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The MacDonald brothers, Calum & Ronald that established Runrig over 30 years ago

“Eh, what?!”

~ Glaswegian on An Ubhal As Airde

Runrig are a well known Scottish Gaelic (pron. Gah-lick, not gaylick as that would be Irish) punk band to the over 40s population which was founded by Ronald MacDonald in the Western Isles before they immigrated to Denmark and Germany. Despite being established over 30 years ago, the band are still going (somehow) and their next outdoor concert Beat the Wife will take place at Drumnadrochit (nr Inverness) on Saturday 18 August, 2007.

Early Days[edit]

After starting as a gaelic punk band in a cow shed on Uist and then moving near Inverness, they later converted over to a more traditional approach after finding out that another band called Capercaillie were doing not too bad for themselves. Their music improved vastly but lost several fans (or Riggies) due to their infamous trip to the barbers which saw their mullets removed. However, the band acquired some exposure after one of their songs Eirinn was pinched by Ireland and came third at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1985.

Traditionally Runrig sang their songs in some kind of strange Germanic language which proved to be a hit with their Danish and German fans but left Scottish fans from Glasgow a little stunned as to what Ho, ho mo leannan, ho mo leannan bhoidheach was. Their first album was recorded entirely in gaelic but failed to make an impact anywhere except places that receive Isles FM from Stornoway.

A Little Bit Later[edit]

A typical Runrig concert

At one point in the 90's however, lead singer, granny-idol and former BBC telebhision presenter Donny MacLeod resigned from the band because he refused to cut his mullet and left for new pastures new in the world of politics. Having failed to win a seat for the Manual Labour Party, he then changed careers to be come a professional deep fried mars bar eater but this career also came to an abrubt end after he died of cholesterol poisoning. Also lost from the band was Peter Wishart who left the band to join the Scottish Republican Army. It was during this point in the mid 90's that they had their biggest success with their Big Wheel album reaching Number 4 in the Uzbekistan charts. Donnie was later replaced by Canadian singer and songwriter Bryan Adams who came across to Scotland from Nova Scotia. His first album In Search of a Singing Voice was a bit flimsy, especially as the MacDonald brothers did most of the singing for him. This was backed up in Proterra where the only two good songs (Faileas Air An Airigh and Donnie, Donnie Get Tae F**k) were sung by Calum and Ronald MacDonald.

Present Day[edit]

Runrig's popularity has waned somewhat since the glory days riding Uzbekistan charts and they now only listened to by middle-aged Scottish bachelors who also enjoy wearing wooly jumpers. This is becuase no-one else gives a fuck. For those mildly interested, the band are playing a gig this summer on the banks of Loch Ness near Inverness, although nobody will turn up as 97% of fans have bought tickets for Rock Ness by mistake.

Did You Know?[edit]

The cover to Runrig's hit album The Big Wheel which shot them to fame in the 90s.
  • The Gaellic word 'runrigfan' roughly translates into the English word 'sycophant'
  • 'Runrig' is a brand of toilet cleaner in French Polynesia
  • William Wallace was said to be quite a fan. He died a virgin.
  • Extracts from The Big Wheel were used as sensory torture in Abu Ghraib
  • Beards are popular with Runrig fans

The Band[edit]

Famous Songs[edit]

  • Canada
  • Alba (Scotland)
  • Loch Ness (the Bonnie Bonnie banks of)
  • Mull Of Kintyre
  • Scotland the Brave
  • Whiskey In The Jar
  • Beat the Drum Wife
  • YMCA