Gleadhraich playing their Calcutta Cup celebration set. Pic: Gleadhraich.

Angus celtic rock band Gleadhraich started their 2022 season with a dream gig – playing to thousands of jubilant fans after Scotland’s dramatic Calcutta Cup win at Murrayfield.

The Carnoustie band won the 30-minute post-whistle show to a packed stadium of fans from the North Stand Stage as part of Scottish Rugby’s ‘Scotland’s Playlist’ initiative to support Scottish bands by giving them a platform at home games. The first three performed warm-up at the Autumn Nations Series last year.

Gleadhraich – Craig Weir (Bagpipes/Vocals), Ross White (Guitar/ Vocals), Paul Weir (Percussion) and Graeme Ritchie (Bass Guitar) – were asked to play last year, but a dates clash meant they got to open the 6 Nations’ gigs instead. “When they offered us the Scotland v England Calcutta Cup match, we were obviously delighted,” says Craig.

After the game in front of 67,000 fans, which Scotland won 20-17 to retain the Calcutta Cup, the band provided the music for the after-party with several of their songs.

Rivalry

“The crowd were amazing,” said Craig. The place was rammed and it was an amazing buzz.

“We’re delighted and thankful to Scottish Rugby for giving us the opportunity to perform at the BT Murrayfield Stadium.

“The day was especially interesting given that David Williams, our saxophone player yesterday, is English, along with a few of our partners, so there was a fun, competitive vibe between us all throughout the day, too.

“It was a special day and sets us up nicely for our hometown show in Dundee on March 19.”

10th Anniversary Dundee show

It will see the band finally play their twice-postponed 10th anniversary celebration gig at Dundee’s Whitehall Theatre – delayed by the Covid lockdowns from 2020.

They’re also in the process of shooting a lo-fi ‘behind-the-kilts’ celtic rockumentary about their return from Covid cancellations and looking over 10 years of the band.

Gleadhraich were awarded Best Celtic Music Act at the 2018 Infinitime Music Awards and have performed at a variety of events across the UK – from headline shows to festival performances including Scotland’s prestigious Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival and Lindisfarne Festival. They’ve shared stages with acts such as Skerryvore, Donnie Munro, Twin Atlantic, AC/DC, The Fratellis and Peatbog Faeries.

The band have also played in Europe and twice as an official part of New York Tartan Week. Their website is at Gleadhraich.com