For some reason I’ve never done a Runrig blog post. An uncomfortable silence on The Croft’s part given they were the first band I ever went to see play live. Most folk probably get to say their first gig was The Ramones, The Clash, AC/DC…not me…it was fleeking Runrig. Needless to say I keep that little historical gem under my hat working as I do with the hip movers and shakers of the Glasgow music scene.
But should I?
Admittedly there’s nothing very cool about Celtic Rock, a fairly modern and slightly contrived genre designed mainly to stir the blood and tug the heartstrings of locals and exiles alike through the power of Marshall stacks, drum solos and the electric guitar. But Donnie Munro and Co. made some good albums and their live shows were 20th Century ceilidhs full of singing, drinking and dancing. I went to a fair few and had a blast.
I’m far less enamoured with them now than I was in my early teens, the last album I had being Searchlight released in 1989 so I guess I was tired of the Gaelic Folk Rock scene by the grand old age of 14 and had moved onto flares and flowers thanks to the arrival of the Stone Roses and the whole Madchester thing.
However one album remains firmly in my iTunes Recently Played list…
Recovery was their third album and was released in 1981 on their own Ridge Records label. It deals with the social history of the Gàidhealtachd, mirroring a renewed sense of cultural and political identity within the Gaelic community at the time. Six out of the eleven songs are in Gaelic and there are some great ones on it. However it’s difficult for me to listen to it with any sort of objectivity as it reminds me of holidays on Lewis, travelling in my Uncle N’s Volvo over to Uig with my cousins to camp at Riof the album seemingly always in the cassette player or to hand. Happy days and very evocative for me in weird way.
Anyway, you can listen and buy via the power of iTunes if you feel the need for a little old school Gaelic Folk Rock in your lives. And don’t worry about being cool: mullets, tight frost wash jeans, Hi-Teks and leather jackets are due for comeback any day now, mark my words.