Rura at Celtic Connections 2022


Review and Photographs by Pauline Keightley

For RURA’s Celtic Connections gig on the final weekend of the festival it was clear the band were glad to be back performing to a live and packed theatre audience. Their previous gig had been in 2020, when the band celebrated their ten year anniversary with a rousing and energetic performance at a sold-out gig at the Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow.

Steven Blake

Steven Blake

Rura are multi-instrumentalists and play keys, pipes, guitar, bass, bohran, flute and drums. The band – Steven Blake (Pipes & Keys), Adam Brown (Acoustic Guitar), David Foley (Bodhran & Flute) and Jack Smedley (Fiddle) – were joined by James Lindsay (Bass), Mark Scobbie (Kit), Sorren Maclean (Electric Guitar). Plus a String section with Seonaidh Aitken, Megan Henderson (Violins), Patsy Reid (Viola) and Alice Allen (Cello).

There was a expectant hum in the packed venue. This concert was the launch gig for the band’s new 2022 EP Our Voices Echo, where they have collaborated with several members of the top talent from the Scottish folk world: Duncan Chisholm, Julie Fowlis, Ross Ainslie, Michael McGoldrick and Hannah Rarity.

Jack Smedley

Jack Smedley and Steven Blake

Rura electrified the Theatre Royal Glasgow with their full wall of sound and lively performance led by fiddle player Jack Smedley and dynamic rhythm guitarist Adam Brown. The band began with a set of their tunes from their 2018 In Praise of Home.

Fiddle-player Duncan Chisholm, who has been popular for offering his tunes in idyllic settings during Covid, praised the band, saying he had listened to Rura’s Praise of Home during the lockdown and that it had helped him when the going was tough. Chisholm played on the haunting A’ Mhairead Og, followed by a Runrig song Chi Mi’n Geamhradh and Running the Cross, composed by Chisholm.


RURA, award-winning Scottish band, performed at the Theatre Royal Glasgow, as part of Celtic Connections 2022. 

Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis sang a poignant Dh’èirich Mi Moch Madainn Cheòthar, backed by soaring flute and fiddle. Michael McGoldrick performed on flute a joyful Famous Last Words (Donald Shaw). Ross Ainslie was upbeat on whistle on Floyd To Ke Anlong and on pipes for Peel Pier Fear, followed by The Wrangler. While rising talent Hannah Rarity brought the cast and audience together for an uplifting grand finale of Take This Heart Of Gold (Andrew Marlin). For the encore the band played Horizons.  

The band are multi-layered and enriching, with fast-paced fiddle, pipes and rhythm guitar, both refined and dynamic, no easy task! Rura is an award-winning, ceilidh band and have joined the ranks of those top Scottish touring bands. They have appeared on the BBC’s Hogmanay Live and played the main stage at many festivals.

Photos & Review Pauline Keightley –

Fiona Alderman: A Touch of Spring
Dessa – Ides Tour at Cottiers

This section: Gig Guide plus Club Events, Music Reviews, Pat's Home Page Blog

Written by :

Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

Comments are closed.

Copyright Glasgow Westend 2009 thru 2017

Contact Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End | About Pat Byrne | Privacy Policy | Design by Jim Byrne Website Design