Lurach are three young dynamic musicians from across Scotland who met while students on a traditional music course in Benbecula. Their music explores Scotland’s Gaelic & Scots song traditions and tunes gathered in both Scotland & Ireland. The result is an incredibly vibrant, distinctive music combining fiddle, flute, whistle and song. They won the prestigious Danny Kyle award at Celtic Connections in 2010 and have since performed all around the country.
They recently released their debut EP entitled ‘So Late Last Night‘ which you can hear a couple of tracks from below.
Pull No Punches
Tunes: Hò gun d’mharbh mi (trad.) / Maids of Islay (trad.)/ The Flooded Road to Glenties (Jimmy McHugh)/ Coinneach aig an Stiùir (Dr Angus MacDonald)
This set begins with a punchy little song in which the singer boasts of killing a bull with his fist. The strathspey is also known as ‘Maids of Islay’, which we follow the song with. The first reel was written by fiddle-player Jimmy McHugh of Omagh, Co. Tyrone, who lived for most of his life in Glasgow. ‘Coinneach aig an Stiùir’, or ‘Kenneth at the Helm’, is a great 4-part reel by piper Dr Angus MacDonald, which Rachel learnt from his brother Iain.
The first of these two songs is a waulking song in which a maid laments the fact that her love is far away at sea. If he were with her, she would lie close beside him yet “arise without blemish”. The second is a clapping (and in our version, foot-tapping) song and depicts a hapless man who meets a beauty on the moors, asks her for a kiss and is given an almighty put-down.
Lurach grew out of many nights spent sharing tunes in cosy kitchens, drinking tea, braving snowy hills in Angus, rainy days in Argyll and wild weekends in Limerick (not to mention the Glasgow taxis), always with the prospect of music and good times ahead, always saving the best songs to accompany the walk home. Hand in hand with the fun came a respect and love for the music, instilled in us by the many inspirational musicians we’ve come across and learned from along the way.
Lurach are Naomi Harvey (Samling), Rachel Harris and Lucy MacRae.