Danish fascination with Scottish band continues

Runrig were in Fredericia last week to celebrate the release of their latest and final studio LP

Long lines of Danish fans showed up last Thursday and Friday at a pop-up store in Fredericia to celebrate the release of ‘The Story’, the latest and final studio release of a Scottish group from the Isle of Skye.

On March 1, Runrig will kick off a tour of five cities starting in Greve and winding its way through Vejle, Haderslev, Odense and Skive.

A second home
The group will return in August to play gigs in Fredericia, Svendborg and Aalborg.

“Denmark has always had enormous significance for us,” the band’s percussionist Calum Macdonald told Ekstra Bladet. “We consider it our second home.”

MacDonald and his brother Rory write Runrig’s music and are the only members to have been with the band for the whole of its 43-year history. He said that playing Danish festivals every year – especially the folk/rock stronghold Tønder Festival – has given the Celtic rockers a strong following in Denmark.

A long history
Runrig was formed in 1973 and has achieved near national shrine status in Scotland, and the band’s Danish fans are no less rabid.

There have been line-up changes along the way, most noticeably when lead singer Donnie Munro left the band in 1997 to try his hand at Scottish politics. Munro was never elected to parliament, unlike the band’s keyboard player Pete Wishart, who left in 2001 after being elected to parliament where he still remains.

A perfect replacement
MacDonald said that Munro mostly dabbles in music as a hobby these days, and that although he and the band remain in touch, he never expressed a desire to come back to the fold.

“If he had those thoughts, he kept them to himself,” MacDonald said.

MacDonald said that Munro’s successor, Canada’s Bruce Guthro, was “the ideal choice” to replace Munro.

Guthro grew up in the Nova Scotia region of Canada, which was home to many people with Irish and Scottish backgrounds.

“He grew up with Celtic history and music that sounds like Scottish music,” said MacDonald.