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.
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.