
From left, Ronnie Wood, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones.

Rock legends the Rolling Stones are returning to Scotland for their first show here since 2006 as part of a five-date UK tour.

The veteran rock act, formed in London back in 1962, can be seen at Edinburgh’s BT Murrayfield Stadium on Saturday, June 9.

That will be their second show at the home of Scottish rugby, following a previous visit in June 1999 to promote their 21st album, Bridges to Babylon, a No 6 hit two years previously, and it will be their seventh date in the city altogether.

Their previous shows in the capital were at the Edinburgh Playhouse in 1982 and at the Usher Hall twice in 1965 and also twice in 1964.

The band’s last Scottish show was at Glasgow’s Hampden Park football ground in August 2006 to plug their most recent album of original material, A Bigger Bang, a No 2 hit the year before.

That was their second show at Hampden Park, its predecessor having been in July 1990 to promote their 19th LP, Steel Wheels, a No 2 the preceding year.

In between those shows at the home of Scottish football, they played two indoor sets at the city’s Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in September 2003.

This summer’s tour will be the Stones’ first British dates for five years, the last having been two shows in London’s Hyde Park in 2013, preceded by an appearance at that year’s Glastonbury Festival in Somerset.

The band are still led by founder members Mick Jagger on vocals and Keith Richards on guitar, with Charlie Watts, a member of the band since 1963, on drums and relative new recruit Ronnie Wood, added to the band’s line-up in 1975, also on guitar.

That core quartet is supplemented by touring musicians including Darryl Jones on bass and Chuck Leavell on keybords.

Sir Mick, 74, knighted in 2003 for services to music, said: “This part of the No Filter tour is really special for the Stones.

“We are looking forward to getting back onstage in the summer and playing to fans in the UK and Ireland.

“It’s always exhilarating going to cities we haven’t played for quite a while and also some new venues for us like Old Trafford and the London Stadium.”

Richards, also 74, said: “It’s such a joy to play with this band. There’s no stopping us. We’re only just getting started really.”

Wood, 70, said: “When I look out at the sea of people when we play, all I can see is smiles.

“It’s heartwarming, and I’m glad we make people happy. Music makes me happy, and it makes them happy. It’s infectious.”

Watts, 76, added: “The Stones’ audience is the glue that keeps us together.

“The best and most satisfying moment is when you are reaching the end of the show, and they are all going nuts.”

The band are also playing at the London Stadium on Tuesday, May 22; Manchester’s Old Trafford football ground on Tuesday, June 5; Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on Friday, June 15; and London’s Twickenham rugby ground on Tuesday, June 19.

Tickets for the Edinburgh date, priced £99.95 to £249.95, plus fees, are on sale now, cheaper options starting at £59.95 having sold out.

For further details, go to www.scottishrugby.org/bt-murrayfield-stadium or www.rollingstones.com

The band’s most recent album was 2016’s Blue and Lonesome, a chart-topping collection of covers of blues classics by the likes of Willie Dixon, Little Walter, Magic Sam and Howlin’ Wolf.

It was their first No 1 since an expanded reissue of their 1972 classic Exile on Main Street matched the original by topping the charts in 2010.

They’ve notched up a dozen No 1 LPs over the years, the others being 1994’s Voodoo Lounge, 1980’s Emotional Rescue, 1973’s Goat’s Head Soup, 1971’s Sticky Fingers, 1970’s Get Yer Ya-Yas Out, 1969’s Let It Bleed, 1966’s Aftermath, 1965’s The Rolling Stones No 2 and their self-titled debut long-player in 1964.

They’ve also topped the singles chart eight times, with 1969’s Honky Tonk Women, 1968’s Jumpin’ Jack Flash, 1966’s Paint It Black, 1965’s Get Off of My Cloud and (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction and 1964’s The Last Time, Little Red Rooster and It’s All Over Now.

Blue and Lonesome, their 23rd album, has since been followed by On Air, a compilation of versions of songs recorded for TV shows in the mid-1960s. Released in December, it was a No 27 hit.