ONE of the most significant shows performed by Gaelic rockers Runrig — the group’s 40th anniversary show at Muir of Ord — is about to be released on DVD, Blu Ray and as a three-disc audio CD.
The Highland band staged their Party on the Moor at the Black Isle Showground near Inverness last August, to celebrate their remarkable journey from island dance band to international phenomenon.
Muir of Ord had never before been used as a music venue for a concert of this scale, but it fitted the requirements perfectly.
The ambitious production attracted devoted fans from all corners of the world and saw ex-band members Donnie Munro and Pete Wishart re-join current members Rory Macdonald, Brian Hurren, Donnie Munro, Calum Macdonald, Malcolm Jones and Bruce Guthro for a unique and emotional occasion.
"It was a magical live experience unlike no other I can remember," Rory said.
"The weather came good, the show worked, the genuine goodwill from everyone was palpable; from the audience, the supports, the staff, the crew, all creating this positive force of togetherness and a potent marking of the milestone."
His brother and fellow band founder, Calum, added: "It was so long in the planning, in the heart and in the mind. A real, significant milestone for us all.
"You remember the big shows and the significant concerts, but this one seemed to be an event that superseded all the others and certainly superseded the duration of the actual show.
"The three hours of the concert went past like three minutes and the 40 years passed like a dream."
The concert brought together former frontman Donnie Munro and current singer Bruce Guthro on stage for the first time.
"To celebrate 40 years of making music is quite an achievement in its own right and to do it with the support and generosity of so many people who have supported the band over many years is a privilege one has no right to expect," Donnie said.
"Coming on stage at Muir of Ord was therefore a very special and moving moment both personally and as a part of the band over so many years."
Bruce added: "There is a sense of family within this band that extends beyond its inner circle — it manages to stay together and offer something that is unique. The ship isn’t as streamlined, fit, and young as it once was, but there is an integrity, honesty and resilience to it that drives it forward — even after 40 years."
The two frontmen singing together was a highlight for many, including Malcolm Jones.
"Munro and Guthro — a great moment," the guitarist said.
"Long set? Doesn’t feel like it. Who could ask for a better audience? Job done, in style, a fitting concert to mark the occasion. Did I mention the rain? Came there none."
Brian Hurren said the whole event had a real sense of celebration.
"It became crystal clear, that celebrating the band’s 40th anniversary was just as much about what Runrig meant to everyone there, as the anniversary itself. Now, that was special"
Drummer Iain Bayne also paid tribute to the band’s loyal fans.
"It was an emotional day and still hard for me to understand," he said.
"Not many bands have the pleasure and privilege to be playing concerts after so many years, and it’s a testimony to a very special audience who still stand there with us."
• Party on the Moor is available from Friday 28th March.