IT’S fair to say that RURA, voted Live Act of the Year at the 2015 Scots Trad Music Awards, is a band in hot demand. The powerhouse five-piece has embarked on a 17-date May tour that serves as a warm-up for major touring in Austria in June, appearances at more than a dozen festivals across Europe this summer – including the main stage at HebCelt – and further extensive touring in the autumn.

“I think we’ve got something like two weekends off between mid-May and October!” said the band’s David Foley who, alongside bandmates Steven Blake, Adam Brown, Adam Holmes and Jack Smedley, is looking forward to introducing many more people to RURA’s powerful instrumentals and haunting song-craft.

And audiences in the Borders will have a first ever chance to find out just why venerable world music magazine Songlines hailed them as “one of the most exciting bands on the Scottish folk scene” when RURA play at the Eastgate Theatre, Peebles on Wednesday.

Having first come to attention in 2010 as award-winners at Glasgow’s renowned Celtic Connections festival, RURA reinforced their reputation as one of Scotland’s most talked-about folk-based bands with the release of their second album, Despite the Dark, in 2015.

The album is a perfect showcase of the band’s rugged yet refined blend of fiddle, Highland pipes, whistle, flute, bodhran, guitar and voice. “Our music is definitely within the folk genre but we do our best to make it somewhat contemporary,” explained David. “It’s always hard to describe your own music … the best thing is to have a listen.”

Backed by extensive touring, the album has gained plenty of plaudits, with the band itself seeing it as a step up in musicianship since their debut, Break it Up, in 2012. “When we made the first album we were still students and for most of us it was our first time making an album, so everything was new to us,” said David. “Since then the music has definitely changed, with a lot more original material in Despite the Dark.”

As a band that prides itself on its live performances, RURA was both delighted and surprised to scoop the Live Act of the Year Award at last year’s Scots Trad Music Awards. “It was a bit of a shock – none of us were expecting it,” admitted David. “We all love gigging and playing to audiences, so hopefully that comes across. Playing a good live show is a brilliant feeling, especially when the audience really get into it. It’s an honour for your art to be appreciated.”

RURA play at the Eastgate Theatre, on Wednesday, May 25 at 7.30pm.