When lockdown hit in 2020, few people knew the impact that the pandemic would have on the music industry across the UK. Musicians, producers and managers up and down the land found themselves with time on their hands like they never had before. Instead of back to back road schedules they found themselves with days of empty diaries as venues, theatres and concert halls closed their doors on mass.
One such musician was Richie Muir, an Edinburgh singer/guitarist based in Nottingham but most importantly of all, a huge, lifelong Runrig fan.
During lockdown, Richie launched a Facebook page, dedicated to acoustic covers of Runrig songs from across the decades and before long, combined with the band manager Ben Marshall, the concept of a live show celebrating the music of Runrig was born and wheels were in motion.
“From the start, we didn’t want to be a ‘look-a-like’ type tribute band. We wanted the show to be a celebration of the band’s music. Yes we wanted it to sound authentic and to represent what the band was about but this isn’t about replacing the void left by them. It’s about celebrating their music and their incredible contribution to the music industry, Scotland as a whole and the tiny, significant moments in the lives of their fans. We wanted to create a show where people could come along, enjoy themselves, sing, dance, celebrate and remember and I think we’ve really done that”
“We hope you enjoy the show as much as we have done creating it”
Three months into the search for members and the band was nearly complete. With Skye native Duncan MacDonald on Bass and his London based Glaswegian son Scott on drums joined by the insanely talented Jason Laing (Isle of Lewis) on guitars, the lineup behind lead singer and frontman Richie Muir was nearing completion and with the addition of keyboards, things were ready to roll, meaning that rehearsals could begin. Although the role of percussionist had and remains yet to be filled permanently, a number of temporary percussionists are lined up to complete the band for the live shows scheduled and represent the essential sonic contribution made by Runrig’s percussionist Calum MacDonald.
Although Richie was Nottingham based and Scott London, geography, even during COVID times, didn’t prove an obstacle as the band used Zoom and other technologies to refine parts, craft a set list and plan everything before days of rehearsals took place in a bid to create the standards of authenticity that the project demanded.
Fast forward 12 months and restrictions were lifted to a degree that everyone felt the time was right to unleash ‘The Runrig Experience’ and ‘Beat The Drum’