Shooglenifty was formed in 1990 by musicians from the Scottish Highlands, Orkney and Edinburgh, its bright spark was the idea of fusing traditional and traditional-sounding melodies with the beats and basslines of a mixed bag of more contemporary influences. As happy playing a small highland village hall as they are on a outdoor festival stage playing to tens of thousands, the Shoogles (as they’re known to their fans) have promoted Scottish music all over the world for more than a quarter century.
In 2015 they played venues in Sarawak and Stornoway, Lorient and London, Adelaide and Aberdeen, Bangalore and Bristol, and released their seventh studio album The Untied Knot. This featured the first ever collection of Shoogle songs and introduced their newest member, puirt à beul vocalist Kaela Rowan. It received a 5* ‘Top of the World’ rating in Songlines, among many other favourable reviews. Songlines also nominated the band for Best Group in early 2016. The Untied Knot was nominated for Best Album at ‘Na Trads 2015’ – the Scottish Traditional Music Awards.
The band’s gig calendar for 2016 included festivals in The Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Switzerland, England, and, of course, Scotland. They were nominated for Best Scottish Group at the Sunday Herald Culture Awards in July 2016, manfully losing out to Scottish Opera.
In October 2016, the band lost their fiddler Angus R Grant, and took the end of that year to take a well-earned pause. They were bowled over by the numerous tributes and stories shared about their influential front man, not to mention the outpouring of love for Angus on social media. In January 2017 they channelled that emotion into a tribute gig for Angus at Celtic Connections featuring no less than 62 musicians who were all touched by his music.
2017 will be about re-grouping and putting together a documentary, tentatively entitled The High Road to Who Knows Where, about the band and Angus’s influence on Scottish music over the past three decades. In June 2017 the band released a live video from the Celtic Connections concert featuring the talents of six leading Scottish fiddlers: Adam Sutherland, Charlie McKerron, Duncan Chisholm, Eilidh Shaw, Gavin Marwick and Laura Wilkie. You can watch it now on VimeoOnDemand
In December 2017, A Night For Angus won Event of the Year at the Scottish Traditional Music Awards (Na Trads).
Shooglenifty is currently producing their 8th studio album. Recordings took place in India, Galicia and Scotland. Expected release is September 2018.
In February 2018, Eilidh Shaw joined the band as fiddle player. Gigs at Edinburgh Tradfest and Shetland Folk Festival are planned to launch the new line up.