ALBUM REVIEW: RUNRIG BEAT THE DRUM

As the search rumbles on for a new lead singer after the departure of Donnie Munro to pursue his political ambitions to become a Labour MP, this new release brings together the first 3 singles to crack the UK Top 40 from 1990 and 1991, along with the bonus tracks which appeared with them on their individual releases.

Formed in 1973, Runrig’s ability to reach a wide audience of young children to pensioners has ensured them an extensive potential sales base with their unique brand of Scottish folk rock encapsulating both the Gaelic and English language and a wide spectrum of instrumentation over and above the traditional drums, bass, guitars and keyboards. Accordions, bagpipes, brass, E-bows, Hurdy Gurdy, Jaws Harp, mandolins, Midi pipes, strings and whistles are just a selection of instruments utilised by Runrig throughout their career to date and results in music which is immersed in traditions and their origins, while being modern and vibrant enough to cross over to the mainstream to ensure a modest success rate in the past 5 years in the UK.

The singles in question are the uplifting and energetic ‘Stepping Down The Glory Road’, the thumping ‘Hearthammer’ and the contrasting reserved/rousing ‘Flower Of The West’. The majority of the band’s songs are either influenced by Scotland or matters pertaining to their homeland, in particular the Western Isles, where the nucleus of the band hail from.

Tracks such as ‘Harvest Moon’, ‘Satellite Flood’ and ‘Ravenscraig’ highlight the diversity of the bands talents, while live recordings such as ‘Pride Of The Summer’ and ‘Loch Lomond’ (both recorded at their 50,000 capacity gig on the banks of the loch in’91) display the resounding passion and emotions the band can install in people through their music.

Their story is unique in that no one else has equalled their commercial success, despite trying to follow in their footsteps (Capercaillie and Wolfstone to name but 2) and this release is a perfect example of the bands originality and music.

Taken from Scotland Calling (Scottish Music Network)