Runrig have announced a couple of upcoming tours of Denmark and Germany. The band who feature one of Scotland’s Greatest Ever Drummers in Iain Bayne will also tour the UK in December finishing with a show at the Barrowlands on December 18. Full details below:

Details on the shows in Denmark and Germany are below. For UK shows click here.

Last year Fifer Iain Bayne spoke about some of the band’s highlights over the past few decades:

“In 1987, we brought out the album ‘The Cutter and The Clan’ which was outselling Madonna in Scotland. Then we supported U2 on ‘The Joshua Tree’ tour at Murrayfield and I think people maybe saw us differenly after that and recognised we were a rock band.”

Their popularity soared and in 1991 came the landmark concert on the banks of Loch Lomond, scene of the song they have made their own.

Iain said, “My memory of Loch Lomond was of 50,000 people moving as one seething mass. It was amazing but I knew as well it had taken a lot of hard graft to get there.”

Just as they were enjoying the fruits of their toil, the band suffered a major setback when front man Donnie Munro left to stand for parliament as a Labour candidate.

“It was a real concern at the time because whoever came in had a hard act to follow.Donnie was the face of the band and was so well known at the time,” said Iain. “We got hundreds of tapes sent to us from people who fancied themselves as our new singer and some of them were real belters! We got it down to a shortlist of about 30. It was a bit like the X-Factor but we didn’t really think any of them were right for it. We actually started recording our next album when we still didn’t have a singer and we were all left wondering who we were going to get in.”

The stroke of luck they needed came when the son of the band’s manager, Marlene Ross, was in Canada, heard a recording of Nova Scotia singer Bruce Guthro and thought he could fit the bill.

“He hadn’t heard of us but we invited him over and we knew right away when he started singing he was right,” Iain said. “It was good timing because it was the start of the 1998 World Cup finals and afterwards we went and watched the Scotland-Brazil match on the telly. So Bruce was introduced to the Scottish tradition of everyone screaming at a TV screen during a football match.”

Runrig had the backing of the Tartan Army and Rod Stewart for their 2007 Children in Need charity release of ‘Loch Lomond’, which was later voted the greatest Scottish song of all time in a poll.

Another Runrig member, Pete Wishart, also left the band to pursue a political career, more successfully in his case, as he was elected as an SNP MP whereas Donnie never made it to Westminster.

Iain joked, “I’ve started my own party, the Fishing Party. To me playing in a band would be much more preferable to sitting through debates in parliament but everybody makes their own choices in life, which Donnie and Pete have done.”

These days, Runrig still regularly attract crowds of 5000 to 10,000 on the continent.

Iain added, “We seem to have bucked the trend which has seen people struggling to sell their albums and hopefully that will continue.”

Iain was talking to Gary Fitzpatrick, Dunfermline Press, November 26, 2009

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Runrig – Loch Lomond (Children in Need)


Photo Credit: Frozensheep