Saturday 19 March 2016

A Wee Nip Of "Shooglenifty".

The Whisky Kiss: Shooglenifty perform their most popular number, Whisky Kiss, live at the Jazz Roots Club in 2011. Sadly, Kaela Rowan is not with them in this clip.
THE SCOTTISH BAND "Shooglenifty" has been around since 1990. It's six members: Angus Grant (Fiddle) Ewan MacPherson (Mandolin) Gary Finlayson (Banjo) Malcolm Crosbie (Guitars) Quee MacArthur (Bass) and James Macintosh (Drums) produce an electrified version of traditional Scottish folk that the music critics like to call "Celtic Fusion".

Exchanging the wet and still wintry streets of Edinburgh for the muggy warmth of Aotea Square, the band jetted in to the Queen City this week for a couple of performances in the Spiegeltent as part of the Auckland Festival.

It's a rich musical combination, Shooglenifty, held together by Macintosh's superb drumming and the virtuosity of Grant's fiddling. In between these two, the other four musicians lay siege to the ear with the sharp complexities of their various stringed instruments. All up it's a righteous and rollicking experience - and utterly unable to be sat still for - as the mostly grey-haired Baby Boomers who made up the audience proved by jigging themselves breathless - while Grant ducked and weaved and goaded them on to ever more strenuous exertions.

Collaborating with the band last night (Friday, 18 March) was the fearsomely talented Kaela Rowan - famed throughout Scotland for her mastery of the Gaelic "mouth music" tradition. Rowan adds a very special quality to Shooglenifty's repertoire. Listening to her sing, it is easy to discern the debt traditional Celtic music owes to the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean. She was performing in Auckland, but she would not have sounded out of place in a Beirut night-club.

Though I'm paying the price for all that dancing now, I wouldn't have missed my wee nip of Shooglenifty for a hill of haggis.

Video courtesy of YouTube
This review is exclusive to Bowalley Road.


Grant said...

Brilliant! Thanks. My ipod will be getting a top-up of Shooglenifty sharpish.

Victor said...

Great video, Chris

I agree about the Mediterranean echoes. But, then, thousands of years before there were "Celts", Europe's off-shore islands were invaded by the "first farmers" from somewhere in the Med and probably the Middle East.

Their legacy includes not just the introduction of agriculture and animal husbandry but also most of the stone circles found across the islands. Who knows, they might also have left their mark musically.

Good to have you back

aberfoyle said...

Aye the celt of our bloods being,murder never far its understand,aspecial princes and chancers dare.Ever question why Engel fell out way Marx.