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.