Mànran

GROWN UP FUN

Hailing from Scotland, Mànran are one of the best-known “folk-rock”, “trad-rock”, “Celtic-rock” bands on the scene today.  Like a lot of bands, they have a recognisable musical core, but, really, they defy genres.  The closest you might get is the fourth attempt at nailing a genre in the band’s bio, “grown-up folk-rock”.  It’s often a sign that a band’s in crisis when they start talking about being grown up, though, so when Around The Sound spoke to their singer, bagpipe, fiddle player, Ewen Henderson, we went straight there.

A lot of bands of all genres have disappeared into themselves when talk of being serious and grown up comes to roost.  There’s something about those sorts of labels that squeeze all the joy out of it.  Not Mànran, they’re still filled with musical wild abandon.

“That was something that got slapped on us quite early, when we weren’t grown up at all.  I think during the 90s a and early 2,000s there was a bit of a stigma about folk rock.  So, I think because what we do is a bit more involved and draws an a few different influences, funk and jazz, and it’s all woven together a bit more carefully, I think that led to people deciding we were a bit more grown up that other folk-rock efforts.”

And then he tops it off with, “But it’s always going to be fun music.  If you can do that and make I interesting for yourselves and for people that want to get into it, and still keep it fun, then that’s great.”

Phew!

A lot of bands of all genres have disappeared into themselves when talk of being serious and grown up comes to roost.  There’s something about those sorts of labels that squeeze all the joy out of it.  Not Mànran, they’re still filled with musical wild abandon.

They also deliver their songs in a mixture of Gaelic and English.

“In the early days, it wasn’t a conscious decision, it was just what we did.  It was a type of music that a few of us in the band were really into.  Then as the years went on and we travelled more, you do start to feel a bit of responsibility.  You have to act as a kind of ambassador and raise awareness to what’s going on; to try to save the language, really, keep the number of speakers high and get young folk interested and engaged in the language.  It’ something that has become more important to us as the years have gone on.”

While they’re in the West, Mànran have indicated they want to soak up the full festival experience and check out as many other bands as they can.

“It’s a good line up.  There’s quite a few things we’d like to check out while we’re at Fairbridge.  It’s the best thing about festivals when you’re on tour.  When your band is on tour on their own, you can kind of get a bit bored of yourselves at times, so it’s great to be able to bump into other bands and check out what each other is doing”

Bump into Mànran while you’re at Fairbridge, you certainly won’t regret it.

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