FROM their very first ceilidh dance in 1973 to playing to a crowd of 50,000 fans over a wet weekend in Stirling a year ago, Calum MacDonald always wondered what it would be like to watch Runrig. How it must feel to dance, to sing, to cheer.

This Saturday, he gets his chance.

“We’ve often talked about how good it would be to go to a Runrig concert and experience the thing, It’s always been an aspiration and this as close as we’re going to get to doing it,” he says, “I’m looking forward to it, it’s going to be a very unusual event.”

He’s not wrong. The Last Dance film screening at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall will play to an audience ready to relive the experience of Runrig’s final gigs and, as a founding member, he is looking forward to it as much as the next fan.

And he admits the process of pulling the film together with Glasgow-based production company Blazing Griffin has helped them cope with the end of an era.

“It’s been extremes,” he says. “In some ways it’s like you’ve never been away because of this film project, we’ve been hands on throughout the year so it’s like you still haven’t exited the stage. That is good because it gives you time to come to terms with it, because on the night it was .. I’ve never experienced three hours pass so quickly.

It was over in a flash.”

The land beneath Stirling Castle was festooned in tartan, Saltires and aged band T-shirts as the legion of fans stood in the rain to say farewell. But for him, it was a blur.

“It was a concert like nothing I’d ever experienced before, and we knew it was looming. We did The Final Mile tour previous to it and that was emotional. But the final one was always going to be difficult and I remember approaching it and saying ‘you just really have to enjoy this’.

I really tried hard to do that.

“I kept saying, ‘this is the last time you will ever play this song ever, just go on the journey and take it on board’.”

The emotion on stage was clear, captured in the film being released on DVD tomorrow, but he admitted he had one other issue to contend with – he had never before addressed a crowd in the four-and-a-half-decade history of the band.

“It’s very hard to articulate how you feel, you got very emotional,” he says, “I don’t normally talk on stage, but I did at the end.

“I knew that was going to come, so I had to focus, so that kept me in line. I can stand up in a room and talk no problem, but I’ve never done that in front of 25,000 people, and I was terrified.”

Saturday’s show will feature the full three-hour set, minus just two tracks for production reasons, and the Q&A session. And he says the band members are looking forward to taking to the stage together once final time.

He said: “I never really thought the six of us would be getting on a stage together as quickly as we have, it will be fun.

“It’s one year on and it gives another chance for ourselves and the audience just to reflect and experience it again. Like Stirling was, it’s a celebration.

“We’ve always had this wonderful relationship with the audience, it’s so vital to have that two way experience, and it was a celebration for them as much as anything else, and I really hope that comes across in the film. We tried to articulate that, and that’s the spine running through the film, it’s about the audience.

“Hopefully it pulls everything together musically and emotionally, draws all the strands together, and people

can experience again what

they did that night.

“I think the atmosphere will be very much like going to a gig more than a movie.”

“It’s also an expression of gratitude from us to them, our thank you.”

Letting go was always

going to be hard, but even now, he says he can have no regrets.

“It’s been your life, a sense of fulfilment, and when we started we could never ever have dreamed that it would be your life’s work or have lasted as long as it did,” he muses.

“It’s gone down a few blind alleys and unexpected routes along the way, but it has been very, very fulfilling to do.

“And because of that journey, we wanted to end it on a very distinct way.

“When we decided we were calling it a day, we didn’t want it to just peter out or leave the door open to maybe getting back together.

“We were very, very sure of the fact we wanted to do something that was finite and celebrate the end as much as anything else through the journey.”

He knows fans may very well go through the emotional wringer again, but in a farewell message for fans, he hopes for all the right reasons “I’d just ask them enjoy this again. I hope what we’ve done, not just here but for 45 years, has meant something to them.”

Runrig, The Last Dance Premiere Tour begins on Saturday at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.