WATCH: Award-winning Scottish folk band Rura kicks off 10 year anniversary tour, one year on

Multi-award-winning Scottish folk band Rura has kicked off its 10 year anniversary tour this weekend after the coronavirus pandemic forced it to delay twice from September 2020.

The band – now celebrating 11 years together – launched the tour in Stirling on Thursday and sold out Glasgow’s Saint Luke’s venue on Friday.

Last night, it headed to The Tunnels in Aberdeen for a third gig, performing to a crowd of traditional Scottish music lovers who has been deprived of live gigs for the last 18 months.

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The four-member ensemble features Jack Smedley on fiddle, Adam Brown on guitar, David Foley on flute and bodhrán, and Steven Blake on piano, pipes and whistle.

Rura performing at St Luke's in Glasgow. (Picture credit: Dee Christensen)

Speaking exclusively to Scotland on Sunday ahead of Glasgow’s Friday night gig, Smedley, 31, described how the last year reminded the band how lucky it was.

He said: “One of the things we've all come to realise is how special it is to be able to do what you love for a living and share your music and art with people all over the country.

"Throughout the entire pandemic we've become very aware of how supportive people are of live music, but also how much of an impact live music can have on people's lives.

"We're just really excited to be able to get out and about and feel the energy of people in the room again.”

Rura; Adam Brown on guitar, Jack Smedley on fiddle

The tour is scheduled to continue over the next three weeks in England before the band returns to Scotland to perform at Dumfries and Galloway Arts Live festival and Islay Sessions in November.

The final two Scottish gigs were announced just last week after news of the tour, which is one of the first to return to the Scottish folk scene, reached various other promoters who were keen to get involved.

As part of the anniversary celebration, Rura had planned to coincide the release of its first live album - Live at the Old Fruitmarket - with a September 2020 tour.

Recorded at Celtic Connections in February 2020 - one of the last live gigs before lockdown - the album was released anyway last September despite the tour being postponed.

Rura; Steven Blake singing, Adam Brown on Guitar.

Smedley said: “We thought about waiting but decided to just go for it, and I think the whole album actually had more impact and felt quite poignant because there had been no live music for so long by that point.

“So that was really great to be able to offer that considering we couldn’t go on tour like we had hoped.”

With the gigs now underway, Smedley gave an insight into what he hopes people attending can expect from the performances.

He said: "The shows themselves aren't going to feature any new repertoire necessarily but I think they will feel fresh and new just because of the context that we're out doing this in.

Rura band. (Credit: Dee Christensen)

“First and foremost though we want to make sure that every show is packed full of energy.

"We want to make sure it feels as special as it can for everyone in the room because that’s what people need after everything that has happened, that’s what we’re going for.”

For more information about the tour and where to buy tickets, visit www.rura.co.uk.

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Rura; David Foley on Bodhran, Adam Brown on guitar, Jack Smedley on fiddle and Steven Blake on pipes.
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