Interview with mult-instrumentalist Darren McMullen from Canadian Celtic supergroup Coig

Canada’s Celtic powerhouse folk band Coig are promising some extra spark when they perform at Peebles Eastgate Theatre on Wednesday, November 26.

Darren McMullen of Coig.
Darren McMullen of Coig.

All the pent-up frustration of months off the road is ready to musically explode on the much-lauded band’s first UK tour since lockdown.

Còig offer a heady mix of traditional tunes, with fiddle players Chrissy Crowley and Rachel Davis, multi-instrumentalist Darren McMullen and Zakk Cormier on guitar.

Darren spoke on the phone from Nova Sotia ahead of the tour.

Coig. (Photo: Kamara Morozuk)

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    He was keen to express his debt to Scotland’s musical heritage and excitement at performing again in front of a live audience.

    "We’ve been listening to music from Scotland all along and getting over there and playing there is pretty cool, just to take our off-shoot of that music and bring it back to where it came from.

    "We did some online things through Covid, small things from our house and as we were doing it we were thinking ‘this is not good’. We’d finish a set of tunes and then you are just looking at a screen, but then we looked at the messages and the emails that were coming in, from people saying what a bright light it had been in their week.

    "We have a lot of fun playing and I think that translates to the audience right away.

    "Every year pre-Covid was a little bit busier than the year before. We would usually do a couple of visits to the States each year, festivals in the summer.

    "We finished up in the UK at the end of February before Covid and we headed to Australia and were there for two weeks before we had to get home as the Borders were closing up.

    "When we get ourselves over and get in a van and start driving around it will be probably the first time things have felt normal to us since the pandemic. We’ve done a few shows here in Nova Scotia, but one show there and another three weeks later. We really haven’t been together as a band for more than a day without everybody going home, so this upcoming tour is going to be great. Things won’t feel right until we’ve played a bunch of shows, and it’s great to be in the UK because everyone’s really receptive to our music. There’s going to be an extra spark, a little more joy.” For ticket information go to