MEET THE ARTIST, Runabay, Co Antrim

Every now and then a band comes along that gives you a shiver down your spine. Runabay is one of them.

Hailing from the glorious Glens of Antrim, their music is as beautiful as their setting. The six piece alt-folk band have gone from strength to strength in their short time on the scene, clocking up accolades such as being nominated for Irish Single of the Year and featuring on BBC Radio Ulster RTE 2FM and 6 Music.

A band that are as modest gracious as they are talented, Runabay are a joy to listen to. Their latest single You I know is out now.


BAM writer Rebecca Armstrong caught up with singer and guitarist John McManus:

Band Name

“We range in age from 26-36.”

Where do you come from?
“Glens of Antrim and Belfast”

What do you do? Who plays what?
“I’m John and I play guitar and sing, Gary plays guitar and sings, Declan plays cello, Gerard plays keys and sings, Rory plays drums/percussion and Michael plays bass.”

How did you get started in the industry?
“I’m not entirely sure….I guess the transition derived from a couple of us in the band writing some songs, performing the songs, and before we knew it, there was a band in place.”

What genre / style do you create in?
“In terms of genre, I think we have transitioned a fair bit of late. I would class our style as alt-folk.”

What would you be best known for?
“In terms of profile, I think we are only getting started- in time I hope we are known as creators of quality music.”

What would you consider your biggest achievement?
“Being nominated for Irish single of the year was great, so too is the air play we receive on stations like BBC Radio Ulster, RTE 2FM and 6 music.”

What would you consider to be the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your industry?
“Alcohol and singing don’t mix particularly well.”

What has been your biggest challenge to date?
“Raising adequate finance has and continues to be the biggest hurdle for getting our music out there.”

Tell us a little about your personal life, are you married, kids, hobbies, what happens to you all when you aren’t on stage etc?
“The band contains married, coupled, and single members. When we aren’t on stage, we are debating why we aren’t on stage.”

Tell us about your most recent work?
“Our most recent work is a single entitled You I Know. It is probably the track we are most proud of, to date. The track is a glimpse of what is set to come in the future.”

“Simply, check out our music on the likes of Spotify, Youtube and social media here:

If you had to describe your work to someone who has never heard of you what would you say?
“In two words, life affirming!”

What’s the funniest experience you’ve had in your business?
“Too many to mention….but telling someone the name of the band for the first time is usually a funny experience; ‘runaway?’ no it’s…..”

What would your advice be to young people hoping to pursue the same industry?
“If you get the chance to travel through music, don’t consider it- do it!”

Who do you look up to and why?
“Probably Michael who plays bass for us….he’s around 6ft 5.”

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