Highlands & Islands

Runrig holds 40th anniversary bash

Image caption Runrig expects to play to 17,000 people over the two days

Veteran Celtic rockers Runrig are preparing to hold a weekend event in the Highlands to mark the band's 40th anniversary.

Put together in 1973, the band enjoyed UK chart success with Gaelic songs in the 1990s.

Their song An Ubhal as Airde reached number 18 in the charts in 1995.

Runrig's Party On The Moor will be held at the Black Isle Showground in Muir of Ord, near Inverness, on Friday and Saturday.

About 17,000 people are expected over the two days.

Support acts include Manran, Washington Irving, Scooty and the Skyhooks and Gizzen Briggs.

The original Run-Rig Dance Band performed for the first time as a three piece at Glasgow's Kelvin Hall.

Donnie Munro joined as lead singer in 1974 and continued in the role until 1997. Bruce Guthro joined as lead singer in 1998.

In 1991, the band played to 50,000 people at a music festival at Balloch Country Park on the shores of Loch Lomond.

Six years ago, 17,000 fans turned out to watch Runrig play its Beat the Drum Festival at Drumnadrochit.

Hours of rainfall turned the festival field into mud and tractors had to be brought in to tow fans' vehicles from the car park.

Runrig have a loyal following in Denmark and Germany and played support to U2, The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart and Genesis.

Image caption Donnie Munro (second from left) left the band in 1997

Founding member Rory MacDonald said change has been an important feature of the band.

He told BBC Alba: "People ask about the longevity of the band and I think it is essential that there is change.

"I think to a degree one foot is rooted in something that is constant, there is a kind of ethos to the music.

"But I think with the other foot you have got to change and evolve and I think we have done that.

"With every album I think there is something distinctively Runrig, but also something that is different."

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