Well, that's Glasgow's Celtic Connections festival over for another year but we're left with some really magical musical memories from a fantastic festival and, of course, that special night at a sold-out Barrowland Ballroom. Here's to next year's festival and all the music and fun to come between now and then!
In the build up to the launch of our new album on January 20th, here's a taste of what's to come with our title track, An Dà Là. Tha sinn an dòchas gun cord e riut! Enjoy!
We are delighted to announce that our brand new album 'An Dà Là - The Two Days' will be released on the 20th of January 2017!
It's been quite the journey forging this record, but we hope most of you will agree it's been well worth the wait when you finally get to hear it!
In the meantime, pre-sales are now available to purchase via manran.co.uk/shop/cds
Now, we know that 20.01.17 is still quite a bit away, so as a special treat, the first 300 copies ordered will be signed by the band and endeavoured to be delivered before Christmas (19th December being the final cut off date for pre-xmas delivery in the UK)!
Keep your eyes on manran.co.uk and our social media over the next few weeks for more news, updates and sneak previews!
Tickets are now available for our show alongside the fantastic Tide Lines at the Corran Halls in Oban on December 30th! Just click on the poster above to head straight to ticket purchasing or click on the tickets link in our GIGS section.
We're over-the-moon to announce that we'll be playing as part of this year's Edinburgh Hogmanay Street Party! It'll be brilliant to bring in 2017 in the thick of one of the World's biggest New Year celebrations.
Full details can be found here: https://www.edinburghshogmanay.com
In addition, we'll be playing a series of Highland gigs over the festive period taking in Mallaig, Strathpeffer, Kyle of Lochalsh and Portree with more dates to come! Have a look at our gigs page for full details.
After a hectic summer touring festivals throughout the UK and Europe, we've been getting round to putting the finishing touches on our long-awaited third album. Watch this space for details of a release date and early single releases.
We're really excited by what we've been creating and we can't wait to let you all hear it!
February and March saw us perform a run of gigs in a couple of new touring territories for us: Denmark and Australia. Though we had performed at both Tønder and Samsø festivals in Denmark over the last few years, we were yet to go on a full tour in the country. This we rectified in Febuary and we had a fantastic time covering a fair few miles and visiting some corners of the country that were entirely new to us. We also had the pleasure of being able to announce that we'll be returning to this year's Tønder Festival while there!
March came and we made the long but pleasant journey to the other side of the globe for our first ever Australian tour! We had visited once before to perform at the Australian World Music Expo in 2013 but this year provided us with our first opportunity to head on "down under" for some gigs. And what a brilliant few weeks we had! Kicking off at the fantastic Port Fairy Folk Festival, we travelled extensively between there and Newcastle, NSW, performing in a variety of different venues, doing all we could to guarantee as much beach-time as possible, meeting a host of great people culminating in a cracking weekend at the National Folk Festival in Canberra. After playing our final gig of the tour in Syndey on the Tuesday, we started our journey home on the Wednesday reaching Glasgow on the Thursday before firing straight up to Aberdeen for a gig on the Friday. Thanks very much to the crowd at the Lemon Tree for helping us through the jet-lag, making it such a great gig and here's to our next Australian adventure!
August saw us continue our European adventures round some of our absolute favourite festivals.
First up was a trip home (for some of us) to the Highlands and a performance at the Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival. This is an absolutely fantastic event and more than one of us remarked that it would be worth coming back for the craic alone - on the unlikely occasion that we'd ever have that weekend in August free! It's a cliché but there genuinely was something on offer for every taste and age-group from pop-bands to pipe-bands and from puppet-shows to Danny MacAskill's "Drop and Roll" tour. We'll hopefully perform again at Belladrum before too long.
The next day, we played a concert at the lovely Pitlochry Theatre on our way back down the road and caught-up with a few of our "die-hard" followers who had covered some fairly impressive distances to come and see us. You're hardy, the lot of you, and it's always a pleasure to see you!
We managed one day of rest and then it was off to Brittany for the legendary Festival Interceltique in Lorient. This was our second visit, having first played the festival in 2012, and it was every bit as wild as we remembered. With music on every street corner and most of it carrying on well into the balmy summer nights, it's about as intense and as true a celebration of Celtic music and culture as one could hope to find anywhere in the Celtic diaspora. This year it was Cornwall and the Isle of Man's turn to co-host the festival and they did a cracking job of showcasing the best of their culture and talent alongside some of the biggest names in music from all the other Celtic Nations. Their tent was tremendous craic - even rivalling the famous Asturian tent for hospitality and music!
With a few free days at home following Lorient, we knuckled-down to the pleasant task of arranging some of our favourite Runrig songs for the finale concert to this year's Blas Festival. This concert on September 12th will see ourselves, Julie Fowlis, Cathy Ann MacPhee and a young group from various Fèisean perform some of Runrig's greatest hits and also some of their lesser-known material for a night that will explore the full scope of their incredible contribution to Scottish music. Tickets are scarce but still available here: http://www.blas-festival.com/inverness.html It's been great fun putting our own spin on some classic Runrig numbers and we're looking forward to performing them to a packed Eden Court Theatre, Inverness, on the night!
August came to a cracking conclusion with our return to Denmark's Tønder Festival after first appearing there in 2012. This is truly one of the world's great festivals and we once again left inspired after getting to listen to and hang out with some really excellent musicians. It was also great to catch up and share stories and tunes with so many of our pals that we just don't get to see enough of on the road! We tend to spend the summer passing other bands like ships in the night at the various festivals we visit but most bands tend to spend a few days in Tønder making for a magical melting pot of music and craic.
With the most hectic of the summer adventures behind us, we'll now hopefully get plenty time to get cracking on material for the new album whilst also looking ahead to the great gigs we've got coming up over the next wee while.
July has been a cracking month for Mànran! We kicked off the month at Folk am Neckar, a beautifully located festival set in an amphitheatrical grounds of a church in Baden area of Germany. We spent a couple of nights there in glorious weather listening to some nice music, having a few tunes here and there, sampling the local produce, and getting a wee taste of home from our pals at "The Angel's Share", a German Whisky Shop whom we've had the pleasure of meeting at a couple of gigs.
Next up was the more familiar territory of HebCelt in the Isle of Lewis. This was the island festival's twentieth anniversary and they really went all-out with a fantastic line-up and, as ever, a really well-run festival. We were lucky enough to hang about for a couple of days and catch a bit of music and get caught up in the buzz and always seems to be around Stornoway on HebCelt weekend.
Then it was on to the Tiree Music Festival. Word had already reached us in Lewis that the weather had taken a turn for the apocalyptic on the Friday of the festival and there were serious doubts cast over the rest of the weekend's programme. Nevertheless, we hopped on the plane to the "Hawai'i of the North" and were delighted to find that the gales (but thankfully not the Gaels!) had quietened down. On arrival, we were regaled with tales of monsoon conditions the day before but what really struck us was the incredible response of the festival organisers and the local community. That an island of 600 managed to find shelter 1600 festival goers is quite phenomenal! With this resilient spirit of survival now well-engrained, all the revellers set about making the most of the next two days. And, by cracky, they did! We had a superb couple of gigs on the Saturday and Sunday and we hope it's not too long till we're back.
Our next adventure took us to Galicia (in North Western Spain) and Portugal. This was our first ever performance in both places but with the strong Celtic culture of Galicia and, in particular, their love of bagpipes, we had a feeling we might be onto a winner. We played at an enormous outdoor festival on the edge of a forest but what was visible from the stage was only half the extent of the festivities. Under the cover of the trees lay hundreds of little huts and bothies that had been thrown into place by the locals for the weekend and they were a hive of revelry, music and feasting. Some of the band ended up well ensconced in one particularly lively spot and ended up playing tunes till only the thick cover of the trees could add any credibility to the pretence of the night still being on us! A trip South into Portugal followed and we were once again treated to a fantastic festival crowd in the beautiful town of Ponte de Barca.
The month ended much as it started with another great German adventure, this time performing at the Loreley Celtic Night. This was probably the most dramatic setting for a festival yet, situated as it was on a huge amphitheatre perched among the various castles and palaces towering over the Rhine.
Right, August: you've got a hard act to follow!