Having released their second album, Despite the Dark, to unanimous critical acclaim in April, the Glasgow and Edinburgh based five-piece has garnered widespread praise and a wide-reaching following.
Following the album’s release tour, the band went on to visit some 11 festivals this summer, across five countries – including the world renowned Cambridge Folk Festival, and Denmark’s Tønder Festival to an estimated 4,000-strong open-air crowd – as well as a three-week Canadian tour that culminated at the Winnipeg Folk Festival.
Further summer highlights included flying visits to Malta, Germany and Sweden, as well as the mainstream Belladrum festival, in the Scottish Highlands.
In July, leading world music magazine, Songlines hailed RURA to be “one of the most exciting bands on the Scottish folk scene” in a five-star review, whilst also selecting this upcoming tour as one of their autumn highlights.
The band returns to the UK on September 11, kicking their tour off in Aberdeenshire’s Finzean Hall, and tour until October 3, when the tour will close at Mallaig’s Fèis na Mara festival. Intervening dates see the band visit Orkney to the north, and New Milton, in Hampshire, in the far south. They will also call in to the Ramsbottom Festival, in Greater Manchester, Bury St Edmunds, London, Didcot, Plockton, the Isle of Skye, Aviemore and Findhorn, as well as their adopted home city of Glasgow.
Having first come to prominence in 2010, as award winners at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections festival, it is no stretch to say that the band have become a must-see live act, carving out their own path and niche amongst the well-trodden folk scene.
Such wide-ranging appeal comes from a powerhouse mix of masterful instrumentation and songcraft, and so too of musical traditions and contemporary ideas. Lead, looping melody lines from fiddler Jack Smedley and Steven Blake, on Highland pipes and whistle, are bolstered by a punch-packing rhythm section of bodhran and guitar from David Foley and Adam Brown – a powerful combination, matched by the earthy honesty of singer-songwriter Adam Holmes’ vocals. With the addition of effects pedals, the quintet far transcends the conventional boundaries of “folk” music – and to evidently winning effect.
RURA’s fiddle player, Jack Smedley said: “We’ve had a fantastic summer, and can’t wait to get back out on tour. Since the release of the album we’ve barely stopped, just a weekend off here and there, between touring and festivals. To have audiences respond so enthusiastically to something we’ve all been working on for years is a great feeling, and so to be visiting a good few new venues is very exciting – as it is to be returning to old favourites!
DESPITE THE DARK – AUTUMN TOUR DATES
11 September – FINZEAN, FINZEAN HALL – email@example.com – 07971 296 566
12 September – ORKNEY, STROMNESS TOWN HALL – twentytwopromotions.com
19 September – GLASGOW, THE HUG AND PINT – thehugandpint.com
20 September – RAMSBOTTOM, RAMSBOTTOM FESTIVAL – ramsbottomfestival.com
23 September – BURY ST EDMUNDS, THE APEX – theapex.co.uk – 01284 758000
24 September – LONDON, THE COURTYARD – folkonmonday.co.uk
25 September – DIDCOT, CORNERSTONE – cornerstone-arts.org – 01235 515144
26 September – NEW MILTON, FOREST ARTS CENTRE – forest-arts.co.uk – 01425 612393
29 September – PLOCKTON, PLOCKTON HIGH SCHOOL – musicplockton.org – 01599 544706
30 September – PORTREE, ISLES OF SKYE, AROS – aros.co.uk – 01478 613750
1 October – AVIEMORE, THE OLD BRIDGE INN – oldbridgeinn.co.uk – 01479 811137
2 October – FINDHORN, UNIVERSAL HALL – findhorn.org/universal-hall – 01309 691170
3 October – MALLAIG, FEIS NA MARA – feis-na-mara.com