3.24: Information on Runrig


3.24: Information on Runrig

Contact the fan club at: Runrig Fan Club, 55 Wellington St, Aberdeen AB2 1BX. Tel: 0224 573100

Runrig is a term Blair Douglas thought up when he was studying in Glasgow. A rig is a strip of farmland and a run is a series of those strips. The run-rig system of farming is no longer used, but the marks of it can still be seen particularly on Skye where the core of the band is from.


Play Gaelic (good, very folky, last 2 tracks are very good, limited lyrics in Gaelic available from fan club)
Highland Connection (v good, my favourite, mix of ballads and heavy rock, lyrics supplied, but no translations. I have translations of Cearcall a' chuain - one of my all time favourite tracks and an easy one to sing along to and learn)
Recovery (v. good, close second, similar to Highland Connection. Translations for Gaelic available from this point on)
Heartland (v. good, slightly more commercial than previous two, less Gaelic)
Cutter and the Clan (OK. considerably more commercial than Heartland. 2 Gaelic tracks. An uabhal as airde is a very good song from this album)
Once in a lifetime (live album featuring material from previous 4, but only 1 track from Play Gaelic- Chi mi'n Geamhradh)
Searchlight (OK. More commercial than "Cutter", 2 Gaelic tracks)
Big Wheel (improvement on Searchlight. Commercial, but some good tracks, 2 Gaelic tracks)
Amazing things (rather bland and middle of the road. Some good tracks, but many forgettable)

The band seem to be struggling to make their albums more and more commercial in sound and the Gaelic content of each is nearly always lower or the same as the last. However, they don't seem to be having much sucess outside Scotland. They are the biggest selling band in Scotland, and I think Donnie Munro is a very good singer. It's ironic that Capercaillie have managed about the same sucess with singles as Runrig yet Capercaillie's single was in Gaelic and a lot more traditional. Runrig are perceived as too Scottish by many non-Scottish audiences and their following is very heavily biased towards people from Scotland or with Scottish connections.

Runrig have played a major part in bringing Scottish music up to date and reviving the Scottish folk scene, and interest in the Gaelic language. However, I wish they'd accept that they're not going to have a major breakthrough in popularity overseas and go back to the feel of their earlier material. This early material, particularly pre-"Cutter" gets a better response at concerts in Scotland.

The fan club has all the albums and can be reached at the address above. I think most of the band currently live in the Edinburgh area.

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