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The Cutter and the Clan (Reviewed by wavemeister):

Rnrig, The Cutter & The Clan, released in 1987 by Ridge Records/Chrysalis, Rock/Folk

Alba (Scotland)
The Cutter
Hearts Of Olden Glory
Pride Of The Summer
Worker For The Wind
Rocket To The Moon
The Only Rose
Protect And Survive
Our Earth Was Once Green
An Ubhal As Airde (The Highest Apple)

Weaving traditional instruments and folk melodies into quite anthemic rock music, Runrig are active since 1973. Although never been as known or successful like other artists of this genre (and location) like Big Country, U2 or The Alarm, they gained a large and very dedicated fan base worldwide.

'The Cutter & The Clan' was some kind of breakthrough for the six-piece from Scotland, with opening for U2 in Edinburgh, playing behind the Iron Curtain during a festival in East Berlin, a successful tour through Canada. Finally, they got more attention outside the fanbase, as certain songs were played on some radio stations.

The music is changing between driving rock and great ballads free of any kitsch, while the lyrics are mostly carrying a critic note concerning Scotland and the people there and abroad (emigration is quite often mentioned). From time to time, you can also find the one or another traditional among Runrigs own works. You may compare it to the outputs of Big Country, but Runrig has always emphasized the traditional note more.

It´s possible that you may recognize one tune from this album - 'An Ubhal As Airde' was used tor the Carlsberg Beach Cricket TV ad. Other songs from this album which gained more attention were 'Alba' and 'Protect And Survive'.

That they didn´t issuing pretty words only can be proven, as the former vocalist Donnie Munro left the band to pursue a political career in the Scotland parliament (less successful) and keyboarder Peter Wishart recently declared that he will also retire temporarily since his political career was more successful - he was elected into the Scottish parliament.

Now, if you like rock music which isn´t pure mainstream, you might want to start with this album if you are interested in discovering Runrig. Oh, and don´t miss the chance to see them live...their concerts are always something special.

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