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Runrig concert 2004, Wattenscheid open-air stage
Runrig concert 2004, Wattenscheid open-air stage
General information
origin Scotland
Genre (s) Folk rock
founding 1973
resolution 2018
Founding members
Rory Macdonald
Percussion , vocals
Calum Macdonald
Blair Douglas (until 1974, 1978)
Last occupation
Guitar, bass, vocals
Rory Macdonald
Percussion, vocals
Calum Macdonald
Guitar, bagpipes , accordion
Malcolm Jones (since 1978)
Iain Bayne (since 1980)
Vocals, guitar
Bruce Guthro (since 1998)
Keyboard , vocals
Brian Hurren (since 2001)
former members
Vocals, guitar
Donnie Munro (1974-1997)
Robert Macdonald (1975–1977)
Peter Wishart (1986-2001)
Richard Cherns (1982-1986)
Campbell Gunn (1976)

Runrig was a Scottish folk rock - band , founded in 1973 by brothers Rory (bass, vocals, acoustic guitar) and Calum Macdonald (percussion, vocals) and Blair Douglas (accordion), reinforced a little later by the singer Donnie Munro (vocals, acoustic Guitar) and from 1998 replaced by the singer Bruce Guthro .

Band name

Runrig ( Scottish Gaelic : raon ruith ) literally means a row ( run ) of strips of land ( rig ), but means the system of land use as it was practiced in the Highlands before the English destroyed it as part of the Highland Clearances .


Initially the band was called Run Rig Dance Band . Some members of the group left, new ones joined. The “classic” line-up included Iain Bayne (drums), Malcolm Jones (guitars, flutes, Young Midi-Pipes, bagpipes, accordion, vocals), Peter Wishart (keyboards).

First known through small concerts in Scotland, Runrig began a career with self-written and self-composed songs. On the one hand the group plays rock music with strong Scottish influences, on the other hand they use historical Scottish lyrics and songs in Gaelic . The leading figures of the group are the brothers Calum and Rory Macdonald, who together write most of the band's songs.

The charismatic lead singer Donnie Munro drew the group into the international spotlight. Several albums were made until he unexpectedly left the formation in 1997. He ran for the Scottish Parliament , but failed. Musically, he returned to the roots of Scottish folk music and in 2003 released the album Gaelic Heart exclusively with songs in Gaelic.

The group, which was without a singer for a short time, found a new front man in Bruce Guthro from Nova Scotia ( Canada ).

2001 the group lost another comrade in politics, because Peter Wishart moved as a member of the Scottish National Party in the British lower house . He was replaced by Brian Hurren, then 20 years old (keyboards and vocals).

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary, a special album was recorded that also contained old material and for which the resigned founding member Blair Douglas contributed the song Angels from the Ashes . The album Proterra comes up with a modernized sound, which was mainly brought about by the inclusion of producer and sound tinkerer Paul Mounsey.

Not only in their homeland of Scotland, but above all in Denmark and Germany, the band has a steady, loyal fan base, the so-called "Riggies".

Runrig was also socially committed. Iain Bayne (drums) and Calum Macdonald (percussion) were guests at Glasgow the Caring City in South Africa on March 15, 2006, bringing drums and other instruments to schools for educational programs.

On May 18, 2007, the 13th studio album entitled Everything You See was released. The first single from the album, called Year of the Flood , was first played on a Danish radio station in January 2007.

In November 2007 they took part in the BBC Children in Need charity and provided the Scottish contribution. For this they chose the song Loch Lomond . Not only had the song been their first single 25 years earlier, it is also their “trademark” and marked the end of their concerts for a long time. They played the song together with a stadium full of fans of the Scottish national football team, the Tartan Army . They were also supported by Rod Stewart . The single became her first UK top 10 hit (number 1 in Scotland). According to Tartan Army, over 40,000 CDs of this song were sold by February 2008 (13,000 of which were iTunes downloads).

Runrig celebrated their 40th band anniversary in 2013 with several open airs. The central anniversary event was the concert "Party on the Moor", which took place on August 10, 2013 in Muir of Ord on the Black Isle near the Scottish city of Inverness . At this concert, in addition to the current band line-up u. a. former members Donnie Munro and Peter Wishart also attended.

In 2016 and 2017 the band went on a European tour with album The Story . Runrig stated that The Story would be the band's last studio album. On September 26, 2017, Runrig announced their farewell tour The Final Mile for 2018 , which took them through Germany, England, Denmark and Scotland. The 25,000 tickets for the last concert The Last Dance on August 18, 2018 in Stirling were sold out within 15 minutes. A second concert the evening before (also in Stirling) was quickly organized and sold out after a few hours. After appearances by Donnie Munro and band, as well as Julie Fowlis , the band said goodbye to the stage after 45 years with an emotional performance.


When NASA experts gathered the debris from several US states after the crash of the space shuttle Columbia , they found a completely intact "The Stamping Ground" CD by the band. Astronaut Laurel Clark , a big Runrig fan, took the album with her into space. The band honored her by adding parts of the recording of Clark's voice from Columbia to Somewhere , the last song of their last studio album.

For the members of the band's own Runrig fan club, nine CDs and three DVDs from the Access All Areas series with old and new concert recordings, demo versions and interviews have so far been released.


Studio albums

year title Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placementsTemplate: chart table / maintenance / without sources
(Year, title, rankings, weeks, awards, notes)
1978 Play Gaelic - - -
First published: 1978
1979 The Highland Connection - - -
First published: 1979
1981 Recovery - - -
First publication: 1981
1985 Heartland - - -
First published: 1985
1987 The Cutter and the Clan - - UK45

(2 weeks)UK
First published: 1987
Sales: + 60,000
1989 Searchlight - - UK11

(4 weeks)UK
First published: 1989
Sales: + 100,000
1991 The big wheel - - UK4th

(15 weeks)UK
First published: June 10, 1991
Sales: + 100,000
1993 Amazing things DE47 (11 weeks)
- UK2

(6 weeks)UK
First published: March 15, 1993
Sales: + 60,000
1995 Mara DE81 (7 weeks)
- UK24

(6 weeks)UK
First published: November 6, 1995
Sales: + 60,000
1999 In Search of Angels DE26 (4 weeks)
- UK29 (2 weeks)
First published: February 21, 1999
2001 The Stamping Ground DE20 (8 weeks)
- UK64 (1 week)
First published: May 6, 2001
2003 Proterra DE10 (6 weeks)
- UK84 (1 week)
First published: August 17, 2003
2007 Everything You See DE15 (6 weeks)
- UK61 (1 week)
First published: May 14, 2007
2016 The story DE6 (4 weeks)
CH51 (1 week)
UK26 (3 weeks)
First published: January 29, 2016

gray hatching : no chart data available for this year


  1. Information on Runrig on Scotland Guide - Gaelic Song and Music
  2. James Masterton's comment on the November 19, 2007 chart
  3. ^ Blair Dingwall: 'Thank you, for everything' - Huge outpouring of emotion from thousands of fans as Runrig play last ever shows. The Courier, August 20, 2018, online .
  4. ^ Runrig's last dance - thousands in Stirling for emotional farewell. West Highland Free Press, August 24, 2018
  5. Jim Gilchrist: Skye rockers Runrig prepare for their final album. The Scotsman. January 30, 2016
  6. Marcel Anders: Scotland's longest-serving rock band are saying goodbye. Deutschlandfunk Kultur, February 1, 2016

Web links