CELEBRATING a 40 year musical career, as they will at Muir of Ord this weekend, means that Runrig have been taking a close look at their back catalogue.
A marathon set covering all eras of the band’s history and most of their 13 studio albums is promised when they appear at the Black Isle Showground on Saturday.
Yet though the band have been looking back at their favourite songs of the past 40 years, founder-member Calum Macdonald – who pens most of the band’s songs with brother Rory – hesitates when asked if he has a favourite of his own.
“The songs that mean most to you are the ones you are working on at the time or the more recent ones,” he said.
“Once the older ones leave the band and they are out there with the public on CD, the ownership changes and it becomes different. You feel a great deal for them, but there are no particular favourites as such.”
Their fans might disagree.
And if there is one song in particular that the public associate with Runrig, then it is Loch Lomond, one that has been an almost permanent fixture of Runrig’s live set since the release of their second album The Highland Connection back in 1979.
However, the song’s popularity seems to have been something of a mixed blessing.
“Loch Lomond is the albatross – we can’t get rid of it!” Calum laughed
“It’s been fantastic to have done Loch Lomond and it’s popularity has been amazing.
"But it has also polarised the band and a lot of people who maybe haven’t heard the band’s music, all they have heard is Loch Lomond and they have a certain idea of what we are.
"That is maybe unfortunate and has been fuelled by the press a lot of time as well, not so much in the Highlands, but nationally.
“That’s also filtered through to record shops where sometimes Runrig would be placed with the pipe bands and Jimmy Shand instead of being placed in the mainstream.
“But we’ll never do a concert without finishing with Loch Lomond. We tried it a couple of times in the 90s – but we didn’t get away with it.”
Runrig’s Party On The Moor is at the Black Isle Showground, Muir of Ord, on Saturday from 3pm, £45. There is also a ceilidh on Friday for those camping at the event. Also appearing are Sharon Corr, Manran, Washington Irving, Scooty And The Skyhooks and Gizzen Briggs, as well as special guests.
So is Loch Lomond YOUR favourite Runrig song? Over to you, Runrig fans, give us your best five songs from the band over the years! And your ultimate favourite of all time. Either add your comments here or Tweet: @SPP_mchrystall