Day of Days:
The 30th Anniversary Concert

(Ridge, 2004)

Stadium folk may sound like an oxymoron, but with Runrig it is a home truth. As the inlay states, the village hall on Skye where they first performed three decades ago could not even hold their sound system today. So they now perform more often in castle than village, and this live performance in Scotland's Stirling Castle is an ideal souvenir and showcase of a top-class band.

They open with "Going Home" but get into their stride with the pounding beat of "Hearthammer." As on most of the tracks, band members Rory and Calum Macdonald are the composers.

Like all stadium bands, they have a special song that stuns the assembled throngs into respectful silence. One such song is the excellent "Hearts of Olden Glory." One can imagine the thousands of fans swaying to the music and mouthing the words. "Proterra" is another big production number that is sung with feeling and will move many listeners.

Using Scots Gaelic to great effect, they give a great performance of "The Stamping Ground." If you want to play one track to get you swinging between listening, dancing and cheering, try "May Morning." In just over 10 minutes you get introduced to the band, learn a Gaelic song and have a great time. The live concert concludes with "Book of Golden Stories."

But Runrig isn't finished. You are treated to three bonus acoustic tracks that prove talent does not need the huge production and amplification.

The title track "Day of Days" is yet another showcase of talent from writing to delivery. And, as if to show that the MacDonalds are not the only writers, Bruce Guthro and Malcolm Jones put pen to paper and fingers to instruments to produce another great track called "All the Miles."

Prospering for three decades, Runrig doesn't need me to inform people that they are a fantastic band whether in castle or club -- but I say it anyway.

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 24 October 2004

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