Introducing: Runabay


Out of Belfast comes six-piece indie folk band, Runabay. Formed in early 2014 the group has already earned a reputation as one of Northern Ireland’s most up and coming bands.

Comprising John McManus (vocals/guitar), Gary Graham (guitar/vocals), Gerard McHugh (vocals/percussion), Dean Walker (bass/vocals), Declan McCartan (cello/vocals), and George Sloan (drums/vocals), Runabay draws their musical influences from Irish traditional folk music and indie bands like Fleet Foxes, The Shins, Hozier – as well as all the greats from every genre.

‘The June EP’, released on the 19th of, funnily enough, June, is the band’s debut work, and it’s been a labour of love for the past 18 months or so. It’s definitely been well worth it – professional from the first to the last, ‘The June EP’ is the perfect showcase for the group’s formidable musical talents. Sounding a bit like Kodaline crossed with NI contemporaries, The Rising, Runabay already has a number of national radio, festival and television appearances under their belt. The fourth track on the EP, ‘Feels Like Home’ was featured as track of the day on the BBC Ulster programme, ‘Across The Line’.

Runabay say about ‘Feels Like Home’,

“With this track in particular we were going for a live/unpolished feel which I’m sure comes across in the sound. I guess we’re going for the energy of “The Shins” and the harmonies of “Stornoway”. I guess the song was written about being a bit world-weary, in a hopeless situation, longing for a change of scenery and circumstance – a second wind in life so to speak…hope that’s not too hackneyed a tale!”

In short, it’s a beautiful EP. Launched at Belfast’s Duncairn Centre for Culture and Arts last Friday night, ‘The June EP’ is available to download on iTunes. You can also buy a limited edition signed CD copy (which includes MP3 download) from their Bandpage. You can find Runabay on Twitter, Facebook, SoundcloudYouTube and their website. Check out the video for our favourite song on the EP, ‘Moon Turns Blue’. It draws quite a lot from the traditional music of Ireland without at all sounding twee or “twiddly diddly”. It’s a beautiful song that best speaks for itself (and will continue to do so as it earworms lovingly into your brain):

Moon Turns Blue - runabay

About the author

Lisa has been writing for over 20 years, starting as the entertainment editor on her university newspaper. Since then she's written for Popwrapped, Maximum Pop, Celebmix, and ListenOnRepeat.

Lisa loves all good music, with particular fondness for Jedward and David Bowie. She's interviewed Edward Grimes (Jedward), Kevin Godley, Trevor Horn, Paul Young, Peter Cox (Go West), Brendan B Brown (Wheatus), Bruce Foxton (The Jam), among many many more. Lisa is also available for freelance writing - please email