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Runrig's Farewell Concert

"And I'm still dreaming of the Hebrides
And I'm still leaning on the early years
And I can't help feeling it will always be
The story of the life inside of me"

~Runrig, The Story (English translation)

Celtic rock band Runrig's farewell concert took place this in August 2019 in Stirling's City Park.

"S fhada, 's fhada, an ceòl a bha cho binn

'S a' ghrian a' dh'èirich air mo chridhe

Guth nan eun gar dùsgadh bho chadal, àillidh, ciùin

Moch is deiseil 'son an t-slighe"

"And I'm still dreaming of the Hebrides  
And I'm still leaning on the early years  
And I can't help feeling it will always be  
The story of the life inside of me" 

~Runrig, The Story 

 

Runrig are a Scottish Celtic rock group formed in Skye, in 1973 under the name 'The Run Rig Dance Band'. From its inception, the band's line-up included songwriters Rory Macdonald and Calum Macdonald. The final line-up also included longtime members Malcolm Jones, Iain Bayne, and latterly, Bruce Guthro, and Brian Hurren. The band released fourteen studio albums, with a number of their songs sung in Scottish Gaelic.

Many of the band's songs include references to Scottish history or culture. These include the band's name itself - which is a reference to a Pre-Agricultural Revolution farming practice that was used for hundreds of years in the Highlands and Islands.

Runrig's music is often described as a blend of folk and rock music, with the band's lyrics often focusing upon locations, history, politics and people that are unique to Scotland. Songs also make references to agriculture, land conservation and religion.

The band was formed in 1973 with brothers Calum and Rory Macdonald and their friend Blair Douglas. Donnie Munro joined the following year and they started to expand outside their native Isle of Skye. Douglas left the band in late 1974 and was replaced by Robert Macdonald. This line-up continued until 1978, when Douglas re-joined and Malcolm Jones became guitarist, both displacing Robert Macdonald.

Here is the band's comment on their newly introduced tribute tartan:

"After decades of being asked by fans and associates when were we going to create a Runrig Tartan, we have now, at long last, finally done it! And at an appropriate time to mark the 45th Anniversary and the final concerts. No one could accuse us of being in a hurry, that's for sure!

Probably the main reason we resisted, over the years, was that we felt uncomfortable being associated with such an obvious Scottish cliché and one with such a dubious history of design sense and quality values - the tourist shops on Edinburgh's Royal Mile, for example, reinforce that stereotype.

However, our reticence was turned on its head when we heard about a young, tartan design company called Prickly Thistle, with a passion to restore tartan to its rightful position as a true icon. Not unlike a fine malt whisky, where authenticity, quality and high design values are king. They are one of a new breed of exciting Highland companies committed to restoring a sense of pride and value in long neglected areas of heritage."

This tartan includes colours with personal significance to the band members.

For a link to their website and information about their final concerts, which took place at Stirling's City Park, click the band in front of the Forth Bridge.