R E V I E W - C A R L I S L E
Av BBC den 2 december 2003

Tillbaks till nyheter

Runrig at the Sands Centre ...
Not only have they just released the new studio album Proterra, but Runrig have just played a live gig in Carlisle - and we were there to review it ...

30 years and still going strong ...
Runrig were in fine form when they finally made their return to Carlisle's Sands Centre on Tuesday 2nd December in their 30th anniversary year. In a two hour set, what became obvious pretty well straight away is that they now have such a substantial back catalogue they could be on stage for 10 hours and they'd still have tunes to spare.

We were treated to plenty of songs from the latest album 'Proterra' and having reviewed the album already, I have to say that some of the tunes I had reservations about in the studio work really well live, particularly There's a Need. This also settled an argument I'd been having with my wife over who sang the quieter vocal in the middle of this song ... it was Brian, and I lost the argument!


Brian's unusual instrument ...
New highlights were Empty Glens which works really well live with that great singalong chorus and the Bruce/Malcolm collaboration All the Miles, which is great on the album and even better live.

At this point I've got to mention (relative) newcomer Brian Hurren once again. During this tune he played a strange instrument that looked a cross between an accordian and a keyboard ... I don't know what it was, but it made a fine sound. And while I'm talking about strange instruments, Malcolm had what looked like a garden hose attached to his microphone stand. It can't have been a hosepipe, because the sound he made with it was fabulous ... must be electric bagpipes or something similar.

They don't make them like they used to ...
But what about the old songs I hear you cry? Well, there were plenty of those on offer - Protect and Survive, Rocket to the Moon (with a really interesting picture projected onto the background screen during this song - has anybody got any information about this?), Stepping Down the Glory Road, Loch Lomond (of course!), Skye, Siol Ghoraidh and Pride of the Summer to name but a few. I did my usual bad job of singing along to the Gaelic lyrics (I'm sure Rory got a bit wrong ... it's 'Ho, ho, hoadaway, hoadaway' ... isn't it?!) and there was a lovely bit of interaction when Bruce taught the audience a Gaelic song ('stage one Gaelic') which was really easy, then he handed over to Rory who taught us a 'stage two' Gaelic song ... and we didn't stand a chance! It was very funny and a nice touch.

It can't be that long ...
It's been 30 years for Runrig, some marriages don't last as long, but I get no sense that the band are tired or bored. The new members of the group - Brian and Bruce - have helped reinvigorate the sets and added a great sense of fun and performance, and it seems to me like everything is being mixed up more nowadays - and it works really well. For instance, it's great to hear Brian taking vocals (judging from the cheers he gets, Runrig should have got some 'young totty' a long time ago!) and Rory taking a more prominent role and playing acoustic guitar.


The verdict ...
The Sands was packed and we all got what we'd paid for - a slick performance, lots of great Runrig tunes and a thoroughly entertaining night out. Let's hope we don't have to wait so long until the band return to the city.

Tillbaks till nyheter