Led by fresh-faced frontman Les McKeown, the Bay City Rollers were the biggest boy band on the planet for a short but fervent period in the Seventies.
Rollermania took off in a way not seen since The Beatles with the tartan-clad Edinburgh lads enjoying a string of worldwide hits, including Shang-A-Lang, Bye Bye Baby and Saturday night.
A magnet for hordes of screaming teenage girls, they sold an estimated 70 million records and then self-destructed in spectacular fashion before making an unlikely comeback last year.
Les, now 60 years young, has been there through it all – and he’s still going strong.
Next month, reformed Rollers Les, Alan Longmuir and Stuart “Woody” Wood play a massive gig at T in the Park, and following that the singer hits the road with his own band on a 50-date tour to promote his new album, Les McKeown… The Lost Songs.
“I kept the tapes in a suitcase in my attic and never thought they’d see the light of day,” says Les of the never-before-heard songs he wrote in hotel rooms during the Rollers’ heyday.
“I’m ecstatic that they have now been turned into this great record and proud to finally be able to perform them for my fans.”
Earlier this week, AAA caught up with Edinburgh-born Les to find out what he loves most about his hometown.
- Most memorable Capital event?
My most memorable recent memory is performing at Edinburgh Castle on New Year’s Eve concert 1999 – bringing in the year 2000 was fabulous and made us all feel super proud.
- Favourite old-fashioned boozer?
Ryries at Haymarket.
- Favourite style bar?
Bramble Bar, Queen Street.
- Favourite restaurant?
The Ship on the Shore, Leith. Amazing food.
- Do you love or loathe the Festival?
I love the Festival.
- Favourite art gallery?
The Arusha Gallery.
- Favourite cinema?
The Dominion, at Morningside.
- Favourite live music venue?
The Usher Hall on Lothian Road.
- Favourite walk in or around the city?
The Secret Herb Garden.
- Favourite shopping area?
- Favourite piece of architecture?
- What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in the city?
- Favourite festival?
T in the Park. The Rollers are playing it this year.
- Favourite Edinburgh band ever?
- Favourite local hero?
- Sell Edinburgh to a tourist in no more than ten words…
Edinburgh, the gemstone in the land of Scotland.
Les McKeown…The Lost Songs is released on iTunes on 22 August 2016
For information on dates, venues and tickets visit http://www.lesmckeown.com/concert-dates