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Welcome Back (and Goodbye): Runrig

Longstanding Celtic rockers retire from studio life with album No.14, but promise they’re not splitting up.

After 42 years and 14 albums, Celtic-rock veterans Runrig are saying beannachd leat (that’s Scottish-Gaelic for goodbye, by the way) to the studio.

The band’s new release The Story will be their final album project and, fittingly, there’s more than a wistful, elegiac air to some of the songs. But as founder member and percussionist Calum MacDonald explains, with a UK tour in February and more music to come, the Runrig tale is not quite over yet.

When did you decide The Story would be your last album?

When we did our fortieth-year anniversary concerts two years ago. We had a lovely one in Muir of Ord outside Inverness, and a lot of former members came and played with us. We did a Bruce Springsteen-style set,  over three hours. It was all about the back catalogue, it was like celebrating your whole life, and seemed like the perfect place to stop. But we didn’t want it to end there, so we made a brand new album to wipe the slate clean and do something completely fresh.

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